A devastating villain that would occasionally hound the Avengers first began when a young David Cannon realized that he had a unique talent to move his body at great speeds. Fascinated as to how he never grew tired or gained sickness, Cannon realized that he was untouchable when spinning in a tight circle. Cannon quickly started on the wrong path with his gained talents by becoming a bully towards other children and then used them for his criminal career as a petty thief. As an adult Cannon found legitimate work as a circus performer, a professional wrestler, and a professional ice skater. However Cannon’s talents caught the attention of some criminals who specialize on fixing games and employed Cannon to help them with their criminal gains. Cocky and flamboyant over his success, Cannon grew careless over his actions as authorities grew suspicious over his activities which caused him and his criminal partners to be investigated.
Growing over confident with his success and abilities, Cannon quit his career on fixing games and pursued a criminal career as a costumed thief. Designing a costume and an alias that strongly resembled his abilities, Cannon embarked on a crime spree as the Human Top.
David Cannon was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and first appeared in Tales to Astonish issue 50 (1963).
The Silver Age
David Cannon made his first debut as the costumed criminal known as the Human Top. Becoming a successful and challenging villain for the newest costumed hero, Giant Man.
The Bronze Age
As his main enemy Hank Pym became more involved with the Avengers, Cannon's criminal changed for the better when he redesigned his costumed and renamed himself as Whirlwind. As Whirlwind, Cannon became a threat towards Hank Pym and the Avengers several times. Eventually Cannon never made any more major impacts as his remaining career became unsuccessful and he became nothing more than a distrusting lacky who challenged the patience of his partners because of his arrogant, self-centered, egotistical attitude.
Major Story Arcs
The Human Top
As the Human Top, Cannon successfully forced the city into a state of hopelessness, as authorities were unable to stop Cannon from a series of store robberies. After Hank Pym read about the Human Top in the local papers, Cannon would catch the attention of the new costumed hero known as Giant Man. Cannon proved very difficult for Giant Man as he managed to evade capture and prove that he was actually untouchable against the likes of other super-powered individuals. Eventually Cannon’s crime-spree would finally be halted by both Giant Man and his partner Wasp. Angered as to how his successful streak came to an end, Cannon would try to gain revenge against Giant Man which proved unsuccessful and ended with Cannon facing defeat once more. Later Cannon (un costumed) would encounter a confused Hulk and dupe the monster into fighting Giant Man as another revenge attempt.
The Whirlwind Attacks
Finding his stint as the Human Top unsuccessful and becoming ridiculous, Cannon set his goals on not only improving his looks, but also improving his skills with his mutant abilities. Gaining a new look and much more deadlier than before, Cannon continued on with his criminal career as the Whirlwind. Dedicating his next actions on gaining revenge against both Hank Pym and the Wasp, who were by now full-time Avengers, Cannon managed to get a job as the Wasp’s (Janet Van Dyne) personal chauffer. Not realizing that her chauffeur’s true identity, Cannon took the advantage of gaining access into the Avengers Mansion and making his attack in there against both the unsuspected Wasp and Hank Pym as the Whirlwind. Managing to defeat both heroes because of the Pym particles used against Pym and Janet, Cannon placed both shrunken heroes into Pym’s ant-hill to be killed by his own ants.
As Pym and Wasp battle the army of ants within Pym’s ant-hill, Whirlwind decides to rid the rest of the Avengers by placing a bomb within the mansion, which was noticed by Pym within the ant-hill. As Whirlwind quickly caught the attention of the remaining Avengers, he was defeated and almost apprehended by the mutant speedster Quicksilver and Cannon’s attempts to blow up the Mansion failed when Pym and Wasp escaped the ant hill and warned the Avengers of where the bomb is placed.
Masters of Evil
Despite Cannon’s inability to properly work well with others, Cannon participated in the second incarnation of the Masters of Evil to gain revenge against the Avengers and Hank Pym. With Cannon and the other members unaware of the true identity of the Crimson Cowl who acted as leader of the group, Cannon cared less about the mysterious Crimson Cowl as the team successfully defeated and captured the Avengers. Yet Cannon’s hopes for ridding his enemies proved unsuccessful as the Avengers escaped and the Cowl’s identity would be revealed as the insane robot known as Ultron before the team of heroes defeated the Masters of Evil.
Cannon still acted as Janet Van Dyne’s chauffer under the alias known as Charles Matthews. From what started as an attempt to steal Janet’s personal fortune and lay low from his costume identity, Cannon found himself becoming romantically obsessed with Janet. Trying to make advances towards her when her husband Hank Pym was believed to be dead, Cannon would eventually be fired after being caught attempting to embezzle Janet’s money. This and Hank Pym’s return would cause Cannon to attack the couple once more and force his Charles Matthews identity to be discovered by Pym. With the fight coming to a halt when Janet’s home was burning, Cannon managed to flee the scene leaving his two enemies in the burning home, which they eventually survived from.
Cannon later found himself forming with another group of super-villains that was ran by another leader that secretly had plans of his. Joining Count Nefaria’s Lethal Legion, each member had their powers increased including Cannon. Set out to attack and defeat the Avengers, the Lethal Legion would realize the true purpose of their increased powers when Nefaria absorbed all their powers into himself, giving Nefaria unlimited powers. Duped into another criminal masterminds's own secret plot once again, Cannon still joined the ranks of another villain group formed by Egghead, which was the third incarnation of the Masters of Evil. With Egghead and the Masters of Evil planning their attack against Pym and the Avengers, Egghead's plans would be foiled by Cannon's premature attempt to attack the Avengers on his own. This not only caused Egghead's plans to be foiled, his group alonside with Cannon to be defeated, but also would accidently meet his fate in the hands of Hawkeye.
Cannon would quickly escape custody and hear of a new Masters of Evil planning on making an attack against the Avengers. With the massive group of villains who were under the guidance of Baron Zemo, Zemo would decline Cannon’s acceptance within his group because of his actions with the recent Masters of Evil. Yet Zemo would see some use with Cannon as he falsely promised Cannon membership by giving Cannon the task of killing Captain America alongside with Trapster, who also tried to join Zemo’s group.
Looking for ways to increase his criminal reputation and join Zemo’s Masters of Evil, Cannon hired the Tinkerer to build him an upgraded suit with two wrist gauntlets that had a spinning saw blade attached to them. Alongside with Trapster who also gained modified weaponry from the Tinkerer, both men worked together on their attempt to kill Captain America. As Zemo predicted, both Trapster and Cannon proved to be no match against Captain America, despite their upgraded weaponry.
Unstable and Obsessed
Cannon next formed another partnership with Tiger Shark as both men went about stealing an experimental “psycho circuit”. Attracting members of the West Coast Avengers, both Cannon and Tiger Shark were defeated and apprehended by the authorities. Still obsessed with Janet Van Dyne, Cannon went through extreme measures of expressing his feelings about the Avenger that questioned his mental status. Trying to find a way to ease his obsessed urges, Cannon would force prostitutes into dressing up as Janet and brutally murdering them because of his inner hatred for Janet. Tracking both Janet and her husband Pym in Las Vegas, Cannon attacked both heroes as he blamed Janet for his criminal career. Yet, both Pym and Janet still managed to defeat the obsessed and enraged Cannon.
From Bad to Worse
After many years of being incarcerated, Cannon managed to escape once again and participate in a bounty on the future kingpin known as Ricadonna. However Cannon’s return went from bad to worse when he competed with a former ally Trapster. With both villains fighting against each other, Trapster managed to defeat Cannon by gluing his legs to the ground before Cannon began spinning. This caused Cannon’s legs and spine to break and nearly force the Cannon into retirement.
After making a full recovery, Cannon was forced into participating Zemo’s Thunderbolt’s Army during the Super Human Registration Act (SHRA). The Thunderbolts had to fight off cities filled with civilians who were suddenly empowered when the Grandmaster opened up the Wellspring of Power. The Thunderbolts army were broken up into numerous squads and sent to various locations throughout the world. The Chicago based Alpha squad consisted of Whirlwind, Porcupine, Doctor Octopus, X-Ray, Unicorn, Quicksand and Boomerang. The Alpha squad was responsible of maintaining order in the Windy City.
After leaving the Thunderbolts and escaping the authorities, Cannon gathered other villains who formerly served with the Masters of Evil and possibly attempted on recreating another on his own. After seeing Norman Osborn reach success among the population with his team of Thunderbolts, Cannon decided to steal Norman Osborn’s wealth by using one of his own teammates, Mac Gargan. Knowing the history between Gargan and Osborn, Cannon blackmailed Gargan into leading his boss into a trap. This however backfired against Cannon when Gargan showed his loyalty towards Osborn as both men ultimately defeated Cannon and his group of villains. Forcing Cannon and Tiger Shark to be secretly under his payroll, Cannon would serve as Norman’s personal limo driver during his time as director of HAMMER (which was formerly SHIELD).
The Heroic Age
Cannon has been recently shown as an mole for Zodiac, and as Norman Osbourne's chauffeur. He recently tried to attack Hank Pym and his Avengers Academy in public. He made it very clear how he blames Pym for Janet's death and is clearly looking for blood. Although he was swiftly defeated, it seems that the whole attack was just a publicity stunt arranged by Striker's mother.
Whirlwind and several other felons that included Aftershock, Living Laser, Icemaster and Ember escaped from the Raft after a mystic hammer crashed into the facility. Juggernaut picked up the mystical item and transformed into Kuurth of the Worthy. Whirlwind and the other Raft escapees headed into Stamford where they started attacking innocent civilians. Speedball took on all five villains by himself but was eventually overwhelmed after Ember ignited the air around him and lost consciousness from lack of oxygen. Whirlwind and his companions left the scene after Speedball was laid out.
Possibly Cannon’s greatest downfall as a costume criminal is his selfish and extremely unbalanced personality that questions his loyalty among villain groups and partnerships. It’s a fact that Cannon is indeed a powerful mutant who displays powers that are very useful against superhero types and other desirable goals, but his selfish arrogance does have him stir conflict among himself and other villains who are allied with him. Known to flee his teammates during a battle and prematurely anticipate a fight against foes that causes his team to suffer a loss, it’s understandable as to how many villains have second thoughts about recruiting Cannon into their ranks.
One dangerous aspect of Cannon’s personality is his deep obsession with Janet Van Dyne (the Wasp). Spending great amounts of time stalking her as a chauffer, Cannon has convinced himself that Janet does have romantic feelings for him and that she rightfully belongs to him. Adding more fuel for his selfish personality, Cannon views other people as objects and has no feelings for anybody else but for himself. When having feelings for Janet, Cannon has an abnormal reaction that turns aggressive with murderous impulses which causes him to become highly dangerous.
Powers & Abilities
David Cannon is a mutant who has the ability to rotate his body lengthwise at superhuman speed. He can spin his body at about 400 revolutions per minute. It’s unclear if his arms or other limbs could spin the exact same amount and carry the same amount affects. When Cannon’s body is completely engulfed in the self-made whirlwind, his body becomes centered focused to where he could still see, hear, and speak. He could also travel any direction when spinning and travel up to 50 miles per hour in a straight line without tiring. Another unique feature of Cannon’s powers is that when he’s spinning, he becomes extremely difficult to physically touch because of his body’s abnormal rotation. Even though Cannon does appear to be human, his physiology isn’t normal because of his body adapting to his abilities. Because of this, the body fluids within Cannon are thick as heavy oil and his organs are more thick and durable than normal human physiology
Cannon later found ways to manipulate his powers to where he could use them for combat. Instead of having his entire body spinning in a whirlwind, Cannon could ride the whirlwind that his body made, leaving his upper body exposed. He also could manipulate his arms into forming small tornadoes that could be used against opponents. After awhile, Cannon managed to manipulate his abilities and reflexes to where he could deflect massive objects, pick up any objects while spinning, quickly change in and out of clothes while spinning, and physically attack a person while spinning.
Weight: 220 lbs
Unique Features: Cannon may appear normal, but his innner fluids and organs are abnormal and thickened because of his mutant abilities.
Weapons and Equipment
As the Human Top, Cannon wore a dark-green full body suit and a custom made helmet that protected him from any possible debris or injury.
Later Cannon improvised his suit into a modified armored helmet that strapped around his shoulders and torso. The helmet also helped Cannon steer himself much better and have better manipulation over his powers. It’s unclear if it was Cannon himself who designed this costume or the Tinkerer.
Whirlwind is also one of the many villains who sought out Tinkerer’s services who designed Cannon with a full body armored suit and two saw blade attachments on each wrist. Each blade was ran by a DC servomotor that was activated by a switch located within the palm. The switch is sensitive and can easily be activated and brake by a simple motion of the hand. However Cannon realized that there were flaws to both the costume and wrist blades. With the helmet only having eyeholes and lacking a mouthpiece for easier breathing, Cannon was forced into changing this costume many times. The wrist blades proved a possible risk of Cannon injuring his knuckles, which also forced him to relieve the use of the gauntlets and later find, another form of weaponry. Occasionally Cannon changes and alters his costume and armor that would either give more protection or/and make him much more deadlier than before.
Cannon has also used shurikens and other throwing weapons.
Amalgam: In this universe, he is combined with Red Tornado to create 'Crimson Whirlwind'.
Heroes Reborn: Though not actually an alternate reality the Heroes Reborn version of Whirlwind has an armor consisting of many blades. For some reason, the armor in Heroes Reborn is adopted by the 616 version
- Iron Man: The Animated Series - Whirlwind made his very first media debut within the 1994 Iron Man animated series. Voiced by James Avery and later by Dorian Harewood, Whirlwind would be displayed as a recurring henchman who worked with Iron Man’s main nemesis, the Mandarin. Unlike most villains who appear within the show, Whirlwind is one of the main villains who barely fought Iron Man or Forceworks within the comics seeing how he’s strictly an enemy for Hank Pym and the Avengers.
- The Avengers: United They Stand - Whirlwind made another appearance within the short-lived Avengers cartoon in only one episode known as “Command Decision”. Voiced acted by Peter Windrem, Whirlwind is one of the villains who participates within Baron Zemo’s Masters of Evil.
- The Super Hero Squad Show - Whirlwind makes an appearance as a minor villain who assists Dr Doom and other villains on claiming an item from 3-year old that could grant invincibility.
- The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes - Possibly the most spotlight that Whirlwind makes within television is within the episode known as “The Man in the Anthill”. Battling both Hank Pym and Wasp, Whirlwind eventually get beaten by Wasp and finds himself incarcerated within the Big House. Unaware of his position, Whirlwind attempts to escape the prison until he finds himself pinned by Pym’s finger as he realizes the true nature of the Big House, that all detainees are shrunken down and placed within a small prison. Whirlwind makes another appearance within the episode known as “The Breakout” and is quickly defeated by Pym but still manages to escape with the rest of the Big House prisoners. He was voiced by Troy Baker.
- Avengers Assemble - Whirlwind appears in the episode "Spectrums," voiced by Tom Kenny. Kenny also voiced Whirlwind in the Ultimate Spider-Man episode "Me Time."
- Ant-Man - Whirlwind appeared in the episode "Not a Date," voiced by Fred Tatasciore.
- Captain America and the Avengers: Whirlwind makes his debut within video games as the main boss within the first level. Assisted by both Klaw and Living Laser as the three villains run a crime spree through the city, Whirlwind uses various attacks such as forming into a full spinning whirlwind for a few seconds and using the environment as projectiles.
- Marvel's Ultimate Alliance 2: Whirlwind makes two appearances within this game as a boss that is supposed to be controlled by nanites. He was voiced by Adam Jennings.
- Lego Marvel's Avengers:Whirlwind appears as a boss and playable character.
- Whirlwind was featured in ToyBiz's action figure line for the 90s Iron Man animated series.
- Bowen Designs produced a Whirlwind bust.
- Whirlwind was featured in the HeroClix figure game.
- Whirlwind was featured in the Marvel Universe line from Hasbro.
- Whirlwind was featured in Hasbro's Marvel Legends line as part of the Red Onslaught Build-a-Figure series, which was launched in stores to coincide with the release of Captain America: Civil War.