Despite the fact that Jason Todd’s Robin was only a sidekick, the Red Hood has always been able to go it alone. Every time he returned to Gotham, he’s been defying his mentor, creating his own path. This is not to say, however, that he has always gotten along with the Outlaws. To his credit, however, Jason’s attitude has begun to shift in recent months, and he may soon become someone else’s sidekick.
Matthew Rosenberg, Darick Robertson, Diego Rodriguez and Rob Leigh’s “What the #!%% is Task Force Z” Part 1 in Detective Comics #1041 follows reporter Deb Donovan as she searches for the truth about a story based on an anonymous tip. He examines Gotham’s morgues after receiving a mysterious note on the city’s subway system without realizing it at the time First, there appears to be no story, but when Astrid Arkham’s body is discovered missing, things start to get a little more dangerous for everyone.
Unknown intruder threatens Donovan with a gun shortly after he leaves the morgue with the missing body. Unless she drops the story, they threaten her. If not for the timely intervention of the Caped Crusader, it appears that they would have carried out their death threat. Batman advises the reporter to abandon the story after saving her life.
Soon later, she reaches out to her colleague Vicki Vale. Vale initially believes that Donovan should investigate the story, and she even wants to take it on. Afraid to continue because the plot is too deadly, she changes her mind and sides with Batman.
However, despite the cautions of these two seasoned criminal underworld veterans, Donovan still intends to investigate. He is the one who tipped her up to this mystery in the first place.
Red Hood is concentrating his ways after his role in bringing down the villain Cheer, and it appears that this will include his stance on partners. Notably, Jason was the one who sought out the assistance of Donovan in this case, which means he requires her skills in order to complete this investigation on his own. This reflects a change in his character as well as in his way of thinking. His natural tendency is to take the lead, but he appears to be willing to follow Donovan and her particular abilities this time around.
Though this is a prologue to Matthew Rosenberg, Eddy Barrows and Eber Ferreira’s Task Force Z series, it should be recognized. This forthcoming team’s captain will be Jason Todd, even though Donovan and Red Hood are definitely looking into how it’s going to come together in the first place. Of course, this raises the question of whether this new collaboration is doomed from the beginning. How will Jason end up betraying Donovan and joining Task Force X when they find out the truth about Task Force X? To keep her safe, he might find a means to get her to stop reading the story.
Given her drive, the latter seems doubtful. This raises the question of what will happen to Deb Donovan in the future.