1. Van Lente and Palo continue with Taskmaster’s attempt to regain his memories, as he and the waitress he protects visit a group of insane Mexican assassins trained by Taskmaster.
2. The Don of the Dead is an absolutely awesome character who I demand more appearances from… or I “sew jumping beans into ju privates!” Classy.
3. The box showing whose style Taskmaster is using is an absolutely great visual cue and only one of the many truly great “only in comics” moments in this issue. Palo’s art is a joy.
4. I do question the story’s decision to begin with the climactic fight. It wasn’t needed here and didn’t really add anything.
5. I also don’t like that Taskmaster has apparently always had memory issues of this manner, as it makes pretty much all of his conversations and characterization in the past extremely suspect.
6. Despite these two flaws, this issue is pure fun and, as usual with a Van Lente comic, a reminder to why I read comics in the first place.
7. This issue’s three revelations are all excellently played- that the Don is a white guy, that the waitress, our point-of-view character is in contact with Nick Fury, and that Taskmaster is ex-Shield. We really do have a possible redemption arc here with those final two.
8. Next issue promises Fury sending the cavalry… to the slaughter. That should be fun and it’s only issue 3 of 5!
9. The art here is just flat out dynamic. It’s minimalist and almost scratchy, but manages to convey awesome emotion and action. He’s an artist I intend to follow.
10. Rating: 7/10 – Sure there’s a minor characterization flaw here, but this is pure fun in taking a pure mercenary and humanizing him in the most insane, over-the-top fun way possible. I know that seems contradictory, but this comic has to be read to be believed.
Tags: Fred Van Lente, Taskmaster