10 things about Taskmaster that only comic book fans know
Since its beginnings in the 1980s Avengers # 195, the Taskmaster has gone from being a generic villain to one of the most interesting figures in all of Marvel Comics. With a mysterious past, interesting powers, and an equally heroic and villainous track record, Taskmaster has never been an easy character to explain, even to the most die-hard comic fan.
Ready to debut live-action for the first time in upcoming MCU movie Black Widow, Taskmaster comes with a long and complicated history full of contradictions, losses and puzzles. While it remains to be seen how the film will interpret or reinvent the character, the comic book counterpart has a lot of story to draw.
ten He has unique powers
As established from his first appearance, Taskmaster’s main power lies in his “photographic reflexes”, which allow him to instantly memorize and reproduce all the physical movements he has seen performed, regardless of their complexity, and even s ‘they are observed only briefly.
This ability transcends beyond what he is able to witness physically, in person, with Taskmaster also able to review and retain video footage with the same effect. Having studied the characteristic moves and fighting styles of a plethora of Marvel heroes, Taskmaster possesses combat prowess that includes exact duplications of the melee arsenals of Captain America, Black Panther, Iron Fist, and many more. .
9 Its powers cause amnesia
While his powers have allowed him to amass a vast catalog of instantly recallable fighting styles collected from various Marvel heroes and villains, Taskmaster’s unique abilities are a double-edged sword. As he continues to build up abilities to add to his arsenal, his personal memories have slowly faded in the process.
With each new fighting style he saves for future replication, Taskmaster forgets another piece of his past, which at this point includes most of his life before becoming a costumed mercenary, including his original identity, his first name and family.
8 He was a former SHIELD agent
While Taskmaster remained a primarily enigmatic antagonist for more than 30 years after his debut, his eponymous 2010 miniseries finally began to shed light on his mysterious backstory. As it has been revealed, the man who would become Taskmaster was originally a SHIELD agent named Tony Masters, who was recruited due to his natural gifts of eidetic memory and physical action replication.
At the time, this ability was not yet immediate, and Tony had to spend time studying the movements of others before he could perform them himself. During a particular mission, however, Masters would consume an experimental serum causing an increase in his brain’s ability to process and retain information, making his retention instant. As the side effects of this upgrade gradually erased his personal memories, Tony would eventually completely forget his time as an agent of SHIELD, ironically fighting the organization on numerous occasions.
7 Hero and villain
Throughout his career as a mercenary, Taskmaster has generally always followed the money. To this end, he has participated in training and teams with heroes and villains, always entirely dependent on what suits his immediate interests. During his first appearances, Taskmaster ran a secret school for henchmen, trained agents for terrorist groups such as Hydra and AIM, and clashed with heroes such as Captain America and The Avengers.
Most recently, he was pardoned and recruited to train the overpowered young recruits at Camp Hammond, better known as the Avengers Academy. As an instructor at school, Taskmaster fought alongside Marvel’s heroes in several campaigns, but didn’t hesitate to switch allegiance when the next lucrative opportunity presented itself, steadfastly betraying the heroes who had welcomed him.
6 He helped train an American agent
When the original Captain America Steve Rogers stepped down from the iconic role due to increased pressure to operate on behalf of a government he disagreed with, the United States Commission on Superhuman Activities quickly sought to replace it with a more pleasant agent. When Decorated Private John Walker was chosen to inherit the role, it was clear that he would need additional training in order to handle the associated expectations.
In typical bureaucratic fashion, the Commission sought to hire the best possible combat instructor for the prize, regardless of their sordid past. Knowing that he already had exact photographic knowledge of the original’s fighting style, the CSA hired Taskmaster to train Walker in the optimal use of Captain America’s legendary shield. Walker would serve as Captain America for a time, before becoming the American Agent, but his heroic career would never have succeeded without Taskmaster’s initial training.
5 The Taskmaster was married
As a side effect of his abilities, Taskmaster forgot most of the details of his past before donning his current identity, including his previous interpersonal relationships. In his past life as an agent of SHIELD, however, Tony Masters frequently performed missions alongside Agent Mercedes Merced; his then wife.
When Masters’ powers began to crush his personal memories, Agent Merced took on the role of his mysterious “manager,” assigning him his first mercenary missions while secretly taking notes about his predicament for SHIELD intelligence. . Despite recalling his past married life during subsequent interactions with Merced, Taskmaster is cursed to always inevitably forget the life they once shared.
4 He could have a child
While working as an instructor at the Avengers Academy, Taskmaster accidentally became responsible for training a student who possessed his exact “photographic reflex” abilities. Jeanne Foucault was a young superhero in training in a broken home, where she had been exploited by her mother for her natural ability to replicate any action she had seen, with enough time to study.
Having never known her biological father, and given the similarity of their powers, Jeanne will eventually approach her teacher with the possibility that he may have been her paternal parent. Realizing the huge gaps in his own memory, including the number of women he may or may not have been intimate with, Taskmaster came to consider the possibility that Foucault was indeed his biological daughter, although it never was. officially confirmed.
3 Meaning of the mask
Throughout each of his performances, including occasional alterations to his attire, Taskmaster always wore his instantly recognizable skull mask. While useful for its intimidating appearance, this iconic piece of uniform actually has significant meaning for Tony Masters, though he probably doesn’t specifically remember it.
After deciding to become a trainer of mercenaries and disbelievers, one of Taskmaster’s first clients was the leader of the Mexican criminal cartel, Don of the Dead. In an effort of solidarity with Don and his associates, Taskmaster would adopt the skull mask he still uses today, a tribute to the Santa Muerte, a Catholic personification of the Death entity.
2 He can’t copy everyone
With his ability to replicate the moves of anyone he’s ever met, Taskmaster has a well-established history of using the fighting styles of Marvel’s own heroes against them. There have been a few instances, however, in which it has not been able to adequately utilize this ability.
First depicted in a confrontation with the Avenger robot, Jocasta, Taskmaster has been shown to be unable to mimic the movements of synthetic beings, as their lack of predictable human movement makes up for his ability to imitate immediately. As described in later stories, Taskmaster is also unable to copy Deadpool’s moves, entirely due to Wade Wilson’s unpredictable and erratic behavior and the lack of a cohesive fighting style.
1 He has surprising friends
Although he primarily engages his conflicts solo, and his sense of self-preservation warrants his frequent betrayals of potential allies, Taskmaster does not oppose a team, partnership, or true friendship from time to time. time. After his first run-in with Deadpool, he would become a frequent associate of the fledgling mercenary group, Agency X, establishing a reluctant but mutually respectful working relationship with Deadpool and his duplicate Alex Hayden, while romanticizing agency receptionist Sandi Brandenberg.
As an instructor at the Avengers Academy, he frequently compared stories with his villainous “reformed” colleague and colleague turned teacher Constrictor, building a laid-back friendship at work. More recently, Taskmaster has been described as having a close camaraderie with Eric O’Grady, also known as Black Ant, the Pym Particle Villain, even going so far as to dub an employer on his behalf, thus avoiding a guaranteed salary to protect security. of his friend.
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