December 1, 2023

Gabbing Geek

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Noteworthy Issues: Task Force Z #5 (February, 2022)

Task Force Z faces off with Task Force X!

There have been a number of mysteries surrounding the sort of undead Task Force Z.

One of them might be to ask how legit they are in the eyes of the law.

Issue:  Task Force Z #5, February 2022

Writer:  Matthew Rosenberg

Artists:  Eddy Barrows, Jack Herbert, and Eber Ferreira

The Plot:  Jason and his undead Task Force meet an unlikely problem in the form of one of Amanda Waller’s Suicide Squads.

Commentary:  Up until this point, this series has been playing with how legal Harvey Dent’s sort of undead Task Force X (or Z) actually is.  With a group made up mostly of zombie-like monster versions of various Batman villains, plus Jason Todd, Sundowner, and Mr. Bloom, Dent seemed to be operating under the assumption that the Task Force X law or protocols or whatever they are would work for his group just as well.  Small problem:  it would seem that is not the case.  Whether this is because Amanda Waller just plain disapproves of Dent or he did something wrong or she just can’t stand the competition doesn’t much matter.  Jason had led his Task Force down to a lab to find more of the Lazarus resin.  What he assumed initially was security turned out to be one of Waller’s Suicide Squads, this one composed of the likes of KGBeast, Solomon Grundy, Copperhead, and Mr. Zsasz among others.

Wait, the Wall got Zsasz on a leash?  I’m impressed.

Now, I suppose it could be possible for Jason to talk his way out of this or something along those lines, but there is the one bad element in his group in the form of Bloom.  Bloom is not a zombie of any kind.  And he’s doing his own thing, seeing no harm in setting off the undead Man-Bat to attack the Suicide Squad and start a fight that Jason’s group may or may not be able to win.

If anything, this issue highlights the general weaknesses of the Task Force Z.  Even the ones that have superpowers seem to be a bit limited in what they can do, being either mentally or physically impaired.  Jason can handle himself in a fight.  Sundowner is dangerous, but only in the dark.  Oh, and Bane was knocked off a building, so the team is short anyone who might be in Grundy’s strength class.

How much or how little this book connects to the main Suicide Squad title, where Waller is basically building her own Justice League, I could not say.  There is a reference to how Waller has other teams in the field, suggesting Dent’s group didn’t even rate the main Squad.  However, I like the way this book is turning out, especially as Bloom continues to reveal just how untrustworthy he is.  Somehow, on a team full of literal monsters, the one guy who is still basically human is the real villain.

Grade:  B+