Taskmaster takes an unlucky waitress along for his runnin' and gunnin' escape from the allied forces of all the criminal organizations he's ever trained foot soldiers for.
Van Lente's got a good handle on the both the coolness and ridiculousness of these characters, firing both at full throttle in a way I've rarely seen outside of Frank Miller's best work. I just love the concept of all these absurd organizations coming out of the woodwork to collect the price on Taskmaster's head. The Marvel Handbox appendix was much appreciate; I definitely needed some filling in on all these organizations, as well as details for all the new ones that're introduced. My favorite of the new breed was the Inquisition, unequivocally. And Palo's art has such velocity, it's liable to tear ass right off the page.
I really wish they'd used the redesign Udon gave "Taskey" in the last solo mini-series he had, however many years ago. It kept enough of the signature elements of his outfit (hood and skull) while omitting the outdated parts like the cape, trunks and pirate boots. I think it would've made the conceit even more pronounced by pitting this army of ludicrious-looking goons against a credible-looking killer.
The Verdict - 4/5
This is another case of a Marvel comic (along with Matt Fraction's Iron Man and Jonathan Hickman's SHIELD series) with a premise that's strong enough to allow it to stand proudly on its own, outside the MU - - though it's that much more entertaining for building on this wealth of continuity. I'm stoked to see what criminal cabals Taskey will be trouncing next.