Whiplash is the name of several fictional characters in comic books published by Marvel Comics. Each Whiplash is a supervillain in the Marvel Universe, with the first and latest appearing as prominent members of Iron Man's rogues gallery. The first Whiplash, Mark Scarlotti, also went by the name Blacklash. The newest Whiplash, Anton Vanko, is based on the version of the character that appears in the film Iron Man 2.
Mark Scarlotti first appeared as Whiplash in Tales of Suspense #97–99 (Jan.-March 1968), with the storyline resolved in Iron Man and Sub-Mariner #1 (April 1968) and Iron Man #1 (May 1968) Whiplash becomes a recurring foe for Iron Man, and appeared in Iron Man #62 (Sept. 1973); #72 (Jan. 1974) and Marvel Team-Up #72 (Aug. 1978). The character returned in Iron Man #123–124 (June–July 1979) and #126–127 (Sept.-Oct. 1979), and then returned as the upgraded "Blacklash" in Iron Man #146 -147 (May–June 1981). Scarlotti made a brief appearance as Whiplash in Marvel Two-In-One #96 (Feb. 1983). The character battled both Iron Man and Spider-Man in Marvel Team-Up #145 (Sept. 1984) and reappeared in Spectacular Spider-Man #101 (Apr. 1985) and Captain America #319 (Sept. 1986). Blacklash featured as a mercenary in Iron Man #223–224 (Oct.-Nov. 1987); Iron Man #239 – 240 (Feb.-March 1989) and Amazing Spider-Man #319 (Sept. 1989). The character eventually reappeared in Iron Man vol. 3, #8 (Sept. 1998) and #26 (March 2000), before being killed in battle in #28 (May 2000).
The Leeann Foreman version of Whiplash appeared in Marvel Comics Presents #49-50 (May 1990), Amazing Spider-Man #340 (October 1990) and #343 (January 1991), Captain America #389-391 (August-September 1991), Heroes for Hire #4 (October 1997), and Marvel Knights Spider-Man #6 (November 2004).
The Anton Vanko version first appeared in Iron Man vs. Whiplash #1-4 (January-April 2010). He later appeared as a member of the Masters of Evil in Secret Avengers #21.1 (March 2012), Harley Davidson / Avengers #1-2 (March, September 2012), and Secret Avengers #29-32 (September-December 2012).
Fictional character biography
Blacklash (center) features on the cover of Marvel Team-Up #145 (September 1984). Art by Greg LaRocque
|First appearance||Tales of Suspense #97 (January 1968) (as Whiplash)
Iron Man #146 (May 1981) (as Blacklash)
|Created by||Stan Lee and Gene Colan|
|Alter ego||Mark Scarlotti|
|Team affiliations||Maggia (Nefaria family's branch)
Mark Scarlotti is originally a gifted electrical technician at Stark International's Cincinnati branch, but desires a life of luxury and becomes a professional criminal. With a costume and a sophisticated metal whip of his own design, the character becomes Whiplash, a weapons designer, special agent, and assassin for the criminal organization the Maggia. On behalf of the Maggia, Whiplash fights the hero Iron Man – secretly inventor Tony Stark and Scarlotti's former employer – and AIM agents attacking a Maggia gambling ship.
Scarlotti is assigned to work undercover for the Maggia at Stark International's Cincinnati plant, and becomes Head of Research. As Whiplash, Scarlotti then has another inconclusive battle with Iron Man and flees the scene, quitting the Maggia. Whiplash, together with fellow supervillains the Melter and Man-Bull, is recruited by other-dimensional villain the Black Lama to form the team the Death Squad and fight Iron Man. They enter a "super-villain war" to win the Black Lama's Golden Globe of Power, but are all defeated.
Whiplash rejoins the Maggia and battles the heroes Spider-Man and Iron Man in New Jersey, eventually being defeated by the vigilante Wraith. Criminal mastermind Justin Hammer hires Whiplash, and with the Melter and the original Blizzard attempt the robbery of an Atlantic City casino, but are stopped by Iron Man. Whiplash is released from prison by Hammer and battles Iron Man again as one of Hammer's costumed operatives, and despite overwhelming odds the hero defeats the villains.
Scarlotti is re-employed by an unnamed consortium, financed by Hammer, to kill Stark employee Vic Martinelli, and is provided with an upgraded costume and weaponry and the new alias Blacklash. Despite the upgrades, however, Scarlotti is defeated by Iron Man and humiliated by being dragged before his employers. Scarlotti makes a brief appearance as Whiplash as a paid employee of the master villain the Mad Thinker in a failed attempt to kill the hero the Thing who is recuperating at a New York hospital.
Scarlotti is eventually diagnosed as manic-depressive by prison psychiatrists. He attempts to reform, but rejected by his parents and residents of his home town, Scarlotti becomes Blacklash again. Blacklash attempts an assassination for the Maggia, he is confronted by Spider-Man whom he weakens with his whip, but is defeated by the second Iron Man. Spider-Man beats Blacklash once again and is also apprehended by Captain America while committing several robberies. Blacklash is rehired by Justin Hammer and sent with the Beetle and the second Blizzard to assassinate Hammer's former agent Force. Iron Man, Jim Rhodes and Force, however, defeat the trio.
At Hammer's request Blacklash, Boomerang, and the second Blizzard stop industrial sabotage by the vigilante the Ghost. Blacklash is sent to work with Iron Man and Jim Rhodes against the saboteur, but betrays them. Together with Spider-Man villain the Rhino, Blacklash hunts down fellow rogue agent the Scorpion, who fails to return stolen weaponry to Hammer.
Scarlotti decides to renounce his criminal identity and marries and has a child. A lack of money forces Scarlotti to assume his identity again, and he becomes the target of an assassin, who kills his wife when she returns to their apartment. As Blacklash, Scarlotti then finds and kills the assassin, and vows to abandon the identity of Blacklash forever. Scarlotti, however, is hired by a rival of Stark and returns as Whiplash, with an upgraded costume and new weaponry. Whiplash manages to battle Iron Man to a standstill in their first encounter, but is killed several weeks later by Iron Man's new sentient armor, which crushes Scarlotti's throat against Iron Man's wishes.
|First appearance||Marvel Comics Presents #49 (May 1990)|
|Created by||Erik Larsen|
|Alter ego||Leeann Foreman|
|Team affiliations||Femme Fatales
Band of Baddies
The second Whiplash is Leeann Foreman, a professional criminal that was born in Wilmington, Delaware. She was a mutant with unrevealed abilities and used adamantium wires connected to her gloves as whips. She was part of Critical Mass's mutant Band of Baddies. The Baddies kidnapped a mutant girl and her father in order to coerce them to join their band. They forced the daughter to knock out Spider-Man and Wolverine, but they quickly recovered. The daughter then unleashed her powers, blew up the warehouse they were in, and defeated all of the Baddies. Whiplash disappeared after the daughter's telekinetic explosion enabled her to get free.
She later joined the Femme Fatales, and was hired by the Chameleon to lure Spider-Man into a trap by threatening a United Nations ambassador. Spider-Man defeated the Femme Fatales and saved the ambassador. The Fatales then joined forces with the Scorpion and the Tarantula, but all of them were defeated by Spider-Man and the Black Cat. The Femme Fatales later received an invitation to join Superia and her organization of female criminals, the Femizons. They accepted, and were among the superhuman females aboard Superia's cruise ship, where they battled Captain America and the Paladin. Whiplash also traveled to Superia's private island to be one of her new Femizons.
After the group disbanded, Whiplash teamed up with Orka, Shockwave and Killer Shrike in a plot to take over a retired aircraft carrier, the USS Intrepid. She and her allies were defeated by Heroes for Hire. She was later seen in "Bar With No Name" and in a black market auction for the Venom Symbiote.
Two villains, a woman called Whiplash and a man called Blacklash, appear during the outset of the Superhuman Civil War. Both are past associates of the Swordsman (Andreas von Strucker) and frequenters of BDSM events before becoming supervillains. The duo are forcibly recruited into the Thunderbolts.
Whiplash (Anton Vanko). Art by Marko Djurdjevic.
|First appearance||Iron Man vs. Whiplash #1 (December 2009)|
|Created by||Marc Guggenheim (Writer)
Philipe Briones (Artist)
Marko Djurdjevic (Artist)
|Alter ego||Anton Vanko|
|Team affiliations||Masters of Evil|
The most recent Whiplash is Anton Vanko (Russian: Анто́н Ва́нко, sharing the same name as the original Crimson Dynamo although with no relation to him), a young scientist from a small Russian village by the name of Volstok. One day, the village is attacked by someone wearing a stolen suit of Iron Man armor, who murders a number of townspeople, including Vanko's father (Igor Vanko Russian: И́горь Ва́нко) in an attempt to frame Tony Stark.
Using a specialized rifle, Vanko is able to shoot the impostor just before he flees, causing the chest plate on the armor to come off. Vanko becomes obsessed with exacting vengeance on Stark, still believing him to be the man who attacked his village, and decides to use the chest plate to fashion a suitable weapon to do so. Over the next six months, he reverse engineers a suit of body armor equipped with energy whips, and vows to kill Stark in order to avenge his father.
After breaking into the prison where Stark is being held for his alleged crimes, Vanko kills several guards and attempts to track down and murder Stark and his confidant Pepper Potts. Stark fights off Vanko using a crude suit of Iron Man armor fashioned from parts of various machines around the prison, and forces him to flee. After Stark tracks down the criminal syndicate who framed him, Vanko arrives at their headquarters, intent on finishing off Iron Man once and for all. It is there that Vanko learns that Stark was indeed framed and that the syndicate was hired to destroy Volstok by secret international consortium funded by several governments including USA and Russia, notably Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, in order to wipe out an activist who was creating anti-Putin sentiments. Despite learning of Iron Man's innocence, Vanko makes one final attempt to kill him, claiming that even though he did not destroy the village, his technology did. After the building catches fire, both men are ultimately forced to run to safety, and Vanko then makes his escape. Following this, Stark is cleared of his alleged crimes, and helps rebuild Volstok. As this is happening, Vanko is seen in Moscow approaching Saint Basil's Cathedral in the Red Square preparing to properly exact vengeance this time around.
Powers and abilities
Mark Scarlotti, courtesy of Justin Hammer, wears a bulletproof costume and wields a pair of cybernetically-controlled titanium whips that can extend to be swung fast enough to deflect bullets, or become rigid and be used as nunchaku or vaulting-poles. He also carries a variety of devices in a weapons pouch, including anti-gravity bolas and a necro-lash which releases electrical energy generated by his gauntlets. Scarlotti is a research engineer and weapons design specialist, with a college degree in engineering.
Leeann Foreman wears two gauntlets containing three spring-loaded retractable omnium steel whip-like cables on each of her arms. Each cable can extend a maximum length of about 25 feet and contains needle-sharp adamantium barbs on the tips. She wears a padded costume of synthetic stretch fabric laced with kevlar, leather shoulder padding, and steel breastplates and mask, which provides her some protection from physical damage.
The unnamed Whiplash and Blacklash have no apparent superhuman abilities, relying on advanced energized whips.
Anton Vanko possesses a suit of armor equipped with two energy whips built into the wrists. The whips are shown to be powerful enough to slash through a metal staircase, as well as deflect a barrage of gunfire. He is also a skilled athlete and possesses a deep understanding of robotics, enough that he was able to fashion his suit from a destroyed piece of Stark technology.
The Ultimate Marvel version of Whiplash appears in the 150th issue of Ultimate Spider-Man. He is among a crowd as at a Tony Stark donation party outside the New York Hall of Science, when he attacks him, only to be stopped by Spider-Man. He is seen wielding two electrical whips powered by some kind of battery. When asked by Tony Stark as to why he is attacking him, Whiplash believes he is on a "mission from God to kill Tony Stark". It is revealed that he indeed is a Russian terrorist named Anton Vanko.
In other media
- Mark Scarlotti appears as Blacklash in the 1994 Iron Man animated series, voiced initially by James Avery and later by Dorian Harewood. He is a servant of the Mandarin alongside MODOK, Hypnotia, Dreadknight, Grey Gargoyle, Blizzard, Living Laser, and Justin Hammer.
- Whiplash appears in the 2009 animated series Iron Man: Armored Adventures, voiced by Peter Kelamis. This version is the cybernetic hitman of inventor/arms dealer Mr. Fix. He appears in the episodes "Whip Lash", "Man and Iron Man", "Invincible Iron Man: Disassembled", "Invincible Iron Man: Reborn", "Titanium vs. Iron", "Hostile Takeover", and "The Hammer Falls".
- The unnamed female Whiplash from Thunderbolts appears in the episode "The Breakout, Part 1" of the 2010 animated series The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes.
- The Anton Vanko version of Whiplash will appear in the summer 2013 animated special Phineas and Ferb: Mission Marvel.
- Mickey Rourke portrays Ivan Antonovich Vanko / Whiplash (Russian: Ива́н Анто́нович Ва́нко) in the 2010 feature film Iron Man 2. Elements of the Crimson Dynamo are incorporated into the character.
- The Mark Scarlotti version of Whiplash appears as a boss in the Iron Man video game, voiced by Zach McGowan. This version possesses the ability to extend straight, black, energy-charged whips from his hands, and can also create a shield around himself.
- The Anton Vanko version of Whiplash is featured as a boss in the Facebook game Marvel: Avengers Alliance.
- 2 figures of Whiplash were released in Hasbro's 3.75" Iron Man 2 movie tie-in line. A figure based on his appearance in Iron Man 2 was released in wave 2 and a figure based on the Anton Vanko version of Whiplash was released in wave 5.
- A figure of the Ivan Vanko Whiplash was released in the Final Battle 3-pack from the Marvel Super Hero Squad line, packaged with figures of Iron Man a Hammer Drone.
- A figure of Whiplash, based on his appearance in Iron Man 2 was released in wave 35 of the Marvel Minimates line, and a battle damaged version was released as an exclusive to the Borders bookstore chain.
- Hot Toys released a 12" figure of Whiplash as he appears in the film Iron Man 2.
- Mega Bloks released a Whiplash mini-figure in their series 2 figure blind packs.
- "Whiplash Tears Into Iron Man this November". Marvel.com. August 14, 2009. Archived from the original on August 30, 2012. Retrieved August 30, 2012.
- Tales of Suspense #97 – 99 (Jan.-March 1968); Iron Man and Sub-Mariner #1 (April 1968)
- Iron Man #1 (May 1968)
- Iron Man #62 (Sep. 1973)
- Iron Man #72 (Jan. 1974)
- Marvel Team-Up #72 (Aug. 1978)
- Iron Man #123 – 124 (Jun. – Jul. 1979)
- Iron Man #126–127 (Sept.-Oct. 1979)
- Iron Man #146–147 (May–June 1981)
- Marvel Two-In-One #96 (Feb. 1983)
- Marvel Team-Up #145 (Sept. 1984)
- The Spectacular Spider-Man #101 (April 1985)
- Captain America #319 (Sept. 1986)
- Iron Man #223–224 (Oct.-Nov. 1987)
- Iron Man #239–240 (Feb.-March 1989)
- Amazing Spider-Man #319 (Sept. 1989)
- Elektra #5–7 (March–May 1997)
- Iron Man #8 vol. 2, (Sept. 1998) & 26 & 28 (March & May 2000)
- Marvel Comics Presents #49-50
- Amazing Spider-Man #340
- Amazing Spider-Man #343
- Captain America #389-390
- Heroes for Hire #4
- Marvel Knights Spider-Man #6
- Thunderbolts #104 (Sept. 2006)
- Iron Man vs Whiplash #1
- Iron Man vs. Whiplash #2-4
- Harley-Davidson / Avengers #1-2 (March, September 2012)
- Secret Avengers #21.1 (January 2012)
- Iron Man vs Whiplash #2
- Ultimate Iron Man vol. 2, #1 – 4 (Feb. – May 2008) & #5 (Oct. 2008)
- Ultimate Spider-Man #150
- "Phineas and Ferb: Mission Marvel Preview". Marvel.com. July 18, 2012. Archived from the original on August 31, 2012. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
- Michael Fleming, Marc Graser (2009-03-11). "Mickey Rourke set for 'Iron Man 2'". Variety. Retrieved 2009-03-11.
- Mark Scarlotti at the Marvel Universe wiki
- Mark Scarlotti on Marvel Database, a Marvel Comics wiki
- Leeann Foreman on Marvel Database, a Marvel Comics wiki
- Leeann Foreman at the Comic Book DB
- Anton Vanko at the Marvel Universe wiki
- Anton Vanko on Marvel Database, a Marvel Comics wiki