Created by Jim Valentino and written by yours truly. It hits stores in July (and is available for pre-order in the upcoming Diamond Previews guide). Please, spread the word.

Here are some preview pages from Task Force 1 #1 (including cover).

And here’s the press release…

BERKELEY, CA — This Summer, Image Comics takes you to the next theater in the war on terror — a near future where soldiers become the weapons of mass destruction. ShadowHawk creator Jim Valentino brings you TASK FORCE 1!

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.

Written by talented newcomer and 8-year military veteran Jeffery Stevenson with art by former ShadowHawk penciller Carlos Rodriguez, TF1 introduces a joint service unit of special operations soldiers who are enhanced as government weapons. Each of them is infused with deadly abilities for combating terror, but plagued by a fact that the government neglected to tell them: if the terrorists don’t kill them, their new bodies will.

“TF1, for me, is what would happen if the Avengers met Delta Force. I wanted each soldier to be a three-dimensional character with superhuman abilities, but with the conscience and tactical know-how of a frontline combat soldier,” says Valentino.

Stevenson added, “Sure, this story will be a science fiction thrill ride with action and suspense, but Jim also wanted to explore the already stressful life of military soldiers amped up with experimental (aka “buggy”) hardware wired into their bodies and only taking on covert missions where they’ll never (ever) get the hero’s welcome.”

The TASK FORCE 1 roster includes the team leader, Marine Captain Kieran Roberts (callsign: MASS). He can increase his molecular density, giving him great size, strength, and near invulnerability, but the density of his internal organs increases at a faster rate than his strength threatening to kill him from heart and lung problems if he pushes too far. Second in command is Air Force 1st Lieutenant Leslie South (callsign: ALPHA) who has a device wired into her skull giving her heightened intelligence and allowing her to remotely access and manipulate the short term memory of others. Unfortunately, the strain of utilizing the hardware causes her brain to swell giving her progressive migraines that could eventually lead to a brain aneurism. After being crippled from a chemical attack, Marine Gunnery Sergeant Jon Nguyen (callsign: KLONE) volunteered to have his brain and spinal cord transplanted into a prototype android body made of a nearly indestructible material. It makes him stronger and possibly immortal, but problems with the body’s sensory input devices leaves this living action figure craving the sensual world he can no longer fully experience. Army Staff Sergeant and EOD specialist Njanu Saunders (callsign: BLAST) wears huge gauntlets capable of creating blasts that can hyper-accelerate matter with explosive results, but they’ve fused themselves to his hands, making this devout family man a hostage in a world where he can’t touch anyone or anything without destroying it. Sergeant Danielle “Danni” Rothmann (callsign: RUSH) can run at subsonic speeds and wire her acceleration technology into her rifles and guns to give her increased range, but the same technology in her armored suit that reduces the stress on her body at high speeds also caused problems trapping her in order to hold her molecular structure together — if she takes off the armored suit, she dies.

Valentino adds, “These are career soldiers, prepared to die if need be to protect our country. With the abilities they’ve gotten from Operation: Damocles, the test is whether they are willing to live so they can do their patriotic duty.”

TASK FORCE 1 will be available for preordering from the May PREVIEWS guide and the first issue of this full-color ongoing series is set to hit stores in July 2006. Preorders can be made through shops listed in the Comic Shop Locator Service (1-888-COMIC BOOK).

Image Comics is a comics and graphic novels publisher formed in 1992 by a collective of best-selling artists. Since that time, Image has gone on to become one of the largest comics publishers in the United States. There are currently four partners in Image Comics (Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri and Jim Valentino), and Image is currently divided into four major houses (Todd McFarlane Productions, Top Cow Productions, Shadowline and Image Central). Image comics and graphic novels cover nearly every genre, sub-genre and style imaginable, offering science fiction, romance, horror, crime fiction, historical fiction, humor and more by the finest artists and writers working in the medium today. Visit for more information. Image Comics – Putting the NEW back in to New Comic Book Day!(tm)