Warning: this post contains important spoilers for Black widow.

Black widow had a major twist on the true identity of Taskmaster. The film, set before the events of Avengers: infinity war, reveals the details of Natasha Romanoff’s dark backstory. That includes what happened in Budapest, a mission that has often been referenced by Black Widow and Hawkeye throughout the various films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While Taskmaster stood out as Black widows The main villain in the promo material, the story took a sharp turn that turned everything Natasha thought she knew about who she was fighting upside down.

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In the film, Taskmaster is skilled in hand-to-hand combat and is able to mimic the fighting experience of others thanks to his photographic reflections. The antagonist chases Black Widow after he receives vials of red liquid responsible for counteracting the effects of the brainwashing. It was later revealed that Taskmaster was not working alone; the villain was sent to retrieve the vials to prevent widows like Natasha, all indoctrinated and trained to be spies and deadly assassins in the Red Room, from regaining control over their own minds and bodies.

Related: The 12 Biggest Black Widow Spoilers

Yet Taskmaster, like the widows, was ultimately a pawn in the grand scheme of things. Black widows The final act confirmed the villain’s true identity and history with Natasha. It was a poignant twist that changed much of the narrative and shed even more light on past events, including Natasha’s own actions during the mission with Hawkeye in Budapest.

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Taskmaster was never the true villain of Black Widow

new look of the black widow foreman

On all trailers for Black widowTaskmaster was shown fighting Natasha quite often. In the movie, Taskmaster first appears when Black Widow takes possession of the red vials responsible for counteracting chemicals used on Widows, sleeper agents that run operations globally, for external manipulation. Later, Taskmaster follows Natasha when she arrives in Budapest and they fight. However, Taskmaster’s presence in the film was primarily used to cover up the real mastermind behind the film’s plot: General Dreykov (Ray Winstone).

The depraved villain turned out to be the man who controlled the Red Room, a training facility where he sent hundreds of kidnapped women to be brainwashed before being deployed around the world to do his bidding, infiltrate, and topple governments from within. Natasha thought she had killed Dreykov years ago only to find that he was still alive, evil, and manipulative in every disturbing way imaginable. Taskmaster was simply one of his brainwashed pawns, as were the rest of the widows.

Taskmaster True Identity Twist Explained

Foreman in Black Widow

One of Black widows The biggest and most sinister twists were the revelation of Taskmaster’s true identity. It turns out that Taskmaster was not just any person, not even a man, as was initially assumed, but Dreykov’s daughter, Antonia (Olga Kurylenko). The fact that Dreykov turned his own daughter into a killing machine is pretty dark. After an explosion nearly killed her, Dreykov put a chip on Antonia’s neck, allowing him to control her. It also made her Dreykov’s best weapon, as she was able to mimic any fighting style and abilities she came into contact with, including Natasha’s. The revelation that Antonia is Dreykov’s daughter completes the circle of Natasha’s story, as she was first mentioned in the Avengers, when Loki wondered if Black Widow could really clean his slate after alluding to Antonia’s death.

Related: When Black Widow Is Set In The MCU Timeline (DURING The Civil War)

Taskmaster’s ties to Black Widow’s Budapest mission

The film ties up more than one loose end regarding Natasha’s past. Not only does Antonia’s revelation connect with the Avengers, but it turns out that Taskmaster is also at the root of Black Widow’s mission in Budapest with Hawkeye from years before joining the superhero team. Black widow he finally provides the details of what Natasha was tasked with: killing Dreykov. The mission was the final step in defecting to SHIELD and the devious general was the final connection he needed to break before moving on forever and proving his loyalty to the American agency.

However, Antonia was also there that day. Black Widow made the call to get her out as well, arguing that her death was an unfortunate guarantee on the mission to eliminate Dreykov. Natasha’s actions that day set the stage for Antonia to become Taskmaster. While Dreykov may have always turned her into a killing machine, the explosion caused by Black Widow sealed her fate. Natasha’s actions haunted her for years despite believing that she had finally gotten rid of Dreykov, and it was precisely because Antonia got caught in the crossfire. Also, what happened so many years ago in Budapest causes Taskmaster to fight Natasha in the same place in Black widow all the more moving.

Black Widow prepares the return of Taskmaster

Taskmaster in the movie Black Widow

Natasha had no idea that Taskmaster was Antonia all the time. The two fight at various points throughout the film and for all intents and purposes, Taskmaster is Black Widow’s main antagonist. However, the end of Black widow He sets it up for Taskmaster to return in a future MCU movie. Unlike Dreykov, Antonia does not die, nor is she inherently evil. Natasha is able to counter the chemical agent that forced her to take orders from her father, freeing her from his influence.

It is not clear what she will do now that she is no longer controlled, but the decisions of her life are hers; he is no longer at the mercy of Dreykov. Being free from mind control, Taskmaster means he could join forces with Melina, Yelena, and Red Guardian. Perhaps there is a mission in the future that requires your skills, although you will surely need time to recover. It is also possible that Antonia is recruited by Contessa Valentina de Fontaine, who first appeared in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier to influence John Walker. One can only imagine how hard Valentina will fight to get Taskmaster under her wing. Whatever happens, Black widow suggests that fans have yet to see the last of the pseudo antagonist in the MCU.

Related: Why Is Black Widow Actually The Most Moral Avenger?

How the black widow changed the foreman

First introduced in the 1980s Avengers # 195, the Taskmaster from the comics is very different from the Black widow character adaptation. Born Anthony “Tony” Masters, Taskmaster is primarily known for being a mercenary who could copy the exact same physical combat abilities of anyone around him, including certain superhero abilities. While he started small by taking on successful jobs for criminal employers, Taskmaster began using his robbery skills and eventually opened his own academy to train criminals and henchmen. This is how the villain finally landed on the Avengers radar. However, he proved to be a worthy adversary, fighting several of the superheroes, including Captain America, without going down. On some occasions, Taskmaster even worked with the government.

Black widow it changes much of Taskmaster’s story to fit perfectly into Dreykov’s machinations. In the movie, Taskmaster was believed to be a man, but it turned out to be Dreykov’s daughter, Antonia. In the comics, the character unquestionably had more agency, operated alone, and had many of his own plans. The MCU version of the villain is watered down, and the only similarities to his comic book counterpart are shared photographic reflections, combat, and tactical abilities. And even then Black widow He barely gave Taskmaster the time to show the full breadth of his power and capabilities. The upside is that Taskmaster is still alive at the end of the movie, so there’s hope that Antonia will reappear in a future MCU project.

Next: An Endgame Moment Made Black Widow’s Death More Tragic

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