Black Widow theory: Did Robert Downey Jr’s Iron Man create Taskmaster?

Black Widow: Scarlett Johansson stars in latest Marvel trailer

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Black Widow will see Natasha Romanoff (played by Scarlett Johanssen) return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe after her sacrifice in Avengers: Endgame. The film is a sort-of prequel, taking place after the events of Captain America: Civil War. In the film, Black Widow is up against a brutal antagonist – Taskmaster – but one theory suggests this villain may be closer to home than we think.

With every new announcement about the MCU, fans begin to buzz with theories around how the films could connect, and what could be in store.

For example, in 2020, it was suggested that Robert Downey Jnr, who played Iron Man, could be making a cameo appearance in the film.

Fans will remember, like Black Widow in Avengers: Endgame, Iron Man also made an important sacrifice in order to save the world.

Tony Stark gave his life when he wore the Infinity Gauntlet, which had too much gamma radiation for him to withstand, and he subsequently died after defeating Thanos once and for all.

Given when the new movie takes place, fans have suggested Tony could turn up to call Black Widow back to defeat Thanos, as he would still be alive.

However, another theory has popped up which suggests, once again, Iron Man has made a major error and created yet another supervillain: Taskmaster.

According to comic book fan channel CBR, Iron Man could have inadvertently created another villain who then, in turn, terrorises the Avengers – just like Ultron, among others.

Fans will remember Obadiah Stane, AKA Iron Monger, and Aldrich Killian, from the Iron Man movies, both of whom became villains after their hatred for Tony Stark consumed them.

Ultron was also created by Tony and Bruce Banner, in Avengers: Age of Ultron. The battle against Ultron destroyed an entire country, which had major ramifications for the Avengers in following movies, thanks to the revenge plot of Helmut Zemo.

Clearly, Tony has a knack for making supervillains, albeit accidentally, and CBR suggests the same could have happened with Taskmaster.

In the comics, Taskmaster’s main skill is copying the moves of those he fights, making him an impossible opponent to beat.

The character arc sees Tony Masters, a young man with photographic memory, learn his trade through watching others fight, and become a professional criminal, sporting a skull mask and hood.

While it is unclear how he has turned up in Black Widow, the trailer shows how he has been watching the Avengers and learning their moves in order to beat them.

He uses a bow and arrow, much like Hawkeye, and a shield, like Captain America, as well as a stance similar to that of Black Panther.

One moment in the trailer shows Taskmaster watching footage of Black Widow fighting, which he then uses against her, copying her moves almost exactly.

The theory mooted by CBR is, rather than Taskmaster following the arc of the comics, and being a young man with special abilities, it is in fact technology created by Tony which enables him to fight in this way.

At the end of Captain America: Civil War, Captain America and Iron Man fight in Siberia, and The Cap was winning until Iron Man asked F.R.I.D.A.Y. to analyse his opponents moves.

As a result, Iron Man could then counterattack Steve Rogers, ultimately beating him.

In the fight, Iron Man’s mask was left on the ground, shredded and broken, as well as bits of his suit.

It could be another villain tucked away in Siberia, which is partly where Black Widow is set, finds the technology and utilises it for their own ends: to beat their opponents with their own fighting style.

In an abandoned Hydra base in Siberia, Iron Man and Captain America find thousands of winter soldiers in cryogenic sleep, so it could be one of them made their escape and became the Taskmaster, thanks to Tony’s tech.

If this is true, and Tony did inadvertently create the tech which helped Taskmaster come into being, it would serve as a perfect reason for him to have a cameo: Iron Man must come back to, once again, stop his own creation from destroying those he loves.

Black Widow is out in cinemas and on Disney Plus from July 9

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