While Taskmaster isn’t the highest-profile Marvel villain, he’s appeared in enough TV shows, video games and comics for people to know what he looks like. A hood, armor, white cape and, of course, a creepy-as-hell skull mask. So, when it was announced that he’d be the villain of next year’s Black Widow, most assumed his costume would broadly contain those elements. But, as the recently revealed trailer shows, the MCU Taskmaster is a bit plain.
The basic look is a drab navy colored suit of armor, what looks like a paintball mask and what may or may not be a hood. Either way, it’s quite the letdown for people who were hoping for something a bit more comic-accurate. The current theory is that China has strict rules about depictions of skeletons in movies, and a villain with a skull mask might mean that the film cannot be released there.
In any case, fans clearly aren’t happy about it and below, you can find a sampling of what folks are saying:
I gotta say though, the MCU version of Taskmaster is pretty weak sauce given how cool the comic version looks. pic.twitter.com/KeeAx16PTG
— Zaki Hasan (@zakiscorner) December 3, 2019
Hot take: Taskmaster is absolutely one of those dudes who tries to hard at paintball https://t.co/SdtL1cw2u7
— Jeremy Whitley (@jrome58) December 3, 2019
Who wore it better??
— Mark-El (@MarkReadsComics) December 3, 2019
I didnt even recognize Taskmaster in the Black widow trailer, I hope they give him a suit upgrade so he looks more like his iconic comic appearance
— Chicken Joe (@_Joey_Harvey_) December 5, 2019
— ?? IncogNico ??. ?? (@InfiniteWoobz) December 5, 2019
Please please pleeeassssse tell me this is like a 'Thor's
eye' thing from the Ragnarok trailer. This cannot what Taskmaster will look like in the actual movie right?
— Dean Sandells (@DeanSandells) December 5, 2019
To my eyes (and to many others), he bears a suspicious resemblance to Prophet, the player character from the video game Crysis 3. But in this instance, it could prove more important who’s under the mask than what it looks like. You see, in 616 continuity, Taskmaster is Tony Masters, a New Yorker born with the ability to mimic anyone’s physical movements after observing them in action – known as ‘photographic reflexes.’ While he’s often in an antagonist role, he’s more of a mercenary than a villain.
But, if the rumors are true, the MCU Taskmaster is set to ditch all this. We’re hearing that Rachel Weisz’s Melina, the Black Widow mentor, will be in the Taskmaster costume secretly opposing her former pupils. It’s notable that nobody appears to be have been cast as Taskmaster and the physique we see here is broadly in line with Weisz. Given how cagey they’re being about her role, this could go down as a very easy twist to predict.
I suspect we’ll get confirmation of this way before Black Widow releases, but if it does prove to be the case, the controversy this will create should dwarf these quibbles over the character’s costume.