In Task Force Z #1, Jason Todd takes on the reins of leading a new team and discovers that one of his teammates has his own set of goals.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Task Force Z #1, on sale now from DC Comics.
The roster of DC’s latest criminal super team, Task Force Z, is comprised mostly of undead versions of Gotham’s villains. Each zombified rogue is hoping to earn their way back to life by working on the team, often with chaotic consequences. Led by the Red Hood, it turns out that the former Batman sidekick isn’t the only member of the team who’s still alive, however, and a New 52 villain is hoping to gain something else entirely from working with his undead companions.
Having inadvertently found his way onto the government task force, Jason Todd takes the team out on their first few missions in Task Force Z #1 (by Matthew Rosenberg, Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, Adriano Lucas and Rob Leigh). This goes about as well as expected, with the Red Hood complaining about the many ways the team has gotten out of control. Therefore, on the way to their next big mission, Todd lays down the ground rules. After he makes it clear that he won’t put up with any of their flesh-eating nonsense, one member of the team feels the need to speak up.
Mr. Bloom, rather timidly, informs Red Hood that he is, in actuality, very much alive. Task Force Z’s leader tells him that he already knew this, most likely because Bloom is the only member of the team that he hasn’t had to stop from recklessly attacking the living.
Mr. Bloom was created by Scott Synder and Greg Capullo during the New 52. The character first appeared in Batman #43, during the time that Jim Gordon took over as the armored version of Gotham’s Dark Knight. This criminal used special seeds to sell superpowers to ordinary people, with the only price being that it would kill them soon after being used. As for his own powers, he can manipulate his body into strange inhuman shapes. He’s also capable of using this power to create large deadly claws that he once used to impale the Penguin.
When he overran the city with superpowered individuals, it prompted Bruce Wayne to return as Gotham’s guardian and put an end to his madness. Despite gaining more power when people ingested his seeds, Bloom was still defeated by Batman. Everyone, seeing that the real Dark Knight was back, abandoned Bloom’s seeds and the villain hadn’t been heard from since. Bloom has reemerged now as a member of this new team, much more meek and polite than he previously appeared.
Unlike the other members of Task Force Z, who are doing these missions to regain life, Mr. Bloom joined the team for less bizarre reasons. He simply wants to show that he’s been rehabilitated and want to gain the chance to be reintegrate into society.
Although Mr. Bloom tries to elaborate more on what he wants to achieve as a part of Task Force Z, Red Hood cuts him off because he simply doesn’t care. Even though the rest of his motivations are left unclear, a power-dampening collar keeps him from using his powers against the rest of the team. However, the collar also keeps him from being of much use when the team encounters Mr. Freeze. While it looks like Bloom won’t cause much trouble for the living, his de-powered state and unwillingness to cause trouble may make him easy prey for his undead teammates.
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