A villain published by Marvel Comics. The Taskmaster first appeared in Avengers #195 in 1980.

The man who became the Taskmaster was born with a rare ability termed "photographic reflexes." Similar to a photographic memory, the Taskmaster can mimic the physical ability of anyone he sees. This first became apparent after he saw a cowboy perform complicated roping tricks with a lasso and then went outside and performed them for his friends. He used his ability to become a star quarterback in high school by watching professional quarterbacks in action.

After graduating high school, the Taskmaster decided to use his abilities for personal gain and adopted his now famous persona. He studied tapes of many heroes in action and adopted many of their fighting styles and weaponry. He carries a shield similar to Captain America's, a bow like Hawkeye, a sword like the Swordsman, billy club like Daredevil and others. He cannot perform any superhuman ability like enhanced strength or the agility that Spider-Man possesses.

The Taksmaster decided to avoid fighting heroes and instead began training the henchmen that are so often used by other supervillains. He opened a school using the Solomon Insititue for the Criminally Insane as a cover, but was discovered by the Avengers and though many of his associates were captured, the Taskmaster escaped.

In the following years, the Taskmaster has clashed with other heroes including Hawkeye, Spider-man, the Thing, and others. He has been used by the United States government to train John Walker, the man who replaced Steve Rogers as Captain America for a time, to fight with a shield.

Task"mas`ter (?), n.

One who imposes a task, or burdens another with labor; one whose duty is to assign tasks; an overseer.

Ex. i. 11.

All is, if I have grace to use it so, As ever in my great Taskmaster's eye. Milton.

 

© Webster 1913.

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