Everything You Need to Know About Vulture, 'Spider-Man: Homecoming's' Big Bad

Michael Keaton's 'Spider-Man: Homecoming' character Vulture has a rich history with Spider-Man even though he’s never made it to the big screen.


Image via Marvel


Only July 7, Sony and Marvel are finally releasing their joint superhero flick, Spider-Man: Homecoming, which not only lives within the realm of Marvel's Cinematic Universe but is the third reboot of Sony's Spider-Man series. Early reviews are off the charts in terms of positive responses, with everything from the diversity of the cast to how F-U-N the movie truly is. We had a feeling it would be amazing (no pun intended) (OK, some pun intended) when we visited the set back in August 2016, but Sony and Marvel have really outdone themselves.

One of the more intriguing pieces from the film is the main villain: Adrian Toomes, a.k.a. Vulture, who is intensely played by Michael Keaton in his proper return to superhero shenanigans since his time as Batman back in the late '80s/early '90s. This go-round, Keaton inhabits a character that debuted in the 1960s and has been a thorn in Spider-Man's side ever since.

Any hero is only as good as the villain they have to battle, and judging by Keaton's performance in the lead-up to the highly anticipated Spider-Man: Homecoming, Spider-Man must be AMAZING (most of the pun intended). For those of you who aren't knee-deep in comics history, or just want to know a bit more about the latest big bad in the MCU, here's everything you need to know about Vulture.

He's good with electronics


Adrian Toomes' story begins with a deception: the former electronics engineer had developed and built a flight harness that he wanted to present with his business partner Gregory Bestman. After discovering that Bestman had been embezzling funds from their business and cost Toomes his job, Toomes put on the harness he created, which also bestowed upon him super powers along with the power of flight, and took off to live a life of crime.

Why this is important: This grounds Toomes. A number of villains, especially in the Spider-Man world, are bad guys who are very one-note. Sure, Vulture is a jerk who can fly, but it's not like he was living his life as a criminal all day every day. It took him being pushed to his brink before he repurposed one of his creations for evil.

He's a thief


When Spider-Man first encountered the Vulture, it was after discovering that he could make bank selling pictures of the Vulture to the Daily Bugle. What was the Vulture doing that got him so much publicity? Going on all kinds of robberies and heists. 

Why that's important: Stealing is a big part of the Vulture's M.O. in Spider-Man: Homecoming. One of the trailers featured Vulture plotting to jack a plane with a bunch of "advanced Avengers weaponry," with the idea that he'd be using it against Earth's Mightiest Heroes.

He loves his family


In the comics, Adrian Toomes had a daughter and a son. His daughter, Valeria, ended up becoming an undercover agent with S.H.I.E.L.D. to escape her father's villainous shadow. Toomes' son gave birth to a boy who had a terminal illness that Toomes tried to get a cure for by, what else, committing a bunch of robberies.

Why this is important: It's hard to say. Sony/Marvel could try to mirror a love for his family in the movie, but as of now, it's only known that Toomes has a family that he'll "do anything to protect." Who knows how deep this will go.

He's a part of The Sinister Six

The Sinister Six

The Sinister Six was a squad Dr. Octopus put together that made its debut in 1964, featuring Doc Ock, Electro, Kraven the Hunter, Mysterio, Sandman, and Vulture (AKA, Spider-Man's worst enemies, all up in one squad). They'd go on to terrorize Spider-Man (and his pals) for decades in a number of different iterations.

Why this is important: Sony was reportedly trying to make a Sinister Six movie as far back as December 2013, when Sony announced they wanted to make a Sinister Six film a part of the Amazing Spider-Man franchise, which they deaded. There's been talk of a Sinister Six spin-off of this new Spider-Man universe as recent as May 2017, but plans can (and usually do) change.

He's had a forever beef with Spider-Man

Vulture vs. Spider-Man

As stated earlier, Vulture and Spider-Man linked up early, as far back as The Amazing Spider-Man #2 in May 1963. After that initial battle over some photos for the Bugle, Vulture's been all up in Spider-Man's grill whenever they crossed paths. Toomes did everything from befriending one of Aunt May's boyfriends to forcing the Green Goblin and the Chameleon to make androids to impersonate Peter Parker's dead parent, just to get at what feels like his mortal enemy. Seeing as Spider-Man felt obligated to take on any threats to his city, Vulture's desire for dominance in the criminal underworld has turned into the numerous ways Vulture chose to put a stop to Spider-Man's actions.

Why this is important: I mean, come on, Vulture's the big bad in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Imagine how intense this battle between these two on-screen will be, based on how deep their feud has been in the comic books.

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