Class is in Session.
Taskmaster is one of those fringe characters that walks the line between being a total badass, and being somewhat of a joke. He's an unparalleled fighter who can mimic the fighting styles of anyone he sees, and yet he really hasn't gotten the spotlight he deserves. With the release of Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (in which Taskmaster is a playable character), I decided to check out the recent Taskmaster mini-series that finished some months ago, to get a better perspective on the master of 1,000 moves. In short, I'm glad I did.
The Memory PalaceTaskmaster #1, of course, focuses on the mysterious skull-masked man himself. It seems that, over the years, poor Taskie's unique talents have lead him to literally forget most of his life, instead only remembering the various fighting techniques he's picked up over his long career. Of course, it doesn't help that now all the various thugs he's trained and fraternized with over the years have come to collect a $1,000,000 bounty that's been wrongfully placed on his head. Now, along with a hapless waitress who has been caught in the crossfire, Taskmaster has to find the one who put out the bounty, and clear his name before his luck runs out.
Getting SchooledWhat can I say about this issue? Is it well written, giving the character a personality and humanity (without actually revealing anything about him) that hasn't been seen yet? Yep. Does it have zany and over-the-top action that only a comic book could offer? Yep. Is the artwork stylish and a joy to follow from panel to panel? Yep yep. Overall, this is the way a mini-series, nay, ANY series should be started. It reveals enough of the eventual plot to draw the reader into the next issue while offering a great stand-alone experience within the issue itself. It's just plain fun.
If I had to complain about anything in this issue (and I don't really, but I guess I will) it's simply that, for being a mini-series focused on such an obscure character, it doesn't do a great job of explaining explicitly who the Taskmaster character is. That is to say, if you don't know anything about Taskmaster (and why would you be picking up his mini-series if you didn't?), then this might not be the best place to start.
Epic WINThat's hardly the point, though. This is, plain and simple, the start of what should be a great mini-series. Anyone who wants more Taskmaster in their life should pick this ish up.
Taskmaster #1 gets 5 stars out of 5.