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Avengers #196: Review

Jun 1980
David Michelinie, George Perez

Story Name:

The Terrible Toll of the Taskmaster

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers #196 Review by (March 2, 2010)
Conclusion of a three-part story. First full appearance of the Taskmaster. Avengers: Captain America, Iron Man, Wasp, Yellowjacket, Vision, Beast, Wonder Man, Ms. Marvel, Jocasta, Ant-Man (Scott Lang).

Avengers #196 Review by (April 7, 2015)
Selbe rebels and frees the 3 insect heroes to join in the fight. Ant-Man puts his helmet on and hopes none of the Avengers had a chance to recognise him as Scott Lang. Yellowjacket already knows his dual ID from his origin, and maybe Hank told Jan. Iron Man would certainly recognise him because Scott works closely with Tony Stark. And some of the other Avengers met him in #181. Taskmaster will have a long villainous career, starting with facing Ant-Man again in Marvel Team-Up #103 where he's still running his training schools.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #196 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro
The sinister Taskmaster has Wasp, Yellowjacket, and Ant-Man imprisoned in stasis clamps which will tear them apart should they try to use their shrinking abilities. He demonstrates his prowess by ordering a team of trainees to attack and try to kill him; he then takes them all down with a series of incredibly expert fighting moves. He explains that he was born with photographic reflexes, the ability to imitate perfectly any action he sees. He trained by watching news footage of various heroes until he could mimic their moves, and decided that crime was the more lucrative course of action, and setting up henchmen training academies was the safest. But the operation has been jeopardized by Solomon’s unauthorized cloning experiments. The Taskmaster orders the aging administrator to fight him—and the menace in the villain’s eyes is enough to induce a fatal heart attack in his lackey. Selbe is then promoted to "Solomon." The Avengers waiting outside are contacted by the ants and they crash into the building and mix it up with the guards. Captain America and Iron Man take on the Taskmaster but he resists capture since he can anticipate their moves. Fleeing, the villain runs into Jocasta, and he can’t defeat her, since he has never seen her before. The robot delays him long enough for her teammates to arrive but Taskmaster sets off a magnesium flare and escapes while the heroes are blinded. The Avengers formally welcome Jocasta to the team.

George Perez
Jack Abel
Carl Gafford
George Perez (Cover Penciler)


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