Today we come back to Marvel, since in A Fractured House, the last episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., we’ve been introduced to a brand new villain. When poor General Glenn Talbot is attending a meeting at the United Nations, a strike team who claims to be S.H.I.E.L.D. breaks in, and kills many attendants using the Diviner Disks (weapons created engineering the Obelisk): the team is led by Marcus Scarlotti, portrayed by Falk Hentschel. Obviously, Scarlotti is no S.H.I.E.L.D., he’s a HYDRA agent posing as one of Phil Coulson‘s subordinates to put the public opinion against the “good spies”, doing it pretty well actually. It’s likely we’ll see more of him in the future, since he’s an established villain in the comics, and one of Iron Man‘s most recurring foes. Let’s see together.
Marco “Mark” Scarlotti was the son of two Italian immigrants, Antonio (Anthony) and Barbara, who moved in the United States before he was born. Raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Scarlotti showed since his childhood quite a talent for machines and design, and his parents saved money enough to allow him to go to university. Mark attended college and graduated in engineering, ending up being one of the best students of his year. Despite he could afford a bright (and wealthy) future through honest ways, Mark wanted something more: he wanted everything…and he believed the only way to obtain the luxury he was dreaming of was through crime. Organized crime was always in search of new talents, so the boy didn’t have any problem in finding an employment in the Maggia, the international crime syndicate gathering the most powerful families and coordinating them on an international level. Scarlotti was hired as a weapon designer, a task he proved to be pretty versed to. Once again, he didn’t think his position was up to his expectations, so, while still accomplishing the tasks he was entrusted with, he also designed weapons for himself. Using a unique steel fiber he himself had designed, Scarlotti created a special whip he started practicing with until he became an expert. With a weapon that was able to cut through any known substance (except adamantium), Scarlotti took the initiative and acted as a field agent, joining a squad and going on the streets with a bulletproof costume he himself tailored. The Maggia team he was part of was confronted by Iron Man, and Scarlotti, now naming himself Whiplash, engaged the hero in battle: surprisingly enough, his whip proved to be able to cut also Iron Man’s armor, and the two fought to a stalemate, until they both retired. Thanks to Whiplash, the mission was a success, and Scarlotti obtained what he was aiming to: he had been noticed by Maggia’s leaders.
The Maggia seemed to realise they had been underestimating Scarlotti’s talent, and agreed to assign him to a more important mission. Scarlotti was given a new name and a new backstory, and under the alias of Mark Scott he infiltrated Stark International, getting hired in a plant in Cincinnati. Also at Stark International they were able to recognize a true talent when they saw one, and the new employee Mark Scott soon rose in tha ranks until he became head of research, starting to steal important datas he then sent to the Maggia. The head of the company, Tony Stark, guessed there was something wrong when some Maggia thugs started using his own technology, and sent his bodyguard, Iron Man, to investigate (nobody knew at the time that the two were one and the same). Trying to protect his cover, Scarlotti presented himself with his Whiplash costume, pretending he had been spying from the inside and thus “protecting” Mark Scott. The two fought once again, and Whiplash was ahead of the game for the all time; Iron Man, however, managed to survive the battle (albeit barely), and the villain, bored by an unconclusive fight, left. Once again, Scarlotti’s ambition took the best of him, and he decided to quit Maggia, believing he could have taken care of himself without employers. A freelance criminal, Whiplash received an offer he just couldn’t refuse by a cosmic being known as Black Lama: he would have killed Iron Man for him in echange of the Golden Globe of Power, entering in competition with Man-Bull and Melter, other two supervillains. The three of them, forming the Death Squad, attacked Iron Man at San Diego Comicon, but this time there was no strength in numbers, since the hero managed to use the villains’ abilities one against the other, subduing everyone of them. Finally, Iron Man defeated Whiplash and had him arrested…but the Maggia didn’t want to lose one of its best operatives, and bailed him out, hiring him from time to time as a hired gun. In this case, a hired whip.
Mark Scarlotti is an extremely greedy and ambitious man, with a great intelligence he only uses for personal profit. A perfect union of brain and braw, Scarlotti is not only a skilled and brilliant engineer, but is also a good hand-to-hand combatant, a master in the use of both the whip and the nunchakus. As Whiplash, his main equipment consists in a special body armor he himself designed, light-weighted but extremely durable, and of course his trademark cybernetic whip, a weapon made of a unique alloy composed of woven boron-filament-impregnated sapphire strands plus steel braid, able to reach twice the speed of sound and, consequently, to pierce even steel; he also carries along a pouch with other weapons of his invention, one more lethal than the other. A powerful and intelligent criminal, Whiplash’s main weakness is his own boundless ambition, that makes him never satisfied with what he achieves, always looking for something more that, more often then not, makes him lose even what he has already.