Several new images from the recently released book, Marvel's Black Widow: The Official Movie Special, have appeared online and give us a glimpse at The Handmaid's Tale actor O.T. Fagbenle's somewhat mysterious character, Rick Mason. Mason has been described as an ally from Natasha Romanoff's past with S.H.I.E.L.D. who has a romantic interest in her, which is all well and good, but many believe that he will turn out to be Taskmaster, the villain of the piece in Black Widow.

Taskmaster is currently even more of a mysterious presence than Mason, which has led many to make the connection. Taskmaster studies his opponents' fighting style in order to mimic them and learn how to use it against them, with speculation rampant that the masked bad guy will be Mason's alter ego.

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The rest of the images depict the rest of the talented cast mostly looking intense and standing in fighting poses, including Stranger Things favorite David Harbour, who is seen taking on two burly prisoners in a snowy Russian prison.

Black Widow will provide some insight into the origins of one of the founding Avengers. At birth, the Black Widow, aka Natasha Romanova, is given to the KGB, where she is groomed to become the ultimate operative. When the U.S.S.R. breaks up, the government tries to kill her, before the action moves to present-day New York, where she is now working as a freelance operative. Now, Natasha Romanoff suddenly finds herself alone and forced to confront a dangerous conspiracy with ties to her past. Pursued by a force that will stop at nothing to bring her down, Romanoff must deal with her history as a spy and the broken relationships left in her wake long before she became an Avenger.

Alongside O.T. Fagbenle, Black Widow stars Scarlet Johansson reprising the role of Natasha Romanoff AKA Black Widow, Midsommar's Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova, Stranger Things star David Harbour as Alexei Shostakov/Red Guardian, Avengers : Endgame's William Hurt as Thaddeus Ross, The Departed's Ray Winstone as Dreykov, and The Favourite's Rachel Weisz as Melina Vostokoff.

With the Black Widow movie coming after the character's sacrifice in Avengers: Endgame, Marvel fans are wondering what the future of the character might hold, with Scarlett Johansson hopeful that the franchise will be picked up and led by Florence Pugh's character, Yelena Belova. "I definitely felt that way from the very beginning," Scarlett Johansson says when asked about passing on the Black Widow name. "She stands completely on her own. She's strong and different. She's so different to Natasha."

After a big reshuffle, Black Widow is now set to open on May 7th, 2021, more than a year after it was originally scheduled to be released. Black Widow's new date has resulted in the entire Marvel line-up being pushed back, with Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings moved from its May 7th, 2021 release date to July 9th, 2021. Eternals, which was supposed to follow Black Widow is moving from February 12th, 2021 to November 5th, 2021.

Marvel's Black Widow: The Official Movie Special Book is now available in the US and Canada and is set for release in the UK next month. These images come to us courtesy of Twitter user @ yelenabarnes_.

Jon Fuge at Movieweb
Jon Fuge