Taskmaster: Comic Book Villain, Amnesiac, And Hitler Hunter
As of this writing, Black Widow still hasn’t premiered, so we have yet to see the first live-action portrayal of the movie’s main villain, Taskmaster, not to be confused with the British panel show of the same name. Then again, both are equally criminally underrated and hilarious (in a good way).
The comic book Taskmaster has been around for more than 40 years now, during which time he went toe to toe with some of Marvel’s most famous heroes because of his “photographic reflexes” superpower. Basically, Taskmaster can perfectly replicate any movement that he observes, especially fighting styles. Meaning that he can somersault like Daredevil, throw a shield like Captain America, shoot arrows like Hawkeye, and screw like Tony Stark because you just know that Tony has just … a bunch of leaked sex tapes out there.
This was originally a natural ability, but it was later retconned to being the result of injecting himself with Nazi super meth or something. By the way, that story ended with Taskmaster finding a hidden village in the Andes populated entirely by people infected with Hitler’s brain. We don’t have the time or the acid trip guide necessary to get into the specifics but suffice to say, there is a canonical Hitler Village in Marvel comics that’s full of Hitlers who are waging war against other Hitlers to be the only Hitler standing.
How did Taskmaster end up there? He was trying to recreate his past, which he actually forgets on the reg. See, committing all the moves of every Marvel hero to memory comes at a price. The human brain can only hold so much information, so whenever Taskmaster copies a new fighting style, his mind pushes out some biographical info in order to make room for it. This essentially turns Taskmaster into a recurring amnesiac and the best person to borrow $20 from.
So, wait, is Taskmaster even evil? It’s true that he went on the occasional trip to Antiheroland, but, typically, the character acts as a mercenary for criminal organizations, meaning that the true villain in all of Taskmaster stories is capitalism. Taskmaster is also known for holding fighting classes for villains, including US Agent, the persona John Walker adopts at the end of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. In conclusion, Black Widow's comic accurate version would basically be a story about a Russian spy punching an American teacher with a brain disorder.
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Top Image: Marvel Studios