This article, Ivan Vanko, contains information regarding a canonical subject from an existing feature film or franchise. However, the canon information has been mixed with "fanon" information (fan-made information). Therefore, the information in this article cannot be used for reference.

Loading Bar
This article is not yet finished. As such, this article will be constantly changing until it is marked as finished. Relevant information in this article will likely be changed as well.
Protected Symbol
Ivan Vanko
Ivan Vanko
Production information
First appearance Iron Man 2
Last appearance The Truth
Character information
Full name Ivan Antonovich Vanko (Russian: Иван Антонович Ванко)
Other names Whiplash
"The Bird Man" (to Justin Hammer)
Personality Russian
Fond of his pet cockatoo
Species Human
Home Moscow (formerly)
Monaco (formerly)
United States
Allies His father, Anton Vanko (formerly)
Chakor Channing (formerly)
Professor Pericles (formerly)
His pet cockatoo (formerly)
Justin Hammer (formerly)
Enemies Tony Stark (Iron Man)
Justin Hammer
James Rhodes
Gender Male symbol
Status Deceased

"If you can make God bleed, the people will cease to believe in him. And there will be blood in the water, and the sharks will come. The truth, all I have to do is sit here and watch as the world will consume you."
—Ivan Vanko to Tony Stark

Ivan Vanko (Russian: Иван Ванко), also known as Whiplash, was the primary antagonist in Iron Man 2. Vanko was mentioned by Professor Pericles in Mind of Evil as he was explaining his plan to Nigel. Ivan Vanko will also appear as a minor background character in The Truth.


The Truth

Ivan Vanko is hired by Chakor Channing to create blueprints for a mechanized suit known to Chakor himself as Black Wolf. How Vanko and Chakor Channing managed to contact each other will be revealed in the story.

Mind of Evil

A year prior to his arrest, Ivan Vanko was contacted by Professor Pericles to create a cloaking device for the Raptor headquarters. Shortly after the fact, Vanko was arrested for selling Soviet-era weapons-grade plutonium to Pakistan and served 15 years in prison. Pericles mentions this as he is explaining his plan to Nigel. Pericles also explains that the lair is now hidden by a cloaking device designed after the color-changing skin of Randall Boggs.

Iron Man 2

Ivan Vanko first appears at his home near an alleyway in Moscow where his father, Anton Vanko, is coughing and dying. After his father dies, Ivan Vanko begins overlooking blueprints for the Arc Reactor created by his father and Howard Stark, the father of Tony Stark (Iron Man). Vanko begins creating his own Arc Reactor based off of the blueprints, in revenge against Tony Stark. As the montages of Vanko creating the Arc Reactor go by, there is a short scene where Vanko is seen giving his pet Sulphur-crested cockatoo vodka. Vanko eventually completes the Arc Reactor and stares into its light with an evil smile and a sinister, low, laugh.

Six months later, Vanko is seen creating his electrified plasma whips and harness to hold his Arc Reactor. Vanko even whips a television broadcasting Tony Stark in half with a plasma whip. An agent of The Ten Rings is later seen slipping Vanko a passport to the United States in an alleyway. Along with the passport, the agent also gave Vanko a postcard for the Monaco Grand Prix.

Vanko infiltrates the Monaco Grand Prix using a boiler suit as a disguise. Vanko begins wandering the track, astounding the audience of the race, and eventually reveals his Whiplash harness and his plasma whips before he splices a race car in half. Vanko attacks Stark (who is racing in the Monaco Grand Prix) and slices Stark's car in half. Stark survives and Vanko attempts to attack him while he is weak. Stark's bodyguard Happy Hogan arrives and rams Vanko with his car, allowing time for Stark to apply a portable Iron Man suit (Mark V). Vanko confronts Stark again, with Stark now armed with the Mark V armor. Vanko whips Stark and wraps the whips around his torso and neck, which begin to burn through Stark's armor. Stark grabs Vanko's whips and throws him to the ground. Stark then removes the Arc Reactor from Vanko's harness, making him powerless. Vanko is then arrested by the Monaco authorities.

Stark visits Vanko in prison, curious to know why Vanko did not sell his technology for money and where he obtained the design for the Arc Reactor. Vanko explains that he did not want to kill Iron Man, but ruin his public image by demonstrating that Iron Man could be defeated. Vanko also explains that he obtained the blueprints from his father Anton Vanko, who worked with Tony's father Howard Stark. Before Stark leaves, Vanko utters "Palladium in the chest, painful way to die." deliberately to taunt Stark while ensuring that Vanko is aware of Stark's condition of his Arc Reactor core poisoning him.

Vanko later escapes from prison with the help of Stark's rival Justin Hammer, who places a clay bomb in the disguise of a potato in Vanko's prison lunch. One of Hammer's men, disguised as a cell guard, escorts another prisoner with Vanko's same incarceration number on his prison unifrom into the cell. Vanko kills the other prisoner and the same cell guard slips Vanko the keys. Vanko escapes and an actual cell guard begins harassing Vanko for not being in his cell. Vanko snaps the guard's neck and escapes before the bomb explodes. More of Hammer's men disguised as prison guards slip a bag over Vanko's head and transport him to an aircraft facility, where Vanko meets Justin Hammer himself for the first time. Hammer offers to help Vanko take revenge on Stark in return for designing suits for Hammer Industries. Vanko agrees on the condition that Hammer brings him his pet Sulphur-crested cockatoo he left back in Russia.

Hammer brings Vanko to his facility in Queens, New York, where Vanko is introduced to Hammer's prototype suits. After Hammer explains that he wants to use the suits to replace Iron Man and ruin Tony Stark's image at the Stark Expo, Vanko confirms that he will help Hammer with no problem. Later, Hammer brings Vanko the cockatoo he wanted, although Vanko claims that the bird is not his cockatoo. This immediately effects Vanko's relationship with Hammer, who advises Vanko to not become attached to sentimental values such as his bird. Hammer then realizes that Vanko has replaced a Hammer suit's helmet with a drone head. Hammer, at first appalled by Vanko's change in plan, asks why Vanko has replaced the suit's helmet with a drone head. Vanko responds that people create problems and that the drone is better. Vanko also retorts back "Don't get too attached to things. Learn to let go.", deliberately taunting Hammer by rephrasing Hammer's same quote.

When Vanko informs Hammer that he cannot give a weapons demonstration of the drones for Senator Stern and the Stark Expo, Hammer takes the bird he brought Vanko, Vanko's pillows, and his shoes from him as punishment for not delivering what was promised in their deal. In addition, Vanko is locked up in the facility until Hammer is finished with his presentation at the expo. However, a few seconds after Hammer leaves the room, Vanko kills Hammer's guards and takes back his belongings. Vanko then calls Tony Stark from a home-made telephone (created using leftover resources from Hammer's facility), informing Stark that he has escaped from prison and that will take revenge on him at the Stark Expo. As Vanko is speaking to Stark, Stark traces Vanko's call to the Hammer Industries facility in Queens.

At the Stark Expo, where Hammer is presenting the drones, Vanko takes remote control of the drones and the War Machine armor worn by James Rhodes from Hammer's facility, making the drones attack the expo and sending the War Machine armor after Tony Stark. However, S.H.E.I.L.D agent Natasha Romanoff and Happy Hogan arrive at the facility to fight off Hammer's guards. Taking advantage of the time, Vanko escapes from the facility.

Rhodes gains control of his armor once more and the Hammer drones are eventually defeated by Rhodes and Stark. Vanko arrives in his Whiplash Mark II suit, fashioned from Hammer technology with a new Arc Reactor and set of plasma whips with double cycles, rather than one cycle as Stark pointed out during his conversation with Vanko in Monaco prison. Rhodes fires a missile at Vanko (dubbed by Hammer Industries employees as the "X-Wife"), only to find that the missile has no affect on Vanko's new armor. Vanko attacks and whips Stark and Rhodes, tying the whips around their necks. As Vanko has his whips wrapped firmly around their necks, Stark and Rhodes fire their repulsor moun beams at Vanko, causing a massive explosion. Vanko, now wounded in the remains of his suit, reveals that he installed self-destruct devices in his armor and the Hammer drones. The explosion from his suit kills Vanko, and his dying words to Tony Stark are "You lose."


For more images of Ivan Vanko, click here


  • In Iron Man 2, Ivan Vanko is portrayed by Mickey Rourke.
  • Ivan Vanko had a sentimental attachment to a pet Sulphur-crested cockatoo, most likely belonging to his father. Although Nigel is also a Sulphur-crested cockatoo, there is no connection to the two birds.

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.