Finally, we got our first official look at Marvel Studios’ upcoming Black Widow film. It teased Natasha’s Russian heritage, showed us, Red Guardian, in his costume and finally gave us a short glimpsed at Taskmaster in action. Even with the film only being a few months away, we still have no idea who exactly is hiding behind that mask. In the comics, the character’s background wasn’t a secret. He was Tony Masters, born with the gift to duplicate anyone’s movements. He commonly also had a questionable past with S.H.I.E.L.D. before becoming a mercenary. Still, the studio is playing coy with his identity and we may have a twist on the classic villain heading our direction. Here are our theories for how Black Widow may make use of the villain’s secret identity.
I believe that Taskmaster’s identity will not be revealed during the film. The best way for Marvel to do the reveal is through one of the post-credits scenes. I guess that the person behind the mask is a surprise unnamed major actor who is going to be part of the MCU in the long run. A perfect way to do the reveal is for him to take off his mask in his hideout then have him recruited by General Ross for the Thunderbolts. I picture it as a callback to when Nick Fury recruited Tony Stark during the first Iron Man film. This time, the villains are the ones being recruited for a super team instead of the heroes. – Aeron Eclarinal, News Writer
– Richard Nebens, News Writer
I’m fairly certain the person under the mask is going to end up being O-T Fagbenle. One simple reason is that Taskmaster’s build in the trailer matches more closely to him than anyone else and that we didn’t see him in the first trailer anywhere or heard anything about his role in the movie. It would be interesting if it was Rachel Weisz, but it seems like a bit of a stretch to me from what we’ve seen. – Pierre Chanilau, Editor
Quite a few theories are floating online about who could be hiding behind Taskmaster’s mask in Black Widow. I wouldn’t object to them sticking with the character’s comic origin. Marvel Studios has been very coy with showing anything from the character outside of a few snippets in the teaser. We saw Taskmaster use a bow while riding a tank and later on in a short fight sequence with Red Guardian. He is sold as the main villain but does not have a single speaking line throughout the entire trailer. It seemed like an odd choice to give a complete backseat to the character that will try to make Natasha’s return to Russia a living hell. At first glance, it does seem like the perfect misdirect to keep the villain’s identity a secret. I am hoping that there is a long-term plan for this character, as he is one of my personal favorites and would love to see his design continue to change throughout multiple stories.
Throughout the film, Taskmaster will just show up and try to stop Natasha. Each time they meet, he seems to be copying a different ability of the various Avengers. He shoots at her with a bow similar to how Hawkeye, starts attacking her with a sword, which was revealed alongside his latest toyline, and the iconic Captain America shield. Normally, the comic origins would point to his ability to perfectly trace anyone’s ability and I do hope this is what he is capable of doing. He just is a relentless hunter that isn’t taken down so easily throughout the film. Yet, I have a feeling they are going for a twist villain concept with Taskmaster. As such, he might end up being multiple people with different talents that are all sharing the same mask. In the comics, Masters trained other mercenaries with his abilities. So, why not have this part of his comic origin in the films by having his various students that specialized in one of his abilities try to take down Natasha. Once she believes to have defeated the various copies, she is confronted by the ringleader for a final showdown. This version is the former SHIELD agent she once worked alongside, who is capable of replicating all the Avengers’ abilities. They can tease Masters throughout the film who has been taunting Natasha with each copycat she takes down until she can truly take him down. – Joseph Aberl, Editor