Who is the villainous Taskmaster in Black Widow? Here’s everything that is known about Taskmaster’s real identity. Finally due for release on November 6, 2020 after being one of the biggest summer movies delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Black Widow is the first chapter of Marvel’s fourth phase to its cinematic universe. Fans know to expect a prequel, as Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) perished during the events of Avengers: Endgame, and it’s understood that Black Widow takes place following the events of Captain America: Civil War, with a de-aged General Ross apparently pursuing Natasha Romanoff. One mystery remains, which is the identity of the main villain, Taskmaster.
A fan-favorite character, Taskmaster’s presence in the first solo Black Widow movie has conjured a mystery around itself; the trailers and promo material so far have shown a masked assailant who is referred to only by his designation, ‘Taskmaster’. Florence Pugh’s character, Yelena Belova (the second Black Widow in the comic books), describes Taskmaster as being in charge of the ‘Red Room’; the KGB’s facility for creating Russian super-spies and super-soldiers. Which actor (or actress) is behind the mask is currently unknown – a minor miracle in itself, in the age of the internet and near-constant spoilers and leaks. The mystery behind Taskmaster’s identity has allowed for some fun theorizing within the fan community, as every interview tidbit with the cast can be examined to discover who is under Taskmaster’s mask.
In the Marvel comics, Taskmaster is Tony Masters, a Brooklyn-born mercenary with ‘photographic reflexes’. Able to mimic the abilities of any person he sees in action – be it real life or videotape – Masters decided to use his skills to train criminals in gymnastics and a plethora of fighting styles. Masters took on the identity of Taskmaster, donning a skull mask and a white hood and cape, selling his newly-trained criminals to the highest bidder. Taskmaster was most often seen armed with a short sword and shield, the latter of which he was proficient with having studied (and copied) the abilities of Captain America. As Taskmaster seems to be a Russian agent in the Black Widow solo film, it’s unlikely he will be revealed to be Brooklyn-born Tony Masters, although it’s not impossible that Taskmaster could become the MCU’s next antihero like the character once did in the source material. So, who is Taskmaster in Black Widow? Here’s everything we know about Taskmaster’s real identity.
As previously mentioned, Yelena Belova mentions that Taskmaster is now in charge of the Red Room, and has the fledgling ‘Black Widows’ under his (or her) thumb. Whilst Yelena refers to Taskmaster as a ‘he’, it is currently unconfirmed that the character actually is a man, rather than a woman. It’s hard to determine the character’s origin from the trailers for Black Widow, as so little has been given away of the character. Taskmaster can be seen mimicking the fighting styles of Black Widow, Black Panther, Captain America and proficiency with a bow and arrow just like Hawkeye, but this does little to inform fans of Taskmaster’s backstory – only his skills.