While you were out partying, Taskmaster studied the blade. And he's going to use it against Natasha Romanoff in Black Widow, the next new Marvel movie hitting theaters in May.
But here's the big question everyone needs to ask about Taskmaster: Just who did Taskmaster learn the blade from? The answer to this question actually hints at something big coming later this year to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
On Monday, the Topps trading card for Taskmaster in Black Widow leaked online and was shared on Twitter by the fan account, MCU Direct (@MCU_Direct). It was later retweeted by the official Twitter account for Topps, confirming its validity.
By itself, the card reveal is huge because it's the first full-figure look at Taskmaster as he'll appear in Black Widow. Previously, the Marvel supervillain has only appeared in brief glimpses in the trailers for Black Widow, and mostly from the waist up mid-action. His Topps trading card is a static look that gives fans a really good look at Taskmaster and his costume's details. It's also a well-lit image, so we can actually see Taskmaster's signature white, orange, and blue color scheme carried over from the comic books.
But check out what Taskmaster is wielding in the trading card. A shield (which we've seen before in the trailers), and a sword. In the comics, Taskmaster learns his abilities from studying others. His mastery over the shield came from watching Captain America, and his mastery of the bow came from studying Hawkeye. In the comics, Taskmaster learned to use a sword from characters like the Silver Samurai and Black Knight, the latter of whom will appear later this year in The Eternals played by Kit Harington (Jon Snow in Game of Thrones).
This is a big deal! While we can guess that Taskmaster in the MCU studied Captain America and Hawkeye (remember Luke Cage? You can buy bootleg Blu-rays of the "Battle of New York" in every corner of Harlem), it's unknown who Taskmaster learned the sword from. It'd be easy enough for Taskmaster to study kendo masters on YouTube, but his whole schtick is that he has the same abilities as other Marvel heroes. That's what makes him such a cool bad guy, and a great foil for Black Widow.
So who is the Marvel hero that Taskmaster studied?
It could be Kit Harington's Black Knight, whose status in the MCU is yet to be known. We know that Harington appears in the movie as Dane Whitman in his civilian identity, an unassuming a university professor in Boston. We also know he's in a relationship with Sersi, played by Gemma Chan in the film. We don't know yet if The Eternals will have Dane inherit the Ebony Blade from his uncle, which is his Black Knight origin story from the comics.
It also has to be Black Knight. Because other than Dane Whitman, there aren't many sword users in the MCU. Hawkeye used a katana in his stint as "Ronin" in Avengers: Endgame, but it's unlikely there's recorded evidence of Ronin since Clint was a swift, stealthy ninja. And no one on Earth ever saw Heimdall wield that great sword of his in Thor: Ragnarok. And since Iron Fist technically doesn't exist in the MCU, we can rule out Jessica Henwick's Colleen Wing being Taskmaster's primary source.
While the "teacher" of Taskmaster's swordsmanship is yet to be revealed, we know just one thing: He's going to spell big trouble for Black Widow. Maybe Natasha oughta pick up a sword, too.
Black Widow opens in theaters on May 1.