Daily Archives: December 4, 2010

Master Plan

Taskmaster #4
Writer: Fred van Lente
Artist: Jefte Palo
Colors: Jean-Francois Beaulieu
Letters: Dave Lanphear
Cover artist: Greg Tocchini
Editor: Lauren Sankovitch
Price: $3.99 US

With this limited series, writer Fred van Lente has really been telling two disparate stories that happened to be connected by the characters he’s chosen to use. On the one side, he offers up a wonderfully entertaining send-up of the secret agents and henchmen in the Marvel Universe, reminiscent of the kind of zany storytelling that Warren Ellis delivered in the memorable series Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E.. On the other hand, van Lente also tells the story of an exceptional man who’s been driven to do awful things and who’s seeking redemption. These two stories require completely different tones — one silly, the other reflective and melancholy — so they shouldn’t work together. But they do, and that’s thanks in part to the extreme, over-the-top nature of the super-hero genre. What’s unfortunate about the story is that due to the nature of the title character, the shared super-hero continuity in which it’s set and the format in which it’s presented, it’s completely inconsequential. The ending is constructed so that the story can be ignored by others in the future and by other uses and interpretations of the title character. It’s a foreseeable development but disappointing all the same.

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