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Taskmaster: The SHIELD #7 Greatest Agent

Dwelling in the undersides of the criminal world, only recent to the cause of actually assisting SHIELD and those in crisis, Tony Masters is recognized as the fully adaptive Taskmaster, an individual capable of performing any style of combat, acrobatic techniques, and unique maneuvers. As the villainous weapon-wielding fighter, Tony first appeared in Avengers vol. 1 #195 (May 1980) and nearly beat them to a pulp by taking them on with their own abilities.

The brilliance of Masters’ skill, sometimes referred to as a power, is that he only needs to watch you; by visually studying another person in action, normal or superhero, he can duplicate their movements through a process known as Photographic Reflexes. Until recently, it was believed that he might have some form of mutant-birthed ability; the truth, however, revealed in his Taskmaster mini-series (Taskmaster vol. 1 2010), turned out far more troubling.

Tony Masters’ powers are the result of an experimental serum and it seems he has always been a sleeper agent for SHIELD; the organization pushed him into the field of criminal intelligence-gathering because of a side-effect that causes him to lose his past memories. And that was not the only shocker; More...

Recommended Reading: Taskmaster: Unthinkable

Plot: Taskmaster has trained henchmen and thugs for every terrorist organization and criminal cartel in the Marvel Universe. So when the rumor starts that he's turned traitor and now works for Steve Rogers, a billion-dollar bounty is put on his head, and every cadre of costumed fanatics looks to collect. Now Taskmaster has to fight hordes upon hordes of his psychopathic students while at the same time figuring out who framed him.

This graphic novel covers the actual 2010 Taskmaster mini-series, issues #1-4.

From an insider's perspective, the series was pretty sound. It took Taskmaster to new levels because you understood that Masters was actually a good guy caught in a bad situation. His mind, to adapt to all the combat styles, gets rid of all the neural connections associated with his past. Because of that unfortunate consequence, Tony believes he's a bad guy...and that's why he does bad things.
Tony Masters fills out #7 in The Top 10 Greatest Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., another Top 10 Countdown from The Superheroes List. This one in particular updates every Thursday. And if you like super-powered agents and some of their cool adventures, you might like to follow along. So Check out the List!

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