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Tobias Whale

Tobias Whale
Tobias Whale, art by Trevor Von Eeden.
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance Black Lightning # 1
(April 1977)
Created by Tony Isabella (writer)
Trevor Von Eeden (artist)
In-story information
Alter ego Tobias Whale
Team affiliations The 100
Kord Enterprises
Notable aliases Great White Whale
Abilities high degree of strength and damage resistance

Tobias Whale is a villain in DC Comics.

Publication history

Tobias Whale first appeared in Black Lightning #1 (April 1977). He was created by Tony Isabella and Trevor Von Eeden.

Fictional character biography

Tobias Whale is an African American albino, 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. Seeking to avenge the murdered student, Pierce becomes Black Lightning.[1]

Pierce is so successful 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.

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 [3] 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 the New 52 (a reboot of the DC Comics universe), Tobias Whale gets word that his 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.[4]


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 Wayne is secretly Batman. [5]

In other media


  • In the Justice League Unlimited episode "Double Date," a villain who betrayed and killed the parents of the Huntress called Steven Mandragora (voiced by Glenn Shadix) is a synthesis of Tobias Whale and Stefano Mandragora (a mobster who plays a role in the Huntress' comic book origin). In the episode, Huntress was tracking him down in order to avenge her parents' death. With the help of The Question, they managed to locate Mandragora, who was under federal protection in return for testimony against other criminals. Mandragora escaped federal custody and went to the docks to apparently flee the country. He overpowered Green Arrow, Black Canary, and The Question as he was making his escape, but surrendered when Huntress threatened him with her crossbow. She nearly executed him, but relented when she saw that the real reason the criminal was there was to welcome his little son to the country, and who was watching much as she watched when Mandragora originally murdered her parents. Instead, she knocked Mandragora senseless, and he was taken back into U.S. custody. In this episode he demonstrates great, possibly superhuman, strength and enough physical durability to withstand Black Canary's Canary Cry at close range (she had stated in "The Cat and The Canary" that her cry was lethal to normal humans under those circumstances) and to survive having a large amount of iron girders dropped on him from a height.
  • Steve Mandragora's son Edgar Mandragora previously appeared as an adult in the Batman Beyond episode "Mind Games" voiced by Brian Tochi where Edgar was a member of the Brain Trust. He displayed powerful psychic abilities, but was defeated by Batman in the end.
  • Edgar Mandragora also appeared in The Zeta Project episode "Ro's Gift" with a different design and voiced by John Rhys-Davies.[6]
  • Tobias Whale appears in Beware the Batman, voiced by Michael-Leon Wooley. When it came to a case against Tobias Whale in the past, Lt. James Gordon was escorting Humphry Dumpler into the courthouse when they were attacked by unknown assailants. In the present, Batman confronts Tobias Whale after his operative Ice Pick Joe was found in one of the robot soldier suits. Batman fought against Tobias Whale's men while Tobias Whale fled only to be captured by Humpty Dumpty. When Batman found Lt. Gordon and Tobias Whale in two of the many soldier suits outside of Humpty Dumpty's castle, Batman freed them as Tobias Whale got away. In "Allies," Tobias Whale was seen in the middle of a Stagg Industries warehouse robbery talking about Simon Stagg's arrest when Batman arrives and defeats him. Lt. Gordon and the police arrive and arrest Tobias Whale's gang. At the police station, Lt. Gordon is interrogating Tobias Whale as his lawyer Milo Match suggest that Whale be cleared of all charges and be released. Lt. Gordon doesn't take the suggestion which resulted in Barbara Gordon being captured. Lt. Gordon later visits Tobias Whale's cell on the location of where Barbara Gordon was taken. Tobias Whale doesn't tell Lt. Gordon where Barbara Gordon. Tobias Whale and Milo Match are shown to be in league with the "ghosts" of "The Cauldron" (a former industrial park that fell to corruption during Gotham City's bankruptcy) upon Batman discovering this. Upon receiving the news of Batman's fight in "The Cauldron," the police scatter to "The Cauldron" as Lt. Gordon releases Tobias Whale at gunpoint and takes him to "The Cauldron." Tobias Whale states to Lt. Gordon that he can't guarantee his safety. Lt. Gordon disarms a "ghost" as he states to Tobias Whale that he can't guarantee his safety too. Lt. Gordon arrives at the warehouse where Barbara Gordon, Batman, Katana, and Milo Match at as Tobias Whale has Milo Match show off his powers. As Milo transforms into Phosphorus Rex, Tobias Whale states that Milo is also his chief enforcer. Tobias Whale is accidentally pinned down by a shelf during Phosphorus Rex's attack. After Phosphorus Rex was defeated, it can be assumed that Tobias Whale and Phosphorus Rex were arrested by the police that arrived at "The Cauldron." In "Reckoning", Tobias Whale and Phosphorus Rex are some of the Blackgate Penitentiary inmates rallied by Ra's al Ghul to capture and bring Batman to him. While Rex fights Batman alongside the other villains, Whale approaches Batman when he isolated, proposing to team-up to defeat Ra's al Ghul. Batman pretends that Whale has captured him and brought to Ra's, only for Whale to betray him. Batman anticipates this and sets his grapnel gun to stun Tobias Whale.


  1. ^ Black Lightning#1
  2. ^ Black Lightning #2-3
  3. ^ "Gotham Underground" #1-8 (December 2007 to August 2008)
  4. ^ DC Universe Presents #13
  5. ^ Batman: Shadow Of The Bat #1 (April 2015)
  6. ^ [1]

External links