After graduating from college, Mark Scarlotti went to work for the Maggia as a weapons designer. Eventually, Scarlotti developed weapons, first for the Maggia, then for himself. Scarlotti created a steel-fiber whip that could crack almost any substance except for adamantium. Scarlotti had a natural athletic aptitude with the whip and he practiced with it until he became an expert in the use of the whip as a weapon.
At Scarlotti's request, he used his creation to become a special costumed agent known as Whiplash for the Maggia. Whiplash established a good reputation with the Maggia in his first battle with the invincible Iron Man although the fight ended in a draw.
Stan Lee and Gene Colan created Whiplash as an enemy for Iron Man. Lee wrote the story and Colan penciled the art for the first appearance of Whiplash in Tales of Suspense #97 in 1968. Frank Giacoia was the inker for this issue.
The Maggia sent Scarlotti to the Cincinnati branch of Stark Industries to be hired under the alias of Mark Scott. Most likely, the Maggia placed
Scarlotti at S.I. to gather information and learn about various projects. Scarlotti became the head of research but he also fought Iron Man as Whiplash again. Whiplash escaped without blowing his cover but he decided to quit the job at S.I.
The extra-dimensional entity known as the Black Lama offered Whiplash, along with the Melter and the Man-Bull, the chance to get the Golden Globe of Power. The Black Lama sent them as the Death Squad to kill Iron Man at the San Diego Comic Convention. Iron Man defeated the trio of hired killers. Whiplash was finally taken into custody and sent to jail. The Maggia bailed him out and continued to employ him as a contract killer.
While on assignment, Whiplash fought Spider-Man and Iron Man but Whiplash was nearly driven insane from exposure to the Wraith's mental powers. Once Whiplash recovered, he was serving time at Ryker's Island Prison. Later, Justin Hammer, a competitor of Tony Stark, had Whiplash busted out of prison. Hammer formed his own army of super-villains with the arrangement that he finance their equipment and operations and Hammer gets a cut of the profits.
Hammer also had a plan set in motion to ruin the reputation of Stark and Iron Man. Whiplash, the Melter and the first Blizzard were sent to Atlantic City on a mission ordered by Hammer. Iron Man discovered the three villains robbing a casino and defeated them when Bethany Cabe intervened in the battle. Whiplash and the others were taken into custody by the authorities. Hammer's plan to discredit Iron Man reached its climax when Iron Man was framed for murder.
Stark was determined to clear the name of Iron Man and find the person responsible for his recent problems. As a favor to Stark, Scott Lang as Ant-Man questioned Whiplash at Ryker's, learned Hammer's location and gave the information to Stark. Later, Hammer got Whiplash, the Melter and the Blizzard out of custody. Iron Man was able to locate Hammer's Villa along with Hammer and his minions including Whiplash.
Hammer ordered everyone to attack Iron Man en masse but even in this large group of villains Whiplash still lost to the armored Avenger. Hammer later escaped in another vehicle with the aid of the first Spymaster. Iron Man cleared his name of the murder charges and Whiplash was taken into custody along with his accomplices. Scarlotti returned several months later as Blacklash.
From Whiplash to Blacklash
After previous defeats at the hands of Iron Man, Scarlotti upgraded his weaponry and paraphernalia and changed his name to Blacklash. He returned with a goal to establish himself as a premier contract killer and his target, Vic Martinelli, worked at Stark International (formerly
Blacklash continued to be defeated by Iron Man and unable to complete the assignment. After an unsuccessful career in crime, Scarlotti's attempts to reform seems to be unsatisfactory for him as well. Scarlotti was unable to make any legitimate contacts or get an honest job due to his publicly known criminal identity. He became a joke to the locals of his hometown and ostracized by his parents.
Scarlotti felt he had no viable options but a life of crime. So when the Maggia called on the services of Blacklash again, he made a deal with them. Blacklash accepted a mission to assassinate a scientist at a convention, but the timely arrival of Spider-Man and Jim Rhodes as Iron Man allowed the escape of the target. Blacklash fought the two heroes for a while, but he was eventually defeated and taken to prison.
Once out of prison, Blacklash briefly worked with the Sinister Syndicate to attack Spider-Man which ended in failure. Later, Blacklash was in the employ of Justin Hammer with other costumed criminals again. Hammer sent Blacklash, the first Beetle and the second Blizzard to kill Force, a former minion of Hammer. The trio were defeated by Tony Stark as Iron Man, Rhodes and Force.
An industrial saboteur known as the Ghost caused problems for both Hammer and Stark. Hammer ordered Blacklash, Boomerang and the Blizzard to work with Iron Man to capture the Ghost but Blacklash later turned on Iron Man. Hammer assigned Blacklash and the Rhino to retrieve the Scorpion's armor and tail when the Scorpion reneged on a deal with Hammer.
Husband & Father
Eventually, Scarlotti attempted to reform again living in Ohio. He was married with a son and continued to have a difficult time accepting a life with no big payoff. He decided to do one last assignment in New York to get paid a large sum of money. When Scarlotti arrived in New York, an assassin called Bullet ambushed him in his hotel and he had to go to a hospital.
After agreeing to get Scarlotti's Blacklash costume and equipment, Trudi, Scarlotti's wife, was killed at his hotel room by an assassin called Shatterhead. Scarlotti found Trudi's body at the hotel room along with the taunting Bullet who described the torment Shatterhead did to Trudi. Scarlotti responded by killing Bullet. Later, Blacklash had hunted Shatterhead down and killed him. Blacklash would also lose custody of his son as he was deemed unfit to be his father.
Return to Whiplash
Months later, Stark was tracking a mystery man that had been haunting him and his search led him to France. This unknown antagonist was one step ahead of Stark and hired an old foe from his past. Scarlotti was back in a different costume and another upgrade in weapons and equipment. Scarlotti had a more brutal attitude as he goes back to using his first alias. Whiplash had returned and determined to bury his troubled past as Blacklash forever.
Whiplash defeated Iron Man in this initial battle and they would clash a few more times over the next few months. However, sometime after the last battle, Iron Man’s armor became sentient and was faster and more efficient in action. Iron Man did more than just defeat Whiplash in their next battle. Despite orders from Stark to stand down, the armor ignored Stark and inadvertently killed Whiplash. The armor left the area dropping Whiplash into a river.
Mark Scarlotti, a brilliant engineer and weapons designer, was also a natural athlete and expert with a whip and nunchakus. He was also a moderate hand-to-hand combatant.
Mark Scarlotti developed two cybernetically controlled whips that could be retracted into nunchakus or expanded into vaulting poles. The whips could be spun so fast that they could deflect bullets. The tip is capable of piercing 3-inch steel.
As both Whiplash and Blacklash, Scarlotti used a necro-lash which was electrically charged by his gauntlets and released from its handle to produce a concussive charge. He could increase the electrical charge to its maximum which caused anything the necro-lash hit to become brittle including Iron Man’s armor. He also used anti-gravity bolas, heavy-gravity bolas and designed various other devices.
When Scarlotti returned to his original alias of Whiplash, he also upgraded his arsenal with additional weapons. He had a kinetic whip, a cat-o-nine-tails, and a whip made of super conductive filament in order to channel lightning as an offensive weapon.
Mark Scarlotti wore a bodysuit made of steel mesh that could absorb the impact from bullets or the force of an enhanced punch. Later on in his criminal career, Scarlotti used a flying platform and jet discs for both transportation and mid-air combat. He also had a cybernetic flying harness equipped with extra arms enabling him to wield half a dozen whips at one time.
A husband (Blacklash) and wife (Whiplash) assassin team have assumed the aliases of Mark Scarlotti . They appear as former helpers of Swordsman and frequenters of BDSM events before becoming baddies. The two were forcibly recruited into the Thunderbolts and forgotten.
In Other Media
Iron Man: The Animated Series
Whiplash appears as a recurring villain in the show, voiced by James Avery and later Dorian Harewood. He is depicted as a servant of the Mandarin, and often competes with Dreadknight for the affections of Hypnotia.
A darker, updated Whiplash appeared in this series, voiced by Peter Kelamis. He was a cyborg who worked for Mr. Fix after giving him a new set of arms which could release whips that could electrocute anything touching them. He was first seen attacking Pepper Potts father after he was investigating on Mr. Fix which resulted in him getting electrocuted by Whiplash. While Pepper was looking up info on Mr. Fix. He then saw she was looking him up on her dad's computer and sent some troops to silence her but Tony Stark arrived in time to help her get away from them. He then took her to Jim Rhodes house only to find Whiplash there waiting for her. He was about to strike them until Tony came bursting through the front door sending Whiplash flying through the house. Tony then mocked him by calling him the Whipping Boy, to which Whiplash told him he was built to fight him. Whiplash then grabbed him midair and slammed him into the ground and electrocuted him. Whiplash was disappointed in the fight hoping it would be more exciting but he then saw Pepper and Rhodey running away decided to chase them hoping to cure his boredom. He followed them into a warehouse where Rhodey distracted him so Pepper could escape. He was about to kill Rhody until Mr. Fix called him and told him to go after Pepper instead. Pepper found Tony suits but discovered he was gone she then heard Whiplash approach her from behind. He was about to strike her but Tony appeared in one of his new Iron Man suits. Able to withstand some of Whiplash attacks he was able to blast him with his laser until Whiplash tied him up and began to electrocute him again. Tony was able to blast him one more time sending him into a Electric generator which resulted in a explosion. It was revealed he survived his fight with Iron Man and was repaired and given upgrades to his suit. Tony then went after him and Mr. Fix with his new armor but the armor gained control and killed Whiplash and Mr. Fix.
The MCU version of Mark Scarlotti (with his named changed to "Marcus Scarlotti") appears in the episode "A Shattered House," played by Falk Hentschel. This version of the character is a mercenary hired by HYDRA to help frame S.H.I.E.L.D. for an attack on the UN, and is stated to have fought Hawkeye in the past back before he was an Avenger. He is ultimately defeated by Melinda May before he and the rest of his team are taken into custody by Glenn Talbot. In order to avoid confusion with the prior version of Whiplash who appeared as the main antagonist of Iron Man 2, this version of the character is not referred to as Whiplash and does not wield his trademark whips. However, he does use a chained weapon with a blade at the end as a nod to his comic persona.