Ever get really into a series and then come across an issue that sounded promising but was subpar in execution?
Yeah, that happened with this issue here.
Issue: Task Force Z #8, May 2022
Writer: Matthew Rosenberg
Artists: Eddy Barrows and Jack Herbert
The Plot: Jason Todd needs to break into the Batcave to steal some more Lazarus Resin.
Commentary: Honestly, this should have been a cool issue. I’ve been digging this series and what it does, and the idea that Jason, having refused to give up his undercover position with Task Force Z when asked by Bruce, now has to break into the Batcave to resurrect his dead allies into undead allies in order to stop Mr. Bloom, off doing his own thing with the slowly regrowing Man-Bat, all that should be awesome. I’ve enjoyed pretty much everything this series has done so far. Even the plan itself to get the Resin is pretty sharp: lure Batman out with Two-Face, Grundy, and what few other resources the Task Force still has while Jason breaks into the cave, or at least the new lair since Batman’s cave is apparently no longer under Stately Wayne Manor.
Heck, I even liked the check-in with Bloom, going full mad scientist on Man-Bat.
And yes, it shouldn’t be easy for Jason to get the resin. Even if Batman is out, there are other members of the Bat-family, and that is more or less what happens. Barbara Gordon is in the cave, but she can maybe be sweet-talked enough into letting her guard down. It’s the combined skill of Nightwing, Tim Drake’s Robin, and Cassandra Cain’s Batgirl all outside that will lead to blows.
Here’s the problem: the fight between Jason and the other three wasn’t done very well. The conversation wasn’t working for me because of course they talked while they flipped around and tossed punches, and the art wasn’t all that good. Bad writing and bad artwork on a series where I wasn’t really used to seeing either, and it still has the regular creators on the issue. This wasn’t a filler issue or anything along those lines. It was just a bit subpar instead of what I’ve grown accustomed to with this series.
By the by, is it bad that I only just noticed Jason’s been fighting with a pair of crowbars until someone pointed it out in this very issue? Yeah, it probably was…