Tobias Whale

Tobias Whale is a fictional character, a supervillain appearing in comic books published by DC Comics. He is the archenemy of Black Lightning.

Whale has been portrayed in a few shows and films. The character is portrayed by Marvin "Krondon" Jones III in the live action series Black Lightning.

Tobias Whale
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceBlack Lightning #1
(April 1977)
Created byTony Isabella
Trevor Von Eeden
In-story information
Alter egoTobias Whale
Place of originNew Earth
Team affiliationsThe 100
Kord Enterprises
Notable aliasesThe Great White Whale
AbilitiesCriminal mastermind
Advanced Hand-to-Hand Combatant
Skilled harpooner

Publication history

Created by Tony Isabella and Trevor Von Eeden, the character made his first appearance in Black Lightning #1 (April 1977).

Fictional character biography

Tobias Whale is an African American albino kingpin, who worked his way up from the rackets to head the Metropolis branch of the 100. A school teacher named Jefferson Pierce spoke out against the 100's drug trafficking, and so they made an example of one of his students named Earl Clifford when Joey Toledo led his men into attacking Earl, which ended with Earl being hit by a car. Seeking to avenge the murdered student and receiving help from his tailor friend Peter Gambi, Pierce becomes Black Lightning and attacks Joey and his men. After defeating his henchmen, Joey Toledo is grabbed by Black Lightning who arranges for Toledo to meet him at Garfield High School's gymnasium to inform on the 100 to him.[1]

When Black Lightning meets with Joey Toledo, Merlyn also appears after being hired by Toledo to kill Black Lightning. Their fight is crashed by Talia al Ghul and the League of Assassins who are after Merlyn since he left the group after failing to kill Batman. The resulting battle ended with Joey Toledo being killed by a League of Assassins operative. Afterwards, Pierce is so successful in avenging Earl's death that Tobias is sent to jail.[2]

When he breaks out of prison some months later, he teams up with Syonide II in order to distribute a new highly addictive drug. The drug's formula was supposedly in the possession of a woman named Violet Harper. Tobias sends Syonide to retrieve the formula. Unable to gain any information or find any trace of the formula, Syonide kills Harper. Violet Harper later comes back to life when an Aurakle possesses her lifeless body; this new being called herself Halo. Once he learned of Harper's resurrection, Tobias assumed that she must have memorized the formula. But since Harper has no memories from before her death, a frustrated Syonide killed her parents during the Outsiders' fight with Tobias Whale's henchmen.[3]

Often called "the Great White Whale" behind his back, Tobias Whale weighs close to 400 lbs. However, most of his considerable bulk is muscle.

It is unknown whether Tobias ever was associated with the 100's successor group, the 1000.

Whale returned in the limited series Gotham Underground[4] and has moved to Gotham City where he is attempting to become the Capo di tutti capi boss of bosses, following the death of the Black Mask. After taking over both the Galante and Odessa crime families, he ends up in a gang war with Intergang. They buy him out and make him the CEO of Kord Enterprises which has become a front for Intergang's criminal activities.

The New 52

In September 2011, The New 52 rebooted DC's continuity. In this new timeline, Tobias Whale is re-introduced when he gets word that a drug deal done by his representatives was disrupted by both Black Lightning and Blue Devil. He decides to have them hunted down in order to get revenge on them.[5]

Other versions


During the 2015 "Convergence" storyline, the pre-Zero-Hour version of Tobias Whale has been trapped in his Metropolis for a full year. He has taken over the criminal underground. He struggles to gain influence over the mysterious food deliveries as this is something the city values. He is opposed by the vigilante Jean-Paul Valley and the stranded playboy Bruce Wayne. Whale is unaware that Wayne is secretly Batman.[6]

In other media


  • While Tobias Whale is not present in Justice League Unlimited, a similar character named Steven Mandragora appears in episode "Double Date", voiced by Glenn Shadix. An amalgam of Sicilian crime lord from DC Comics Stefano Mandragora and of Tobias Whale, the latter one more visually based on him, he is a crime lord who killed Helena's parents when she was younger, prompting her to become Huntress and join Justice League. Years later, he is seen in federal custody to give an information of organised crime. When Helena discovers this, she goes to kill him. Steven is released from custody by his henchman who also rescued his son Edgar from rival gang and attempted to escape with him. When Helena caught him with the aid of Question, she wants to kill him, but when she discovers that he has a son, she decides not to kill him, putting him in federal custody again. Unlike the comics version of Tobias Whale, he is hinted to have metahuman powers due to his immense strength and endurance.
  • Steven Mandragora's son Edgar Mandragora appears in the Justice League Unlimited episode "Double Date", the Batman Beyond episode "Mind Games" and The Zeta Project episode "Ro's Gift" voiced by Brian Tochi and John Rhys-Davies. Edgar Mandragora was the son of Steven Mandragora and later a member of the Brain Trust. Edgar was kidnapped by a rival of his father's, forcing Steven Mandragora to stall testifying in court to wait out his rescue. His father had ensured that they would be provided for to slip away. However, the Justice League interfered. Huntress, who had a personal vendetta against Edgar's father, thought of killing him, but instead dropped a load of girders on him. Mandragora had to cooperate with the authorities for his Edgar's sake. The details of how Edgar grew up were unspecified, but he discovered he had psychic powers, including telepathy and telekinesis. He became a member of the Brain Trust, a secret society of metahumans who subtly kidnap children with similar gifts, claiming to the parents that they will help them. One prospect was Tamara Caulder, who had a latent psychic gift. Edgar was waiting for Batman at a fake school, where he trapped the Dark Knight in a mental illusion, all the while telekinetically throwing objects at him. Luckily, Batman is able to fight the illusion and render Edgar unconscious. Edgar was later able to escape prison, along with Bombshell. While playing chess with two more kidnapped children, Edgar received a telepathic message from her and Schiz about a girl who could communicate with machines, not knowing it was actually her robot friend in disguise. They kidnap her and try forcing her to fix a bomb, unwilling to believe that she did nothing. Transita was able to subtly fix the bomb, covering for Ro. The Trust then planned on using the bomb to release ultraband radiation on the nearby town, supposedly awaking the dormant powers in other children. However, Ro is able to turn the children against the Trust, having Amp boost Schiz's powers to high degree to envelop Edgar and Bombshell, rendering them unconscious from the trauma of overwhelming thoughts. Authorities then arrested the Trust members.
  • Tobias Whale appears in Beware the Batman, voiced by Michael-Leon Wooley. He is Gotham City's leading crime lord and has employed criminals like his lawyer/enforcer Phosphorus Rex. In addition, Humphry Dumpler used to work as his accountant, which leads him to target Whale and James Gordon for revenge. Tobias can be reasonable with Batman at times, and the two have even worked together twice, though Tobias betrays Batman in at least one of those times by siding with Ra's al Ghul instead.
  • Marvin "Krondon" Jones III portrays Tobias Whale as the main antagonist of Black Lightning.[7] His backstory is that he is a former politician who rose through the ranks of local government through corruption, but was brought down by Jefferson's father Alvin. After killing Alvin, Tobias was kicked out of the government and became the leader of The 100 Gang upon receiving ownership of it from Lady Eve's people. He has Joey Toledo and Syonide as his enforcers and has a younger sister named Tori (portrayed by Edwina Findley). During his battles with Black Lightning which cost Tobias the life of Tori, Tobias later gained the services of Khalil under the alias "Painkiller" after the A.S.A. gave him a cybernetic spine implant. In the episode "The Book of Consequences: Chapter Two: Master Lowry," Tobias Whale goes to visit the crypt of Tori to pay his respects where he is arrested by Deputy Chief Henderson and his fellow police officers for the murder of Alvin Pierce. In the episode "The Book of Consequences: Chapter Four: Translucent Freak," Tobias is released from police custody when District Attorney Montez does not think that Jefferson's eyewitness testimony will stick. During "The Book of Rebellion" arc, Tobias Whale sends Painkiller to kill Reverend Jeremiah Holt, who wouldn't relocate his clinic as suggested by Councilman Kwame Parker. When Tobias got tired of waiting and Painkiller failed to get Reverend Holt to leave town, he placed a bounty on Painkiller, which gets fulfilled by Giselle Cutter and ends with Tobias ripping out his spinal implant and leaving him for dead. During these episodes, Tobias also gets a young prodigy named Todd Green on his side. The episode "The Book of Secrets: Chapter One: Prodigal Son" revealed that he was an old friend of Helga Jace, who made his anti-aging serum. After Todd orchestrates Jace's jailbreak in secret, she takes Tobias to where the remaining pod children are held, as he makes plans for them. In the season 2 finale, Tobias unleashes the Masters of Disaster on Freeland while also having the 100 cause riots. When Lightning confronts Tobias Whale after Cutter leaves him, she nearly kills him until Black Lightning shows up and talks her out of it. Lightning helps her father defeat Tobias, who is then remanded to an off the books metahuman prison called "the Pit".


Tobias Whale appears in Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay, voiced by Dave Fennoy. He had a flash drive containing leaked information in his possession which Amanda Waller sent Task Force X (consisting of Deadshot, Black Manta, Count Vertigo, and Punch and Jewelee) to recover. He subdues Vertigo and Deadshot in a fight, but is killed when Count Vertigo uses his "Vertigo Effect" to weaken him and Punch uses his sting string to force him into shooting himself in his head.


  1. ^ Black Lightning#1
  2. ^ Black Lightning #2-3
  3. ^ Batman and the Outsiders #20. DC Comics.
  4. ^ "Gotham Underground" #1-8 (December 2007 to August 2008). DC Comics.
  5. ^ DC Universe Presents #13. DC Comics.
  6. ^ Batman: Shadow Of The Bat #1 (April 2015). DC Comics
  7. ^ Ramos, Dino-Ray (August 10, 2017). "'Black Lightning' Adds Marvin "Krondon" Jones III As Villain Tobias Whale". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 10, 2017.

External links

100 (DC Comics)

The 100, The 10, and The 1,000 are fictional organized crime groups appearing in comic books published by DC Comics. The 10 debuted in Superman #665 (September 2007) and was created by Kurt Busiek and Rick Leonardi. The 100 debuted in Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #105 (October 1970) and was created by Bob Kanigher. The 1,000 debuted in Booster Gold #2 (March 1986) and was created by Dan Jurgens.

Beware the Batman

Beware the Batman is an American computer-animated television series based on the DC Comics superhero Batman. The series premiered in the United States on Cartoon Network on July 13, 2013, as part of their DC Nation block, replacing Batman: The Brave and the Bold. The series was produced by Warner Bros. Animation and DC Entertainment. The series ran on Cartoon Network until it was pulled from the schedule four months after its premiere, without official explanation. After the series was put on hiatus, the remaining episodes of the season began to air on Adult Swim's Toonami block, from July 27 to September 28, 2014.

Black Lightning

Black Lightning is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. The character, created by writer Tony Isabella and artist Trevor Von Eeden, first appeared in Black Lightning #1 (April 1977), during the Bronze Age of Comic Books. While his origin story has been retconned several times, his current origin story states that he was born in the DC Universe a metahuman with superhuman abilities. Black Lightning is DC Comics' third African American superhero, after John Stewart and Tyroc.Born Jefferson Pierce, Black Lightning is originally depicted as a schoolteacher from the crime-ridden Suicide Slum area of Metropolis who acquires electrical superpowers from a technologically advanced power belt that he puts to use to clean up crime in his neighborhood. Over time, Pierce establishes himself as a successful superhero in the DC Universe, and later stories depict him as having "internalized" the belt's powers as a result of his latent metagene. Later retellings of Black Lightning's origins simplify his story by depicting him as metahuman with the inborn ability to manipulate and generate electricity.

Tony Isabella, an experienced writer having done work for the Luke Cage character at Marvel Comics, was signed on to develop DC's first starring black character. He pitched the idea for Black Lightning and it was developed though only 11 issues were published in the first series due to the 1978 DC Implosion. However, the character continued to make appearances in other titles over the years, including a Justice League of America storyline in which Pierce is offered but turns down a position with the group. Elements of Black Lightning were controversial when the character debuted. In the character's early days, Black Lightning was depicted wearing a combined afro wig/mask and affecting an exaggerated Harlem jive vernacular as part of his efforts to conceal his identity as highly educated school professional Jefferson Pierce. Black Lightning later becomes one of the founding members of the Batman-helmed Outsiders superhero team.

In the 2000s, DC Comics introduced Black Lightning's daughters, who inherited metahuman abilities from their father. His eldest daughter Anissa, known as Thunder, can alter her density, rendering her almost indestructible, and create shockwaves by stomping the ground. Pierce's younger child Jennifer, also a superhero known as Lightning, has powers almost identical to her father though she is still inexperienced and not in full control of them.

Along with his presence in comics, Black Lightning has made various appearances in DC-related animated television series, video games and comic strips. The character is being portrayed in live action for the first time by Cress Williams for the eponymous television series, which runs on The CW.

In 2011, he was ranked 85th overall on IGN's "Top 100 Comic Books Heroes" list.

Black Lightning (TV series)

Black Lightning is an American superhero television drama series developed by Salim Akil, airing on The CW. It is based on the DC Comics character of the same name, created by Tony Isabella and Trevor Von Eeden. It stars Cress Williams as the titular character alongside China Anne McClain, Nafessa Williams, Christine Adams, Marvin Jones III, Damon Gupton, James Remar, and Jordan Calloway. The series sees the retired Black Lightning return to the hero life and its effects on his family life.

Development on the series began in September 2016 when Fox ordered a pilot production commitment for Black Lightning. In February 2017, Fox passed on the series, with it being picked up by The CW with a new script for the pilot. The CW officially ordered the series in May 2017. The first season premiered on January 16, 2018, for a 13-episode run. On April 2, 2018, The CW renewed the show for a second season, which premiered on October 9, 2018. On January 31, 2019, The CW renewed the series for a third season.

Black Lightning (season 2)

The second season of the American television series Black Lightning, which is based on the DC Comics character Jefferson Pierce / Black Lightning, premiered on The CW on October 9, 2018 and ran for 16 episodes until March 18, 2019. The season continues to follow Jefferson, now a high school teacher who recently re-emerged from retirement as the superhero Black Lightning, as he fights against the rising crime and corruption propagated by the local gang called The 100 in his community of Freeland. The season is produced by Berlanti Productions, Akil Productions, Warner Bros. Television, and DC Entertainment, with Salim Akil serving as showrunner.

The season was ordered in April 2018 and production began that June. Cress Williams stars as Jefferson, along with principal cast members China Anne McClain, Nafessa Williams, Marvin "Krondon" Jones III, Christine Adams, Damon Gupton, and James Remar also returning from the previous season, while Jordan Calloway was promoted to the principal cast from his recurring status in season one.

Convergence (comics)

"Convergence" is a weekly comic book storyline published by DC Comics that ran from April 2015 to May 2015. The series consists of an eponymous #0 issue, an eight-issue core miniseries, and 40 two-issue tie-in miniseries. "Convergence" continues from the weekly series Earth 2: World's End and The New 52: Futures End. In the story, Brainiac collects cities and inhabitants from various timelines that have ended and traps them in domes on a planet outside of time and space. He then exposes the domes to one another to see how the characters interact. This event marks the return of DC characters and timelines from before the 2011 "Flashpoint" storyline that led to the creation of The New 52 Universe.

Doctor Moon

Doctor Moon is a fictional villain in DC Comics.

Gotham Underground

Gotham Underground is a nine-issue limited series from DC Comics, written by Frank Tieri, with art by Jim Califiore.

The series looked at the repercussions of Countdown to Final Crisis and focuses on the Batman Family banding together to prevent a gang war to find out who will occupy the territory that belonged to the recently deceased Black Mask.


Intergang is an organized crime group in Superman and other DC comics. Armed with technology supplied by the villainous New Gods of the planet Apokolips, it is a potent foe who can seriously challenge the most powerful superheroes.

Kord Enterprises

Kord Enterprises (or Kord Industries) is a fictional multibillion-dollar multinational corporation in the DC Comics universe. It is owned and run by occasionally dead scientist and businessman Ted Kord, the superhero Blue Beetle.


Marvin Jones III (born July 9, 1976), also known as Krondon, is an American rapper and actor from Los Angeles, California. He is a member of the group Strong Arm Steady, along with rappers Phil Da Agony and Mitchy Slick.

List of Black Lightning characters

Black Lightning is an American superhero television series developed by Salim Akil, airing on The CW. It is based on the DC Comics character of the same name, created by Tony Isabella. It stars Cress Williams as the titular character alongside China Anne McClain, Nafessa Williams, Christine Adams, Marvin Jones III, Damon Gupton, James Remar, and Jordan Calloway.

The series sees the retired Black Lightning (Cress Williams), who as Jefferson Pierce is a high school principal and loving father, return to the hero life after his daughters are kidnapped by the 100 gang, which is later revealed to be led by Tobias Whale (Marvin Jones III), who apparently killed Jefferson's father years before the onset.

Jefferson’s elder daughter Anissa (who is an avid social activist for African-American human rights) later discovers she has inherited her father’s metahuman genes, although she is initially unaware that he is Black Lightning and begins investigating her grandfather’s articles concerning a group of young metahumans who disappeared years ago. She later discovers her father is Black Lightning and joins him using her powers as a vigilante. Jefferson’s ex-wife Lynn Stewart (Christine Adams), is the main inspiration of Jefferson’s initial retirement as she feared him dying on the streets, but she begrudgingly realizes she cannot stop him after discovering Anissa’s abilities.


Markovia is a fictional nation in the DC Comics Universe, first seen in The Brave and the Bold #200 (July 1983). Markovia is a small country in Europe, ruled by the Markov family.

Peter Gambi

Peter Gambi is a character appearing in comics published by DC Comics and is a supporting character of Black Lightning. He is the brother of Paul Gambi. Peter Gambi first appeared in Black Lightning #1 and was created by Tony Isabella and Trevor von Eeden.

Gambi has made appearances in several comic books and the character is portrayed by James Remar in the live action series Black Lightning.

Phosphorus Rex

Phosphorus Rex is a supervillain in DC Comics.

Punch and Jewelee

Punch and Jewelee are supervillains in the DC Universe. They originally battled Captain Atom and Nightshade and later joined the Suicide Squad.


Syonide is a name of different villains in DC Comics. The first was an enemy of the Golden Age Wonder Woman. The second was a hitman for hire who worked for Tobias Whale and who clashed with Black Lightning. The third also worked for Whale and was Halo of the Outsiders's nemesis. The fourth was a woman named Nikki who was part of Lady Eve's Strike Force Kobra, fought Looker and Eradicator of the Outsiders, and was her teammate Fauna Faust's girlfriend.

Supporting characters
In other media
Batman family
Alternative versions
Other media
Supporting characters

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