June 12, 2024

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Noteworthy Issues: Task Force Z #12 (September, 2022)

Jason Todd and Harvey Dent's adventures with undead supervillains comes to a close.

Well, this is it.  The big conclusion to Task Force Z, a largely enjoyable series where Harvey Dent got his own Suicide Squad only the members were all sort of already dead.  Can it go out in a manner I find satisfying?

Issue:  Task Force Z #12, September 2022

Writer:  Matthew Rosenberg

Artists:  Eddy Barrows and Eber Ferreira

The Plot:  Jason Todd has his final mission with Task Force Z.

Commentary:  Well, that was largely satisfying.

To be clear, I don’t think Task Force Z is one of the all-time great comic book series or anything.  What it was was a largely enjoyable horror/superhero hybrid with some largely successful plot twists that told a single story over 12 issues, one that was firmly planted in the Batman corner of the DC Universe.  Yeah, there were parts that could have worked better, and I did wonder quite a bit why so many people seemed to know Jason Todd’s dual identity.  Did that mean they also knew Batman’s?  It may not matter much, but small details like that do tend to stick out, and it may just be that Jason had a separate identity that was different from what people know about him.

Or not.

Like I said, it may not matter much.  Jason had a job to do in bringing down Bloom and Powers International, a task he was largely successful with in part because even though he didn’t have the raw power to stop the undead Gotham or his still living sister, he did understand a thing or two about psychology and who Gotham is/was.  Gotham’s final fate was a nice touch here, one where he may not have been completely returned to life, but he was still very much doing things on his own terms in a way that could bring the character some redemption after he was dealt a poor hand in Tom King’s Batman run.  Besides, given Gotham at full power could take on the entire Justice League and hold his own if not outright win, I think it says something that even if he’s a rotting corpse that happens to be ambling around, Jason is smart enough to know the only person who can stop Gotham is Gotham.

Besides, Bloom was the real bad guy here, even if he was hinting Two-Face might have been coming out to play a bit.

So, all things being equal, the series went out if not strong than at least solid.  One issue aside, I enjoyed every installment of Task Force Z, and it ended in a manner that seemed final but also set up more possible stories in the future.  I was pleased in the end, and I can’t always say that.

Grade:  B