Writer: Jed MacKay
Artist: Alessandro Vitti
Cover Artists: Valerio Giangioroano & Arif Prianto
So, it’s finally come to this. Jed MacKay’s Taskmaster series finale is here. Tony Masters has traveled the world to face some of the deadliest clandestine organizations to clear his name. Now the story reaches its conclusion in Taskmaster #5 as the infamous mercenary faces the dreaded Black Widow to save his own skin.
If you’re interested in this comic or any of the others mentioned, simply click on the title/link to snag a copy through Amazon.
So the story is finally at its end and I have to say, the ending was almost as predictable as I thought it would be from the first issue. From the beginning of the comic, MacKay establishes that Taskmaster doesn’t like getting played for a fool in his narration, and repeats this throughout the entire comic. There are a few moments where the narration works fine, but it becomes annoying and somewhat contradicting at times.
Going by the cover, Taskmaster finally fights with Black Widow. It’s not that bad but it’s not that great either. The comic certainly has MacKay’s version of Taskmaster pull out all of his stops, and the art from Vitti is good. However, it’s not the most remarkable comic fight people might imagine it to be.
Then there’s a big revelation near the end that makes me feel like MacKay wanted it to be a huge moment but felt pretty underwhelming. I’ll discuss it in the Spoilers section. Overall, the issue wraps up in a way that’s expected for this comic but it’s not the most memorable thing for Taskmaster.
So, the big reveal is that Maria Hill was alive the whole time. Yep. She faked her death, framed Taskmaster, and set everything in motion. Why? To take down an array of killer satellites leftover from Norman Osborn’s H.A.M.M.E.R. days. But the big problem here is how MacKay writes this reveal and the following sequence, as if it were some great mystery that fooled everyone.
And it comes through when Maria Hill is asked by Nick Fury how she faked her death and she replies, “”How” is for the rubes, Nick. You know who I am. What I can do. “How” doesn’t matter. What matters is why.” This is a big problem because for readers who aren’t even remotely familiar with Maria Hill in the comics or Norman Osborn as leader of H.A.M.M.E.R. then this means nothing to them. Readers need to have context for things like this, otherwise the reveal doesn’t carry the intended impact.
Also, the way Fury and Black Widow are dumbfounded by Hill’s faked death is pretty laughable, since these two have worked for the original Nick Fury who did this a lot. It especially makes Black Widow look like a huge dupe by this point. Thankfully, the only one who ended up walking away with his head held high is Taskmaster.
Jed MacKay’s Taskmaster reaches its conclusion with Taskmaster #5. Sadly, the big reveal was pretty predictable and the fight between Taskmaster and Black Widow is illustrated well, but it’s not the most memorable fight. This comic is somewhat satisfactory because Taskmaster still remains the star of this comic.