Take it to Taskmaster

by Michael Vlachakis

132481_bd9109f669fdda189fa1f4cb7075832e52453098-194x300 Take it to Taskmaster

There are many great options when it comes to picking a villain in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).  Some have worked out well (Red Skull, Thanos) while others have been questionable (Whiplash, Yellow Jacket).  Every comic book fan has a wish list when it comes to selecting who our heroes should battle.  Marvel, on the other hand, is trying to make the foes bigger and badder and they continue to make the battles grander and more memorable, which seems great for the consumer, but may put some of the better heroes on the sidelines due to their more “human” limitations.  Let’s look into Taskmaster as one of these examples.

If you are a Marvel fan, you are most likely a fan of Taskmaster.  As a villain, he pretty much hits all the marks.  He is a paid thug and assassin who uses his photographic reflexes to mimic any fighting style to get the job done.  Taskmaster has been so successful as a criminal he is the guy you go to when you want to be trained as a mercenary.  He uses the same weapons of several familiar heroes and a grand battle with this villain would make one hell of a MCU fight scene.  But will we ever see him in a MCU movie?

Taskmaster made his first appearance in The Avengers #196.  This comic has an amazing George Perez cover of the character against the pool table green background.  It is a beautiful piece of art for any collector.  9.8 graded copies have a Fair Market Value (FMV) of $775 and according to the census there are plenty of copies (177 at this grade).  However, this book does not come up for auction in the higher grades as often as you would think.  In fact, they are pretty rare on the open market.  When they do sporadically pop up they do not stay on the market very long and typically sell at, or even above, FMV.  The Avengers #196 should be a solid long-term comic for any investor to hold whether Taskmaster shows up in the MCU or not.

An Avengers fight against Taskmaster would be a great cinematic fight scene, but due to its myopic scale it would not be something as memorable or pleasing to the eyes as Surtur destroying Asgard.  It would be more akin to Civil War and we have been there, done that.  Therefore, we should not expect Taskmaster to show up against the Avengers.  A better fit might be as a foil for a single-character story.  Ant-Man seems like a good foe, but it appears that Marvel has bigger plans for Scott Lang.  If I had to place Taskmaster, based on the information I currently have, it would be great to see him paired with Black Panther.  Their battle would be an acrobatic rumba that would bounce around the entire screen.  Like Yoda fighting…but fueled by vibranium crack.  The problem becomes the fact that we may have already seen the best of this schema in the first Black Panther movie (Black Panther vs. Killmonger’s Panther) and it does not solve Marvel’s weak counter-villain track record.  I hope some brave and talented director has a plan for the Taskmaster.

Which villain are you hoping for out of Marvel’s next phase?  Is there an epic battle you would pay ticket prices for?  Drop you comments and join in the speculation!

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