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Whiplash

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Whiplash is a fictional character in the popular Masters of the Universe franchise.

He is a member of the Evil Warriors, Whiplash is an anthropomorphic reptilian creature. His main asset for battle is his long, bulky tail, which can injure or knock over his opponent by delivering a heavy blow, as well as being able to smash through solid rock.

Character history

Toys/Mini-comics

Whiplash2

Whiplash was introduced into the Masters of the Universe toy line in 1984. The gimmick of his action figure is to thrash its tail when the spring-action waist is turned. His first appearance is in the Mattel mini-comic "The Clash of Arms", in which he is presented as Skeletor's prime brute minion. He is unleashed upon Fisto as the final and deadliest opponent in a hand-to-hand arena fight, and is seen to immediately overpower Fisto, causing him serious damage until He-Man comes along. Seemingly a feral, savage killing machine with tremendous strength, this comic is a powerful introduction to his character, implying that only He-Man could beat him.

In his later appearances Hordak: The Ruthless Leader's Revenge! and Mantenna and the Menace of the Evil Horde! he is only seen in battles, but is holding his own against Grizzlor, Jitsu and several Eternian Guards.

Cartoon

Whiplash was introduced into the toy line's accompanying cartoon series by Filmation at the same time his action figure was released. Whereas most characters from his wave of toys appear rather sparsely in the cartoon, Whiplash proves an immediate favorite with the show's writers and seems to become a series regular immediately after his introduction. His portrayal is different from how he appears in the mini-comic. Although initially appearing as another of Skeletor's bumbling henchmen, he is quickly shown to be smarter than he looked; a lively and exuberant, and also cunning and conniving villain, often coming up with crafty schemes of his own and even branching out for himself as lead villain of the episode on two occasions: "Trouble in Trolla" and "Betrayal of Stratos".

"Betrayal of Stratos" establishes Whiplash as a strong and independent villain, as well as creating a world of his own around him. This episode reveals that his home is in the Demon Zone, a dark underworld beneath Eternia populated by countless gruesome creatures under Whiplash's control, in which he serves Kraal, the devil-like ruler of the Demon Zone. Although an intriguing background for the character, it lacks consistency with the rest of the series in that Whiplash seems to regard Kraal as his true master rather than Skeletor, and it also stated that the barrier between the Demon Zone and Eternia can only be opened twice a year, which conflicts with the fact that Whiplash makes frequent appearances in other episodes. Meanwhile, "Trouble in Trolla" features him attempting to dominate Orko's homeworld of Trolla by learning the magic of the Trollans. Although he is a more than formidable villain in the episode, this episode also seems slightly inconsistent with his other appearances in that it fails to explain his sudden interest in magic, as well as how he came to be on Trolla in the first place. However, no continuity discrepancies within these episodes undermine the generally strong and memorable portrayal of Whiplash. Another high point for the character is in "To Save Skeletor", in which he is seen fighting his way past the King's palace guards, not for the sake of attacking the kingdom but to seek the Heroic Warriors' help and offer a temporary truce after suffering a severe injury under the evil demon Sh'Gora, threatening Eternia for its own will.

2002 series

Whiplash
200X-Whiplash
features in the 2002 revival of the Masters of the Universe toy line and cartoon. The new series offers a new background to his character, but unlike most of the other villains, whose roles and characters are expanded upon, his portrayal is significantly weaker than his 1980s counterpart. In this incarnation, Whiplash is generally consigned to background appearances, with little dialogue and little personality, seeming to be little more than a generic thuggish villain. The only episode to offer him a spotlight role is "Underworld" in which his background is revealed. In this episode, we see that he is from a race of underground-dwelling reptile creatures called the Caligars, who inhabit Subternia and are caught in permanent dispute with their Subternian neighbours, the bat-like Speleans. The Caligars are shown to be a generally peaceful race, who regard Whiplash as a traitor since he joined Skeletor's forces. However, even in this episode Whiplash receives little dialogue and serves little importance to the overall story. Another notable episode for the character is "The Monster Within", in which he is shown to suck up to Skeletor, feigning sycophantic loyalty to impress his master, but this is as far as his development goes, and he quickly fades out of the series, consigned completely to the background by the time of season two.

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