Originally created by David Michelinie in the Avengers #195 (1982) to explain who trains the seemingly endless stream of goons working for the likes of AIM and Hydra, the Taskmaster has become something of a popular character thanks to his recent appearances in Avengers: The Initiative, Siege. He is now the star of his own 5 part mini-series by Hercules’ Fred Van Lente (one of my new favorite writers). Able to mimic any fighting style by use of a kind of superhuman photographic memory, the Taskmaster is like a one man army. Decked out in the weaponry of several Avengers such Captain America, Hawkeye, Mockingbird and the Swordsman, he us truly a force to be reckoned with. A pragmatist, the Taskmaster is hardly a master villain, more of a mercenary for hire.
The current mini-series focuses on a group called The Org who have put a price on the Taskmaster to protect their secrets. Seeking o uncover who has betrayed him leads the Taskmaster on a journey of self-discovery. Due to his unique memory, his origin has been a mystery even to himself, but not anymore. In the new mini, Van Lente is looking at not just the way Taskmaster fights, but the way he thinks too.
Fred Van Lente has teased that the entire origin of Marvel Comics antihero The Taskmaster will be revealed by the end of his current miniseries.
The project has enabled Van Lente to add an extra layer to the intrigue surrounding the character by expanding the mythology surrounding his action mimicry powers.
“I wasn’t quite sure what to do with him, but then I came up with the idea that his super memory erases his old memories, ” Van Lente explained to CBR. “He’s very much in danger of losing any of the information he recovers about himself in this series.”
While the character originally appeared as a minor villain, he recently gained prominence as a trainer in the cancelled Avengers: Initiative and is to appear in that series’ spiritual successor Avengers Academy.
“Everything about Taskmaster’s origin will be totally explained, and you’ll learn who this mysterious enemy is that’s been spreading rumors,” Van Lente said of the miniseries.
The Taskmaster mini-series has been gaining a strong following thanks to the positive reviews. If you have been neglecting the series, this might be the time to start hunting down back issues and picking it up!