I also realized that he was one of the main villains in the very first Marvel Comic that I remember reading as a kid. I was in grade school and working a paper route in our neighborhood. There was corner store called "Huck's" that carried a few comics and as I'd pass by that store delivering papers in the morning, I'd take a few minutes and flip through what comics looked interesting.
This became a pretty frequent stop especially in the winter when it gave me a few minutes to warm up. I picked up Iron Man #254 that had a Santa Claus shooting a blaster gun at Iron Man on the cover and it said in huge red letters "HO-HO-HOMICIDE!!!" I thought that was about the coolest thing ever and read the book right there.
The bad Santa story was just one of the running plots in the issue. The secondary plot was that Taskmaster was running a training program with 4 hopeful assassins. Ultimately he put them through various death traps, and fights to find out who was the strongest and most cunning. I didn't know anything about his abilities from that issue, but the Skeletor head bad guy instantly got my vote as a pretty cool dude.
Taskmaster - Inks - 392
Oh yeah, and he's got buccaneer boots. So that means he's automatically awesome. Think about it...Captain America, Hawkeye, Cyclops, Deathstroke...the awesome-list goes on.
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