Reviews

Review – Taskmaster #1 (Marvel Comics)

Taskmaster #1 (Marvel Comics) cover (detail) by Valerio Giangiordano
  • Writing - 8.2/10
    8.2/10
  • Art - 8.5/10
    8.5/10
  • Overall - 8.3/10
    8.3/10

Taskmaster #1

Writer: Jed MacKay
Artist: Alessandro Vitti
Colorist: GURU-eFX
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Maturity Rating: Teen+
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: November 11, 2020

Taskmaster is a villain for hire, but some things even he isn’t bold enough to do. One of those things is to kill Maria Hill. But everyone in the Marvel Universe thinks he did!

Overall
8.3/10
8.3/10
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Nowhere to Run in Taskmaster #1

Anthony Masters, better known as the villain/mercenary/anti-hero Taskmaster, is out to clear his not-so-good name in Taskmaster #1. It seems someone has murdered Maria Hill, and all the signs point to the skull-masked villain with photo-graphic reflexes. But Taskmaster is not dumb enough to kill Maria Hill, is he? Of course not! But good luck convincing the rest of the Marvel Universe that. Now he is off on a worldwide adventure to prove his innocence and get back to what he does best: doing bad things for a high price. 

Writing

Taskmaster #1 (Marvel Comics) cover by Valerio Giangiordano
Taskmaster #1 (Marvel Comics) cover by Valerio Giangiordano

Taskmaster is one of those guys that is great in small doses. You don’t want him around all the time, but when he shows up, you are excited! That makes him perfect for a mini-series like this. I am sure this was also meant to tie in with his big-screen debut in the Black Widow film that was supposed to premiere earlier this year. Which is sad, but at least we got this comic to hold us over.

Jed MacKay starts this 5-issue mini-series with Taskmaster #1 and right off the bat he sets a surprisingly goofy tone for the series. It caught me off guard a little. After the initial setup, MacKay brings us into a rather strange scenario with the villain/mercenary for hire. It is a very funny and lighthearted jaunt. The whole issue, MacKay will make you laugh and smile.

Taskmaster #1 is definitely a fun and enjoyable read, but the tone does take away some of the seriousness of the book. It is almost too silly at times. MacKay toes that line, and for me, he just about crosses it, for me not being able to take the story seriously. It is a fine line. On one hand, the book is a blast to read and I caught myself smiling throughout the book. On the other hand, I don’t want it to continue to get increasingly over-the-top wild and goofy just for the sake of laughs, either.

For right now, I like what MacKay is doing. The book is a lot of fun; I just hope he tones it down a little as the series continues. It can be fun and silly while also being serious, which I hope MacKay does with the next issues.

Art

Taskmaster #1 employs the artistic abilities of Alessandro Vitti. Vitti has strong detailed line work. The Taskmaster costume has a lot of stuff going on and he details it all well. Great work on getting some wonderful facial expressions out of Taskmaster’s skull mask. It helps add great visual storytelling to the issue.

Vitti has some strong character work throughout the issue. Besides Taskmaster’s skull mask, he does seem to struggle a bit with other characters’ faces. They feel just a little off at times. But his character designs and movement on the pages are fantastic. Great setups, and he details a wonderful chase scene through the issue.

I am not exactly sure what Guru-eFX is. [Google’s got your back, man! – Ed.] But great coloring work in Taskmaster #1. Again, that Taskmaster costume has a lot going on and it really has no right looking as good as it does. But Guru-eFX captures the brightness and darkness of it well. Actually Guru-eFX captures the whole issue well with that balance of bright and dark throughout the issue.

Conclusion

If you are looking for a fun and enjoyable time look no further than Taskmaster #1, as Taskmaster starts his journey to clear his not-so-good name of the murder of Maria Hill. There is a lot to like about the start of this mini-series. The art is all-around solid; the story is a ton of fun and will have you smiling throughout. I just hope the tone balances out a bit for the next issues. I am all for some silly shenanigans, but I need a little bit of seriousness to grip onto as well. If that balances out in the next issues this will be a delightful mini-series.


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