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Art by Trevor Von Eeden.
|First appearance||Black Lightning #1|
|Created by||Tony Isabella|
Trevor Von Eeden
|Alter ego||Tobias Whale|
|Place of origin||New Earth|
|Team affiliations||The 100|
|Notable aliases||The Great White Whale, Whale|
Advanced Hand-to-Hand Combatant
Fictional character biography
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (December 2009)
Tobias Whale is an African American albino kingpin, who worked his way up from the rackets to head the Metropolis branch of the 100. A school teacher named Jefferson Pierce spoke out against the 100's drug trafficking, and so they made an example of one of his students named Earl Clifford where Joey Toledo led his men into attacking Earl which ended with Earl hit by a car. Seeking to avenge the murdered student and receiving help from his tailor friend Peter Gambi, Pierce becomes Black Lightning and attacks Joey and his men. After defeating his henchmen, Joey Toledo is grabbed by Black Lightning who arranges for him to meet him at Garfield High School's gymnasium to describe the 100 to him.
When Black Lightning meets with Joey Toledo, Merlyn also appears upon being hired by Toledo to kill Black Lightning. Their fight is crashed by Talia al Ghul and the League of Shadows who are after Merlyn when he left the group after failing to kill Batman. The resulting battle ended with Joey Toledo being killed by a League of Assassins operative. Afterwards, Pierce is so successful in avenging Earl's death that Tobias is sent to jail.
When he breaks out of prison some months later, he teams up with Syonide II in order to distribute a new highly addictive drug. The drug's formula was supposedly in the possession of a woman named Violet Harper. Tobias sends Syonide to retrieve the formula. Unable to gain any information or find any trace of the formula, Syonide kills Harper. Violet Harper later comes back to life when an Aurakle possesses her lifeless body, this new being called herself Halo. Once he learned of Harper's resurrection, Tobias assumed that she must have memorized the formula. But since Harper has no memories from before her death, a frustrated Syonide killed her parents during the Outsiders' fight with Tobias Whale's henchmen.
Often called "the Great White Whale" behind his back, Tobias Whale weighs close to 400 lbs. However, most of his considerable bulk is muscle.
It is unknown whether Tobias ever was associated with the 100's successor group, the 1000.
Whale returned in the limited series Gotham Underground and has moved to Gotham City where he is attempting to become the Capo di tutti capi boss of bosses, following the death of the Black Mask. After taking over both the Galante and Odessa crime families, he ends up in a gang war with Intergang. They buy him out and make him the CEO of Kord Enterprises which has become a front for Intergang's criminal activities.
The New 52
In September 2011, The New 52 rebooted DC's continuity. In this new timeline, Tobias Whale is re-introduced when he gets word that a drug deal done by his representatives was disrupted by both Black Lightning and Blue Devil. He decides to have them hunted down in order to get revenge on them.
During the 2015 "Convergence" storyline, the pre-Zero-Hour version of Tobias Whale has been trapped in his Metropolis for a full year. He has taken over the criminal underground. He struggles to gain influence over the mysterious food deliveries as this is something the city values. He is opposed by the vigilante Jean-Paul Valley and the stranded playboy Bruce Wayne. Whale is unaware that Wayne is secretly Batman.
In other media
- While Tobias Whale is not present in Justice League Unlimited, a similar character named Steven Mandragora appears in episode "Double Date", voiced by Glenn Shadix. An amalgam of Sicilian crime lord from DC Comics Stefano Mandragora and of Tobias Whale, the latter one more visually based on him, he is a crime lord who killed Helena's parents when she was younger, prompting her to become Huntress and join Justice League. Years later, he is seen in federal custody to give an information of organised crime. When Helena discovers this, she goes to kill him. Steven is released from custody by his henchman who also rescued his son Edgar from rival gang and attempted to escape with him. When Helena caught him with the aid of Question, she wants to kill him, but when she discovers that he has a son, she decides not to kill him, putting him in federal custody again. Unlike the comics version of Tobias Whale, he is hinted to have metahuman powers due to his immense strength and endurance.
- Steven Mandragora's son Edgar Mandragora appears in the Justice League Unlimited episode "Double Date", the Batman Beyond episode "Mind Games" and The Zeta Project episode "Ro's Gift" voiced by Brian Tochi and John Rhys-Davies. Edgar Mandragora was the son of Steven Mandragora and later a member of the Brain Trust. Edgar was kidnapped by a rival of his father's, forcing Steven Mandragora to stall testifying in court to wait out his rescue. His father had ensured that they would be provided for to slip away. However, the Justice League interfered. Huntress, who had a personal vendetta against Edgar's father, thought of killing him, but instead dropped a load of girders on him. Mandragora had to cooperate with the authorities for his Edgar's sake. The details of how Edgar grew up were unspecified, but he discovered he had psychic powers, including telepathy and telekinesis. He became a member of the Brain Trust, a secret society of metahumans who subtly kidnap children with similar gifts, claiming to the parents that they will help them. One prospect was Tamara Caulder, who had a latent psychic gift. Edgar was waiting for Batman at a fake school, where he trapped the Dark Knight in a mental illusion, all the while telekinetically throwing objects at him. Luckily, Batman is able to fight the illusion and render Edgar unconscious. Edgar was later able to escape prison, along with Bombshell. While playing chess with two more kidnapped children, Edgar received a telepathic message from her and Schiz about a girl who could communicate with machines, not knowing it was actually her robot friend in disguise. They kidnap her and try forcing her to fix a bomb, unwilling to believe that she did nothing. Transita was able to subtly fix the bomb, covering for Ro. The Trust then planned on using the bomb to release ultraband radiation on the nearby town, supposedly awaking the dormant powers in other children. However, Ro is able to turn the children against the Trust, having Amp boost Schiz's powers to high degree to envelop Edgar and Bombshell, rendering them unconscious from the trauma of overwhelming thoughts. Authorities then arrested the Trust members.
- Tobias Whale appears in Beware the Batman, voiced by Michael-Leon Wooley. He is Gotham City's leading crime lord and has employed criminals like his lawyer/enforcer Phosphorus Rex. In addition, Humphry Dumpler used to work as his accountant, which leads him to target Whale and James Gordon for revenge. Tobias can be reasonable with Batman at times, and the two have even worked together twice, though Tobias betrays Batman in at least one of those times by siding with Ra's al Ghul instead.
- Marvin "Krondon" Jones III portrays Tobias Whale as the main antagonist of Black Lightning. His backstory is that he is a former politician who rose through the ranks of local government through corruption, but was brought down by Jefferson's father Alvin. After killing Alvin, Tobias was kicked out of the government and became the leader of The 100 Gang upon receiving ownership of it from Lady Eve's people. He has Joey Toledo and Syonide as his enforcers and has a younger sister named Tori (portrayed by Edwina Findley). During his battles with Black Lightning which cost Tobias the life of Tori, Tobias later gained the services of Khalil under the Painkiller alias after the A.S.A. gave him a cybernetic spine implant. In the episode "The Book of Consequences: Chapter Two: Master Lowry," Tobias Whale goes to visit the crypt of Tori to pay his respects where he is arrested by Deputy Chief Henderson and his fellow police officers for the murder of Alvin Pierce.
Tobias Whale appears in Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay, voiced by Dave Fennoy. He had a flash drive containing leaked information in his possession which Amanda Waller sent Task Force X (consisting of Deadshot, Black Manta, Count Vertigo, and Punch and Jewelee) to recover. He subdues Vertigo and Deadshot in a fight, but is killed when Count Vertigo uses his "Vertigo Effect" to weaken him and Punch uses his sting string to force him into shooting himself in his head.
- Black Lightning#1
- Black Lightning #2-3
- Batman and the Outsiders #20. DC Comics.
- "Gotham Underground" #1-8 (December 2007 to August 2008). DC Comics.
- DC Universe Presents #13. DC Comics.
- Batman: Shadow Of The Bat #1 (April 2015). DC Comics
- Ramos, Dino-Ray (August 10, 2017). "'Black Lightning' Adds Marvin "Krondon" Jones III As Villain Tobias Whale". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 10, 2017.
- Tobias Whale at the DCU Guide