The final Black Widow trailer is out, and it shines a spotlight on a villain who had been only fleetingly referenced in earlier footage: the Taskmaster. We get a much more detailed look at the character in the trailer, and from the looks of it, fighting Taskmaster is the equivalent of fighting the entire roster of The Avengers at the same time, since he seems to be replicating all their fighting styles.
In the comics, Taskmaster injected himself with a serum which augmented his body's procedural memory potential. What this means is that the comic version of Taskmaster is able to absorb knowledge instantaneously and replicate movements perfectly after seeing them performed once. This allows him to duplicate the fighting style of anyone and beat them at their own game. Over a long history of copying moves, Taskmaster has emerged as one of the most dangerous fighters in Marvel comics.
It is unclear whether the Taskmaster in the movie has a similar backstory as his comic counterpart, but he is shown to have some sort of recording equipment embedded in his face mask and can be seen studying footage of Black Widow in action to learn her moves.
This sets up the fight scenes the Taskmaster engages in throughout the trailer. We see him throwing a shield with the precision of Captain America. We also see him draw out claws during a fight and attack his opponent in a manner reminiscent of Black Panther. Then there is the bow and arrow which he clearly learned to use from watching footage of Hawkeye. And finally, his grounded hand-to-hand style of fighting seems inspired by Black Widow herself.
What all of this means is that Natasha aka Black Widow will have to reckon with not just one but multiple fighting styles, all based on her allies that she has fought alongside in the past. Taskmaster's general style and demeanor is quite reminiscent of the Winter Solider when he was still a villain. Both characters wear masks, a rarity in the MCU, and are shown to be silently and brutally efficient at taking out enemies. Also like the Winter Soldier, Taskmaster appears to be a footsoldier for a much larger and sinister organization.
Could this mean that Taskmaster will follow a similar trajectory to Winter Soldier? Where he starts out as a masked baddie, but is later revealed to be a good guy from Captain America's past? After all, the Taskmaster from the comics later evolved into an anti-hero. And the identity of the movie Taskmaster has been purposely kept hidden in the promos so far, which would make sense if he has already appeared as a different person from Natasha's life. All these questions and more will soon be answered once Black Widow makes its way to theaters on the 24th of April, when fans will finally get to enjoy an entire standalone movie centered around Natasha Romanoff.