The MCU Is Bringing Back Black Widow’s Controversial Taskmaster

Black Widow villain
By Nathan Johnson Posted:

Black Widow was the first movie in the MCU's Phase 4. It was released after Avengers: Endgame, which saw the death of Scarlett Johansson's Natasha Romanoff, but was actually set before Infinity War and showed viewers what the character was up to while she was on the run from Secretary Ross.

The film ended up introducing fans to a handful of new characters, such as Florence Pugh's Yelena Belova and David Harbour's Red Guardian, but it also debuted a fresh villain - Olga Kurylenko's Taskmaster.

Taskmaster
Marvel

The addition of this particular character was criticized by a large portion of the fanbase because of how much it deviated from its original roots. In Black Widow, a plot twist revealed Taskmaster to be Dreykov's daughter, Antonia, instead of Tony Masters, the original character in the comics.

Recently, Kurylenko's Taskmaster was revealed to be in a future MCU project, and fans have already taken to social media to react to the news.

Taskmaster Joins the Thunderbolts

The Direct Image
Marvel

During Marvel Studios' presentation at Disney's D23 Expo in Anaheim, California, the seven members of the Thunderbolts team were officially revealed. One of the characters included was Olga Kurylenko's Taskmaster, a controversial villain from the Black Widow film.

In Black Widow, Taskmaster was revealed to be Dreykov's daughter during the movie's climax. This was a large change from Tony Masters, the man behind the mask in the comics. The decision to change Taskmaster's identity didn't sit well with many fans, and many hoped that Tony's version of the character would show up in the future.

After the cast was revealed at D23 for Thunderbolts, some fans took to social media to react to Taskmaster being included, with many expressing disappointment if the character isn't changed in some way.

Taskmaster
Marvel

@TheDrkPunisher via Twitter had an optimistic approach to the reveal of the Thunderbolts, but did say that the MCU needed to "redeem Taskmaster:"

"This lineup actually goes hard. As long as they can redeem taskmaster I'm down."

Twitter user @bray7221 expressed their disappointment with the choice to bring back Kurylenko's version of the character, saying "The trash version of Taskmaster is back."

@ThatAberl pointed out that Taskmaster's design looked slightly different from the way it did in Black Widow, and thought that the reasoning might be to "give Taskmaster more personality:"

"Wonder if those eyes are added to give Taskmaster more personality, also...is this the same person from Black Widow? Possible but I am not ruling it out 100% if it's the same person."

When @WebHeaded_Josh saw the news, Tony Masters' name was brought up again, with the user saying "PLEASE LET IT BE TONY MASTERS' TASKMASTER PLEASEEE."

Twitter's @mainmarvel was also disappointed that Black Widow's version of the character is returning, saying that Marvel Studios "better fix the character:"

"ITS THE SAME TASKMASTER FOR THUNDERBOLTS? They better fix the character."

@arkhamj81 suggested that Abomination should replace Taskmaster in the Thunderbolts film, and that "nobody wanted" to see any more of the Black Widow villain:

"Taskmaster needs to be replaced with Abomination. Nobody wanted that character to return."

Thunderbolts - A New Taskmaster

Thunderbolts isn't Black Widow. They are two completely different films with completely different conflicts. In the latter, Taskmaster had a direct relationship with Dreykov and was even being controlled by him until the late parts of the movie. Thunderbolts will actually be the first time that the character will get to operate on her own accord, which could shift her personality and motivations drastically.

In short, Thunderbolts could introduce the viewers to an entirely new Taskmaster. It may not be exactly like Tony Masters' version of the character, but the studio obviously has a lot of confidence that she will resonate with fans or they wouldn't have included her in this big of an MCU movie.

Thunderbolts is set to be released in theaters on July 26, 2024.