By AZRIEL OLMEDO
Photo made using FlamingText, a logo design and name generator (Azriel Olmedo / Ethic News).
Note: The Marvel Comics will be the main source of evidence for Taskmaster, and the DC Comics will be used for Batman.
When the word “superhero” comes to mind, one usually thinks of a caped-wonder with extraordinary abilities far from the norm. Individuals enhanced either by technology or some sort of accident seem to be the focus for fictional works involving heroes. On the other hand, there’s a small, gray area in between the spectrum filled by those without extraordinary abilities such as Batman, Green Arrow and Iron Man. A lack of representation for this small spectrum of heroes makes it harder for those without superpowers to be truly recognized.
In December of 2019, Marvel Studios gave an official teaser trailer for the Black Widow movie. Fans will finally get to explore the story of Natasha Romanoff, and perhaps learn how she came to become an Avenger. In the trailer, fans were also given a first look at what seems to be the main antagonist of the film: Taskmaster.
Taskmaster is described as a skilled tactician born with photographic memory and reflexes. In the comics, he works with underground terrorist organizations, and made a living working as a mercenary for hire. He is able to immediately replicate any technique or style by simply watching it once, from martial art masters to the Avengers themselves. This has made him a formidable foe that the Avengers have had to deal with since his official debut in the comics in May 1980.
Taskmaster carefully watches a video recording of Black Widow in Marvel’s “Iron Man 2.” He studies her techniques, and instantly learns them just by observing. (Marvel)
Taskmaster has gone through Marvel history as one of the most dangerous individuals on the planet, all without super-speed or the power of flight. This begs the question: would he be able to handle DC’s caped crusader, Batman? Batman is arguably the most well-known character in the DC Universe, showing great strength and courage while lacking any superhuman enhancements of his own. The two go toe-to-toe in this edition of Friday Fight Night.
Round #1: Training
When it comes to training, Bruce Wayne stands as one of the most skilled and prepared individuals in the history of fiction. According to the DC Universe website’s description of Batman, “using his family’s wealth, Bruce sought out the world’s greatest minds in criminology, martial arts, and the craft of detecting.”
A snippet from Frank Miller’s “Batman: Year One,” showing Bruce Wayne’s outdoor training. He is capable of crushing oak and brick, showing the effectiveness of his training. (DC Universe)
Taskmaster is said to have truly mastered all forms of martial arts, boxing, archery, swordsmanship, gymnastics, acrobatics and sleight of hand. He has also learned various fighting styles from Black Widow, Captain America, Black Panther, Spiderman and Wolverine. This had led to him being known as one of the most dangerous men alive by Captain America.
Taskmaster initially spent his time “studying television footage of various superheroes and their techniques to expand his combat repertoire,” according to Marvel’s official website.
Not long after, Taskmaster began a school to teach aspiring criminals the ways of mercenary work and underground organizations.
Round #2: Arsenal
In the field of battle, it’s important to always be prepared. No one is more of a gadgeteer than Batman himself. Bruce Wayne has access to a wide variety of technology that he uses on a daily basis. His utility belt holds more than is perceived, from smoke capsules to small, explosive pellets.
An old and rather interesting design of Batman’s utility belt. This design dates back to May 1939, in Detective Comics #27. (DC Database)
Among some of Batman’s greatest inventions are the Batmobile, the Batcopter, Batarangs, Kryptonite-based weapons and a variety of different power suits to face off against bigger threats.
Taskmaster uses a number of different weapons, most of which are affiliated with the superhero he is mimicking at the time. He carries a steel shield, a broadsword, bow and arrows and, according to the Superhero Database, “energy claws (like Wolverine), energy webbing (like Spiderman), and shurikens.”
His arsenal also includes video recordings and tapes of various superheroes, as to mimic whichever techniques he wishes at any time. His choice in weapons closely relate to those of Marvel’s most prominent heroes, making him an overwhelming foe in the heat of battle.
Round #3: Achievements
Over the years, Taskmaster has been hired to eliminate some of Marvel’s biggest names. He was able to defeat Iron Man, Captain America, Hawkeye and Venom, using a flame sword. Furthermore, he helped take down Thor during a siege on Asgard in the “Avengers: The Initiative #32.”
Taskmaster stares down Thor during a siege on Asgard. This image served as the cover photo for the “Avengers: The Initiative #32,” released in January 2010. (Marvel Comic Issues)
Bruce Wayne might have some of the greatest achievements considering where he stands in the superhero spectrum. Batman has single handedly defeated each member of the Justice League at least once. Additionally, he has also helped save the world from some of DC’s darkest villains such as Darkseid, Lex Luthor and Brainiac.
Another set of accomplishments from the caped crusader is his impressive arsenal of suits. Some of his best suits have granted him the power of flight, enhanced strength, invisibility, and destructive capabilities. Most notable is his Kryptonite Suit, which he used to defeat Superman so easily in “Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice.”
Now that the statistics have been given, the question can now be answered: Who would win in a fight between Taskmaster and Batman? Both have a considerable amount of training and skills in which they use in the field of battle. Both also have their reputation, which has aged well over the years of their existence in fiction. Let’s hope the new Black Widow movie, which was given a new release date for 2021, gives Taskmaster a warm welcome to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.