Edward Lavell was one of Wilson Fisk's mercenary bodyguards upon his release from prison, having started working for him after a brief stint for a few years as a Maggia grunt. He eventually gained his boss' attention when he acquired a copy of the stolen design schematics for the Whiplash armor developed by Ivan Vanko. Seeking to use such a powerful weapon in his efforts to retake Hell's Kitchen from the Hand, Fisk thus commissioned his part-time engineer Phineas Mason to reproduce the armor as well as tweak its design slightly to make it even more effective in battle against Daredevil and the Defenders. The result was a form-fitting Whiplash armor equipped with dual electricity-generating repulsor gauntlets and a refillable container of varnish-grease with a design based on the electric eel-knifefish. Since Lavell had been the one to recover the plans in the first place, he was chosen to wear the completed armor and test it out by breaking out one of Fisk's associates out of prison as the Eel.