Friday, October 8, 2010

Taskmaster #2

Taskmaster #2 - Comic of the DayThere are so many things I love about this book, but first, I would like to briefly mention things I hate about it.
  • What's with the quote on the front cover? Is this a novel that needs a shout-out by a well-known newspaper or magazine? I guess since it's a comic book the holla' comes from a website...a respected and browsed nerd website. I don't not like IGN, I just think it is kind of tacky when a non-reprint has a recommendation quote on the cover. It basically says, "We are cooler than you and got to read this comic before it hit stands."
  • Also on the cover is a small advertisement for the new Disney channel Avengers show. The show may be cool and fun, but I don't want it on my cover. Plus, it's bright Disney-kid tone just doesn't fit the tone of this comic of the day. I have to admit though, the ad definitely stands out. Marvel Marketing Machine! Damn your calculated moves!
With the dislike tasks (I could have choose many words here but...) out of the way I will now gush about Taskmaster #2.

High up on the list of questions about Taskmaster is: what's with the skull mask? Well, wonder slightly less after reading Taskmaster #2. Writer Fred Van Lente starts to dip into Task's past a bit which leads us to a gang of skull-mask wearing fellas of the Spanish speaking variety. This pack of skulls is lead by the goofy Don of the Dead, a Spanglish speak'n, sombrero wear'n, pistol, sword and cape clad villain. Who's under the skull-mask and sombrero surprises Tasky; and, though we the readers have just met the Don of the Dead, we are also a little surprised when we see who it is.

Spoiler Alert!

It's Squirrel Girl. Well, it could be...

Though Van Lente's great dialog and fast pass story make this comic of the day a must have, it's the art of Jefte Palo that really steals the show. In the past, when looking at Taskmaster you would think his uniform was absolutely ridiculous, but now, through Palo's designs Tasky looks pretty amazing. The uniform feels legit and even subtle. The way Palo draws his flopped over hood adds a bit of charm to Tasky, especially when you see a face shot which includes his mask in the darkness of his hood with only his two white eye spots showing. Palo's art has charm and movement that allow the characters to be expressive while fighting or while giving an impassioned speech. Plus, after another excellent cover, Palo lines up Taskmaster #3's cover (on the last page of Taskmaster #2) which will have you impatiently waiting for more. Much more.

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