Monday, December 28, 2009

Avengers: The Initiative #31

I never would have guessed we'd be blessed with a Taskmaster series. (I'm not counting that weird series from the early 2000's with the bad art.) But here we are, and Christos Gage is doing a great job. Taskmaster is a hard working villain who is finally getting his shot at the big time, and he really doesn't belong there. Gage takes Taskmaster's tiny part in the recent Siege one-shot and turns it into a fantastic character piece. Taskmaster anguishes and debates his decision to join Norman Osborn's cabal, and he eventually gives in and joins, figuring he won't get another chance at top billing. Of course, we know that as soon as he joins, he's taken out at his very first cabal meeting. Dr. Doom blasts him with a mix of sorcery and tech, and while Tasky's suit blocks the normal energy, he can't handle the magic. Taskmaster wants out, wants to go back to the pond where he's a big fish, but you don't cross Norman Osborn. Osborn gets all cold and threatening, and its a great scene. Taskmaster has made a big mistake.

Since this book is your one-stop shopping for the C-level characters of the Marvel U, we get nice little bits with Diamondback, Constrictor, Justice, Ultra Girl, Tigra, and more. Night Thrasher seems to have found some warning signs about Siege too. I'm excited to see how this book fits in. Taskmaster and his Initiative army of super-villains are going to be drafted into fighting Asgardians. I don't think that will go well for them.

Rafa Sandoval does his usual solid work. He has a habit of making Taskmaster's eyeballs seem a little too round and silly looking, but overall the work is strong. I do like his take on Tigra. His Scorcher is pretty funny too, sporting huge gauntlets and a giant helmet.


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