As Marvel Studios has once again postponed Black Widow‘s release, it gives us some time to brush up on our comic history. The film will focus on Natasha Romanoff’s history with the Red Room. It is a top-secret Soviet institute that turned young women into elite assassins. Of course, Natasha was once a member before joining S.H.I.E.L.D. at an unknown point. The upcoming film will dive deep into the various characters from her past who all may have deep ties with the secret organization. So, let’s use this opportunity to dive deep into the various characters in 400 words or less.
Taskmaster, or Tony Masters, first appeared in The Avengers #195 in 1980. David Michelinie and George Pérez. He was introduced as the head honcho of the Solomon Institute. He even had to take on Ant-Man, Yellowjacket, and Wasp at the same time in that very issue. While he initially was portrayed as a villain, the character is more of an anti-hero. Masters is well-known for his ability to mimic other people’s movements. As such, he works as a mercenary and combat instructor. He specialized in training goons but has also trained various superheroes for the government including U.S. Agent. He even franchised his academies before they got shut down by the Avengers. Of course, he is also quite infamous for his work as a mercenary. He was signed on to kill many Marvel icons like Moon Knight or Spider-Man.
The character has seen a resurgence in popularity. He was featured in PlayStation’s Spider-Man with a unique storyline. Masters also is one of the main causes of A-Day in Marvel’s Avengers game. We still do not know who will be playing the role in Black Widow. They have teased that he will return to stealing other’s movements by replicating moves of Black Panther, Captain America, and, of course, Black Widow. It was not confirmed if this character will be Tony Masters or a new interpretation of the character. His involvement in the film would tie him to the Red Room in some capacity. In the comics, he has no obvious connection to the institute. There is the theory that his function as an instructor might be the inspiration, as we get the tease of a new generation of Black Widows. We will see which version we will get when it is released in May 2021.