- October 27, 2021
Task Force Z #1 Review
Written by: Matthew Rosenberg
Penciling by: Eddy Barrows
Inking by: Eber Ferriera
Coloring by: Adriano Lucas
Lettering by: Rob Leigh
Since Red Hood & the Outlaws ended, DC has been experimenting with the teams they put the Red Hood on. Task Force Z is no different in that regard. First, it was the Suicide Squad, which seemed like a great idea with mixed results. Then it was the Titans, which utterly wasted him in an effort to appeal to fans of the show. If you had told me that pairing him with zombie villains would be the best attempt yet, I would have punched you.
Not only does Matthew Rosenberg get Jason Todd’s characterization best in Task Force Z, he also puts him on a team well-suited for him. The Red Hood can’t play well with other heroes when he uses guns, but he’s not evil and can’t work with villains. The solution here is to reduce the villains to husks and make Red Hood their caretaker. It appeals to the caring nature he hides under all his angst, and it gives him the leadership role he’s secretly made for.
I do have to warn anyone who’s a fan of villains like Bane, Man-bat, and the Arkham Knight. They all take a back seat to Jason. In fact, their characters take a hit for Jason. They’re zombies, hence why they’re called Task Force Z, and can barely think and feel. While it makes sense for their personalities to dull as zombies, it makes the team’s dynamic one-sided towards Jason. He gets all the edgy one-liners, the cool character moments, and the chance to prove he’s the main character. Unlike in Titans: United where he was a platform for other characters’ success, his supporting cast shows up for him.
Outside of the wonderful Red Hood/Zombie action, Task Force Z also sets up an interesting world around Jason. I’m not sure who has set up Task Force Z, but its unsettling doctors create a rather perfect horror vibe. The pale, white-haired twin doctors have unsettling mad scientist vibes. Plus, with the way the art has designed them, and the cold voice the writing gives them, they already seem like the best mad scientists in DC. The art in this book honestly makes these ‘human’ characters creepier than the zombies.
Red Hood Finally Finds Where He Belongs, on Task Force Z
The Red Hood has found a new book of quality to headline, just in time for Halloween. The premise may seem silly, Red Hood leading a squad of zombies, in-canon, but this issue proves that even a dumb concept can be good with a great creative team.