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ON THE GRID: Task Force 1

Task Force 1 is a web comic by Image Comics. (See preview.) From the press release:

A generation after 9/11, the world is paralyzed by terrorist sects of every persuasion. In this bitterly divided, terror-struck United States, General Abigail Rhodes takes on the thankless job of heading up the Department of Homeland Security. She could only watch her country get its nose bloodied by these threats for so long before she decided to put a stop to the reign of terrorists once and for all. General Rhodes initiates “Operation: Damocles,” a top-secret project too risky for any of her predecessors to try. Now, Rhodes commands a covert unit of super soldiers, codenamed TASK FORCE 1, and she intends to take the terror to the terrorists.

The SF Signal crew had the opportunity to preview the full Task Force 1 web comic…

  John Kevin Scott Tim
Pros: Interesting premise; attention-grabbing openeing scene; a little gory at times, but not too much. Alpha’s ability to not only read minds but manipulate them in a minor way. At one point she uses this power in a pretty neat way to move on. I loved the art, fantastic, top-notch – this guy could be drawing for any of the top comics. The statement that not all the experiments were perfect. Superheroes need flaws to make them more acceptable.
Cons: Scene transitions too abrupt. Too many heroes had one-word names. The art; nothing in the story interested me enough to read the second issue. The writing – ugh! The story was hard to follow (what exactly happened in the team’s first mission?) Too many hackneyed phrases, and the origin story is borrowed. The story was way too disjointed, and felt rushed due to the space he had. I think that the first experiment should have been given much more focus to help us understand what is possible.
Artistic Style: Nice. Reminds me of the Justice League comics of my youth. Some of the color seemed a bit washed out, though. Very pedestrian – nothing in the style stood out from other comics. I loved the style of “US military today w/ an homage to WW2-era art”. Very cool. The style was okay, but not to what I like to read.
Coolest Idea: Alpha’s mind control powers used to loop opponents’ short-term memory. The mind reading/manipulation power. I guess the idea of superheroes originating from military projects isn’t too overused. I guess. The fact that the heros from team one really were designed for combat roles – a true stealth sniper (but with a visible gun – sheesh).
Favorite Line: “Reports are coming in from news stations all over Europe about body parts being delivered to them in the mail.” General: If your team can’t do its job, then we’ll remove that hardware and give it to soldiers that can.
Research Head Guy: But that’d kill or cripple my entire team!
General: Well then, looks like you’ll be properly motivated to get the job done.
“This’s just..I’ve never seen anything like it before.” Well, not exactly… Alpha: Stay out of sight and escort Blast to the target as planned.
Blast: Escort? Did you clear that with my wife because…
Commander: Alpha, stay outta my head.
About John DeNardo (13012 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.

3 Comments on ON THE GRID: Task Force 1

  1. I thought the art style was designed to look like the US military-based comics I read as a kid – those would have been produced in the late 70’s or early 80’s and had a particular washed-out military feel to them I saw recreated here. I also thought the art was far better than a lot of web comics I see today (I’ll spare us the litany of stick-figure or near-stick-figure comics out there.) Of course maybe that is the problem – the focus is on the drawings and not the writing.

  2. Oh, I’m sure the washed-out look was intentional, but I think the look would have been better served with a more bold application. But that’s just me.

  3. From a web comic perspective, yes the art was better than some, but again the style was not one I liked. Does it have potential? Maybe, if there is better pacing and less concerns about trying to tell such a large story in such a small space. I would also say that the art would have recieved less of my focus if I could follow the story a bit better. I don’t know if this is his first large comic or not, but that was the problem for me…

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