Marvel Studios has released a new photo from Black Widow offering a new look at the film's villain, Taskmaster. Known for their "photographic reflexes," the Taskmaster can mimic the fighting styles of anyone they observe. They may be using that ability in this staredown with Natasha Romanoff. You can see the photo, revealed in USA Today's summer movie preview, below. Taskmaster's costume design in the film has been divisive among Marvel fans. In the Marvel Comics universe, Taskmaster's improbable costume design includes a mask/helmet that makes his head look like a skull, which is difficult to translate into live-action. Black Widow's costume designers went with a more practical design for Taskmaster's Marvel Cinematic Universe look, but some fans feel the villain looks too much like a simple biker or a Power Rangers villain.
While Taskmaster's MCU identity remains a mystery, in the comics, Taskmaster is Tony Masters, a former shield agent who has fought the Avengers to a standstill. He's mimicked Captain America's shield-throwing, Black Panther's claw fighting, and Hawkeye's archery skills. Those skills have been on display in the promotional footage released for Black Widow, suggesting that Natasha will have her hands full in dealing with the villain.
Black Widow occurs after the events of Captain America: Civil War, but before Natasha's death in Avengers: Endgame. The film has her dealing with her history in the Red Room program, including reuniting with the makeshift family she was placed with while being trained to become the Black Widow.
According to the synopsis, "In Marvel Studios' action-packed spy thriller Black Widow, Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow confronts the darker parts of her ledger when a dangerous conspiracy with ties to her past arises. Pursued by a force that will stop at nothing to bring her down, Natasha must deal with her history as a spy and the broken relationships left in her wake long before she became an Avenger."
Cate Shortland directs Black Widow from a screenplay written by Eric Pearson based on Jac Schaeffer and Ned Benson's story. The film stars Scarlett Johansson, reprising Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow, with Florence Pugh, David Harbour, O-T Fagbenle, William Hurt, Ray Winstone, and Rachel Weisz.
What do you think of the new photo? How do you feel about Taskmaster's MCU costume? Are you excited about Black Widow's debut? Let us know in the comments.
Black Widow opens in theaters and debuts on Disney+ Premier Access on July 9th.