Anton Vanko was a young scientist born in a Russian village named Volstok. One day, it was attacked by Iron Man decoy who murdered a lot of the people, including his father Igor Vanko in an attempt to frame Stark.
Using a specialized rifle, Vanko shot the impostor just before he fled, causing the chest plate on the armor to come off. Believing Stark to be the man who attacked his village, Vanko decided to use the chest plate to fashion a suitable weapon for his revenge. Over the next six months, he built a suit of body armor equipped with energy whips.
Anton Vanko was created by Marc Guggenheim, Brannon Braga and Philippe Briones and first appeared in Iron Man vs. Whiplash #1. The character was greatly influenced by the Whiplash that appeared in the Iron Man 2 that came out just a few months after Anton Vanko made his first appearance in comics.
Major Story Arcs
Verus Iron Man
After breaking into the prison where Stark was being held for his alleged crimes, Vanko killed several guards and attempted to track down and murder Stark and his assistant Pepper Potts. Stark fought off Vanko using a crude suit of Iron Man armor formed from parts of several machines around the prison, and forced him to escape. After Stark tracked down the criminals who framed him, Vanko arrived at their headquarters, planning on finishing off Iron Man at all. It was there that Vanko learned that Stark was indeed framed and that the syndicate was hired to destroy Volstok by 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 made one final attempt to kill him, claiming that even though he did not destroy the village, his creation did. After the building caught fire, both men had to run to safety, and Vanko made his escape. Stark was later cleared of his alleged crimes, and helped rebuild Volstok. Vanko had no part in it, and instead went to Moscow, approaching Putin's residence in the Red Square and preparing to properly exact vengeance next time around.
Iron Man 2 (2010)
Whiplash appears in the movie Iron Man 2, played by Mickey Rourke. This version of Whiplash is a Russian physicist with a grudge against the Stark family, and incorporates elements of fellow Iron Man foe Crimson Dynamo. In the film, Ivan is the son of Anton Vanko (the first Crimson Dynamo in the comics). Anton collaborated with Tony Stark's father on the original arc reactor technology during the Cold War, but had a falling out with him over how to apply the new technology. As a result, Anton was deported back to the Soviet Union and received none of the credit for the groundbreaking invention, which Ivan attributes to his family's life of destitution and misery. As Anton dies watching Tony Stark reveal himself to be Iron Man on television, Ivan swears revenge. He constructs his own arc reactor from Anton's blueprints, using it to power a harness containing a pair of energized whips. He attacks Stark at the Monaco Grad Prix , but the battle changes after Tony dons a portable version of the Iron Man armor (based on the Silver Centurion armor in the comics) Vanko almost has Tony, but Tony gets close enough to remove Vanko's Arc Reactor . Vanko is taken to prison, and Tony talks with him, wondering where Vanko was able to get a hold of the technology. Vanko claimsthat Tony comes from "A family of thieves and butchers" and also aware that the palladium in Tony's Arc Reactor is slowly killing him. Ivan is escapes from his cell, faking his death and smuggled out by Stark's rival, defense contractor Justin Hammer who intends to have Vanko mass-produce Iron Man technology for the military to show up Stark.
Vanko abuses Hammer's resources, instead creating his own improved suit of armor and using the newly built "Hammer drones", no longer design to be piloted by a human, but operate under his control, and controls the upgraded Mark II armor (the comics' War Machine armor, worn by Tony Stark's close friend and military liaison Jim Rhodes) in an attempt to kill Stark. At the film's climax, Rhodes regains control of his armor thanks to S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Natasha Romanoff , and he and Stark join together to defeat the drones and the newly armored Vanko by combining their repulsor blasts. In a last-ditch effort to kill Stark, Vanko activates self-destruct charges within the drones and his own armor, killing himself.
The character has no relation to Marcus Scarlotti, the original Whiplash in the comics, who would later appear in the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series.
Phineas and Ferb: Mission Marvel (2013)
Whiplash appears in the Phineas and Ferb: Mission Marvel special, voiced by Peter Stormare.
- Whiplash is a villain in Marvel Avengers Alliance.
- Whiplash appears as a playable character in Lego Marvel Super Heroes. He appears as a secondary antagonist in the level "Rock up at the lock up" Where he escapes from his cell at the raft. Upon seeing Iron man, Hulk and Wolverine he breaks into the control tower and opens the cells of The Leader and Abomination. The three heroes defeat Leader and Abomination and Iron man shocks Whiplash with his own whips while he tries to escape.
- Hasbro released several Whiplash figures for Iron Man 2.
- Hot Toys released two Whiplash figures for Iron Man 2. The first was of Vanko in his initial Whiplash gear, while the second was a more expensive die-cast figure that depicted him in the suit of armor he wears during the final battle.