The world of superhero storytelling has developed a few constants across decades, and it's safe to say that character death — and the fallout of that — has become one of them. That has especially been the case within the pages of DC's Batman books, with Alfred Pennyworth having been killed by Bane during the DC Rebirth run of Batman. The ramifications of that event have continued to be felt, and it looks like they have even bled over into the pages of Task Force Z, the gritty book that puts a zombie twist on the idea of a DC antihero team. Spoilers for Task Force Z #3, from Matthew Rosenberg, Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, Adriano Lucas, and Rob Leigh, below! Only look if you want to know!
The issue's events culminate in an epic rooftop battle with Task Force Z, as they encounter Cheshire while out in the field. Cheshire and Jason Todd begin to spar with each other, and she nearly wins in the fight, before Bane saves Jason. The duo get closer to the edge of the skyscraper they're standing on, and Jason begins to ask Bane if the Lazarus Resin — the chemical that is keeping the zombified members of the team alive — is allowing him to regain his memories. Bane confirms as much, and then admits that he remembers having killed Alfred. Jason then kicks Bane off of the skyscraper, sending him plunging to his death.
The moment is definitely a surprising one, which is not only satisfying for fans who have remained heartbroken about Alfred's death, but fans who like seeing Jason Todd deliver cool action sequences. It's definitely a surprising decision given Jason's complicated relationship with death and killing, but still a significant emotional beat — especially in the main continuity.
"The first name that I said was that I wanted Jason Todd," Task Force Z writer Matthew Rosenberg said in a previous roundtable interview. "When you're dealing with death and rebirth and who should come back, he should be the sherpa for the team. From there, everything else clicked into place pretty easily. Bane and Man-Bat were two that I really wanted and they wanted me to have. It was unclear, when Arkham Asylum blew up, who died. They kept it ambiguous on purpose."
The first four issues of Task Force Z #4 are now available wherever comics are sold.