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The skull-masked, hooded mimicker known as the Taskmaster first appeared in the pages of The Avengers vol. 1 #195 (1980), in a story scripted by David Michelinie and penciled by George Pérez. Taskmaster boasts “photographic reflexes” that allow him to duplicate an enemy's movements. He can counter the attack of anyone he's ever studied, either moving like the person's double or instantaneously duplicating his enemy's fighting style to formulate a defense. Taskmaster has been known to carry copies of super-weapons associated with the heroes he mimics—such as Captain America's shield and Hawkeye's arrows— so that he can gain the upper hand in battle. At first, Taskmaster avoided conflicts with heroes, instead training those who aspired to be professional henchmen. After years of obscurity plying his trade, he was outed by the Avengers and has since become a surprisingly ongoing foe of the superteam. His encounter with the Avengers began a series stand-offs with individual members like Jocasta, Captain America, Ant-Man, and Hawkeye. He has also had run-ins with Spider-Man, Deadpool, and Elektra. The U.S. government has upon occasion regarded the Taskmaster's uncanny combative skills as crucial to its interests, hiring him to train a man who temporarily substituted for the original Captain America. Taskmaster was recast by the Udon creative studio as a mercenary in the character's four-issue miniseries, Taskmaster (2002). Given an updated appearance and the added ability to duplicate vocal patterns, he held his own against Iron Man. The villain has appeared outside of the comics pages in the Avengers Assembled! role-playing game, action figures, and a mini-bust by Bowen Designs.
The Supervillain Book: The Evil Side of Comics and Hollywood © 2006 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.