‘Black Widow’ Fans Hope Taskmaster Gets a Tragic Backstory Worth Remembering

The solo Black Widow film has been delayed several times, fans are still champing at the bit to see the latest installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

While fans are excited to see Black Widow in her own film, they’re also ready to see the supporting characters who have before this only been portrayed on the pages of the comics. 

One of the characters set to appear is the character of Taskmaster, a Marvel villain who has yet to pop up in an MCU film.

But who is the character, and why are fans so excited about it? Here’s why hardcore Marvel buffs are thrilled to see Taskmaster make it to the MCU, and also while they’re hoping the tragic backstory of the character makes it to the film as well. 

Who is Taskmaster? 

Here’s the character biography of Tony Masters, aka Taskmaster, from the Marvel Comics website: 

“Anthony “Tony” Masters realizes at a young age that he has photographic reflexes and grows up to become a career criminal, able to replicate Super Hero moves. He makes quite a bundle training and distributing hired help to the Super-Villain trade, and when he’s not a hired combat instructor, he’s a covert operative for government agencies.”

The heartbreaking element of Taskmaster’s story is that eventually, he reforms his villainous ways and becomes a SHIELD agent. Because he injects himself with an imitation of Captain America’s super-soldier serum, however, he suffers from memory issues.

Every time he has a memory lapse, he yet again thinks he is a villain. This would be a fascinating way to portray the character in the MCU. It would totally make him a relatable, tragic figure as opposed to another cookie-cutter villain. 

Who is playing Taskmaster in ‘Black Widow?’ 

Kevin Feige
Kevin Feige | Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney

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So who is playing Taskmaster in Black Widow? The short answer is, we don’t know yet. Screen Rant reported that actor O.T. Fagbenle is playing a character named Rick Mason in the film and speculate he may be Taskmaster.

Another possibility is that one of the film’s other characters is Taskmaster. A third possibility is that an MCU character from a previous film is playing the character. Marvel has been largely mum on the subject to preserve the surprise of the film.

It’s likely that this won’t be revealed until the film itself comes out, meaning any details about his backstory will only be speculation until that time. 

‘Black Widow’ fans hope Taskmaster gets a tragic backstory worth remembering

A recent Reddit thread discussing the Taskmaster as a villain in the film had many Marvel fans stepping up to defend the narrative choice. MCU fans think the character has a lot of potential to be a great villain. One fan hoped Disney taps into the character’s background a bit more than they typically do with other villains, noting: 

“True, but that does play into his tragic backstory. One I’m hoping Disney gives him instead of glancing over him as Villain of the Week, so to speak…”

While it’s true that the MCU has discarded many of its villains rather quickly, it all depends on how well Taskmaster gets over with viewers. While some villains have served as one-offs, only appearing in one film, others have reappeared.

Loki served not only as an antagonist to Thor but also to the entire Avengers team across multiple films. Even Red Skull thought to be dead and gone after the events of Captain America: The First Avenger, made a brief but vital cameo in Avengers: Infinity War. 

It will be interesting to see how Taskmaster plays out on the big screen. Will the character make a one-time appearance or be a recurring villain? Only time will tell.