Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Whatever happened to Blacklash?

Marc Scarlotti, a.k.a. Blacklash, a.k.a. Whiplash, returns in the Heroes Return Iron Man #8, "The Hunt" (Written by Kurt Busiek, pencils by Sean Chen, inks by Eric Cannon and Sean Parsons.) Even though he gives the unarmored Tony a good chase, Iron Man is not terribly threatened by his old foe. In fact, he's more curious what's up with the S & M wardrobe (Tony calls 'em like he sees 'em) and the name change. Angrily, Whiplash tells him "There is no Blacklash, tin man. There is no Blacklash--an' there never was!"

Iron Man wonders what happened to Scarlotti, in part because he seems to miss the dependable jobber he used to fight, but he also can tell the man's going through something bad. Whiplash admits his kid was taken away (presumably by social services, although that's not always a safe bet in the Marvel U.) and seems to be throwing himself into his work. With multiple energy whips and a new flying platform, he fights back Iron Man, eventually leaving not because he was beaten, but because he was paid to kill Stark, not Iron Man. (Tony's i.d. was a secret at this time, for the most part: he would receive a savage beating at the end of the issue because of a leak.)
Although Whiplash was a villain almost exclusively to Iron Man--I can't remember personally seeing him show up anywhere else, even during Acts of Vengeance, which seems perfect for that--whatever happened to him happened, in all places, Elektra #5-7, as noted in a editorial box this issue. Aside from Elektra: Assassin I've never been a fan of hers, but it's tempting to track those issues down; if only because I can't imagine Blacklash, Whiplash, either one being any match for Elektra, at all. Which probably explains why he didn't show up in a lot of other comics: wrong skill sets. He wouldn't be a match for the Hulk, Spider-Man or Daredevil would be too fast for him, his whip couldn't crack Cap's shield...
We'll check out another of his appearances at a later date--there weren't many left at this point--but I wonder if more people haven't realized, in the new movie, Rourke's character is named Ivan Danko, not Mark Scarlotti. Is it just a cosmetic change? Or, is it because Danko is really another Iron Man foe, the Crimson Dynamo? Hmm.


CalvinPitt said...

I don't have the issue, but I know he showed up in Amazing Spider-Man somewhere around #315 (#320? It had a MacFarlane cover), I think because Spidey had crossed Justin Hammer, so he wound up fighting Blacklash, plus the Rhino and someone else (the Scorpion? Hydro-Man? I can't remember.)

googum said...

You are correct! I haven't read that one, but yeah, I can picture the cover.

I figure there either was, or will be, a Whiplash in the Ultimate line; or a new one...was there one in Bendis' Secret War?