Superhero comics are all about the good guys fighting the villains. In order to have a great story, you have to have great villains for the hero to fight. Not all villains can achieve star status like Joker, Green Goblin or Doctor Doom. Supervillains often become the butt of jokes as they are constantly defeated and humiliated by the heroes.
Given the right story and direction, there are some villains that have the potential of becoming something great.
Spider-Man has many great villains as well as some that are laughable. The Vulture is one that has survived the test of time but still hasn't achieved the status of a being a great supervillain. He's simply seen as an old guy that can fly. He can be more than that and deserves a chance to prove it (especially before he actually dies of old age). Vulture might be seem as a weaker and sometimes comical villain but there is something there underneath the surface. Vulture has the potential to someday be a really great comic book villain.== TEASER ==
Adrian Toomes wasn't always a villain. Originally he was an brilliant electronics engineer. He managed to invent a flying harness that could allow people to soar through the skies. This invention would have meant big things for his company. Unfortunately Toomes was partnered with an untrustworthy partner. Toomes discovered that his partner had been embezzling company money and he had been robbed of any legal rights to his invention. This was the spark that ignited Toomes career as a villain (as told in THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #241).
Besides flight, the harness also gave Toomes super strength and the wings could be equipped with sharp objects and projectiles. He could now go places others could not and having super strength gave him an edge over the common man. It's just perplexing why being betrayed by his business partner drove him to become a criminal as well.
If Toomes managed to reclaim the rights to his invention, he could have had a different life and been a different man. There is so much potential in having designed a device like this. Think about how a flying harness could change something like a commute to and from work. People would be willing to pay for this device if it meant saving on vehicles, insurance or public transportation costs. For those commuters that drive, they won't have to worry about paying for parking or being stuck in traffic. One could make the argument that if everyone was able to fly, the skies would be a mess. But would it really be that different from commuters abandoning driving in favor of bicycling to work?
Besides selling the patent for commuters, there's also a military angle. Soldiers could safely fly under the radar into enemy territory. With the super strength or projectiles, the suit doubles as a weapon and mode of transportation. Surely the government would pay top dollar for a device like this.
If Toomes simply has an need to be a villain, he could have amassed a fortune with his harness and built himself a criminal empire. Instead, he has tried simple heists like robbing the Daily Bugle's payroll (in THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #7). This is something Toomes attempted recently in THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #674.
Despite gaining superstrength from his invention, he could easily sit back and let others do the dirty work for him. After having been defeated so many times by Spider-Man, clearly with his intelligence, he would know better than to just jump into another scheme and hope to get away with it. By controlling a gang or flock of Vultures, he could expand his reach and protect himself. Spider-Man can't be everywhere at once.
Another option would be to delve into his past. What was he like before his business partner stole from him? Why did this one act of betrayal turn him into a criminal willing to kill? The idea of an old man flying around in a vulture costume may seem more of a novelty than the makings of a great supervillain. But there is more that could be done.
The recent new Vulture (that apparently didn't fair too well against the Punisher) was more creepy than what we've seen before. Toomes' character doesn't have to go in quite that direction but he could be made into a colder and more calculating villain. Who knows how long a character of his age can last and it's time he becomes elevated to become a respected supervillain. He's been around for nearly fifty years so it's time he is written in a way that will bring him to new heights and give him the respect he deserves.