Whirlwind (comics)

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Whirlwind appears on the cover of Avengers #139 (Sep. 1975). Art by John Romita Snr.
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Tales to Astonish #50 (Dec. 1963)
Created by Stan Lee (writer)
Jack Kirby (artist)
In-story information
Alter ego David Cannon
Species Human Mutant
Team affiliations Thunderbolts
Masters of Evil
Notable aliases Human Top, Charles Matthews
Abilities Superhuman agility, reflexes, coordination and balance
Wears full body armor
Use of two hardened tool-steel sawblades mounted on his wrists, throwing shuriken and razor sharp jacks
Ability to spin at subsonic speeds, focus air currents into a jet stream and a windscreen and create small tornadoes

Whirlwind is a fictional character, a supervillain that appears in comic books published by Marvel Comics.

Publication history[edit]

The character first appeared in Tales To Astonish #50 (Dec. 1963) and was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Born in Kansas City, Missouri, David Cannon is a mutant, who after discovering at an early age that he could move at great speeds turns to a life of crime. This eventually brings Cannon, using his first alias the Human Top and pursuing his career as a jewel thief, into conflict with Giant-Man and the Wasp on several occasions.[1] Defeated each time, Cannon then redesigns his costume and adopts the alias of Whirlwind, and adopts the identity of "Charles Matthews", chauffeur of Janet Van Dyne.[2] Whirlwind joined the supervillain group the second Masters of Evil, and participated in a plot to destroy the Avengers.[3] He joined the third Masters of Evil, and participated in a Vermont battle against the Avengers.[4] With Batroc and Porcupine, he went on a mission for the Red Skull.[5]

Cannon continues with the identity of "Charles Matthews",[6] the chauffeur of Janet Van Dyne, first with the intent of robbing her, later with the intent of hitting on her. In the role of Charles, he pines for Janet, making advances towards her when Henry Pym is presumed to be dead during his run in Marvel Feature.[7] Charles is later fired for trying to embezzle Janet's money,[8] and Hank finally discovers that Charles is Whirlwind later on in the series, forcing Whirlwind to abandon the identity.[9]

Whirlwind is then employed by master villain Count Nefaria and joined his Lethal Legion. Nefaria temporarily amplifies the abilities of Whirlwind and super-powered team-mates Power Man and the Living Laser before sending them against the Avengers. The effect, however, is temporary and their combined abilities are drained by Nefaria, who is subsequently defeated by the Avengers.[10] Whirlwind joined the third Masters of Evil in a plan to destroy the Avengers, but caused the defeat of the Masters by attacking prematurely.[11] Whirlwind later upgrades his costume when joining a new version of the Masters of Evil formed by Baron Zemo.[12] Whirlwind partnered with the Trapster, obtained a new battle armor and weapons from the Tinkerer, and battled Captain America in an attempt to bolster his criminal reputation.[13] He then partnered with the Tiger Shark, traveled to San Francisco to steal an experimental "psycho-circuit", and battled the West Coast Avengers.[14] Whirlwind also shows signs of an obsession with the Wasp, as he forces prostitutes to dress in her past costumes and then assaults them.[15]

Whirlwind and Trapster end up fighting, due to a bounty placed on the former by the up-and-coming criminal mastermind Ricadonna. Trapster glues Whirlwind to the floor just at the start of his spin. He continues twirling, breaking many of his bones, including his spine.[16] He makes a full recovery and is forced to join Baron Zemo's team of Thunderbolts.[17] After leaving them, he gathered a group of villains together and tried to extort money from the new Thunderbolts director Norman Osborn, but was viciously beaten by Osborn and is now forced to work for him secretly.[18] In Dark Reign: Zodiac, Cannon is shown as a mole for Zodiac, working as Norman Osborn's chauffeur.[19]

Whirlwind later attacks Hank Pym blaming him for Janet's death during the Secret Invasion and outraged by his taking her codename. He is defeated by the Avengers Academy student Striker. In a conversation between Striker and his mother, it is revealed that she hired Whirlwind to stage the attack to gain publicity for Striker.[20]

Whirlwind was recruited by Mandarin and Zeke Stane into joining the other Iron Man villains in a plot to take down Iron Man. Whirlwind receives a new costume from Mandarin and Zeke Stane.[21]

During the Infinity storyline, Whirlwind was seen with Blizzard II robbing banks when they are approached by Spymaster. Spymaster enlists Whirlwind and Blizzard to help him and the villains he recruited to attack the almost-defenseless Stark Tower.[22]

Powers and abilities[edit]

Whirlwind is a mutant who possesses the ability to rotate his body around its lengthwise axis at great speeds, without impairing his ability to see, speak, or interact with his environment (for instance, pick up objects or change clothes). Although he can rotate at subsonic speeds he can only travel in a straight line for a limited time, or fly like a helicopter for an even shorter length of time. He possesses superhuman agility, reflexes, coordination, and balance, and often uses himself as a human battering ram. Whirlwind has the ability to focus air currents generated by his rotation into a jet stream powerful enough to blast a hole through a brick wall, as well as create a windscreen able to deflect matter as massive as a falling boulder. He also has the ability to create small tornadoes.

Whirlwind wears full body armor. Since upgrading his armor, Whirlwind has added to his offensive capabilities via the use of two 10-inch-diameter (250 mm) hardened tool-steel sawblades mounted on metal wrist bracelets, which are driven by two DC servo-motors each and activated by palm switches. He also uses thrown shuriken and razor sharp jacks, whose damaging potential is greatly increased by the velocity of his whirling powers.

Other versions[edit]

Heroes Reborn[edit]

In the Heroes Reborn reality, Whirlwind is featured as well. This version wears a streamlined suit of armor with multiple blades.[23] He was hired by Hydra to attack Tony Stark. To this end, Whirlwind kidnapped Stark's secretary Pepper Potts and blackmailed Stark to come to the Stark International office on Long Island alone without his "bodyguard" Iron Man (unaware that Stark himself was in reality Iron Man). Going to the office without his Iron Man armor, Tony was more than ready to deal with Whirlwind without his armor. Using various gadgets to defend himself and Pepper, Stark had Whirlwind chase him down to a Stark International Lab. There Tony activated a Kinetic Intake Converter that threatened to destroy Whirlwind if he didn't surrender. Refusing to do so, Whirlwind was engulfed with the converter's energy and killed.[24]


Whirlwind is among the enthralled villains guarding Krona's stronghold. He tries to attack Thor from behind as Thor helps Red Tornado but is shot by Hawkeye.[25]

In other media[edit]


Video games[edit]


  1. ^ Tales To Astonish #50 - 52 + 55
  2. ^ Avengers #46
  3. ^ Avengers #54
  4. ^ Avengers #83
  5. ^ Captain America #130
  6. ^ Marvel Feature #6 Nov. 1972
  7. ^ Marvel Feature #5-6 Sept-Nov 1972
  8. ^ Marvel Feature #9 May 1973
  9. ^ Avengers vol.1, #139 Sept. 1975
  10. ^ Avengers #164 - 166
  11. ^ Avengers #222
  12. ^ Avengers #270 - 277
  13. ^ Captain America #324
  14. ^ West Coast Avengers #16
  15. ^ Avengers vol.3, #71
  16. ^ Daughters of the Dragon #3 (2006)
  17. ^ Thunderbolts vol. 2, #104
  18. ^ Thunderbolts: Reason in Madness
  19. ^ Dark Reign: Zodiac
  20. ^ Avengers Academy #5
  21. ^ Invincible Iron Man #513
  22. ^ Infinity: Heist #1
  23. ^ Heroes Reborn: Masters of Evil (2000)
  24. ^ Iron Man Vol. 2 #3
  25. ^ JLA/Avengers #3

External links[edit]