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The first experimental ionized plasma channel technology was created by Russian scientist Ivan Vanko after his father Anton died. The elder Vanko had been watching a broadcast of Tony Stark, and had bitterly commented that the younger Vanko should have been the one on the screen, before he died. Ivan uncovered the reason for Anton's assertions shortly thereafter; that being that Anton had been fundamental to the development of early arc reactors in the company of Tony's father, Howard.

Vanko wearing the harness

Ivan resolved to discredit Tony Stark, and elected to do so by combining arc reactor technology with new technology of his own. He coupled a miniature arc reactor together with an ionized plasma channel technology of his own and created a combat harness employing two plasma whips powered by a chest-mounted arc reactor. This he took to the Monaco Grand Prix, where Stark was due to make a public appearance, and proceeded to wreak havoc on the race course. Stark himself had entered the race, supplanting his driver, which in turn provided Vanko with the perfect opportunity to show the world how Stark's proprietary technology had fallen into the wrong hands. Stark turned the tables on Vanko however when he was supplied with a portable backup armor and fought to rip Vanko's arc reactor from the rest of the harness.[1]

After Vanko was arrested, the Whiplash harness was taken to S.H.I.E.L.D. custody.[2]


The Mark I Whiplash incorporates two ionized plasma channel whips mounted on a prosthetic frame that is worn on the upper torso and has power conduits extending from the chest-mount arc reactor to the wearer's wrists. Energy output from these whips is both searing hot and electrically charged. They proved capable of slicing through the frames of several Formula One race cars, as well as slicing off pieces of a Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupé. The whips also proved capable of deflecting Iron Man's repulsor blasts when employed defensively. Hydraulic arm and leg attachments increase the strength of its user up to three times.[3]

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