Review: ‘Taskmaster’ #3 Continues The Mercenary’s Madcap Marvel Universe Adventure

by Scott Redmond

Overview

The fan-favorite skulled mercenary continues his quest to clear his name but comes face to face with some deadly heroes that want want nothing more than to take him down.

Overall
8/10
8/10

With Black Widow is on his trail for the murder of Maria Hill and Hyperion almost killing him, Taskmaster is only getting started. Marvel’s caped skull-masked mercenary continues his path to proving his innocence in Taskmaster #3.

Often the butt of many jokes, Taskmaster is a character that’s been around for quite some time and has even had a few mini-series in the past. What Jed MacKay does with the character, which is reminiscent of much of what he’s doing over in Black Cat, is wonderfully mix the absurd and comedic with the more deadly, real, and serious that comes with the territory of mercenaries in the Marvel Universe. Taskmaster has skill, but hardly has the means to pull things off, so that is where his barrels full of luck come in handy.

Sometimes books that are sort of a “tour around the universe” within a shared universe or franchise can be a bit hard as they spend too much time in reverence of the world and not their own story. That’s not the case here as each person Taskmaster is after and each part of the world he entered is fleshed out and important, but is only so because of what it means to the current story.

All that being said,, while Taskmaster is our “hero” of the story, MacKay makes sure it remains known that he is a mercenary and not a great guy. There are quite a few questionable moments and then downright awful measures he employs. Having Nick Fury as his wingman of sorts, who is grieving and dead set on finishing what Maria Hill was doing, works as it tempers some of his behaviors, but also gives him room to unleash them.

Alessandro Vitti and Guru-eFX are a solid paring on the art as they bring a very kinetic and flowing pace to the action and can readily pivot when the story needs to get a bit darker or a bit lighter. Vitti also heavily nails the emotions that we can see in Taskmaster which is not easy to do since he wears a skull mask, but they stick to the great idea that his mask changes with his expressions almost like a second skin.

Joe Caramagna nails it when it comes to lettering per usual, especially during the issue’s big fight scene. As the mercenary pulls out various moves of Marvel heroes, there are logo-like iconic letters calling out the moves except Taskmaster can’t recall their actual names so we end up with things like “That punch I saw one time.” It is fun and wonderfully executed over a fight scene showcasing just how deadly Taskmaster can be with the abilities that he possesses.

Taskmaster #3 is on sale now at your local comic shop and digitally on ComiXology.

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