While Taskmaster has existed in relative obscurity for many years, he's about to enter the mainstream rogue's gallery in a big way. There's been a lot of buzz about his role as the big bad in both the upcoming Black Widow movie and the highly anticipated Avengers video game. So, who is he?
At first look, you could be forgiven for thinking he was just a knock-off Skeletor from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. And who could blame you? He's got a skull for a face! Well, technically it's just a mask (except in some storylines where it seems to be his real exposed skull). However, he has some truly dangerous tricks up his sleeve that could make Skeletor look like a goofy Saturday morning cartoon villain (which, we suppose, he is).
Taskmaster has "photographic reflexes", meaning he can watch anyone do any action once, then copy it without practice. If he wants to become a master archer, all he has to do is watch Hawkeye for a few minutes. If he wants to throw his shield like a frisbee of mass destruction, one look at Captain America flinging his around and he can do just that. If Black Widow hits him with a back-flip spinning kick, you know he's going to hit right back with a very similar back-flip spinning kick.
The world's most dangerous copycat, Taskmaster is not somebody you want to show your best moves to.
Jimmy Kavanagh is an Irish comics enthusiast and co-founder of Club Valentine Comedy, a Dublin-based comedy collective. You can hear him talk to his favourite comedians about their favourite comics on his podcast, Comics Swapping Comics (available on all good podcast platforms).