The MCU’s Next Villain May Be About to Kill a Young Hero

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The Taskmaster is the MCU’s next big villain, but before his cinematic debut he goes up against the last team anyone would expect: Power Pack!

Potential spoilers for Power Pack #3 ahead!

Taskmaster is set to make his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut later this year in Black Widow, but before then he will face the last group he would expect: Power Pack! And while the young team may have a slight advantage over Taskmaster, matters get complicated when their powers start to malfunction. It all goes down in Power Pack #3, by writer Ryan North, artists Nico Leon and Carlos E. Gomez, and colorist Rachelle Rosenberg. The issue, part of a five-part miniseries, will be available in stores and on all digital comics outlets on February 10th.

After years lying dormant and appearing in other character’s titles, Power Pack returned to the Marvel Universe late last year during the Outlawed event, which saw Marvel’s teenaged heroes driven underground thanks to a new, oppressive law (called “Kamala’s Law”) that targets underage heroes. At the end of their first issue, Power Pack runs right into C.R.A.D.L.E., a government agency tasked with regulating teen heroes. Told they must find a mentor, the team hooks up with the mysterious Agent Aether, who, unbeknownst to them is the supervillain The Wizard, who wants the team’s powers for his own agenda, and now Power Pack is about to cross paths with another villain: Taskmaster.

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In special preview pages provided by Marvel, the team is reviewing their situation. Told through Julie Power’s perspective, she wonders if the team has made the right call; she also debates the ethics of Kamala’s Law. The next day, as they leave school, there is a sudden explosion, and Julie sees Taskmaster flee the explosion. Recognizing him and his abilities, the team springs into action.

The preview pages did not offer a reason as to why Taskmaster has his sights set on Power Pack, but he is a mercenary, offering his services to the highest bidder—is someone after the team? Does their recent (unknowing) alliance with the Wizard have anything to do with Taskmaster? More importantly, how will Power Pack handle him? Taskmaster has no superpowers per se but has a super-photographic memory that allows him to imitate his opponent’s fighting style. That is good, but against a team like Power Pack that does no hand to hand combat, that ability may not prove useful. And while it may be tempting to give the advantage to Power Pack, fans learn their powers are malfunctioning—which could give Taskmaster the opening he needs to defeat them. And while the Power siblings have had their abilities for a while, they are still young and inexperienced, which Taskmaster could also use to his advantage.

The Taskmaster has recently taken on some of the most powerful heroes in the Marvel Universe, such as Hyperion. He barely walked away from that fight, but it showed that Taskmaster is willing to go up against just about anyone, even Power Pack.

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