REVIEW: ‘Task Force Z,’ Issue #5

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Task Force Z #5 - But Why Tho

Task Force Z #5 is a horror comic published by DC Comics. Written by Matthew Rosenberg, art by Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, Matt Santorelli, and Jack Herbert, colours by Adriano Lucas and letters by Rob Leigh.

The Red Hood has been tased with leading an army of undead soldiers on various missions, often nearly dying in each one. The head of the whole operation was revealed to be Two-Face, in turn, funded and governed by Amanda Waller. On their last mission, Task Force Z walked into a trap. In this issue, two separate teams of zombies go into battle. As people die and others are brought back to life, Waller sends a Suicide Squad in as a clean up crew. 

For the last five issues, Task Force Z has been a straightforward comic with a hint of a mystery behind it. The team hopped from exciting missions as there was a constant suggestion of the players being played by someone else. In this issue, everything collapses in glorious chaos. Three different groups fight each other in an onslaught of violence and gore. A standoff quickly dissolves into madness. The structure slips away into a slugfest. And again, the machinations of those higher up continue to unfold, showing that Rosenberg wanted more than just chaos in this series, but a manic espionage script as well. The pace is intense during the fight scenes but slows down during other moments. When the horror element of the comic needs emphasis, the speed turns excruciatingly slow. With a grim final half, the final page brings one last surprise to an already filled issue.

Task Force Z #5 floods a series rife with characters with even more. This is acknowledged by the writer and it adds even more fun to an exciting comic. Figures return whilst new ones enter the fray. The vast majority of these appearances are more like cameos, cool little snapshots of zombified villains. But if a character does have a speaking role, their voices are natural and the script is powerful. Rosenberg ensures that all of the important villains; Bloom, Deadshot, Waller, etc. all get a moment that demonstrates just how awesome they are.

The art is fantastic, reveling in the chaos. Despite the number of characters, it is always easy to follow what is happening. Only in a few panels is the full cast on display, condensed into individual battles that still radiate gravitas. The artists match up the various opponents well, taking size and power into account. Not every person that shows up may be recognised but the detail on all of them is sublime. Many of the beings are falling apart and vile to behold, yet the reader drinks it in. Perhaps the best design is that of Deadshot. With the beard, eye damage, and missing teeth, Floyd Lawton looks especially messed up. 

The injuries inflicted are intense and it is clear that the artists enjoyed creating them. The sensation of speed and movement is brilliantly constructed by the inking. Another of the greatest designs is that of Mr. Bloom. Tall and almost featureless, he makes the skin crawl unlike any other character involved in Task Force Z.

The colouring is perfectly suited for the world it inhabits. The decrepit, rotting nature of many of the characters is represented by pale greys, sickly greens, or a fierce red. This is not a monochromatic book, there are neon and enriching shades that provide the comic with a unique energy. The tones aren’t overly vibrant, with brighter options actually unnerving the reader instead.

The lettering is very good. The word balloons are linked to the right characters without confusion and the custom balloons are easy to read. The various effects in display help establish the voices of the monsters on the page.

Task Force Z #5 is blissful insanity. This is a comic that understands how bizarre the plot has gotten, with so many twists and turns that it could pull a zombie’s head off. The addition of new characters reaches a crescendo here as Red Hood and his gang is actually the most normal group. And yet there is a reason for so many figures involved as it appears to be a tidal wave to wipe most of the slate clean. It is evident that both creators and readers are having fun in this comic.

Task Force Z #5 is available where comics are sold.


Task Force Z #5
4.5

TL;DR

Task Force Z #5 is blissful insanity. This is a comic that understands how bizarre the plot has gotten, with so many twists and turns that it could pull a zombie’s head off. The addition of new characters reaches a crescendo here as Red Hood and his gang is actually the most normal group. And yet there is a reason for so many figures involved as it appears to be a tidal wave to wipe most of the slate clean. It is evident that both creators and readers are having fun in this comic.