Writer: Jed Mackay
Artist: Alessandro Vitti
Cover Artists: Valerio Giangiordano and Arif Prianto
Taskmaster has been blamed for killing Maria Hill and is on the run from the Black Widow of all people. However, Tony Masters finds an unexpected ally in the second Nick Fury as they go through a list of potential suspects who could’ve really done the deed. Or rather, Taskmaster is going through the list while Fury just sits back and watch. Let’s jump into Taskmaster #3 by Jed Mackay as he attempts to clear his name against a South Korean national super human agency.
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Taskmaster #3 Review:
Mackay really tries to make this a funny series. Mileage will vary on that, but I think he’s certainly better at trying to make this comic fun with action. While I’m not a fan of his jokey Taskmaster, at least he’s been written consistently so far. We last saw Taskmaster face off against Phil Coulson and best the Squadron Supreme’s own personal superman, Hyperion in fight that got bloody. Now he’s made it to his next lead on the list: South Korea’s N.I.S. Tiger Division Director Ami Han.
After Nick got Taskmaster healed up, Masters is in Gangbuk-Gu, Seoul making a deal with a Korean apocalyptic terror cult. The comic’s words, not mine. The cult is tricked by Taskmaster who shrinks down with a bootleg Pym Particle Rig (again, the comic’s words, not mine) before they’re caught by Tiger Division’s Taegukgi, Korea’s superman. He flies, has super strength, has laser vision, wears the country’s flag on his chest, and is straight as an arrow. More importantly, he’s Taskmaster’s ride to Tiger Division’s HQ.
While Taskmaster’s narration was annoying on the ride there, he makes some key observations when he finally arrives to Tiger Division’s HQ and sees Director Ami Han. Someone is setting everyone up; Taskmaster, Fury, Coulson, Han, even Black Widow. But before he can learn any major intel, Taskmaster is almost caught and tries to escape Tiger Division’s HQ but is confronted by the White Fox. In the fight, we see a cool moment where Taskmaster actually uses his copied skills from some of Marvel’s heroes to fight her.
But the fight is interrupted by the Black Widow who finally catches up to Masters, though in a rather unintelligent way. But before she can do anything, White Fox gets into an argument with her, and with Widow distracted Taskmaster calls in his exit strategy and manages to escape alive.
Taskmaster #3 Spoilers:
Like I said before, this comic is better when it’s trying to deliver fun action with Mackay’s version of Taskmaster instead of humor. Though you will likely get a few chuckles here and there. Now, if you’re wondering who White Fox is, she’s Director Ami Han in disguise. Why? I don’t know. I’m not very familiar with the character or the rest of Tiger Division, but my impression is this felt weird.
My biggest issue is with Black Widow. Her goal of killing Taskmaster to avenge Maria Hill always felt weird to me, but I was willing to see what comes of it. But her entrance in the comic felt very unintelligent for the character, considering her goal is to kill Taskmaster not take him in to custody. She just announces herself during his fight with White Fox, saying she’s not leaving without him, and is even about to start fighting Tiger Division’s director to do it. When it’s possible she could’ve used a stealthier approach without causing an international incident, like maybe sniping him from a distance like she did it in the first issue.
I will admit, Taskmaster’s contingency of turning those cultists from earlier into psychic bombs was kind of cool. It even gave him time to leave Black Widow a carved note on the wall that he didn’t kill Maria Hill. I don’t think Widow will believe it, but we’ll see. Hopefully, we continue to see more of Taskmaster’s adaptability and creative quick thinking in the next chapter when he heads to Wakanda.
While this Taskmaster book continues to try to be funny, it’s better at telling a fun action comic book. It does a fine job showing some of Taskmaster’s planning and ingenuity, just wish we saw more of his professionalism.