REVIEW: ‘Task Force Z,’ Issue #8

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Task Force Z #8  - But Why Tho

Task Force #8 is published by DC Comics, written by Matthew Rosenberg, with art by Jack Herbert, Jesus Merino, and Vicente Cifuentes, colors by Adriano Lucas, and letters by Rob Leigh. In the last issue, Task Force Z realized that they needed more Lazarus Resin, but the only vial left is inside the Batcave. In this issue, Two-Face and the rest of his unit lay down a distraction whilst Red Hood had a reunion with his family.

This is a plot that is incredibly fun to read. The issue is largely split into two locations, jumping between either of them rapidly. As the Task Force draws Batman out, Jason has to try and steal the vial. The situation brought a smile to my face that lasted the whole issue, shifting the energy that has been in this comic since its foundation. There is still that unsettling horror element whenever Bloom appears, with some of his new experiments reaching absurd new levels. But there is much more of a classic superhero feel to the book that has blended with the horror. The violence is still ever-present and the action in this book is constant, but this comic has veered away from what it looked like in the first issue. This is not necessarily a bad thing, it’s breathing new life into the series about the undead

For perhaps the first time in the series, Task Force Z #8 does not see the zombies as the main attraction inside the issues. What is so captivating here is the interactions between Red Hood and the rest of the Bat-Family. Todd encounters more members of the family than either he or I was expecting, including Oracle, Nightwing, and a few others. Rosenberg beautifully alters the way Jason speaks to each individual person, providing history to the dialogue. Todd knows them and they know him, making the battle incredibly investing. But this ganging up on him does little to ease his feelings that he is an outsider among them. Red Hood is the wayward son and that goes against him when he is trying to sneak his way into the Batcave.

The art also suggests a significant change. The fight scene between Batman and Task Force Z is much more familiar to the style this comic is known for. It embraces the violence and horror elements of the book. Specific care is taken to depict injuries and the line weights are thick. This makes the villains look more monstrous. But there is a huge difference between Todd and the Bat-Family. The panels are cleaner and less full of chaos and sprawling lines. This very cleverly splits the worlds, making the already grim life Batman and the others live in seem like paradise considering what Jason has submerged himself into. The fight scenes in both are excellent, depicting some excellent, sprawling battles across Gotham. There are still some nasty injuries in that combat and intense set-pieces, as Red Hood gets more brutal with his swings.

The colors are also integral to this dividing of the lines between the two worlds Jason resides in. The zombies are mostly surrounded by a cold blue, although the bright green of the Lazarus Resin and Two-Face’s pink, exposed skin is sickly to behold. With Red Hood and the heroes, the shades are brighter and incredibly vibrant as some of the most colorful costumes are put on display. The lettering is awesome, matching the tone and general feel of the issue.

Task Force Z #8 is an excellent action issue. As two different battles unfold in the same book, Rosenberg and the amazing artists provide examples of why this is one of the most exciting series around. It fuses horror, dark humor, and some genuine family drama and affection. The blend isn’t seamless, but that is not the nature of the book. Nothing is tidy or gentle, it’s rough and violent. Even when the superheroes enter the fray, that potential for horror should never be forgotten about. 

Task Force Z #8 is available where comics are sold.


4.5

TL;DR

Task Force Z #8 is an excellent action issue. As two different battles unfold in the same book, Rosenberg and the amazing artists provide examples of why this is one of the most exciting series around. It fuses horror, dark humor, and some genuine family drama and affection. The blend isn’t seamless, but that is not the nature of the book. Nothing is tidy or gentle, it’s rough and violent.