Fred Van Lente talks Taskmaster series… new villains & secret origin revealed

Following our earlier news, Marvel.com interviewed Fred Van Lente on his new Taskmaster series. Interesting tidbits…

What was heard:

“After the fall of the Osborn regime in Siege, Taskmaster went back to mercenary work as seen in AGE OF HEROES #3,” reminds writer Fred Van Lente. “It turns out that someone is spreading nasty rumors about him; rumors that he’s been flipped to the side of heroes by Steve Rogers after getting captured.”

“Taskmaster has worked as a trainer for villains of all stripes,” says Van Lente, “The top-secret shadow organization that’s been booking his assignments all these years is coming to light to take him down.”

“The Org thinks that the Taskmaster is going to give up the secrets of the villain underworld he’s gained all these years, and they put a bounty on their head,” explains the writer. “You’ve got agents from HYDRA, the Maggia, AIM, the Sons of the Serpent, the Legions of the Living Lightning, and pretty much every other villain organization you’ve ever seen-and a couple of new ones you haven’t.”

“The Don of the Dead will be your new favorite Marvel villain,” vows Van Lente. “I just want to make that totally plain from the beginning. He’s one of my most favorite characters I’ve created, and he runs a drug cartel in Mexico. There, they have a festival called the Day of the Dead-and I don’t want to spoil it, but he may have a connection there.”
“One of the main objectives is to get to the bottom of Taskmaster’s secret origin. He’s had the perfect one up until now; it’s been so secret that even he doesn’t know what it is.”

“Basically, Taskmaster’s power is photographic reflexes-he can fight Spider-Man or Daredevil, for example, and acquire their fighting skill in a matter of minutes,” Van Lente recaps. “But like all powers in the Marvel Universe, these gifts have some consequences. Think of Taskmaster’s brain like a hard-drive, and these big files, the fighting styles, have over time overwritten his older memories. Every time Taskmaster learns a new skill, it over-writes a memory he had from the past. So at this point with years spent training others, he’s completely forgotten his real name, as well as how he got his powers and where he came from.”

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