Monday, July 20, 2009

When Whiplash was Blacklash:

From this angle, Spymaster's logo looks like a needle through a ball of yarn...
Both Entertainment Weekly and Topless Robot have run photos from Iron Man 2 of Mickey Rourke in the Whiplash costume. Maybe? Maybe it's a prototype armor for him? No one is sure, yet, although Comic-Con might deliver some more info.

Before we start abusing Whiplash--er, Blacklash's costume, we should note none of these costumes would hold up for the movies. (And the War Machine armor totally will: it's a gunmetal grey Iron Man suit with more guns stuck to it.) Spymaster's yellow-and-blue ensemble is a tad generic, but wouldn't be so bad with a better chest emblem and without that little blue beanie or whatever that is on top of his head. Blizzard's costume is your typical ice-villain's outfit, and every so often gets handed down to a new character that's exactly the same. I like the Beetle's suit, although I prefer when it's bulkier, and he gets saddled with the green-purple color combo that bad guys who fight heroes in blue-and-red get.

But Blacklash--that's what he was called at the time--has an energy whip that can make whatever it hits brittle and shatter it; and a purple cape, green plume, and plunging neckline. Why? Was it supposed to be some dashing, musketeer thing? I don't know. I don't think I've ever seen Blacklash's origin or first appearance. I didn't know his backstory, or motivation, or even his real name. (Even though I know I've read like two different Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe entries for him, I can't remember them.) I don't know if he invented his whip, or bought or stole it, or carved it from an alien meteorite; and I never cared. To me, Blacklash was always just a guy that shows up in Iron Man, usually with two or three other schnooks, to get his ass kicked around page twenty.

Did I say get his ass kicked? That wouldn't always be the case, as we'll see tomorrow. Panel from Iron Man #285, "Ashes to Ashes" Written by Len Kaminski, pencils by Kevin Hopgood, inks by Andrew Pepoy. (Since the issue's still next to my scanner, I just noticed he's Whiplash on the cover, and Blacklash in the issue!) And it's Rhodey in the armor this month: he kicks Blacklash, Blizzard, and Beetle's collective ass in about five panels.

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