December 7, 2023

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Noteworthy Issues: Task Force Z #6 (March, 2022)

Task Force Z's origin is revealed as Jason argues with Batman that he should be allowed to stay on the case.

OK, finally, some answers and a direction for the series going forward.

Issue:  Task Force Z #6, March 2022

Writer:  Matthew Rosenberg

Artists:  Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, and Jack Herbert

The Plot:  Neither Batman nor Amanda Waller are shutting this Task Force down.

Commentary:  So, the previous issue ended with Two-Face and zombie versions of Bane and Mr. Freeze going to rescue Jason from KGBeast and that branch of Task Force X.  Deadshot had just taken a brain-destroying bullet to save Jason, and it looked like Harvey may or may not be in touch with his inner villain again.

Now, obviously, Jason will get rescued.  KGBeast can die, but that just means Harvey can revive him for his Task Force Z.  And, as promised by the cover, Batman shows up to pull Jason out of the mission.  Jason refuses to go, and Task Force Z surprisingly has his back.  Granted, the other undead who went with Jason are pretty much written off, and the real target right now is Mr. Bloom.

That’s where this issue went that pleasantly surprised me:  it revealed where the Lazarus Resin came from, how it can completely revive the dead in high enough doses (as was done with Jason in an earlier issue), but can bring the dead back partway as zombie-like monsters that need more Resin to stay alive in lower doses.  Bloom was actually involved in the creation of the stuff, as was Mitch “Resurrection Man” Shelley, though Shelley quit in disgust pretty early on.  There’s some backstory about how Dent was brought in, and how Waller was convinced to give the whole thing a go since the redemption arc for the zombies would be even better PR for selling the program than even the Suicide Squad’s usual rationale.  And from there, Task Force Z was born.

Except Bloom was looking out for himself the entire time.

Yeah, that means the status quo shifts a bit in light of new revelations about the one guy on the team who wasn’t an undead monster.  Funny how series like this always seem to reveal that normal, living humans are always worse than the monsters, though I could have sworn Bloom thought of himself as one of the good guys.  It may not matter.  He hit Task Force Z in a place where it really hurts.  Now, well, they have a reason to go after him.

Grade:  B