Psych Ward

Psych Ward: Taskmaster

Profiling the man with photographic reflexes and a splintered mind

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By Tim Stevens

This writer has provided this report at the request of Commander Steve Rogers and Avengers Academy instructor Hank Pym. It should be noted that it has been assembled from S.H.I.E.L.D. files on the subject, interviews, and news articles and not from face-to-face meetings between the subject and this writer

Anthony “Tony” Masters is an adult male who seems to be in excellent physical condition. He is best known to the world at large as the mercenary-for-hire “Taskmaster” and has made a reputation for himself on both sides of the law as being deadly, an excellent teacher, and likely to run at the first sign things are not going his way.

In person, Masters is likely to present as arrogant, but also has a blue collar “one of the guys” sensibility to him. At times, although it is rarer and rarer, he may even slip briefly back into his “natural” accent, that of someone who grew up in the Bronx. The fact that he works so hard to hide this accent may be indicative of some shame about where he comes from, but this is purely speculation.

The subject possesses “photo reflexes,” the ability to mimic the actions of anyone else. Additionally, once he commits their movements to mind, he cannot “forget” them; they are always available for him to retrieve and put into use. Records indicate that he initially used the ability to be successful in high school sports before transitioning into the world of costumed exploits. Deciding against the life of a hero as there was “no money in it” he instead embraced being a gun for hire, selling his services

to the highest bidder.

Recent evidence has surfaced that suggests his drift towards illegal activities was a bit more complex than that. It appears that he was initially a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent sent undercover as a villain. Unfortunately, Masters’ abilities rob him of his non-reflex memories and it appears he lost track of his real identity and life, being fully consumed by his Taskmaster role. While the subject seems to have some awareness of this, he does not seem to grasp the extent to which it is the case. For instance, he knows that he has lost many of his childhood memories, but he seems unaware that he has also lost a considerable amount of his adult ones as well.

As mentioned above, the subject differs from many of the costumed set in that he seems to have little interest in carrying on rivalries with others in the community and is perfectly willing to retreat to ensure his continued freedom and money making abilities rather than fight to the bitter end. Additionally, he does not seem to have any moral issues with fighting with or for anyone. He has trained heroes and villains alike and done so without any visible qualms as long as the money was right. Thus, it should be assumed that his motivations are almost never revenge or personal honor but rather cash and maintaining his ability to make it.

Again this report is only a reflection of available data and not the result of any one-to-one or group counseling work. As such, it should be viewed with some caution. The writer recommends reviewing Doctor Christos Gage’s report on the subject, AVENGERS ACADEMY # 9, which is available on February 2, for further insight.

Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens is a Practicum Trainee at a Federal Correctional Institute and a Dialectical Behavior Therapy Consultant.

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5 comments
reapersaurus
reapersaurus

This whole recent SHIELD backstory is retconning crap.Taskmaster is a CLASSIC villain, because he was written as a joke to explain all the henchmen and mooks in the Marvel Universe.He is a classic under-achieving personality- he has incredible powers, and only wants to make the easy buck.I mean - look at his behaviors and M.O!He doesn't get all aggro at anyone - no grudges, no alpha male issues - if he gets any serious resistance, he runs away to fight another day.I mean - look at who he trains! He doesn't even want the pressure of encountering a talented pupil (i.e. one with real superpowers) - he just trains the hired muscle.He exhibits classic conflict-avoidance tendencies.Any write-up of Taskmaster's personality should make this clear.

harley360
harley360

Yeah he needs an ongoing or atleast a supporting role.

gaurdian007
gaurdian007

Change the accent to country and it sounds like my life story (0:,,, Love it