Natasha Romanoff is taking care of some unfinished business in the final trailer for Black Widow. Previous trailers and TV spots have focused a lot on Natasha’s “family,” which includes Red Guardian, Yelena Belova, and Melina Vostokoff. While we’ve already seen brief glimpses of Taskmaster and his terrifying claws, the final trailer hints that this masked villain is far more fearsome than we thought possible.
The latest Black Widow trailer seems to lay out the entire plot of Marvel's next film. Before becoming an Avenger, Natasha left behind quite a mess. Now she’s returning to Russia to it all clean up. Naturally, that brings her right back to where everything started.
Previous fan theories suggested that Natasha and the rest of her crew would be attempting to take down the Red Room — a school that brainwashed and trained women to become highly skilled assassins — and the final trailer proves as much. It also serves up a new twist fans probably didn't see coming.
In the comics, the Red Room was run by the Headmistress. Later, her daughter Anya took over. Anya later became Recluse and prided herself on being Natasha’s greatest rival, having spent years trying to fight like her, fueled by her jealousy sparked by their time together in the Red Room. The final trailer flips the script, indicating that Taskmaster isn’t just after Natasha, but that he is in full control of the Red Room, watching the women as they train.
“His call sign’s Taskmaster,” Yelena tells Natasha, presumably explaining what’s changed since Black Widow’s been away with the Avengers. While it doesn’t seem like Black Widow knows Taskmaster's real identity, his new role in the Red Room makes him an even more formidable threat, while significantly altering his backstory from the comics.
Taskmaster, whose real name is Tony Masters, discovered his powers at a young age in the comics. He later took up a life of crime and became a mercenary. His backstory was slightly altered in 2010, however, when his powers were revealed to have come from a steroid created by Nazi scientists. Taskmaster has always been able to mimic the powers of others, utilizing the physical movements of his enemies to overpower them. However, he's never shared a history with the Red Room before.
Having a number of assassins at his disposal will presumably make it that much more difficult for Black Widow to dispose of him and infiltrate the Red Room to liberate the other women. While it's unclear how Black Widow's iteration of the character will have him attain his powers, it's possible that he's bestowed his own powers upon the Red Room trainees, upgrading their lethal abilities to match his own. Either way, his command of the Red Room gives him a major upgrade and Natasha will need all the help she can get to take him down. Check out the trailer below and see for yourself!
Black Widow hits theaters May 1.