9/28/2010

In honor of the release of the DVD for Iron Man 2, we'd like to take a look back at some of the background of the movie. Today, we'll be profiling Whiplash and comparing the comic book version and the movie version.

Most of the movie version of Whiplash actually combined history and elements of two of Iron Man's enemies: the Crimson Dynamo and Whiplash. The Crimson Dynamo was basically a Russian version of Iron Man, various agents of the Soviet Union who wore a super-powered suit of armor. The Crimson Dynamo mainly played into Cold War-era politics with the Dynamo standing in for the Soviets, and Iron Man standing in for the USA. The first of many versions of the Crimson Dynamo was a scientist named Anton Vanko.

As for Whiplash himself, that's where things get complicated. Whiplash was always a minor player in the Iron Man universe, and there have actually been four versions of Whiplash. The first and most popular Whiplash was Mark Scarlotti, a scientist working for Tony Stark who became jealous of his fame and fortune. He became Whiplash, and armed himself with a metal electrified whip that could cut through metal. Never a master criminal himself, Scarlotti alternated between working for organized crime syndicates and Stark's nemesis, Justin Hammer. Eventually Scarlotti developed whips of pure energy, changed his name to Blacklash, and got himself beaten to a pulp when Iron Man's armor grew sentient.

The movie version of Whiplash takes the name "Vanko" and Russian background from the Crimson Dynamo. There's a nod to the original, because Ivan's father is named Anton Vanko, but Whiplash himself is named Ivan Vanko. In the climax of Iron Man 2, Vanko also wears a suit of armor similar to the Crimson Dynamo. The rest is pretty much Whiplash, but far more powerful than he was in the comics.
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