As the buzz surrounding the upcoming Iron Man 2 film heats up, the House of Ideas preps an exciting new limited series to usher the brand-new Whiplash – one of the film’s villains – into the Marvel Universe.
“The story begins with what appears to be Iron Man attacking a small village in Russia,” says co-writer Marc Guggenheim of Iron Man vs. Whiplash #1, out November 4. “He wipes out women and children. The whole town, basically, including the father of our eventual antagonist, inventor Anton Vanko.”
“Vanko counter-attacks and damages some of the armor, which he eventually fashions into his own set of weaponry which he hopes to use to enact payback. Meanwhile, Tony Stark is prosecuted by the International Criminal Court.”
The ICC prosecutes despots and war criminals, guaranteeing a story set on a large global scale. And in-continuity. Guggenheim also assures readers that Stark’s plate quickly fills up with a bit more than he can chew, thanks to the series’ far-ranging view.
“Tony is in Montana on the job when he’s arrested by none other than the Crimson Dynamo and the Red Guardian, who are sent on a bilateral mission to arrest Iron Man for the attack on the Russian village,” he says.
Iron Man fans will remember the original Whiplash, one of Iron Man’s very first foes from his early days as a super hero. Iron Man vs. Whiplash introduces a very different man who wears the name – and who poses a very particular, very personal threat to everyone’s favorite billionaire industrialist.
“Anton has no connection to the previous Whiplash,” Guggenheim explains. “Eagle-eyed readers might wonder if he has a familial connection to Ivan Vanko, the original Crimson Dynamo, but that’s really a story for another time.”
“As for the threat he poses to Tony…he blames Tony for the death of his father and the destruction of his entire village, including his friends and neighbors. And he’s determined to use Tony’s own technology as the tools of his revenge.”
In terms of powers and abilities, the new Whiplash represents a man who learns from his enemies and possibly even improves on their own weapons.
“What makes this version of Whiplash especially deadly is the fact that his technology comes from Tony Stark’s Iron Man tech,” says Guggenheim. “So it’s an even match, power for power, strength for strength. But Vanko is motivated by vengeance and that’s the added element, the x-factor – can I say that in a non-mutant book? – that gives him an edge over Tony.”
Tony Stark and Anton Vanko aside, one of the greatest participants in Iron Man vs. Whiplash might very well be Guggenhiem’s co-writer on the series – producer Brannon Braga, of “24? fame.
“Brannon brings an incredible mind for all things action and sci-fi – as his work on ’24’ and the ‘Star Trek’ franchise demonstrates,” he notes. “Honestly, for me, it’s like working with a legend. We have a really easy-going style, just batting ideas around back and forth.”
“And I have to say, he’s picked up the art of comic book writing a million times faster than anyone has a right to. It’s truly frightening to watch how he’s absorbed the form like a sponge. It’s humbling, actually. The guy is just that smart.”
You can check out all the action this November in Iron Man vs. Whiplash #1 – neck braces optional!
The first two issues of the Iron Man vs. Whiplash mini series are available for pre-order and will be the perfect way to get you psyched up for Iron Man 2 in theatres May 7, 2010.