Task Force Z #2 – Matthew Rosenberg, Writer; Eddy Barrows, Penciller; Eber Ferreira, Inker; Adriano Lucas, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Ray: This chaotic horror reinvention of the Suicide Squad shows some life in its second issue, as it becomes clear there’s more to this team of living dead villains than meets the eye. When we last left off, a mission went sideways as Astrid Arkham went feral, the not-dead Mr. Bloom went on walkabout, and Jason found himself half-frozen by Mr. Freeze. The opening few pages are tense and really manage to capture Jason’s panic, but the tension is undercut by Mr. Bloom’s bizarre behavior. That’s not necessarily a criticism—his eccentric humor is one of the best things about the book and his true nature is a mystery, but it’s not exactly a good fit with the rest of the book. Seeing things go south and also seeing just how far the villains can be brought back from the dead makes Jason have second thoughts about the whole project, but the mysterious Crispin makes very clear to him that quitting isn’t really an option.
The first issue made it look like the villains were mostly going to be rampaging beasts, but it seems like their intellect will wane and wax with the effects of the Lazarus Resin. Bane seems much more lucid this issue, and Astrid Arkham even gets close to a human appearance after an overdose of the serum. But Jason is mostly done after nearly dying for the second time—and knowing he’d likely be resurrected as a pawn if he does. He demands a teammate who can watch his back, and is sent on a new mission to recover them. That turns into a firefight with Kobra goons in a chaotic battle sequence, until the final pages when we learn who this new ally might be—and it’s so obvious I can’t believe I didn’t get it. This is a character who is begging for a role like this, and based on what they do immediately after appearing, death hasn’t taken any of the edge off. It’s not up to the level of the other horror title this week, but the chaotic fast pace is a lot of fun.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.