Root for the Bad Guy: The Vulture

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Posted by G-Man (30672 posts) - - Show Bio

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.

Staff
#1 Posted by Batcrow (232 posts) - - Show Bio

You guys should do an obscure Wonder Woman villain...

#2 Posted by Inverno (13061 posts) - - Show Bio

Vulture is not so lame or obscure. He was a badass in Web of Shadows (I loved that game)

#3 Posted by cmaprice (809 posts) - - Show Bio
#4 Posted by Deadcool (6809 posts) - - Show Bio

Remember when the Vuture was cool?

...

Actually I have read some versions of the vulture that have been cool enough to give enough care, I remember that Vulture Noir was scary, and the Vulture from the Animated Series used to be able to steal your youth, and this new vulture was awesome, oh well.

#5 Posted by RalfvdH (648 posts) - - Show Bio

well.. The vulture with the juvenator in the '90's was an formidable opponent... Only to make him a joke again around the time Ben Reilly took the webs... or just after that... Don't remember that one....

Young Adrian Toomes was a sadistic psycho which I kinda liked....

#6 Posted by Lvenger (18462 posts) - - Show Bio

It's only recently that Vulture has become a bigger threat, similar with the Lizard. In Amazing Spider-Man 674 and 675, Toomes really stepped up a notch and proved he could be a deadly threat to Spider-Man and New York City.

#7 Posted by Miss_Garrick (1757 posts) - - Show Bio

I always thought it was cool how in the 90's Toomes could suck the life energy out of other people and be young himself. They should have kept that, it was the only time I thought he was a interesting villian.

#8 Posted by Teerack (5414 posts) - - Show Bio

idk what it is about him, but i could never root for Vulture, but i am glad Punisher killed that new vulture, because Adrian is a lot cooler.

#9 Posted by Jimmie (8 posts) - - Show Bio

@CaioTrubat: Have you ever seen him in Shattered Dimensions? Now THAT was an epic Vulture!

#10 Edited by Blacklightning13 (916 posts) - - Show Bio

I always liked his origin and how simple his power-set is. He also isn't all about his feeble set of powers. I think if written well he could make a good mob boss kind of character. Or simply have a team of vultures that work for him.

#11 Posted by Chaos Burn (1776 posts) - - Show Bio

loop the loop!

#12 Posted by Batcrow (232 posts) - - Show Bio

@Jimmie said:

@CaioTrubat: Have you ever seen him in Shattered Dimensions? Now THAT was an epic Vulture!

Word.

#13 Posted by NightFang (9904 posts) - - Show Bio

I always root for the villains, there the real underdogs.

#14 Posted by ReVamp (22863 posts) - - Show Bio

I really liked the latest Vulture.

#15 Posted by G-Man (30672 posts) - - Show Bio
Staff
#16 Posted by BatWatch (2366 posts) - - Show Bio

I already consider Vulture an A-list villain. I would prefer that this article highlight more obscure villains in the future.

#17 Posted by That60sGuy (286 posts) - - Show Bio

Although not his biggest fan I always thought Vulture was AT LEAST a mid level villain. He's appeared in enough games and also in Spider-Man TAS. I remember when Blackie Drago took over as Vulture and Adrian Toomes WHIPPED HIS ASS in public to make an example of him (Amazing Spider-Man #63). That was bad ass! Also why the f does The Vulture's harness give him super strength!?

Any chance of an article on a more crappy villain called The Looter?

#18 Posted by pspin (891 posts) - - Show Bio

@Batcrow said:

You guys should do an obscure Wonder Woman villain...

all of them???

#19 Posted by Zeeguy91 (1100 posts) - - Show Bio

@Batcrow said:

You guys should do an obscure Wonder Woman villain...

I agree. Wonder Woman's villains deserve some love. Giganta, Cheetah, and Ares are somewhat well known among fans, but villains like Silver Swan, Dr. Psycho, and others are usually pushed to the background. That being said, I think the hero with the most obscure and perhaps weakest rogues gallery is Iron Man.

#20 Posted by Necrotic_Lycanthrope (2388 posts) - - Show Bio

Only time I actually liked Vulture was in Spider-man: The Animated Series. And he was degenerated back into a teen in that show.

#21 Posted by Master_Thief (735 posts) - - Show Bio

the clock king

#22 Posted by Namor1987 (1883 posts) - - Show Bio

I liked when he was draining the life out of people

#23 Posted by Renchamp (2289 posts) - - Show Bio

My only Vulture exposure comes from an awful Cable and Wolverine one-shot from '99. He seemed formidable. I never knew he wasn't very supervillainy.

#24 Posted by Inverno (13061 posts) - - Show Bio

@Batcrow said:

@Jimmie said:

@CaioTrubat: Have you ever seen him in Shattered Dimensions? Now THAT was an epic Vulture!

Word.

He was a cannibal in the Noir Universe that had eaten and killed (not necessarily in that order) Uncle Ben. Nuff said.

#25 Posted by CombatSpoon86 (831 posts) - - Show Bio

B-lister villain, A-lister spidey villain. When motivated, very dangerous. After all these different Vultures, none compare to Adrian Toomes. 90s Toomes was probably my favorite because he would suck the life force of people to get younger. Truly a classic Spidey villain but no way a slouch.

#26 Posted by SpideyIvyDaredevilFan26 (5885 posts) - - Show Bio

Vulture's not lame. He's creepy, and mysterious and awesome. Shame on this article.

#27 Posted by EnSabahNurX (2313 posts) - - Show Bio

@Batcrow said:

You guys should do an obscure Wonder Woman villain...

Isn't that all her villains that aren't gods? lol

#28 Posted by Mrakbarman (65 posts) - - Show Bio

I want him to be the new kingpin in amazing spiderman ( if there isnt one already )

#29 Posted by TDK_1997 (14471 posts) - - Show Bio

The Vulture is an interesting villain.

#30 Posted by clemj (817 posts) - - Show Bio

he could be interesting, but I don't see him doing anything AMAZING....

#31 Posted by SpitfireINK (242 posts) - - Show Bio

There was ever a good Vulture?

Needs to Team-up with Silvermane and Smythe and start - the League of Ghastly Geriatric Gentlemen.

#32 Posted by JonesDeini (3620 posts) - - Show Bio

Love the Vulture. So much potential

#33 Posted by batfan1939 (364 posts) - - Show Bio

Is this going to be a regular feature? Should be.

#34 Posted by ZZoMBiE13 (675 posts) - - Show Bio

@batfan1939 said:

Is this going to be a regular feature? Should be.

Agreed. And there is so much material to explore. The lists could go on for days.

#35 Posted by zombietag (1491 posts) - - Show Bio

its true. vulture isn't a very developed character in general, kinda just plain ol there he is.

#36 Posted by kfhrfdu_89_76k (3712 posts) - - Show Bio

I`ve always liked Vulture, and never knew that he`s counted as an obscure villain. The guy has hundreds of appearances! That`s gotta mean something...

@Zeeguy91 said:

@Batcrow said:

You guys should do an obscure Wonder Woman villain...

I agree. Wonder Woman's villains deserve some love. Giganta, Cheetah, and Ares are somewhat well known among fans, but villains like Silver Swan, Dr. Psycho, and others are usually pushed to the background. That being said, I think the hero with the most obscure and perhaps weakest rogues gallery is Iron Man.

Weakest? You mean...

Mandarin, who has ten rings that can alter matter, create black light, shoot force beams etc.?

Fin Fang Foom, who is basically a dragon?

Stane-family, that has billions in fortune and technology almost as effective as Starks?

I don`t think that they`re that weak. Of course there`s about 50 armor bad guys that have a weak super-armor, but those three...

#37 Posted by Icarusflies (12467 posts) - - Show Bio

I actually liked this version of the Vulture. : /

The Punisher #3
Moderator
#38 Posted by fanboyfan12345 (3 posts) - - Show Bio

i liked the red and black vulture from the spectacular spiderman tv series

#39 Posted by Queso6p4 (1430 posts) - - Show Bio

Neat article. I've always had a soft spot for this character.

#40 Posted by G-Man (30672 posts) - - Show Bio
Staff
#41 Posted by Shadowsnake89 (409 posts) - - Show Bio

Toomes new costume and status is cool. I liked Red Vulture too, but oh well. I still wonder why he was fighting for the mob when it was his original goal to get revenge on them.
 
You should do one about Boomerang. Not as famous as his DC counter part but still one of my favorite villains.

#42 Posted by jorok_goldblade (69 posts) - - Show Bio

@That60sGuy said:

Also why the f does The Vulture's harness give him super strength!?

I'd imagine whatever force it uses to manipulate or negate gravity for flight can also be applied to objects he is touching to mimic superhuman strength.

#43 Posted by Batcrow (232 posts) - - Show Bio

@kfhrfdu_89_76k said:

I`ve always liked Vulture, and never knew that he`s counted as an obscure villain. The guy has hundreds of appearances! That`s gotta mean something...

@Zeeguy91 said:

@Batcrow said:

You guys should do an obscure Wonder Woman villain...

I agree. Wonder Woman's villains deserve some love. Giganta, Cheetah, and Ares are somewhat well known among fans, but villains like Silver Swan, Dr. Psycho, and others are usually pushed to the background. That being said, I think the hero with the most obscure and perhaps weakest rogues gallery is Iron Man.

Weakest? You mean...

Mandarin, who has ten rings that can alter matter, create black light, shoot force beams etc.?

Fin Fang Foom, who is basically a dragon?

Stane-family, that has billions in fortune and technology almost as effective as Starks?

I don`t think that they`re that weak. Of course there`s about 50 armor bad guys that have a weak super-armor, but those three...

By weak, he wasn't referring to their power levels, he meant that his rogue's gallery as a whole is not that good character-wise.

#44 Posted by MTHarman (725 posts) - - Show Bio

The Vulture shouldn't have been nominated for this article, despite how some fans may see him as a ridiculous villain, the Vulture has held a long and respectful career as a Spiderman threat.

#45 Posted by ZZoMBiE13 (675 posts) - - Show Bio

@G-Man said:

@ZZoMBiE13 said:

@batfan1939 said:

Is this going to be a regular feature? Should be.

Agreed. And there is so much material to explore. The lists could go on for days.

I do these at the end of each month.

http://www.comicvine.com/news/root-for-the-bad-guy-spot/144316/

http://www.comicvine.com/news/root-for-the-bad-guy-condiment-king/144485/

http://www.comicvine.com/news/root-for-the-bad-guy-tick-tock/144760/

http://www.comicvine.com/news/root-for-the-bad-guy-iron-man-2020/144622/

Ha, cool. I've read almost all of those but never connected them in my head as an ongoing feature. Funny how the brain works.

I'll be looking forward to next months entry. :)

#46 Posted by kfhrfdu_89_76k (3712 posts) - - Show Bio

@Batcrow:

Aha.

#47 Posted by LordRequiem (1309 posts) - - Show Bio

How does a harness give you super strength? That's like Mickey Rourke surviving being crushed against a wall with a car because he had some flimsy metal framework covering his legs in Iron Man 2.

I can see potential in an elderly villain draining life force to maintain his activities. If that concept were the core, and explored in a Spider-Man: Reign vein, dark, with Toomes desperately killing. That could work. Right now he is a joke.

#48 Posted by CrashLanden (122 posts) - - Show Bio

I disagree Tony. Vulture is a great villain (and I would have loved to see a big screen Ben Kingsley Vulture as Sam Raimi was planning before the corporate muckety mucks stepped in and replaced him with the Topher Grace Venom).

Any character is only ever as good as the creators (and editors) that are bringing them to life.

#49 Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus (6885 posts) - - Show Bio

Always been a fan of the Vulture myself.

#50 Posted by Praetor_fenix (222 posts) - - Show Bio

Look at all this vulture love! he ceirtanly isn't a D level villain not even a C level one, he's B or even A B+ on some ocasions. Agreed he could be a little bit better but i don't think he fits this kind of arcticle.

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