After months of speculation, the release of Black Widow has answered one of the biggest outstanding Marvel questions of the past two years. It takes a moment to get there, but eventually, Black Widow reveals the true identity of the villainous Taskmaster, and it may be someone you didn't entirely expect.
As you might assume, full spoilers up ahead for Black Widow! Proceed with caution if you've yet to see the movie.
No, Taskmaster isn't O-T Fagbenle's Rick Mason — a character that turns out to be nothing more than a contact with enough connections to get the film's titular character whatever she needs. Instead, Taskmaster is actually Antonia Dreykov, the daughter of the film's primary antagonist: General Dreykov, the leader of the Red Room played by Ray Winstone.
Instead of introducing a live-action version of Tony Masters, Marvel Studios chose to give Antonia (Olga Kurylenko) the suit and serve as one of the many henchmen of the General. Now in MCU canon, the live-action version of Taskmaster is an enhanced alumnus of the Red Room, an agent being mind-controlled by Winstone's villainous character.
Within continuity, it was thought Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) was initially behind the death of Antonia. As is revealed in the film's third act, however, Antonia survived the attack. Dreykov then placed his daughter into the Red Room and trained her to be the ultimate mimic, replicating the fight moves and styles of those she'd come in contact with. At one point in the movie, we also see a shot from within Taskmaster's helmet, with a suggestion technology also played a role in helping the character study and analyze the moves of Romanoff.
For fans hoping to see the villain again, there's still hope.
At the end of Black Widow, Romanoff and the rest of her ensemble manages to use the antidote to clear up any remaining mind-control that may still remain in the Widow's "programming." Though she doesn't leave the movie unscathed, there's still the possibility for Taskmaster, or a version of the character, to pop up in future Marvel Studios properties.
Black Widow is now in theaters and streaming on Disney+ Premier Access. If you haven't signed up for Disney+ yet, you can try it out here.1comments
Which characters would you like to see makeup the MCU's Dark Avengers? Let us know your thoughts either in the comments section or by hitting our writer @AdamBarnhardt up on Twitter to chat all things MCU!
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