A little look into the mercenary that is Taskmaster.
I’ve always been fascinated by Taskmaster. If there’s one thing I love, it’s ambiguity and Taskmaster’s background is all over the place. He’s one of those villains/anti-heroes that you can just admire for their skill. Having been a mercenary, he’s pretty much done it all. So who is he really?
Once upon a time, this guy was known as Tony Masters. Different writers argue over different things, but they also argue over whether Taskmaster has any actual abilities. The prevailing theory is that Taskmaster has photographic reflexes, allowing him to assimilate and replicate any abilities or physical feats that he witnesses. Since he’s had time to fight the Avengers as well as many villains, Taskmaster is able to mimic the style of those he fights like Captain America, making him able to predict their next move.
Taskmaster carries a mini armoury around with him, being able to utilise the abilities of many heroes, such as Hawkeye’s accuracy with a bow; Black Knight’s prestidigitation with a sword; Punisher’s ballistic capabilities with guns; Captain America’s defence with a shield, and even Iron Fist’s force with his bare hands.
If a character has never battled Taskmaster and has a unique style of their own, they can have the upper hand. However, as soon as the battle begins to draw out, Taskmaster’s reactions allow him to adapt to the new style and mimic it to perfection. He even has the ability to mimic voices to a tee!
Many organisations have used Taskmaster to train villains into a skillful, organised bunch. Taskmaster himself chose to take on the life of a villain for he thought it would make for a more lucrative business. He’s been all up and down America training thugs and goons here and there, and the Avengers have chased him and put an end to his jobs.
The only person to have stood much chance against Taskmaster is Deadpool. His mental instability makes it difficult for Taskmaster to predict his next move, and as such, Taskmaster can do little about it. If you look back Deadpool as a film, it’s not hard to understand why.
So, Taskmaster is one of those underground, many-times-pardoned, supervillains/anti-heroes that just keeps on giving. I don’t know why I find him so appealing, but sometimes characters are just cool because they’re cool.