'Black Widow' trailer screenshot exposes a controversial Taskmaster twist
He gets by with a little help from technology.
Taskmaster, the villain in the upcoming Black Widow movie, got an official introduction in the film's final trailer. He's shown copying a few Avengers signature moves, like Hawkeye's archery skills, Captain America's shield prowess and even flashes a "Wakanda Forever" salute. The mystery man behind the Red Room is also shown in his lair watching footage of Black Widow in combat (footage stolen wholecloth from Iron Man 2). How is the man in the mask such a quick study? The answer might be right in front of his eyes.
Directly after the aforementioned shot, the trailer cuts to a closeup of Taskmaster's face as he studies the video. In that split-second, Reddit user HaloArtificials noticed a piece of technology that, combined with his natural advanced learning capability, makes him a daunting foe for Natasha Romanoff.
Can't figure out what it is at first glance? Check out what's going on right above the eyes. Looks a lot like the camera on a laptop or phone, doesn't it? Could it be possible Taskmaster is using a camera to assist AI in anticipating Natasha's movements? The thought is exciting for those who enjoy fancy Marvel tech, but for Taskmaster fans, this might be a step too far for the character.
In the comics, Taskmaster's main power was the ability to learn things at an inhuman speed. Since he was a child, he could watch something once and instantly be able to execute it. If he's equipped with a camera in this movie, it could mean the power is substituted with technology, effectively turning him into a version of Iron Man with near-precognitive combat prowess.
However, that's not the only possibility. For someone with Taskmaster's powers, the camera could be a useful tool for recording the actions of others for study, like the footage from Iron Man 2. It also could just be a motion tracking tool for mid-combat, used to predict the movements of those around him. For all we know, it could just be a way to see, as those goggles don't exactly look transparent.
Changes to the villain seem inevitable, in one way or another. Past theories have suggested Taskmaster's history will be retconned altogether in favor of something more in line with Natasha Romanoff's past as a Red Room-trained KGB agent. No matter his origin, Taskmaster diehards are already divided regarding the idea of his unique powers being rendered redundant in favor of yet another tech-forward toolset.
While there's no true way to ascertain the exact purpose of the device as of yet, it would be interesting to see how the camera could serve as a de facto superpower. However, a more comics-accurate Taskmaster would provide a fight never seen before in the MCU: former gifted child vs. former gifted child.
Black Widow premieres in theaters May 1.