In Need of an Ongoing: Taskmaster
Y'ever have a favorite comic book character that you feel is always getting overlooked, no matter how awesome they are? So does Steven Romano! And he thinks the especially rad ones deserve their own ongoing series. Each week, Steven will profile a different underrated character and attempt to prove why they are In Need of an Ongoing!
Marvel’s surprising announcements about new ongoing series featuring the swash-buckling Avenger Hawkeye and the ragin’ Cajun Gambit got us at The MindHut thinking: Who else in the Marvel Universe (and any other comic universe for that matter) is long overdue for an ongoing series of their own? In today’s inaugural edition of "In Need of an Ongoing," we put the spotlight on Marvel’s resident skull-faced mimic: Taskmaster!
Who is Taskmaster?
Taskmaster, created by writer David Michelinie and artist George Perez, made his grand first appearance during the 80’s disco era in The Avengers #195 (Vol. 1) on the very last page of the issue. In the issue following, the Avengers learned firsthand just how unpredictable and dangerous his photographic reflexes could be. What are photographic reflexes? Essentially, Taskmaster has the innate ability to copy an opponent’s combat style instantaneously and wield it with lethal force. It is because of this ability that Taskmaster found a lucrative career as a trainer to the Marvel Universe’s criminal element (and even some heroes!).
For a while, Taskmaster was a relatively obscure villain that never really garnered the attention seen in foes like Dr. Doom or Loki, even with his 2002 self-titled limited series. But it was during the time of Marvel’s “Civil War” event that fans started taking notice. With this rise in popularity starting in Cable & Deadpool #36 (Vol. 1) and snowballing throughout Avengers: The Initiative (Vol. 1), Taskmaster became a hit and earned a second -- and very well received -- self-titled limited series in 2010 written by Fred Van Lente.
Why He Deserves an Ongoing
It really goes without saying that his friendship (if you can call it that) with Deadpool is one reason why he deserves his own series since there would be plenty of opportunities for the Merc with a Mouth to pop in now and then, whether Tasky likes it or not. And when those two are together, you can bet all heck will break loose with trademark repartee throughout. But Deadpool isn’t Taskmaster’s only BFF. He’s even got friends in the form of Constrictor and the current Ant-Man, Eric O’Grady. The more the merrier!
For those that read the 2010 limited series (please pick up the Taskmaster: Unthinkable TPB if you haven’t), you know that there’s more to Taskmaster’s story that needs to be told, and the four issues it encompassed, while very satisfying, weren’t enough to provide a more detailed look into his tragic past. That and the whole story seemed to occupy a much weirder and surreal corner of the Marvel Universe, rife with sarcastic humor and bizarre mayhem that only someone like Taskmaster can deal with. Besides, it’s always fun to see the things that go under the villain radar of Marvel’s more well known heroes... like a town of Hitler clones or a murderous mariachi (now you should really buy the TPB).
Add in his criminal history with the likes of Daredevil and the Avengers and you’d have a title that offers variety and an entertaining alternative to Marvel’s more mainstream titles.
Who would you like to see get their own ongoing series?