No one saw this one coming. A Previews exclusive two-pack featuring two fairly obscure characters from the pasts of the Avengers and Captain America. It’s amazing how some of these really obscure characters are getting made. Maybe one day DST may even commission an obscure British character, maybe even one who Captains his own book… Naaaaaaaaaaaaah!
Fairly standard (by now) packaging. A closed carton featuring large scale photographs of the figures inside. The background graphics are similar to the Avengers waves (16 and 17) though the background colour is a far more eye friendly blue. Each side flap is dedicated to one of the characters and features a slightly different pose.
The rear of the box has full figure pictures of the toys and potted histories for each character. Remove the inner tray and you’ll see there’s a veritable arsenal contained within. Most of it belongs to Taskmaster.
The details are a bit hazy to me now but sometime back in the 80’s, maybe early 90’s a disillusioned Steve Rogers resigned as Captain America. He was replaced for a while by John Walker. When Rogers eventually reclaimed his title Walker continued to work for his government in a Cap-inspired costume but bearing the title ‘U.S. Agent’.
I don’t know a great deal about this character but I’ve always liked the costume. It’s very much a repainted Captain America figure but with a brand new head. Remove the mask and there’s a lot going on. U.S. Agent has a mean expression that’d give you second and possibly even third thoughts about messing with him. I like the way he’s been given hair detailing rather than being left a baldy like most ‘masked’ Minimates are. There are a few differences between the U.S. Agent on the box cover and the actual ‘mate. Firstly the expression lines on the mask are gone. Secondly there is a lot less detail around the mouth area than is shown on the box. I’d assume this for aesthetic reasons and it doesn’t spoil the look of the ‘mate.
The costume is well represented. The top half’s chain mail is discernible upon close viewing and surprising goes all the way around the chest block. The tampo print on the front is dynamic and eyecatching, the red and white stripes stand out proud against the black background and muscle definition is kept to a basic level that doesn’t interfere with the lines of the stripes. U.S. Agent’s belt is a re-use of Blade/Nick Fury’s and looks ok but isn’t an exact match of the belt the character wears.
Detailing to the legs doesn’t look very much, there’s a red band around the upper thigh on the right leg. I don’t know what it’s supposed to be but it’s well applied. A really good piece of detailing is the lace up boots. Absolutely tiny but crisply applied and they do help set the character off.
Other re-uses to mention are Cap’s gloves and obviously the shield. Both are beyond criticism as the character himself is moulded on Captain America. One teensy weensy criticism with regard to the shield is the new armband connected to it. The original (and battle damaged, and New Avengers) Cap’s shield had an piece that slid over the characters arm. There have always been complaints that the arm piece impeded the articulation of the arm. DST’s solution has been to create a new piece that can only sit between the wrist and a regular Minimate hand (included) this means the character can wield his shield and bend his arm at the same time.
Thing is, I hate it! The piece stops the hand post from going all the way in to the arm, so the slightest bit of handling makes the hand (and shield) fall out. I’d have rather had the original arm piece, and been able to have the proper Cap-style hand on the end of the arm.
In conclusion: Niggles with the shield aside, this is a great looking Minimate.
MMC Score – 8 out of 10
Little is known about the true identity of the character Taskmaster. What is known is that he has ‘photographic reflexes’ and can mimic fighting styles (and athletic skills) just by watching them be performed. He’s as expert a shield slinger as Captain America and as accurate a marksman as Hawkeye.
This is a very accurate rendition of the Taskmaster though I am slightly disappointed that the mask isn’t the same as on the box art. I think the photo on the box looks far more evil, as befits a bad guy. While the mask on the actual ‘mate comes across a bit bland. Taskmaster’s costume has been created out of a hodgepodge of different pieces from other Minimates. The most obvious being Dr Dooms cape, here in white, and Captain America’s gloves, again in white. His belt looks to be the same as that of Ultimate X-Men’s Wolverine while the sword and scabbard on his back is Blade’s and the the hip and ankle holster (and associated weapons) are from The Punisher.
Happily everything sits together very nicely and the detailing of Taskmaster’s costume is pretty much perfect. One omission would be a lack of buccaneer style boots but I think they would have gotten in the way of the ankle holster so they aren’t missed that much. Another minor gripe is that the Doom cloak restricts Taskmasters articulation – something like the DC Direct Spectre’s Hood and cape ensemble would have served the ‘mate so much better by allowing it more freedom. Those gripes aside this is a very nice looking Minimate.
Taskmaster is absolutely heaving with accessories. As already mentioned he has a sword, a shield, a pistol, and a dagger. He also has a bow & arrow (originally from Grishnakh from the Lord of the Rings line) and fully laden he looks very impressive indeed. The shield is the same as Cap’s/U.S. Agent’s though obviously repainted with Taskmaster’s ‘T’ emblem. The shield seems to be made of a lesser grade plastic than before (this also applies to U.S. Agent) and has warped a bit. It also has the same annoying arm-band as the U.S. Agent shield. I hates it. I really really does!
In Conclusion: Taskmaster’s B-list villain status doesn’t get in the way of this A+ Minimate.
MMC Score – 9 out of 10
Review and pictures by Rad Kerrigan