Redemption is a common theme that comes up when viewing the cast of thunderboltsand of all the characters who will make up the film’s anti-hero team, there’s one MCU villain who needs it badly: Antonia Dreykov aka Taskmaster.
The cool part of Black widow is that it made Taskmaster the payoff of a decade-old mystery dating back to 2012 The Avengers from Black Widow, who has red in her ledger; The not-so-cool part is that this is perhaps the most interesting thing about the character so far.
It’s very different from Tony Masters’ comic book origins, which the film’s writer claims classic Taskmaster wouldn’t have made sense for the film Black widow story they were trying to fit him into. The explanation seemed a bit contradictory, making it seem like Taskmaster’s involvement in Black widow maybe it was a mistake from the start.
With almost 10 years of in-universe time in between Black widow and thunderbolts To allow for a course correction, there are a few stops Marvel should make along the way to warm fans up to Taskmaster being brought into the modern MCU.
1. Let Taskmaster speak
Last summer, writer Eric Kripke made it a priority for fans to love his character Black Noir in Season 3 of The young, and he did this by making sure the audience spent a lot of time with the character. Despite Noir’s hidden face and his inability to speak, The young creatively explored the speechless superhero, using some rather unusual imagery to showcase Black Noir’s battered and bruised psyche.
Now, Marvel Studios doesn’t have to create their own version of a living, breathing Chuck E. Cheese to make Taskmaster a more likable character; it doesn’t even have to give Antonia a real voice thunderbolts. But Marvel used everyone but Antonia Dreykov to tell their own tragedy Black widow.
Even if Marvel decides to lean into the freezing silence schtick that Taskmaster had Black widow, there are still many creative ways Antonia can become an interesting and popular MCU character. In fact, her silence may be a trait a teammate like Bucky Barnes will appreciate, given that he’ll already have his hands full with the more talkative Super Soldiers in John Walker and Red Guardian.
If Marvel wants people to cling to the Taskmaster it created for the MCU, fans need to find a reason to feel for the character. Using flashbacks to Antonia’s trauma or showing a continuation of how she learns to live in a world without her corrupt father is crucial to understanding Taskmaster now that she’s her own person.
Let the audience hear Taskmaster even if it’s not with words.
2. Present the MCU to Taskmaster
A feature of thunderbolts Film that worries some fans is the lack of diversity in its lineup, especially in the superpower sector. All the guys in Taskmaster’s new squad are a multitude of super soldiers, and she’s not even the only Red Room product on the team.
With Ghost being the only exception, Taskmaster doesn’t have to use a lot of creativity to adapt to their newfound friends.
Some are disappointed with this, as Taskmaster’s ability to mimic a fight is entirely dependent on who surrounds her. Obviously there will be people other than her own teammates for Taskmaster to fight in thunderboltsbut it will be interesting to see who they pit them against as the majority of their squad specializes in close-ranged combat.
The MCU has become a plethora of super-powered people for Taskmaster to copy. Whether it’s an encounter with an Avenger like Sam Wilson’s Captain America, or even a trip to Madripoor, Taskmaster needs to be placed in an environment where fans can see their epic ability to use someone’s own combat against them.
3. Show off the Taskmaster’s talent, not their technique
Another fan criticism of the MCU’s Taskmaster was that she became yet another super-powered character from the comics, relying on largely inexplicable technologies to have the same abilities as in the movies.
Taskmaster’s most iconic trait is his ability to analyze and mimic his opponent’s combat patterns and abilities in real-time, making him a threat to most Marvel names he faces.
However, “Taskmaster” is more of a technological initiative developed by the Red Room than a super-powered person in the MCU. thunderbolts is Marvel’s first opportunity to change that and show Antonia that she’s taking personal ownership of the Taskmaster mantle. Whether it’s learning how to reuse the Taskmaster technology that lies within or ditching it entirely, Marvel needs to improve its idea of what it actually means to be Taskmaster.
It could be that Antonia’s prolonged exposure to Taskmaster technology has developed a natural inclination towards her iconic mimicry, requiring less programming and more instinct, while also requiring Antonia’s continued use of the Taskmaster suit. This would put more skill in Antonia’s own hands now that her father no longer controls who she pursues.
4. Is Taskmaster good, evil, or both?
One thing thunderbolts need to make clear is the taskmaster’s moral compass.
Black widow Antonia was only seen for a few seconds after she was under Dreykov’s control, so no one has seen even a shred of personality from Antonia since she’s her own person. Certainly a tortured soul, it’s fascinating to imagine how Antonia will interact with other victims like Bucky Barnes, Red Guardian and Ghost.
That being said, arguably one of Taskmaster’s most iconic traits is his lack of loyalty. Between always serving the highest bidder and sometimes literally forgetting who he was because his memories were being overwritten by his photographic reflexes, not even Taskmaster himself could predict what he would do next.
It wouldn’t be difficult to create a character more like the merciless mercenary from the comics now that she has free will of her own. Putting them on a team full of questionable morals can make some terrible impressions on Taskmaster that might linger for the long haul.
Is Thunderbolts Make-or-Break for Taskmaster?
Many think that Taskmaster wasn’t developed beyond the surface so as not to interfere with Natasha’s story Black widow. Although some believe it might have been better if Taskmaster was left out of the film, Black widow gave Antonia Deykov a tragic, MCU-relevant backstory, then hit the reset button in her head so the next project could do whatever they wanted with the character.
Everyone who has escaped the Red Room so far has had a great MCU redemption story. Now it can be Taskmaster’s turn. There are many ways to pit Taskmaster against other MCU heroes, and Antonia has many ways to level up. For example, Val could get her hands on some Black Market data cartridges for Taskmaster’s Throat Chip so she can learn the latest from fighters like Moon Knight and Shang-Chi.
Speaking of Shang Chi, One way Marvel Taskmaster could naturally depict him pitted against a variety of MCU fighters is with Xialing’s Golden Daggers Club. If Antonia wants to become more than a Red Room assassin, maybe fans could get a training montage of Taskmaster battling other MCU contenders like Asgardian warriors and masters of mystic arts, or possibly even another well-known mercenary that actually uses his mouth .
By the time thunderbolts Debuting in the summer of 2024, it will be nearly 10 years in the MCU since Taskmaster was last seen. There’s no telling where she’s been since she hopped on the jet with Yelena and Alexei at the end Black widow, but Antonia had plenty of time to be reintroduced to the world. Whether she has abandoned her abilities or is using them for her own good, thunderbolts will be responsible for Taskmaster’s MCU audio going forward.
https://thedirect.com/article/mcu-taskmaster-thunderbolts-problems-marvel-fix 4 issues Marvel needs to fix with Taskmaster in Thunderbolts