Came up with the idea for a Taskmaster story a few months ago, and figured I'd play around with character designs while I was warming up this week. I was thinking that Taskmaster is kind of a lost character at the moment. He's popped up quite a bit in the last few years, so someone at Marvel must like him, but it seems to me that they haven't found the right way to handle him yet. Taskmaster was developed as a minion trainer... he runs a school where he trains mercenaries who then look for work in the criminal underworld. This makes absolutely no sense to me, as his only power is Photographic Reflexes, the ability to learn to do something just from watching it. For example he saw Captain America throw his shield once, and is now able to replicate that throw whenever he wishes. This, to me, suggests that being a teacher would be incredibly frustrating as something that he can learn in an instant would require years of training for his students. It'd be like asking Quicksilver to watch over a seniors home.
Enter Quick Study, an orphan with abilities similar to those of old Tasky, but with a few extras on top like an abnormally high IQ and an interest in home made weapons. I'd go with a 6 issue mini that focuses on Quick Study. He starts off doing his own thing, trying to take down small time crooks, gang bangers and other common villains. He's managed to replicate Spider-man's web shooters and is doing his best to put together a high tech costume with limited funds. Then he hooks up with Taskmaster (who's been assigned to check the kid out), who convinces Quick Study to join him in a crime spree. They hit banks, gov't facilities, and even Stark tower setting him against the likes of Spider-man, Daredevil and then building to a big team fight against whatever incarnation of the Avengers is out there these days. In the end you reveal to readers that the crime spree was just an easy way to get heroes to show up, giving Quick Study the resources he needs to learn from, while also giving Taskmaster a chance to really judge how the kid is performing. Quick Study's inventiveness would keep him fresh, as he'd be constantly incorporating new powers and abilities from other characters from throughout the Marvel U.