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Whiplash (Late Scarlotti) (Iron Man enemy) (Marvel Comics) and the Air Force

Whiplash

(Mark Scarlotti profile #3)


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

“They took my kid ! They took my kid – said I was unfit ! Said I wasn’t even allowed to go near him ! But I don’t care, you hear ? I don’t care ! Don’t need anything – or anyone ! All I need’s the money !”


Context

Mark Scarlotti is an old enemy of Iron Man (Tony Stark). He appeared in 1968. Scarlotti has occasionally changed his name, costume and weapons, though is main weapon remains a high-tech, deadly whip.

Our coverage of his career thus follows its three main eras. We suggest that you read them in order :

  1. Whiplash (1970s and late 1960s).
  2. .
  3. Whiplash (2000s) – this here profile.

Background

  • Real Name: Mark Scarlotti.
  • Former aliases: Blacklash I, Mark Scott.
  • Marital Status: Widowed.
  • Known Relatives: Anthony Scarlotti (father), Barbara Scarlotti (mother), Trudi Scarlotti (wife, deceased), Michael (son, in foster care) and an unnamed father-in-law and mother-in-law.
  • Group Affiliation: None.
  • Base Of Operations: Mobile.
  • Height: 6’1” Weight: 230 lbs.
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Blond (slightly brownish)


Powers and Abilities

Blacklash is now even more physically adept – a powerful athlete and fighter.

He used a one-man flying platform (presumably using anti-gravity technology). This was later replaced by jetboots, which were much harder to hit than the platform.

The strength of a madman

Whiplash repeatedly displayed superhuman strength and a level of superhuman durability. No normal man can possibly hope to wrestle with a modern suit of Iron Man armour like he did. His punches even had an effect on shellhead :

Our game stats thus assume superhuman strength, superhuman durability and impact-enhancing gloves. None of these are ever explicitly mentioned in the source material. These are our hypotheses to account for his performance.

It is entirely possible that Whiplash’s contacts or employers had access to a Power Broker Process variant. Since this process carries a 50% chance of death and/or deformity, it would seem in-character for the semi-suicidal and insane Scarlotti to undergo it.

This strength and his improved fighting skills were not depicted consistently. In other appearances Whiplash performed very much at his old level as Blacklash. Though he always wielded the new Whiplash weaponry, it seemed less powerful in appearances where Scarlotti wasn’t demonstrating superhuman strength.

Though this was presumably a continuity failure, it is possible that Scarlotti’s bipolar condition affected his physical abilities. This happens in comic books.

Gear

Whiplash wielded a blue “kinetic whip” delivering a massive impact, and a red “energy whip” capable of slicing through thick armour. His backup weapon was a cat-o-nine-tails. He tended to conserve the latter for close-quarter combat, and it was never actually seen in action.

Another whip is first used to lash skyward, where it will attract a lightning strike – provided that a lightning storm is active overhead. The enormous energy of the lightning is instantly converted into kinetic energy, allowing the whip to then strike with extraordinary speed and power.

The strike was described as an electrical one in the story, which we assume was a mistake. Iron Man’s armour can handle enormous influxes of electricity.

For a few panels during his final appearance Whiplash wears a sort of heavy chest plate with robotic limbs. This carapace allows him to wield up to six whips at once. The game stats are very tentative given how briefly this device was seen. It is illustrated below.

Whiplash with his multi-armed carapace


History

The reinvented Whiplash first showed up in 1998, as part of an assault on Tony Stark organised by business rival Trevor Donohue.

While in France, Whiplash ambushed and pursued Stark and a longtime Stark senior executive, Yvette Avril. Stark evaded his pursuer long enough to suit up as Iron Man, but was beaten back. The scornful Whiplash then left – his orders were to kill Tony Stark, who was nowhere to be found.

Whiplash resumed working for the Nefaria mob – his first criminal contacts, now again led by Count Nefaria. He joined a sizeable force of mercenaries – the entire Deathsquad, plus Nitro.

Their ambush against Iron Man was spoiled by S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Jenna Carlisle, although Whiplash easily took her out when she tried to arrest him. Whiplash then left since things were not going well enough. He thus wasn’t present during the fight between Nefaria and Iron Man.

Halt ! Hammerzeit.

Whiplash also still had connections with Hammer Industries and Justin Hammer himself. He worked security for Hammer for a time. He and his colleagues were defeated by the tank-like Beetle armour, then had to flee from the Hawkeye-led Thunderbolts.

By 2000, Whiplash was helping fellow minor super-criminal the Constrictor by repairing his whip-like weaponry. Looking upbeat, he even gave Copycat (disguised as Titania II (Mary McPherran)) advice about tax fraud and cash laundering.

Lashing out

Whiplash was soon hired again to kill Iron Man. Attacking during a New Year Eve thunderstorm, Whiplash inflicted considerable damage to Iron Man with a lightning-powered whip. Howbeit, both combatants were soon knocked out and separated by another lightning strike.

While Whiplash’s onslaught did not kill Stark, it resulted in a minor heart attack (the first in years) and heavy repairs to the armour.

Whiplash (Mark Scarlotti) with flying boots

The fight with Whiplash and the energy overload is apparently what nudged Iron Man’s armour into achieving sapience . Stark was barely beginning to deal with his newly-aware armour when Whiplash returned to complete his contract.

During the fight the armour, devoid of a conscience and resenting the considerable damage Whiplash had previously done to it, took over. Acting with a speed and acumen far surpassing Stark’s, it overwhelmed Whiplash and seemingly beat him to death. The armour then let Scarlotti’s inert form drop into the ocean as the horrified Stark was locked out.

Scarlotti has not been seen since — though several other persons have used his Whiplash and Blacklash aliases — and is assumed to be dead. For now.


Description

For some reason, Scarlotti’s eyes are back to brown. He tends to keep the mask on all the time, probably because he doesn’t want to see his own face.

The art varies as to whether the whips are pure energy, or steel whips with a coruscating wreath of energy. Either way, they seemed fully material. As such, they could be used much like a real whip would (for instance, to grab something).

One remark by Stark may indicate that Scarlotti drinks heavily – presumably in spurts.


Personality

Busiek wrote Scarlotti as violently insane and in complete, painfully obvious denial. This is the approach that was favoured in the selection of quotes for this entry. He had a very vague sadist/dominator theme running, which is inevitable given his costume. But it was nothing really specific, or even a solid pattern of allusions.

Other appearances had him display no specific characterisation, or something not too different from his Blacklash persona.

Whiplash (Mark Scarlotti) dual-wielding whips

Scarlotti is still a manic-depressive patient. But he is forcing himself to ride his manic side as much as possible, and denies that he has depressive tendencies. This manic, neurotic behaviour sometimes leads to weird verbal outbursts and exaltation, making it clear he’s both not well and explosively dangerous.

Sometimes his high moods take the form of a smooth confidant behaviour as a hardened criminal and brilliant, upbeat engineer. Even his best, most cheerful states seem off, though. During one such episode he seemed convinced that his wife was still alive and that he needed to get her groceries.


Quotes

“There IS no Blacklash, tin man. There is no Blacklash… an’ there NEVER WAS !” (WHKKKKKKKKKK !)

“I just wised up, that’s all. I slipped – let myself believe that love an’ trust an’ family meant something in this world. But that guy’s gone now. I erased him… just like I’m gonna erase you !”

“Don’t go for the quick getaway, tin horn… ‘cause I’m back and I’m beautiful, baby !” (KRAK – scores a direct hit on Iron Man) “OH YEAH ! THAT FELT GOOD !”

Iron Man: “Who sent you ? Nefaria ?!”
Whiplash: “Ungh ! Do you really think it’s that easy ? I tell you what, why don’t we go down the beach and have a romantic conversation over mai tais. I love those little umbrellas they put in your drinks.”

(Fighting Iron Man) “Not bad for a toaster !” (readies whip) “Here comes the slice !” (KRRRAAAAKKK !)


DC Universe History

When Ted Cord (Blue Beetle) was killed by Maxwell Lord, no one realized it for a week or so. Lord had the OMACs at his disposal but they were a weapon he chose to keep secret for a time. They were also a bit obvious. Thus Lord sent his people to quietly raid the Blue Beetle’s technology.

Mark Scarlotti was a violent psychotic. Lord found him in a county lockup on a minor charge. Scarlotti’s previous gear as Blacklash had been confiscated after an embarrassing beating he had taken from Wonder Woman.

Mark was eager to take the opportunity from an unknown employer to get revenge on the Amazon. Lord used a combination of OMAC tech and Blue Beetle gear to build the more powerful Whiplash gear.

Whiplash set out after Wonder Woman but ran into Booster Gold instead. Booster was at a low ebb, personally and technologically, when he found him. Whiplash beat him badly and kidnapped him. He demanded that Wonder Woman come battle him at (what we later learn is) the OMAC base.

Wonder Woman and Flash (Wally West) went to the rescue of their friend. The ambush that Whiplash set to destroy the Amazon was expended on Flash. Whiplash was forced to face Wonder Woman in a fair fight. The carnage was intense.

In the end a badly wounded Wonder Woman was stopped by Maxwell Lord before she twisted Scarlotti’s head off. Scarlotti broke her arm during the distraction. Lord, thinking her beaten got too close. Even with a broken arm she reached up on her good hand and broke Lords neck with her feet.

Scarlotti escaped with his new combat gear and some additional OMAC tech. By the time of the Year without a Wonder Woman ending he was ready to use the newest generation of his gear to stop her forever.


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Whiplash I

Dex: 06 Str: 09 Bod: 07 Motivation: Mercenary
Int: 05 Wil: 04 Min: 04 Occupation: Mercenary
Inf: 04 Aur: 04 Spi: 04 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 015 HP: 040

Skills:
Acrobatics: 05, Charisma (Intimidation): 05, Evasion (Aerial only): 07, Gadgetry: 05, Vehicles (Land): 04, Vehicles (Miniaturised air vehicles like flying platforms and jet boots): 07, Weaponry (Flexible melee and thrown weapons): 08

Bonuses and Limitations:
Evasion is only usable with particularly agile vehicles (like his jet boots – the platform does not qualify) (-1).

Advantages:
Expertise (Weapons design), Misc.: Whiplash is fully ambidextrous when it comes to wielding whips, though he can only use one at once in combat

Connections:
Underworld (Low), Hammer Industries (Low).

Drawbacks:
SIA toward Sadism, SIA toward Hating Iron Man, Serious Psychological Instability, Minor Rage. Possibly a MIA toward alcohol.

Equipment:

  • IMPACT-STIFFENING REINFORCED GLOVES [BODY 10, EV 15 (12), Limitation: EV can at most be 3 APs above the unarmed EV of the character – meaning that for Whiplash, his punches hit with an EV of 12].
  • Blue Energy Whip (“Kinetic Whip”) [BODY 08, EV 15, Enhanced Initiative: 02, Lightning being: 08, Stretching: 01, Limitations: Stretching has No Fine Manipulation ; The defensive bonus of Stretching is only applicable to the Whip itself ; Enhanced Initiative is not Factored In into the stats block above ; Enhanced Initiative only applies when Whiplash is actively using that specific weapon].
  • Red Energy Whip [BODY 08, EV 07, Enhanced Initiative: 02, Sharpness (EV): 08, Stretching: 01, Limitations: Stretching has No Fine Manipulation ; The defensive bonus of Stretching is only applicable to the Whip itself ; Enhanced Initiative is not Factored In into the stats block above ; Enhanced Initiative only applies when Whiplash is actively using that specific weapon].
  • Flying platform [BODY 07, Flight: 08, R#02], which was eventually replaced by BOOTS with built-in mini-flying disks [BODY 06, Flight: 07, R#02] – perhaps derived from the Wizard’s technology.
  • Cat-o-nine-tails [BODY 09, Claws: 10, Sharpness (Claws): 06]. This weapon was not actually seen in action – those stats are a guess.
  • “Stormstrike whip” [BODY 07, EV 20, Enhanced Initiative: 02, Stretching: 01, Limitations: Stretching has No Fine Manipulation ; The defensive bonus of Stretching is only applicable to the Whip itself ; Enhanced Initiative is not Factored In into the stats block above ; Enhanced Initiative only applies when Whiplash is actively using that specific weapon ; EV only when operating under a thunderstorm].
  • CARAPACE [BODY 10, Extra limbs (x2): 09, Skin armour: 05, Bonus: Skin Armour works against energy attacks (+2) ; Limitations: Skin Armour is partial (-2CS Trick Shot to bypass) ; Advantage: with Extra Limbs and two smaller articulated slave mounts, this armour allows for wielding six whips at once — use something like the Vedic Gunfighting Schtick to model this.]

Design Notes

For most appearances were Scarlotti doesn’t seem to possess superhuman strength, his weapons’ EV or Damage Ranks get lowered by 2.

In the original, Busiek-penned appearances his weaponry his full-powered but he doesn’t clearly demonstrate superhuman strength. In the closing, Quesada-penned appearances his strength is enhanced and his weaponry his full-powered.


By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Marvel Universe (chiefly Iron Man comics).

Helper(s): DCU History by Mike Winkler.

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