Sunday, October 2, 2011

Taskmaster (2010) TPB

This is a fantastic trade. I've seen how well Fred Van Lente does re-imagining villains in Amazing Spider-Man, so it isn't surprising seeing him do even better when he gets a few more pages to focus on one character.

I've always been a big fan of the Taskmaster, I actually have his mini-bust on display with my Avengers (since technically, Avengers: The Initiative put him on the roster). He's a smart, original villain with a fantastic look, but let's face it, he never had a compelling origin. Until now. Van Lente mixes up the photographic reflexes with a tragic side-effect; Tasky can't remember anything personal in his life. This unique situation lets Taskmaster work in just about any story, where he can be either hero or villain (or both). And that extra-personal twist at the end? Brilliant. I didn't see it coming.

Don of the Dead? He might be my fave new villain of last year. And those Black Choppers are one helluva concept too (aliens in a motorcycle gang). I also loved the minion organization's varied membership; we had Ultimatum, Hydra, AIM, Sons of the Serpent, and a bunch of groups even a huge nerd like me couldn't ID.

Jefte Palo's art works well for the story. His faces tend to be a bit puffy, but his action is great. And the design work on all the crazy uniforms and locations look awesome.

This trade is an extremely-high good for any fan of Taskmaster, but I think just about anyone would dig this collection.


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