MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)
“Taskmaster is armed with the ability to mimic an enemy’s every move.”
As the MCU has evolved, so have the foes that its heroes face. While Phase 1 is generally regarded as having well-crafted villains on the whole (we’ll overlook Whiplash), Phase 2 is generally agreed to have had some pretty lackluster ones. Phase 3 again introduced some slightly more interesting ones, and the post Phase 3-slate will hopefully keep the trend going. They’ve certainly grabbed a solid starting point for their first film out of the gate, going with classic Avengers foe Taskmaster as an opponent for Black Widow in her solo film. It’s a solid match-up, and if nothing else it looks like it’s going to lead to some pretty fun fight scenes.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Taskmaster is the one figure in the Crimson Dynamo Series of Marvel Legends not to get a number, due to being the one figure in the set to not include a piece of Dynamo. He’s also the double-pack for this assortment, which might seem a little odd given it’s Widow’s movie and all, but she’s got the two separate figure releases, so it ultimately balances out. Taskmaster has had a couple of somewhat divergent costume designs in the comics, and fans are a little split on which one is really the proper Taskmaster look. For the film, it looks like they’ve somewhat split the difference, resulting in a design that’s actually a pretty solid hybrid of the character’s various looks. The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 35 points of articulation. Taskmaster is sporting an all-new sculpt, based on his film design, and it’s a pretty impressive one at that. There are a lot of layers in play here, making it look like it’s actually a bunch of armor assembled on a real person. The detailing is all pretty sharply handled, and everything seems to line-up pretty closely to what we’ve seen of Taskmaster from the trailers. The proportions are all nicely balanced, and Hasbro is again getting that articulation worked in as naturally as possible, all while trying to maintain that heightened poseablility we’ve gotten so used to. The paintwork on Taskmaster is decent, if maybe not quite as impressive as it could be. The base level stuff is all pretty good, but instead of a black bodysuit with blue armor plating, the bulk of the figure is just straight molded in a very dark blue. It gets the same general effect, but it ends up not looking quite as sharp as the on-screen design. Obviously, this is still a far cry from when the AoU figures lost most of their detailing on their backs, but it’s still not quite perfect. Though Taskmaster is without a Build-A-Figure piece, he’s certainly not lacking in accessories. He’s got three sets of hands (in fists, gripping, and panther claws), a bow, arrow, sword, and shield. About the only thing I could really say he’s missing is an alternate head with the hood pulled down, but ultimately this is a pretty impressive assortment of extras.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I’m definitely down for a good take on Taskmaster, and I’ve been pretty excited for this guy since he showed up in the concept art for the movie. Hasbro definitely knows there’s a lot of interest in him, because they’ve definitely put there best foot forward on this release. Dropping the BaF part in favor of more weaponry was definitely the right call, and it results in a figure that’s really the star of the movie figures in this line-up.