Marvel's Thunderbolts Can Fix Black Widow's Villain Mistake

Taskmaster is making a comeback in the MCU's upcoming villain team-up movie Thunderbolts, giving Marvel the perfect opportunity to fix their Black Widow mistake with the character. Although Taskmaster is a fan-favorite villain, Black Widow made some major changes to the character that removed many of Taskmaster's most popular traits, causing some viewers to be disappointed with the film's adaptation of the villain. Now that she is coming back, the MCU has the opportunity to use Thunderbolts to address these Black Widow criticisms.


Debuting in Black Widow, Taskmaster's identity is initially kept secret, with her identity being revealed in a twist near the middle of the film. As it turns out, Taskmaster is Antonia Dreykov, the daughter of Dreykov, head of the Red Room where the Widows are trained. Although Antonia seemingly dies in a bombing of Dreykov's office by Natasha Romanoff and Clint Barton, but as it turns out, Antonia lived. However, she suffered damage so severe that her father had to use technology to save her, turning her into a mind-controlled soldier who can copy the actions of other fighters. Taskmaster acts as one of the main antagonists of Black Widow, fighting Natasha under the control of Dreykov until she is saved by the Widows at the end of the film.

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Black Widow's Taskmaster was met with fairly negative reception from comic readers due to how different she was from her comic counterpart. In Marvel Comics, Taskmaster is Tony Masters, a street-level mercenary who often fights characters like Spider-Man and Captain America. Taskmaster is typically a wisecracker, taunting his opponents, often aligning with whomever will pay him the most. Black Widow's Taskmaster twist failed not only because she couldn't talk throughout most of the film but also because Antonia was under Dreykov's mind control, meaning she had no agency. However, Taskmaster is freed from Dreykov's control at the end of Black Widow, and now that she's with the other Widows, Thunderbolts has the perfect chance to fix Black Widow's version of Taskmaster.

How Thunderbolts Can Improve Taskmaster


Antonia Dreykov will be a member of the Thunderbolts in the upcoming film, and since she has the least development of any character on the team, Marvel can finally fix her. Antonia without mind control was only in Black Widow for a few minutes, meaning that Thunderbolts can mold her personality closer to that of Tony Masters', making her the wisecracking mercenary many readers love. Now that Taskmaster is no longer brainwashed by Dreykov, she can make decisions on her own, allowing her agency to make morally gray decisions in the same vein as her comic counterpart.

Some have speculated that a new character may take on the mantle of Taskmaster in Thunderbolts, but she doesn't really need to be recast. Antonia was more of a plot device than a character in Black Widow since she couldn't make her own decisions, meaning that Thunderbolts can fully develop Taskmaster on its own. While Marvel may have made a mistake in Black Widow, Thunderbolts can truly make Antonia's Taskmaster great.

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