Portrayed by Wil Wheaton
|Known Aliases:||The Taskmaster|
|Introduction:||X-Men Mission: Who You Gonna Call?|
"What do you want, Masters?" Garrison almost growled it, but the man just shrugged.
"A pile of money. A villa in Spain. Maybe an island of my own in the South Seas. You know, simple things."
Former SHIELD employee, the Taskmaster has gone into the illegal mutant slavery trade and seeks only his own profit.
Name: Tony Masters
Aliases: The Taskmaster
Affiliation: Independent, formerly M-Squad
First appearance: X-Men Mission: Who You Gonna Call?
Tony Masters is a former SHIELD training designer and instructor, who left the agency five years ago to make more money as a mercenary trainer. Starting in Symkaria, he was fairly successful, and eventually received an offer from a man calling himself ‘The Taskmaster’ for a meeting. During the meeting, the Taskmaster revealed himself to be a man in his early sixties; a former SAS operative who had started the business in the 80s. He explained that the Taskmaster name was highly regarded, and he was past the point of being able to operate effectively. He’d been monitoring Masters for months, and felt he would be best able to assume the name without interruption. In exchange for that name, his contacts, and his operations, the former would retire, and receive a third of the profit in perpetuity as long as Masters operated as the Taskmaster.
Within a year, Masters had the former Taskmaster eliminated, and began to build up his company. Working mostly as a consultant, he regularly observed mutants in the field, and began to obsessively design countermeasures and strategies for dealing with mutants in combat situations. In order to advance his research, he bankrolled M-Squad, and secretly has been taking their designs and properly weaponizing them for his small team, which works in the shadows of M-Squad’s operations. Officially and up until their run-in with the X-Men, the only thing M-Squad was aware of was that Masters was a former SHIELD agent with connections, who provided the business acumen. Taskmaster had been subsidizing their missions by quietly kidnapping and selling on the market mutants with useful powers. Following the X-Men's trashing of his Chicago operation and the loss of M-Squad, Masters vanished, along with many of his mercenary team.
Masters resurfaced in December 2011, when it was discovered he was up to his old tricks, this time with a fake superhero group in Milwaukee. Masters was using the group as a distraction - he would tell them they were smashing drug manufacturing locations, while in reality, his mercenaries were going in the back door and robbing government facilities for storing criminal evidence and other illegal items. Unperturbed by the X-Men's dismantling of his operation, Masters again disappeared to plan his next money-making scheme.
Socked by: Dex
PB: Wil Wheaton
Wil Wheaton was cast as Taskmaster in homage to the rivalry between "Evil Wil Wheaton" and Sheldon Cooper on Big Bang Theory, given the use of Sheldon's image as the leader of M-Squad.