Black Widow’s Taskmaster: The Marvel Villain Explained

Marvel Studios’ Black Widow movie is lastly right here. And with it comes the Taskmaster, a traditional Marvel villain who’s lastly becoming a member of the MCU to face off towards Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanov within the movie.

But simply who’s Taskmaster, and what makes him able to going toe-to-toe with one of many best super-spies within the Marvel Universe? Read on to be taught extra about this harmful but tragic mercenary villain.

Who Is Taskmaster?

Taskmaster is extensively feared as probably the most harmful mercenaries within the Marvel Universe. That’s as a result of his photographic reflexes permit him to imitate the preventing type of anybody he research. Taskmaster briefly turned to a lifetime of crime, however he rapidly realized that his abilities are higher used coaching different villains the right way to combat. Taskmaster will lend his data and expertise to any group that may meet his value, be it Hydra, SHIELD, AIM or the Thunderbolts. Deep down he isn’t such a nasty man, however Taskmaster won’t ever let his morals get in the way in which of a paycheck.

For a fast breakdown of all characters within the Black Widow film, watch the video under!

Taskmaster’s Powers and Abilities

Taskmaster was injected with an offshoot of the super-soldier serum that unlocked the total potential of his thoughts’s reminiscence processes. Because of this, he has photographic reflexes. He can recreate the actions and preventing types of anybody he observes, and he may predict their actions in battle with near-perfect accuracy. That successfully makes him as gifted a martial artist as heroes like Shang-Chi and Daredevil and as professional a marksman as Hawkeye and Bullseye. Taskmaster carries a large arsenal of weapons that additional assist him replicate the strikes of different heroes and villains. He wields a defend much like Captain America’s, a sword much like that of Swordsman and Black Knight and varied different projectile weapons.

In addition to creating him one of many deadliest fighters within the Marvel Universe, this distinctive expertise has made Taskmaster a really in-demand martial arts teacher. He usually makes his dwelling coaching troopers within the arts of self-defense and battlefield fight.

Who Is Black Widow’s Yelena Belova?

Taskmaster’s skills do include sure drawbacks. For one factor, he may be caught off-guard when battling unfamiliar opponents or somebody like Deadpool, whose preventing type is chaotic and unpredictable. And his photographic reflexes come at a heavy price. The extra he depends on his skills, the extra Taskmaster’s mind actually overwrites previous recollections. Because of this, he remembers little or no about his previous and household.

Taskmaster: Origin and Background

Taskmaster first debuted in cameo kind in 1980’s The Avengers #195, earlier than making his first full look within the following difficulty. These early tales established a primary origin story and modus operandi for the villain. They additionally confirmed him able to battling highly effective Avengers like Captain America and Iron Man to a standstill, although finally his unfamiliarity with the comparatively latest recruit Jocasta proved to be his undoing.

Taskmaster has appeared in a number of stories in the decades since, sometimes serving as a villain and other times more as an anti-hero. As various stories established, he only cares about getting paid, so he’s just as likely to work for SHIELD or the US government as he is taking on jobs that pit him against heroes like Daredevil and Spider-Man. Taskmaster even sided with Iron Man’s pro-registration faction in Civil War, eventually becoming a drill instructor at Camp Hammond and tasked with training a new generation of heroes how to fight. Eventually, though, Taskmaster returned to a more self-centered, illegal lifestyle.

It was only with the miniseries Taskmaster: Unthinkable that the character’s true origin story and background were revealed. Readers learned that Taskmaster’s real name is Tony Masters. He was once a SHIELD agent send to terminate a rogue Nazi scientist developing his own version of Captain America’s super-soldier serum. When Masters injected himself with that serum, he gained his signature photographic reflexes but forgot his old life and even his wife in the process. While he briefly reunites with his estranged wife, Masters is forced to tap into his abilities to save her life, losing his memories all over again.

Taskmaster has continued to play both sides of the aisle since returning to his usual routine. One day he’s acting as a double agent for the Secret Avengers, the next he’s teaming up with Black Ant to kidnap various animal-themed supervillains for Kraven the Hunter’s amusement. As long as the money is good, there are few jobs this elite mercenary won’t take on. Yet the good man that was Tony Masters is never quite buried forever.

Taskmaster in Black Widow and Beyond the Comics

Taskmaster has appeared in several animated Marvel projects, including the TV series Avengers Assemble and Ultimate Spider-Man and the direct-to-video movie Heroes United: Iron Man and Captain America (all of which featured the voice of Clancy Brown). He’s also appeared as a playable character in a number of Marvel video games, including Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Marvel Heroes and LEGO Marvel Super Heroes (all voiced by Steven Blum).

Taskmaster’s most significant non-comics appearance to date is in the Playstation 4 game Marvel’s Spider-Man. Taskmaster (voiced by Brian Bloom) appears as a recurring foe in the game, forcing Spider-Man to undertake various challenges while studying his moves. After Taskmaster is defeated, he reveals he was hired by a mysterious group to determine whether Spider-Man is worthy enough to join them. Taskmaster also appears in Marvel’s Avengers.

Who Plays Taskmaster in Black Widow?

Taskmaster was once rumored to appear in Marvel’s Most Wanted, a planned Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD spinoff, but that project was eventually canceled. Instead, he now makes his debut in the MCU in the Black Widow movie, where he’ll be ripping off Captain America’s most iconic move. As for who’s taking part in him, or what his (or her?) true id is within the movie, solely time will inform. Some followers have speculated that it is really going to be a feminine behind the masks — presumably one in every of Nat’s allies, like Rachel Weisz’s Melina Vostokoff or Florence Pugh’s Yelena Belova. Or maybe it’s going to simply be a faceless henchman within the function… however, nah, who’re we kidding? Taskmaster’s id should be an necessary a part of the movie!

For extra on the Black Widow film, try our explainer on David Harbour’s Red Guardian.

July 8, 2021: This story has been up to date with the latest information in regards to the Black Widow film.

Jesse is a mild-mannered author for IGN. Allow him to lend a machete to your mental thicket by following @jschedeen on Twitter.

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