Black Widow villain Taskmaster revealed in first concept art
While the first footage from the 2020 release screened for fans during the big Marvel Studios Comic-Con panel, concept artist Andy Park revealed a sneak peek for everyone else back home: a look at Taskmaster, the movie’s big bad.
Park worked on most of the Marvel movies, from Captain America: The First Avenger to Avengers: Endgame. The illustration he revealed on Sunday shows Natasha in hand-to-hand combat with Taskmaster, who comes with his signature hood, as well as a nod to Captain America with his own shield.
“Check out the 1st reveal of the keyframe illustration I did for The Black Widow film… & TASKMASTER!!!” Park wrote on Instagram.
Taskmaster’s skills lie in his mnemonic ability. In the comics, he was able to perfectly replicate rope tricks by watching a cowboy on television. In high school, he became a star athlete after watching one professional football game. His roster of skills continued to grow as he watched archival footage of superheroes in battle. He eventually became a professional trainer for the criminal underworld, as well as a brute for hire.
This may be Taskmaster’s debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but he’s been popping up in videogames as of late. He appears as a villain during a series of side missions in Marvel’s Spider-Man, where he forces the web-slinger to save civilians through various “tasks” while he mentally records Spidey’s combat moves. Taskmaster appears again as a villain in the trailer for Marvel’s Avengers, the new console game coming from SquareEnix.
In Black Widow, directed by Cate Shortland, Johansson is joined by Midsommar‘s Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova (described as a “sister figure to Natasha”), The Favourite‘s Rachel Weisz as Malena (“a pretty tough chick”), Stranger Things‘ David Harbour as Alexi, and The Handmaid’s Tale actor O-T Fagbenle as Mason (one of Natasha’s old contacts with “a kind of romantic undercurrent”).
“Where we find Natasha in her life at this point is very specific,” Johansson told EW at Comic-Con. “She really is in a dark place where she’s got no one to call and nowhere to go. She’s really grappling with her own self. When something huge explodes and all the pieces are landing, you have that moment of stillness where you don’t know what to do next — that’s the moment that she’s in. In that moment, you actually have to face yourself.”
Black Widow is scheduled to hit theaters on May 1, 2020.