REVIEW: ‘Task Force Z,’ Issue #6

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Task Force Z #6 - But Why Tho

Task Force Z #6 is a horror comic published by DC. Written by Matthew Rosenberg, art by Jack Herbert, colors by Adriano Lucas, and letters by Rob Leigh. Red Hood has been leading a group of zombified villains, unknowingly working for Two-Face. Last issue they ran into another zombie squad and the actual Suicide Squad, leading to a bloody and brutal massacre. KGBeast killed Deadshot and tortured Jason, but that was before Two-Face appeared with a new army.

In this issue, the Red Hood, Two-Face, Bane and Mister Freeze deal with KGBeast. But he is only one of a series of threats, as their perceived ally Mr. Bloom has disappeared. But on their way, Jason must deal with Batman.

One of the most notable aspects of this issue is the journey it takes us on. There are multiple levels to this comic, making it feel huge in its length. For one thing, the narrative is split in two. There are the present-day escapades of Red Hood and his allies, but there is also a flashback that acts as a prelude to the events of the entire series. It goes a long way to explaining many of the connections between characters and the setup of the story. That confusion has been one of the criticisms of the series so far, so Task Force Z #6 superbly gives more insight into the formation of the plan. It could be argued that this may be too late, but not all the pieces were in place before the last issue for it to work.

The issue then propels forwards into a confrontation with Batman before the set up for the next issue, the twists and turns within this series have been fantastic. Rosenberg has created something that isn’t just a zombie/action comic. This also has a political thriller laced into it and is very cleverly written. Alongside that is a selection of epic battles and a fantastic sense of momentum, although the final part of the comic may have been seen comic. What protects this comic from having people try to predict what happens is how much it leaves your head spinning. Therefore, it is so difficult to even try and think ahead.

Another underrated factor about this comic is the character progression. At many points Task Force Z has had an incredibly bloated cast with characters both massive and lesser-known. But now what’s left is a selection of powerhouses. From Two-Face to Bane to Mister Freeze, these are all now figures that are recognized and loved, so their deaths become more important (with all respect to the others). But Red Hood has transformed from someone who was repulsed by who he was with, even before they were zombies, into having a grudging respect for them and a dedication to finish what he started. The dialogue during the showdown with Batman is an iteration of a conversation that has been had many times. But Rosenberg fills it with underlying tension and emotion and it is beautiful. These ever-circling figures of major guest stars are part of what makes this series shine.

The art has had a transition but continues to be fantastic. Herbert has taken over from Eddy Barrows and Eber Ferreira, allowing for a new take on the characters. The zombies have a large difference in their design, although they are still monstrous and fantastic. Really the only zombie left is Bane, And the sheer size of him compared to everyone else is awesome. The decomposing skin and the little strands of flesh on the corners of the jaw are creepy. But like his transformation in his character, Red Hood is changing visually as well. With the injuries, he has sustained and his growing rage, he almost looks as inhuman as the zombies. A brilliant panel is in the scene with KGBeast. Red Hood is almost entirely submerged in shadow, so it is only his eyes and teeth visible. In this instant, he looks terrifying. The choreography of the battles is excellent too, full of movement and improvisation, as the characters frequently use what is around them to their advantage.

The colors are fantastic again within this comic. Lucas remaining the colourist even as the artists shift ensures that there continues to be consistency in the issue. Even for a comic so dark in tone, there is a lot of bright and vibrant colours being used. The glowing green is used frequently to illustrate the powerful Lazarus Resin, the lifeblood of what is fuelling the zombies. And there is a near-constant use of rich red for Red Hood and other characters involved.

The lettering is used to make the voices of many characters seem creepy, and Leigh achieves this.

Task Force Z #6 is an awesome comic. What started as a horror comic to start around Halloween has become a thriller rife with depth and layers. Rosenberg uses the guest stars to draw more interest to the book, but that isn’t really needed as it is such an energetic and fascinating comic. Every time it could be considered to be nearing an end, the series is taken in an entirely different and mesmerizing destination.

Task Force Z #6 is available where comics are sold.


Task Force Z #6
4.5

TL;DR

Task Force Z #6 is an awesome comic. What started as a horror comic to start around Halloween has become a thriller rife with depth and layers. Rosenberg uses the guest stars to draw more interest to the book, but that isn’t really needed as it is such an energetic and fascinating comic. Every time it could be considered to be nearing an end, the series is taken in an entirely different and mesmerizing destination.