Arriving in October right around Halloween, Task Force Z introduced a peculiar idea. While we've seen teams of supervillains done ad nauseam at this point, largely thanks to the mainstream popularity of both DC's Suicide Squad and Marvel's Thunderbolts, the premise of Task Force Z is tweaked just enough to keep it fresh. Instead of making a team of villains, Jason Todd assembles a team of supervillain... zombies. Admittedly, the book is perfect to launch around Halloween, but the question most of us should ask is if it's able to carry some weight outside of spooky season.
After reading through Task Force Z #2, the answer to that question? It carries some, but not a lot. From issue to issue, Todd himself performs the same exact actions. He begrudgingly goes on a mission before threatening to quit, and ultimately deciding to stick around for the greater good.
At least here, we get some more insight as to his decision-making, despite it all coming off as a bit superficial. There's some dialogue between he and Astrid Arkham that helps reel him in, allowing Todd to reassess his own decision. It's a moment that speaks to the larger issue at hand here as Todd examines what it means to continually reanimate villains after they've died.
The story has shied away from using any type of faith or belief in the afterlife in its storytelling, but it's beginning to scratch the surface of that. It's one thing to use supervillains against their will in your game of comic book chess, but it's another to use them after they've already lived one life and are onto the next. It's a storyline that's quite deep for a superhero comic, but it's something—if explored—that will continue to set this comic above the rest.
Task Force Z is trying to do the right things to set it apart from any other zombie comics available on the shelves at your local comic shop this week. You can tell Rosenberg and team are trying to stand out, but they're dangerously short from holding themselves back from that goal. At the very least, it seems like the book is moving in the right direction—it's just not quite there yet.
Published by DC Comics
On November 23, 2021
Written by Matthew Rosenberg
Art by Eddy Barrows and Eber Ferreira
Colors by Adriano Lucas
Letters by Rob Leigh
Cover by Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, and Adriano Lucas