WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Marvel’s Black Widow, which is now playing in theaters and in Disney + Premier access.
Now that all the members of the Avengers have been established, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has introduced his version of the supervillain known as Taskmaster in Black widow. The comic book character, created by writer David Michelinie and artist George Pérez, has the ability to mimic any fighting style he’s seen.
Black widow He may not feature any other Avenger in the movie, but his presence is still felt through Taskmaster’s ability to replicate his moves and fighting styles. Let’s take a look at every moment of mime that Taskmaster had in Black widow.
The first and most obvious superhero fighting style Taskmaster mimics is Captain America, whose style makes heavy use of a shield. Taskmaster doesn’t just carry a shield to deflect bullets. Like Steve Rogers, Taskmaster proves capable of launching the shield with a force large enough to lodge the weapon in concrete walls.
It can also be argued that Taskmaster employs Cap’s style while melee fighting the Red Guardian in the Red Room, though Taskmaster’s use of near-superhuman reflexes and agility makes it difficult to tell in certain scenes.
Another notable detail about his fight with Black Widow in Norway is Taskmaster’s clear superhuman agility. While Captain America was able to clear great distances with a single jump, he never exhibited the kind of flexibility and agility that Taskmaster does at the time. That ability is more reminiscent of Spider-Man.
Taskmaster may never swing from fire lines or webs, but it seems clear that Spider-Man may have been the subject of at least one of the supervillain’s training videos. That becomes especially apparent when Taskmaster leaps into the air and performs at least a couple of incredible acrobatic feats.
During a savage and destructive chase through the narrow streets of Budapest, Taskmaster emerges from an armored vehicle and, as shown in the trailer, draws an extendable bow that resembles the one Hawkeye uses throughout the MCU. Additionally, Taskmaster appears to be armed with a similar variety of arrows, or at least regular, explosive arrows.
While Taskmaster’s weapon shape and choice is clearly an imitation of the Avengers’ resident archer, what is unclear is whether or not the villain’s goal matches Hawkeye’s. Either way, Taskmaster’s skill with a bow is great enough that a single well-fired arrow is enough to send Natasha and Yelena’s car hurtling through the air.
The scene in which Taskmaster shoots arrows at Nat and Yelena’s car not only shows his ability to mimic Hawkeye, it also resembles the abilities and skills of the Winter Soldier, particularly when Bucky chased Nick Fury through New York in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. In that movie, the titular villain, brainwashed by Hydra, ends the chase by firing an explosive device that attaches to the underside of Fury’s car and explodes.
Similarly, Taskmaster’s arrow flies underneath the Black Widows’ car and explodes, overturning the vehicle and forcing them to flee on foot. As a tactic, the concept seems easy to pull off, especially for someone who can mimic any style and move around after seeing it just once. It’s also important to note that there are more than a few similarities between Taskmaster and Winter Soldier, in part because the creation of the MCU’s newest villain appears to have been influenced by Hydra’s Winter Soldier program.
There are many acrobatic and agility-based fighting styles in Taskmaster’s arsenal, and since they are all quite similar, it can be difficult to distinguish one copycat theme from another. However, the use of weapons can clarify this, such as the Black Panther claws that Taskmaster extracts when fighting the Red Guardian in the Red Room.
The villain even goes so far as to use the king of Wakandan’s signature pose: crossing his arms over his chest with his claws out. It is unclear throughout the fight if the claws continue to be used against the Red Guardian, as the Russian super soldier never seems to suffer cuts. In addition, it is not clear if the imitation claws are also vibranium or some other material.
While Taskmaster clearly doesn’t possess all of the Avengers weapons and paraphernalia, the villain can still utilize some of the heroes’ abilities and styles to better survive and excel in certain situations. That includes Iron Man’s flying pose.
As Taskmaster plunges into the air after the Red Room collapses, the supervillain employs the stiff pose often used by Iron Man and War Machine as they take flight. Again, the Taskmaster suit itself doesn’t appear to have any of the thrusters that allowed Iron Man to fly. Still, the pose alone allowed him to continue the battle with Natasha in midair, until they collided with the ground and Taskmaster again mimicked the fighting styles of other more practical superheroes.
Of course, the most obvious member of the Avengers that Taskmaster mimics is the titular Black Widow, who is on the receiving end of some of her signature moves in her first fight with the Red Room agent. Almost every move Natasha normally uses is countered or mimicked, forcing her to approach the fight in new ways.
What’s interesting is that Black Widow may be the easiest Avenger to emulate, given the truth behind Taskmaster: she is the daughter of General Dreykov and a member of the Red Room. It is uncertain if she underwent the same type of training, but regardless, it would have been easy for Taskmaster to acquire those skills after simply observing other Black Widows in training.
Directed by Cate Shortland, Black Widow stars Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow, Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova, David Harbor as Alexei Shostakov / Red Guardian, OT Fagbenle as Mason, and Rachel Weisz as Melina Vostokoff. The film is now showing in theaters and on Disney + Premier Access.
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