After the release of the Black Widow teaser trailer yesterday I thought it was time to discuss one of the most enigmatic figures from the teaser. That villain is Taskmaster, the shadowy mercenary that seems to be hot on the heels of our hero Natasha throughout the entirety of the film.
Throughout this, we’ll be discussing everything that you need to know about Taskmaster including his origins from the comic books, the character’s powers and abilities. We’ll also be going over some of the leaks from the film on who the character could really be.
Because of this, there will be Heavy Spoilers so if you don’t want anything about the movie potentially ruined then I highly suggest that you turn off now. I’ll be giving you another spoiler warning before we get to the Fan Theories and Plot Leaks for the movie so don’t worry if you just want to know the character’s backstory.
With that out the way I just wanna give a huge thank you for clicking this, now let’s get into our breakdown of Taskmaster.
Taskmaster First Appearance
Ok so Taskmaster was created by David Michelinie and George Perez all the way back in 1980 in Avengers issue #195. Though his appearance was rather shortlived in this entry, mainly popping up just to provide a cliffhanger, the character soon went on to become a massive adversary for the Marvel characters and he now has a legacy that spans almost forty years.
Taskmaster initially wished to be a superhero but, failing that he became a villain, using his abilities for personal gain rather than the good of mankind. Still, the character has pretty much become an anti-hero at this point, blurring the lines between good and bad through his actions.
This has made him fascinating for fans who’ve watched the character cross sides over his long and rich history.
Taskmaster Powers And Abilities
Taskmaster, real name Tony Masters, though not a superpowered being perse, has Photographic reflexes which allow him to remember an action perfectly upon seeing it. A literal copy cat the character has an almost intimate knowledge of every villain and heroes’ combat moves within the Marvel lineup.
With this knowledge he can then mimic a person’s abilities and learn their fighting style instantly, thus being able to replicate it himself or use knowledge of it to best his opponents easily.
Anything you can do, Taskmaster can do better and if you run into him down a dark alley you better prepare to have all of the best moves from the best Marvel heroes thrown at you.
Taskmaster was injected with a replica of the super-soldier serum that created Captain America, however, rather than gifting him with strength and enhanced healing abilities, it instead increased his memory massively.
Taskmaster has a perfect memory and can recall every moment of his life as if he was there in the moment, meaning that after he has went head to head with someone he can analyse their battle and pick apart all of the weak links and tells that he noticed during it.
This has made him a master martial artist and someone that is one of the best hand to hand fighters in all of comic books.
Taskmaster VS The Marvel Roster
However, this is limited strictly to human movement rather than superhuman movement and there have been several times when copying this has backfired most notably in the case of the living cartoon character Slapstick in which mimicking their movements ended up leading to Taskmaster breaking his own back. Yikes.
Taskmaster also has struggled in the past with Deadpool due to the character’s off the wall mindstate which makes him difficult to predict and understand on a psychological level.
However, the character has bested the likes of Iron-Man, The Hulk, Ant-Man and Spider-Man in the recent Playstation 4 game. Due to this, the villain is in high demand and this has caused him to receive contracts from the evil entities like Hydra and so on.
Skill-wise, though the character may not be up there with the A-listers, when it comes to an out and out brawler, Taskmaster is probably on a level with the likes of Daredevil, Shang-Chi and Bullseye. He too packs an arsenal of weapons with him that means he can duplicate and counter any attack that comes his way. He carries a shield and sword meaning that he too can copy the likes of Captain America and other members of the Avengers that have bladed weapons.
What makes Taskmaster such a sought after character is that he can also teach those that hire him their opponents fighting moves. Imagine training your soldiers by having them fighting against a guy who can brawl like Black Widow, you’d soon have a legion of people that could counter her every move and because of this Taskmaster is one of the most dangerous people in the Marvel Universe.
The coach has trained Crossbones, John Walker aka U.S. Agent and many more to fight like their opponents and people they are filling the shoes of and chances are that some of your favorite heroes have either had a run-in or have been helped by the character in the past.
Taskmaster In Other Appearances
In more recent years the character has gained more popularity due to his appearances in a range of games and tv series. Not only has he appeared in the aforementioned Spider-Man 4 but the character has also featured in Marvel Vs Capcom 3, Lego Marvel Superheroes and in the direct to DVD movie Heroes United: Iron Man and Captain America.
In these entries, he often provides tasks, cos..cos of his name, in which the heroes have to perform special moves that will allow him to study their abilities. This was a big aesthetic in the Spider-Man 4 game in which he would provide the webhead with missions and then use these challenges to study his move before taking the wallcrawler on face to face.
Taskmaster also set to feature in the upcoming Marvel Avengers Game and from the recently released Demo footage that was shown earlier in the year, he was seen going head to head against Black Widow on the Bridge set-piece that kick starts the game. Whether he will feature in a bigger capacity or not is unknown but he definitely could provide a worthy foe for Widow, which leads us onto his biggest appearance in 2020 which will no doubt be in the Black Widow solo movie.
Black Widow Movie
In the trailer we see Taskmaster chasing the titular character and her allies through the streets, labs and even the air. I have seen some people take it as being Hawkeye under the mask due to his bow and arrow but I highly doubt this is the case. He may, however, have mimicked Hawkeyes moves and therefore be able to copy them completely, using a similar bow and arrow to the character in order to take down Widow.
I can definitely see this being a possibility as he will no doubt have studied the likes of Clint Barton and The Avengers in order to be able to contend with some of the best fighters on the planet. I bet he can snap like Thanos too.
Taskmaster Costume Changes
Now only recently there have been a lot of complaints about why the look of Taskmaster has been changed so heavily for the film with many complaining that you wouldn’t even know it was the character unless you were told that this was the case.
This is actually because of strict rules about showing Skulls in China. The country has rules against showing Skulls in media and entertainment and thus it has been changed massively in order to appeal to this market. I don’t want to get too heavily into my thoughts on it, as I’m sure you can guess them but this is a huge departure from the original look for the character in order for Disney to basically sell the film internationally.
Anyway, at the moment he looks more like Lord Zedd from the Power Rangers than Taskmaster but hey, I guess Marvel doesn’t want to cause problems with their Second Biggest Box Office generators.
Black Widow Plot Leaks
Anyway, we’ll now be going into talking about the plot leaks for the movie so if you don’t want to know anything about what could be a big reveal in the film then I highly suggest that you turn off now.
These are leaks and as such should be taken with a pinch of salt but just in case you don’t want anything ruined then this is the point you need to dive out of the video.
If you’re still here then thanks for sticking with me but according to the leaks on the film, Taskmaster will actually be a double agent named Rick Mason who is an ex-flame of Widow. Throughout the film, Widow and her ‘family’ will be using Mason for assistance and this is how he is able to keep track of their movements and stalk them throughout the film.
There are also spoilers that one of Widow’s teammates is the head of the shadowy organization that we see in the trailer training future Black Widow agents and that he will be working alongside the leader of this. I’ve spoiled who that is in my trailer breakdown but I just wanted to keep it out of this video in case you don’t want to know who it is.
Rick Mason will be played by OT Fagbenle, who’s named I’ve just butchered, I’m not even kidding people just call him O.T. in Hollywood so at least I’m not the only one, and he will be revealed as the duplicitous character at the end of the film.
Again take all that with a pinch of salt and if you’re watching this video in the future and have already seen the movie and I’m wrong then sorry for being an idiot.
Either way I can’t wait to see the film and I’m so glad that we are finally getting a live-action version of the character on the big screen as he’s definitely one of the best villains in the Marvel Universe and who knows, going forward they may even bring him into some of the teams that the Universe is setting up at the moment.
Obviously I’d love to hear your thoughts on Taskmaster and what you’d like to see in the movie. Comment below and let me know!