Due to the fact that he has a very… unique personality, Deadpool has made a lot of friends over the years but also a lot of enemies. A few, however, such as Taskmaster, exist somewhere in between that, endearingly called his frenemies. Seeing that Deadpool and Taskmaster are two of the deadliest mercenaries in Marvel Comics, who would win in a fight, and why?
Both Taskmaster and Deadpool are humans who underwent some sort of augmentation and mutation due to experimental procedures. In ‘Taskmaster’ Vol. 2 #3, we learn that Tony Masters, aka Taskmaster, injected himself with an experimental Nazi version of the Super-Soldier Serum, which didn’t change much regarding his physical accolades but dramatically changed his mental prowess.
You see, the Serum enabled Taskmaster to absorb knowledge almost instantly. It augmented his brain chemistry in a way that enhanced the area of skill observation and retention, as well as both his long-term and short-term memory. That led to the most epic skill – or power, if you will – that Taskmaster has, which is his photographic reflexes.
It enables Tony to perfectly replicate any move or skill he sees in person or on video after seeing it only one time. That includes things like Hawkeye’s archery or a complicated, elaborate piano concerto. Although he can do both, Taskmaster usually hones in on the combative skills when using this power.
The cognitive upgrade gave Taskmaster the ability to push his body past natural human limitations, giving him slightly superhuman reflexes, incredible agility, and, again, slightly superhuman speed, as we saw in ‘Taskmaster’ #4, where he could temporarily move twice as fast as a normal human being.
On the other hand, we have Wade Wilson, aka Deadpool. He was always a popular character among comic book fans, but his popularity skyrocketed into mainstream public after the two (soon to be three) ‘Deadpool’ movies. So, who is Deadpool?
Wade was a highly skilled mercenary with terminal cancer before being taken and experimented on during the Project X experimentations. There, he was injected with a serum made out of Wolverine’s blood (along with other experiments), giving Wade an even stronger healing factor than Wolverine.
That is basically his main superpower – his healing factor is so powerful that even one remaining cell from his entire body can be enough to completely regenerate Deadpool. However, his healing factor is actually quite unique because of his cancer.
His body is in a constant battle between the cancer and the healing factor. The super-cancer, as one can call it after it was affected by the experiments, constantly rapidly destroys cells in Deadpool’s body, whereas the healing factor constantly rapidly regenerates them.
Remove cancer, and Deadpool would quickly ‘bloat’ with new cells being produced to the point where he’d literally explode. Remove the healing factor; the cancer would kill Wade within hours, maybe even minutes. This constant dynamic of cells being destroyed and regenerated is what makes Deadpool’s skin appear so damaged and, well, hideous.
Apart from the healing factor, Deadpool also has some slightly superhuman skills, but the damage to his brain is quite severe. He has multiple personalities and is likely the most insane superhero/antihero in Marvel Comics.
Seeing that both Taskmaster and Deadpool were augmented by external substances that altered their physiology both mentally and physically, I believe both should get points in this category, as their physiology is, in a way, quite similar.
Point(s): Taskmaster (1:1) Deadpool
Strength & speed
We’ll keep this short, as the category is divided between the two mercenaries. Deadpool was shown multiple times (‘Deadpool Corps: Rank and Foul’ #1) to have a low degree of superhuman strength, being capable of lifting around 800 lbs (363 kg) with little effort. That being said, his speed is only at peak human level.
On the other hand, Taskmaster’s photographic reflexes and cognitive enhancements pushed his body over its natural limits, giving him superhumanly fast reflexes and a temporary boost to become twice as fast as a normal human (‘Taskmaster’ #4). However, he can withstand that temporary speed only for minutes before risking permanent physical damage.
Long story short – Deadpool is stronger, and Taskmaster is faster. Ergo, both get points yet again.
Point(s): Taskmaster (2:2) Deadpool
This is where a difference in power levels is felt first. Although Deadpool can get hurt, his bone and muscle tissue are much denser and stronger than your average human. But it’s his healing factor that is unmatched by virtually anyone. Punches, blades, and bullets can hurt Deadpool, but he can heal from just about anything.
Even if you pulverize Wade with TNT or toss him into a wood chipper, Deadpool will heal. Only a single cell of his body staying behind is enough for Deadpool to heal completely. This was especially enhanced when Thanos cursed Deadpool with life.
He cursed him so that he could never enter Death’s realms, essentially making him immortal. That curse was lifted a while ago in the comics, but the unfathomable healing factor still remains. Also, Deadpool does not age at all, meaning he’s essentially immortal in that regard.
As for Taskmaster, he can push himself through pain, but he heals at the rate of a normal human being. Apart from his armored suit and mask, there’s no special buff to help him deal with injuries. He can get hurt, and he can die. Durability is a no-contest category in Deadpool’s favor.
Point: Deadpool (3:2) Taskmaster
Coolest powers & skills
Both Deadpool and Taskmaster are deadly mercenaries with tons of skills as marksmen, swordsmen, and hand-to-hand combatants. Both have insanely cool skills and powers, but their skills and powers differ drastically.
I’ve already mentioned Deadpool’s amazing healing factor but haven’t really disclosed what that encapsulated. He was resistant to almost every disease or toxin imaginable. Foreign chemicals did not affect him, too.
However, Deadpool was also immune to telepathic attacks. Due to the healing factor, having Deadpool’s brain in constant flux and having a completely fractured mind meant that any psychic attack against him was to no avail against Wade.
Apart from that, the guy is a spectacular martial artist due to his unpredictability and intense training, and his reckless attitude makes him even more dangerous, as he is essentially not afraid of anything. Except for cows (yes, cows – read ‘Deadpool’ Vol. 4 #17) and being truly alone (read – ‘Deadpool Corps’ #5).
As for Taskmaster, he has many skills, but essentially, all of them stem from his one awesome power – photographic reflexes. Taskmaster learned and perfectly mastered the skills of some of the most prolific martial artists, combatants, and sharpshooters in Marvel Comics history by simply observing- in person or on video.
That list includes Captain America, Black Widow, the Falcon, Hawkeye, Iron Fist, Iron Man, the Punisher, Spider-Man (yes, he developed gloves and boots to be able to wall-crawl, too), Wolverine, Shang Chi, Bullseye, the Winter Soldier… the list goes on, and on, and on.
Every single character from that list is incredibly deadly on their own. Now, imagine a guy having all of their skills at once. That’s who Taskmaster is – easily the most skilled fighter in Marvel.
The best part about it is that, by replicating one’s skill to perfection and having such incredibly fast reflexes, Taskmaster can almost predict his opponent’s moves before they even make them. And this particular skill-copying ability doesn’t work on martial arts only – it works on just about anything.
This means that Taskmaster can become a famous musician, a highly skilled construction worker, an outstanding surgeon… you name it. The only guy he just couldn’t copy – was Deadpool. Due to Wade’s utter madness and unpredictability, Taskmaster couldn’t figure out his moves.
Another guy who had the upper hand on Taskmaster in combat is Moon Knight because, although Tony could technically replicate his fighting style – he didn’t want to because Moon Knight was crazy enough to actually take damage deliberately to inflict more damage.
With everything said, I’d still give this category to Deadpool. Although Taskmaster’s abilities are incredibly cool, they don’t really work to the same extent against Deadpool, whereas Deadpool’s powers work on just about anyone.
Point: Deadpool (4:2) Taskmaster
Comic book encounters
And finally – which of these dudes wins in the comics more often?
The relationship between Deadpool and Tasky – as he so affectionately calls him – is quite interesting. They were enemies, rivals, and then kind of friends? Frenemies would be the right word, I guess.
In their first encounter in ‘Deadpool’ #2, Taskmaster wanted to show his pupils the ultimate amount of skill by defeating Deadpool in combat. However, Deadpool got the best of him in that fight due to his unpredictability.
Taskmaster vowed to find a way to beat Deadpool, but more often than not, the Merc with a Mouth emerged victorious in their fights. In ‘Cable & Deadpool’ #36, Deadpool beats Taskamster in front of an audience he wants to impress and later thanks Tony for ‘letting him win.’
Taskmaster tells Wade he never let him win: “The truth is… You’re that good. You’ve always been that good. Which won’t get you a cup of coffee until you figure out how to be a professional…”
Then there was the time when Tasky chose not to try and copy Deadpool, which is when he kind of had the upper hand on him. Taskmaster realized the Punisher fared well against Deadpool, so he decided to replicate Castle’s moves against DP – and it worked for a while.
The two eventually kind of became buddies and worked together numerous times. My favorite encounter between these two was when Deadpool became suicidal and actually hired mercenaries – Taskmaster and Bullseye, to off him. Once they figured out he was the one to hire them, they denied him the satisfaction of ending his life. They had a great plan, though:
We can go through these for a long time, but the fact is that Deadpool wins against Taskamster more often than not. Hence, he deserves the point for this category.
Point: Deadpool (5:2) Taskmaster
Taskmaster vs. Deadpool: Who wins?
As the score would suggest, Deadpool would win most of his fights against Taskmaster. Tony is methodical, and incredibly skilled, and based his strategy on replicating and predicting his opponent’s next move.
Deadpool is completely erratic and unpredictable, so he wins most of the battles against Taskmaster in the comics. Even if you negate that and have Taskmaster simply use a different style – as he did when he used the Punisher’s moves against Wade – it still leaves Deadpool with a superior power set – namely, his unprecedented healing factor.
Ergo, even if Taskmaster wins once, twice, or ten times, Deadpool will still come back. It would only take one win for Deadpool to end Tony Masters forever if he really wanted to kill him.
And, if we were to compare the MCU Taskmaster with the Ryan Reynolds version of Deadpool – the outcome would be, even more dominantly, a Deadpool victory. Honestly, the MCU Taskmaster was kind of lame compared to the comic book version – not backstory-wise, but rather skill & power-wise.
There’s nothing there that’d make me believe she could defeat Deadpool, who was literally torn in half by the Juggernaut and came back later like nothing even happened.
Deadpool has Tasky’s number – luckily enough for Tony, they’re not really enemies anymore.
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