Collects Taskmaster (2002) #1-4, Taskmaster (2010) #1-4, material from Marvel Comics Presents (2007) #2, Age of Heroes (2010) #3. No job is too tough for Taskmaster! First up: corporate sabotage against Stark Industries under the employ of Iron Man’s on-again, off-again foe Sunset Bain! But that soon brings the Taskmaster into direct contact with Tony Stark himself — and a SWAT team loaded for bear! But nothing will keep the multiskilled merc from his million-dollar payout - Viva Las Vegas! Then, are you prepared for the Taskmaster’s secret origin? He has trained henchmen for every terrorist organization and criminal cartel in the Marvel Universe. So when word spreads that the Taskmaster has turned traitor, a billion-dollar bounty is put on his head. To keep himself safe, the Taskmaster must attempt his hardest task of all: figuring out who he really is!
Like a surfer riding a wave of weirdness, this tale opens up the personal life of one of Marvel's ubiquitous villains, the caped and corpse-masked combat trainer of other villains known as Taskmaster. As the story begins, he is sitting in a late-night diner, struggling to remember just who he really is. Immediately, however, he is attacked by competing teams of assassins from nefarious groups who all believe he has betrayed them, sending him and a waitress from the diner on the run to save their lives and find the facts. From there, page by page and panel by panel, the action gets much stranger. The Taskmaster turns out to have the ability to combine the fighting skills of multiple superheroes and villains, while his own personality is shoved aside and sometimes lost. Van Lente revels in this overcomplicated, self-referential nuttiness. Palo's art also embraces the jumpy plot, with overlapping images and ragged, rugged characters. The story works as light adventure with a high body count, but it manages to evoke sympathy for a character who is forced to be both hero and villain.