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Tony Masters (Earth-616)

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Taskmaster Vol 2 1 Textless
Information-silkReal Name Tony Masters [1]
Information-silkCurrent AliasTaskmaster
Information-silkAliasesTasky, Barney Toastmaster, Captain America, Minister of Defense
Information-silkRelativesunnamed mother;
Mercedes Merced (wife);[2]
Jeanne Foucault (alleged daughter)
Formerly Hydra, S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Secret Avengers, S.H.I.E.L.D.,[3] A.I.M., The Org[3], The Cabal, Initiative, Shadow Initiative, Camp H.A.M.M.E.R., A.I.M.[4], Secret Empire[4], Ultimatum[4], Cyber Ninjas[4], Lords of the Living Lightning[4], Sons of the Serpent[4], Black Choppers[4], Trenchcoat Mafia[4], Militiamen[4], The Inquisition[4], Agency X, Frightful Four, Thunderbolts
Information-silkBase Of OperationsMobile; A.I.M Island, A small, uninhabited island in Tierra Del Fuego[5]
Information-silkIdentitySecret Identity
Information-silkMarital StatusMarried [2]
Information-silkOccupationMercenary, Assassin, Military Trainer, Hand-to-Hand Combat Instructor, Head of Initiative training camp
Information-silkEducationS.H.I.E.L.D. agent training
Information-silkHeight6' 2"
Information-silkWeight220 lbs (100 kg)
Information-silkOriginWhile on a mission for S.H.I.E.L.D., Taskmaster took an experimental Nazi serum which allows him to instantly memorize motor skills at the cost of his true memory[6].
Information-silkPlace of BirthBronx, New York[citation needed]
Information-silkCreatorsDavid Michelinie, George Pérez
First Appearance
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Quote1 I got this...memory thing. I pick up anyone's moves just by seein' 'em. That's a lotta data. More'n my brain's got room for, I guess. So I...forget things. Things that ain't about combat, about survival. People, places... I can't remember what I did last week. By Monday, I probably won't remember this conversation. I wanted ta fight you 'cause... I thought if I remembered your moves, I might remember you. Quote2
-- Taskmaster src 
Taskmaster 002

Taskmaster's First Costume.

Early life

Tony Masters gained an ability known as "photographic reflexes" during a mission as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent[5]. This ability enabled him to watch another person's physical movements and duplicate them without any practice, no matter how complex. It was only limited by the fact that the memories he gained by watching others overwrote his personal memories[5]. He was previously a naturally gifted athlete who trained himself to superb physical condition. He committed the fighting styles of Captain America, Black Panther, Daredevil, Elektra, Hawkeye, Punisher, Tigra, USAgent, Spider-Man and Wolverine to memory, as well as many others. [citation needed]

He trained his body to be in peak physical condition and engaged in intensive regular exercise. His strength, endurance, stamina, reflexes, and agility were on the level of an Olympic athlete. He was nearly the physical equal of Captain America. In addition to his ability to copy the fighting techniques of others, he had mastered hundreds of forms of unarmed combat and had created some of his own original techniques as well. The Taskmaster was skilled in the use of all conventional weaponry. He was an unerring marksman as a result of the skills of various champions he committed to memory. These skills included most present-day and many historical martial arts, boxing, wrestling, swordsmanship, archery, marksmanship, gymnastics, aerial acrobatics and sleight of hand. [citation needed]

The Taskmaster had scientists duplicate versions of a variety of weapons used by super-humans which he could use with nearly as great facility as their respective owners. He had a copy of Daredevil's multipurpose billy club, Hawkeye's trick arrows and bow, the Black Knight's sword, and a shield designed like Captain America's (but it was not indestructible; it was only an osmium alloy). He also sometimes carried a .45 caliber Colt automatic, which he could use in the style of the Punisher. [citation needed]


Tony decided to use his stolen capital to establish base of operations to train criminals. He took the the name Taskmaster and began training anyone that could pay. [7] When Dr. Pernell Solomon used the Solomon Institute for the Criminally Insane as a front, he used the Taskmasters school's resources to create a clone of himself called Selbe. When he required an organ donation due to possessing an extremely rare blood type, the clone, learning of his fate, contacted the Avengers. Taskmaster captured Yellowjacket, the Wasp, and Ant-Man when they attacked the site.[8] Taskmaster battled the Avengers, who exposed his front operation. He was defeated and fled after a fight with the Avengers newest member the robot Jocasta, whose lack of body language made it impossible for Taskmaster to predict her next move.[9] Later, he clashed with Hawkeye and Ant Man [10], among others.

New Taskmaster

Taskmaster 003

Taskmaster's Second Costume.

Eventually, the Taskmaster considerably changed his appearance. He wore a costume apparently modeled after tactical body armor, replacing his previous pirate-themed garb. The Taskmaster also ceased carrying an arsenal of duplicate weapons. Instead, his armament consisted primarily of a pair of semi-automatic handguns and a katana (which he wielded using the fighting style of the Silver Samurai). The Taskmaster also carried a prototype wrist-mounted device, stolen from S.H.I.E.L.D., which could spontaneously create simple shapes out of solid energy, saving him the trouble of weighing himself down with many weapons. He used the device to create duplicates of Captain America's shield and Spider-Man's webbing. [citation needed]
Taskmaster vs Iron Man

Taskmaster vs Iron Man.

In addition, the Taskmaster gained new abilities. First, given observation and practice (with the aid of a voice-match recognizing device) he could duplicate the voices of others. He also displayed forms of photographic memory. More importantly, after watching video footage of fights filmed in double-time, he learned how to perform actions in double-time as well. Since the Taskmaster did not have a superhuman physique, he could only use this ability to provide short bursts of superhuman speed lasting a few seconds, or he risked seriously injuring himself. [citation needed]
Deadpool Vol 2 9 page -- Tony Masters (Earth-616)

Deadpool making fun of Taskmaster's mask and name.

Taskmaster came to blows with Deadpool a number of times, but the two became good friends when Taskmaster started dating Sandi Brandenburg, who had been Deadpool's Personal Assistant when he ran DP Inc. Both were employed by Agency X at the same time. [citation needed]

He was eventually hired by the Committee to take out Moon Knight. He raided Spector's apartment, but was unable to kill him. Spector piloted his Mooncopter to the Committee's Manhattan headquarters and flew it directly into their office. Miraculously, all of the Committee members survived the attack[11].

Taskmaster (Earth-616) 001

Taskmaster fighting Thor in Siege.

He was briefly one of the Thunderbolts' detainees, later being released and assigned to Camp Hammond to serve as a trainer for the Initiative recruits while their former drill instructor, Gauntlet, recuperated from injuries sustained from one of his trainees. During this time, a formerly deceased Initiative member, Michael Van Patrick acquired a weapon called the Tactigon and began assaulting everyone at the camp. The Taskmaster had little interest in participating in the fight, preferring instead to sit by the sidelines with one of his charges, Ant-Man[12].

Taskmaster then took over training for the entire Initiative and participated in the siege of Asgard. He joined in the fight against Thor, since it would help him become a more reputable assassin. He fought both Captain Americas at the same time with unexpected success. Able to see that his side was not winning the fight, Taskmaster fled with the Constrictor to return to mercenary work. He taunted Norman Osborn with the knowledge that he had earlier assisted Deadpool.

After losing his weapons in Tokyo[13], Tony began a quest to attempt to remember some of the things he had been forgetting. On this quest, his former handler, The Org, seemed to put out a billion-dollar bounty on his head[4]. Many of the teams he formerly trained, including A.I.M. and Hydra, attempted to collect the bounty by killing him, but only succeeded in tracking him on his quest. It was during this memory quest that Tony temporarily learned his true past, that of a married former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who mistakenly took a Nazi serum that granted him his extraordinary abilities. He also briefly met his wife and handler, Mercedes Merced. Ultimately, he was forced to learn the new fighting skill of Redshirt, the man who put out the fake bounty, which erased all of his knowledge regarding his past[5]. Apparently, this had happened repeatedly in the past[5].

Secret Avengers

Taskmaster was asked to become a member of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Secret Avengers team after being rescued by Nick Fury Jr. from the criminal nation of Bagalia. His first mission was to join A.I.M.'s High Council as a double-agent, taking the role of Minister of Defense.[14]

When he tried to free Mockingbird from A.I.M. captivity, he was attacked from behind by the TESS-One, and shot in the head by Mockingbird herself, who had been brainwashed by A.I.M.[15] However, Mockingbird purposely missed any vitals and Taskmaster was revealed to be alive but left in a vegetative state. As they thought he was dead, the Secret Avengers left him behind, but his survival was discovered by Mentallo, who had developed a friendship with him. Mentallo kept his survival a secret and sought to cure him with with his nanobots.[16]

All-New Captain America

Taskmaster had joined Hydra to defeat the new Captain America, along with Crossbones, Baron Zemo, Viper, and Baron Blood.[17]


  • Photographic Reflexes: The Taskmaster's only superhuman abilities were that of his photographic reflexes. He was able to duplicate almost any physical act he sees after seeing it done by someone else only once. [19][20][21] [22][23][24] [25][26][27]
  • Near-Superhuman Mimicry: Due to these reflexes, he can do things which border on superpowers. For instance Taskmaster has discovered that after watching martial arts movies on fast-forward he is able to briefly duplicate the moves at a greatly increased velocity, effectively giving him a limited form of super-speed.[5] However, as he does not have any sort of enhanced endurance, this puts a great strain on his body and he is only able to fight in this manner for short periods of time.[19][20][21] [22][23][24] [25][26][27]
  • Muscle Movement Precision: He can also copy the subtle muscle movements of others so precisely that he can at times do things such as copying another persons voice so precisely as to fool voice recognition software.[19][20][21] [22][23][24] [25][26][27]
  • Sleight of Hand Comprehension: He can also do things such as figuring out the sleight of hand techniques of a master poker cheater simply by watching them. He can even duplicate the nearly superhuman abilities with thrown projectiles which Bullseye exhibits, or approximate the agility of someone like Spider-Man, at least up to a point that doesn't require superhuman effort. [19][20][21] [22][23][24] [25][26][27]
  • Skill Mastery: He is also capable of using this ability to master complex gymnastics routines and play difficult pieces of music. However, he typically prefers to use this ability to copy the combat skills, both armed and unarmed, of costumed crime-fighters and expert martial artists from around the world, typically seen through watching videos of them in combat situations. [19][20][21] [22][23][24] [25][26][27]
  • Physical Movement Prediction: He has often shown the ability to actually predict an opponents next move before they make it if he has studied their fighting style enough. Opponents who are skilled at improvisational fighting styles, or who have a more random unpredictable style are less likely to have their moves predicted by Taskmaster. [19][20][21] [22][23][24] [25][26][27]
  • Photographic Muscle Memory: Beside his photographic reflexes, he possessed photographic muscle memory that allows him to instinctively, instantly, and completely learn and acquire new skills and abilities. While not having any superhuman physical, mental, or energy manipulative abilities, the Taskmaster was able to routinely battle super-human powered foes with an impressive degree of success.[19][20][21] [22][23][24] [25][26][27]


  • Olympic-Level Conditioning: The Taskmaster was an Olympic-level athlete and was possibly among the most formidable armed and unarmed combatants in the universe.[19][20][21] [22][23][24] [25][26][27]

Fighting Styles Studied Characters: Taskmaster learned personal styles of these individuals from watching videos or from combat: Ant Man, Batroc, Black Widow, Boomerang, Bushwacker, Blacklash, Black Knight, Black Panther, Captain America, Genis-Vell, Cable, Crossbones, Daredevil, Deadpool, Elektra, Falcon, Fatale, Firestar, Hawkeye, Iron Fist, Justice, Libra, Machete, Moon Knight, Oddball, Power Man, Puma, Punisher, Razorfist, Shockwave, Silverclaw, Silver Samurai, Spider-Man, Shatterstar, Swordsman, Tigra, Tumbler, US Agent, Warbird, Wolverine and Zaran.[19][20][21] [22][23][24] [25][26][27]

Strength level

  • The Taskmaster possessed the normal human strength of a man of his age, height, and build who engages in intensive regular exercise. The Taskmaster was strong enough to lift at least twice his body-weight, meaning he was able to lift at least 440 lbs.[19][20][21] [22][23][24] [25][26][27]


  • The Taskmaster is not capable of duplicating a physical feat if the effort to do so requires superhuman effort. For instance, while he could view an opponent lifting a car, he could not do so because his body can't duplicate the superhuman strength required to do so. In the same way, he cannot duplicate any energy manipulating or projecting capabilities for the same reasons.[19][20][21] [22][23][24] [25][26][27]
  • His abilities are also limited in that they did not grant him an innate understanding of underlying disciplines. For example, as a child, he nearly drowned after imitating a dive because while he was able to mimic the dive, he did not know how to swim.[19][20][21] [22][23][24] [25][26][27]
  • Taskmaster was unable to copy the moves of Alex Hayden for unknown reasons[30].
  • When Taskmaster copies something new, it pushes old memories out of his brain in a form of amnesia.[28]


  • Energy Shield:' He has at times been known to use a wrist device stolen from S.H.I.E.L.D. which created weapons out of pure energy. These weapons apparently had substance even after he let go of them, at least for a short time.[19][20][21] [22][23][24] [25][26][27]


Customized Quinjet, van.[19][20][21] [22][23][24] [25][26][27]


Taskmaster used a number of weapons, often determined by the abilities he was using. - Known weapons include: Energy shield, Energy Claws (like Wolverine's), Energy Webbing (like Spider-Man's), Katana, Bow & Arrows (sometimes using "trick" arrows like Hawkeye), Sword, Broadsword, Pair of .45s, Rope, Round Steel Shield (like Captain America's), Moon Shaped Shuriken (like Moon Knight), and a multipurpose Billy Club (like Daredevil). [19][20][21] [22][23][24] [25][26][27]

He has also been shown sticking to walls suggesting that he has special gloves and perhaps boots which can approximate Spider-Man's wall crawling ability. Although he may at any time have any of the above weapons on his person (and it should be noted that he usually does carry at least some portion of these weapons), there are 3 items that he is shown to almost always carry on his person: a sword (usually a broadsword, but occasionally a katana), a round shield which approximates the design of Captain America's modern round shield (generally depicted as being very durable, but nowhere near as resilient as Captain America's shield), and a handgun.[19][20][21] [22][23][24] [25][26][27]

An exception to him carrying these three primary weapons was during his miniseries in 2002, when he was first shown to have his S.H.E.I.L.D energy weapon device, which created various weapons from pure energy. Nonetheless, even then he would still carry one or more guns (it can be assumed that a gun was too complex mechanically for the device to create), and sometimes a sword (usually a katana). Why he did not simply create an energy sword instead of using a real one is not revealed, although perhaps he preferred to have at least one real weapon not made by the device, to free up his other hand to use the device for something else (for instance; using the real sword in one hand and an energy shield in the other). This is of course assuming the device could only create one weapon at a time, which seems to be a reasonable assumption considering how it was used.[19][20][21] [22][23][24] [25][26][27]

  • Daredevil once saved Taskmaster's life when the Punisher threw a knife at his heart. Daredevil deflected it with a shot from a pistol then applied pressure to his wound until help arrived, one of the few times the hero has ever picked up and used a firearm.[citation needed]
  • Taskmaster wore a skull mask as inspired by Santa Muerte, Saint Death "The Lady of Shadows" in honor of her solidarity. He picked up this mask on his first mission for Org while re-training Mexican Special Forces.[3]

Discover and Discuss


  1. 1.0 1.1 Taskmaster Vol 2 #3
  2. 2.0 2.1 Taskmaster Vol 2 #3
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Taskmaster Vol 2 #2
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 Taskmaster Vol 2 #1
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Taskmaster Vol 2 #4
  6. Taskmaster Vol 2 #1-4
  7. Avengers #194
  8. Avengers #195
  9. Avengers #196
  10. Avengers #223
  11. Moon Knight Vol 3 #3-6
  12. Avengers: The Initiative #9-10
  13. Age of Heroes #3
  14. Secret Avengers Vol 2 #2
  15. Secret Avengers Vol 2 #13
  16. Secret Avengers Vol 2 #16
  17. All-New Captain America #1
  18. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #11
  19. 19.00 19.01 19.02 19.03 19.04 19.05 19.06 19.07 19.08 19.09 19.10 19.11 19.12 19.13 19.14 19.15 19.16 19.17 19.18 19.19 19.20 19.21 Heroic Age: Villains #1
  20. 20.00 20.01 20.02 20.03 20.04 20.05 20.06 20.07 20.08 20.09 20.10 20.11 20.12 20.13 20.14 20.15 20.16 20.17 20.18 20.19 20.20 20.21 20.22 Siege: Storming Asgard - Heroes & Villains #1
  21. 21.00 21.01 21.02 21.03 21.04 21.05 21.06 21.07 21.08 21.09 21.10 21.11 21.12 21.13 21.14 21.15 21.16 21.17 21.18 21.19 21.20 21.21 Marvel Avengers: The Ultimate Character Guide #1
  22. 22.00 22.01 22.02 22.03 22.04 22.05 22.06 22.07 22.08 22.09 22.10 22.11 22.12 22.13 22.14 22.15 22.16 22.17 22.18 22.19 22.20 22.21 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #11
  23. 23.00 23.01 23.02 23.03 23.04 23.05 23.06 23.07 23.08 23.09 23.10 23.11 23.12 23.13 23.14 23.15 23.16 23.17 23.18 23.19 23.20 23.21 Dark Reign Files #1
  24. 24.00 24.01 24.02 24.03 24.04 24.05 24.06 24.07 24.08 24.09 24.10 24.11 24.12 24.13 24.14 24.15 24.16 24.17 24.18 24.19 24.20 24.21 All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #11
  25. 25.00 25.01 25.02 25.03 25.04 25.05 25.06 25.07 25.08 25.09 25.10 25.11 25.12 25.13 25.14 25.15 25.16 25.17 25.18 25.19 25.20 25.21 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Master Edition #9
  26. 26.00 26.01 26.02 26.03 26.04 26.05 26.06 26.07 26.08 26.09 26.10 26.11 26.12 26.13 26.14 26.15 26.16 26.17 26.18 26.19 26.20 26.21 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Vol 2 #13
  27. 27.00 27.01 27.02 27.03 27.04 27.05 27.06 27.07 27.08 27.09 27.10 27.11 27.12 27.13 27.14 27.15 27.16 27.17 27.18 27.19 27.20 27.21 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #11
  28. 28.0 28.1 Avengers: The Initiative #32
  29. Taskmaster #1
  30. Agent X #1
  31. Battle Scars #2
  32. Siege #1

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