Was Ivan Vanko really Whiplash? I know that's who Jon Favreau said he was, and how he's referred to in all the marketing and merchandise, and he does brandish a pair of electronic whips. However, Vanko was never referred to by that name in the movie, or even a joking passing reference made to that character (either by the public or by Stark). In fact, although he was meant to be a combination of Whiplash and Crimson Dynamo, he was actually more Crimson Dynamo than Whiplash. Sure, he had a pair of whips, but that was only for one scene. It wasn't his signature weapon, and he didn't exactly use that in the final climactic battle against Iron Man and War Machine. In fact, even though he had a whip, that proves nothing. Lots of armoured characters add all kinds of weaponry to their arsenal, borrowing bits from others. Iron Man is a case in point: Shellhead added Force's EMP dampening pulse to his new classic red and gold (after the Armor Wars) as well as the energy shield from the Raiders. Just because he had either of those "signature" weapons from those villains (adapted directly from them) doesn't automatically make Iron Man's name either Force or one of the Raiders. If IM added an electronic whip to his arsenal, he would still be Iron Man. In the same way, just because Vanko, if say he were the Dynamo, had an electronic whip, doesn't automatically make him Whiplash. Although Favreau et al said Vanko was Whiplash, that seems to be just a token nod. Nothing about him within the movie's universe actually said he was. He was more like the Dynamo (not even crimson - probably so as not to compete with Iron Man's red) who once used a pair of electronic whips. If it weren't for those whips in that Monaco scene, would anyone actually identify him as Whiplash? There's nothing else to associate him with the character, not even the Marc Scarlotti name (or the fact that Scarlotti worked for the Maggia) but everything to associate him with the Dynamo.