Vulture (comics)

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The Vulture is the name of six comic book supervillains in the Marvel Comics Universe. The best known Vulture in the Marvel Universe is Adrian Toomes, an elderly enemy of Spider-Man created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko in The Amazing Spider-Man #2 (May 1963).

Fictional character biographies[edit]

Golden Age Vulture[edit]

In Young Men #26, a scientist named Dr. Isidoro Scarlotti went by the name Vulture and was an enemy of the original Human Torch and Toro.[1]

Adrian Toomes[edit]

Vulture
519px-Vulture.jpg
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance The Amazing Spider-Man #2 (May 1963)
Created by Stan Lee
Steve Ditko
In-story information
Alter ego Adrian Toomes
Team affiliations Sinister Twelve
Sinister Six
Legion Accursed
Abilities Heightened physical attributes and flight which derives from electromagnetic tailored body-harness

Adrian Toomes was born in Staten Island, New York. He is a former electronics engineer who was once the business partner of Gregory Bestman; Bestman handled the finances whilst Toomes handled the inventions. One day, after creating a flight harness, Toomes eagerly rushed into Bestman's office to share the happy news. However, Bestman was not there, and Toomes discovered that Bestman had secretly been embezzling funds and that Toomes had no legal recourse, meaning he lost his job. Enraged, Toomes wrecked the business, discovering that the harness also granted him superhuman strength. He then decided to turn to crime professionally as the Vulture.

The Vulture employs a special harness of his own design that allows him to fly; his flight is directed by a pair of wings worn on his arms. The harness also endows him with enhanced strength and (according to some sources) increases his lifespan. Although Toomes is advanced in age, he is a strong fighter and a remorseless killer. On one occasion, he restored his youth through biochemical means,[2] though this wore off after exposure to an elemental superhuman's corpse.[3] At one point, he had used a device to steal Spider-Man's youth, leaving Vulture young and Spider-Man elderly, but this effect wore off within hours.[4]

Vulture first encountered Spider-Man when he was on a robbery and burglary spree throughout New York City. Spider-Man realized for the first time he could sell photos to J. Jonah Jameson after the Daily Bugle offered a reward for a picture of Vulture.[5] Spider-Man was beaten in the first battle due to his occupation with the camera, he was knocked out by Vulture and sealed in a watertank with sides too slippery to climb up, but was able to break free. Vulture then challenged the police, saying he was going to steal diamonds; however, he escaped through the sewer. Spider-Man had created a device that stopped Vulture's harness working and activated it during an airborne fight with Vulture, causing the two to crash onto a roof, knocking Vulture unconscious. He was then arrested.[6] Vulture modified his harness, and attempted to rob the Daily Bugle payroll.[7] He joined Doctor Octopus's first Sinister Six, and gave the message to the Daily Bugle that they had captured Betty Brant. He was the last foe to battle Spider-Man before Doctor Octopus. He forced Spider-Man to remove his web-shooters by threatening to fly away, then squirted oil onto the roof, and tried to push Spider-Man off using a wind created by his wings, but Spider-Man escaped this. The Vulture was caught after Spider-Man swung onto him using a lasso the Vulture had tried to use against him. He then told Spider-Man where to find the lair of Doctor Octopus, and like the rest of the team was jailed by the end of the story.[8]

Later, believing himself to be dying in prison due to injuries in the prison workshop, Toomes revealed the location of an extra Vulture outfit on the prison grounds to his cellmate Blackie Drago (who became the second Vulture). Blackie reveals to Toomes he caused the accident for this purpose. Toomes is angry, but seems to fall unconscious within the next few minutes. Blackie knocked out a guard, dug up the wings, and escaped.[9] Drago, as the Vulture, teamed with Kraven the Hunter against Spider-Man.[10] Toomes ultimately got out of prison and defeated Drago,[11] and then defeated Spider-Man in battle as well.[12] Some time later, Dr. Clifton Shallot mutated his body into a form resembling Toomes's, but possessing natural wings and flight capability.[13]

Vulture later humiliated the racketeering mobster Mr. Morgan, who hired the Hitman to kill Spider-Man, trying to rob the Vulture of his revenge.[14] Vulture then arranged the murder of New York's top mobsters to become New York's new crime lord, and battled Spider-Man.[15] Vulture later escaped prison, and battled Spider-Man again.[16]

Vulture later came out of retirement to claim vengeance on Gregory Bestman, his former research partner who embezzled him out of the profits.[17] He then confronted the Vulturians, a group of youths who stole his designs.[18]

He became involved in Atlantic City casino racketeering to prepare for his own ostentatious funeral, but was thwarted by the Hobgoblin.[19] He moved his gambling operations to Las Vegas, where he attacked Snake Diamond in the middle of the desert for stealing his formula for a special embalming fluid.[20] He later confronted the mutants Rusty Collins and Skids in an attempt to release Nitro.[21]

On more than one occasion, Toomes has been in league with several other Spider-Man villains in order to destroy the wall crawler. Vulture has been in every incarnation of the Sinister Six, and appeared in the Sinister Twelve. He has a strong friendship with fellow villain Electro; the two of them nearly beat Spider-Man to death.[volume & issue needed]

During one of his many periods of ill health, Toomes struck a friendship with Nathan Lubensky, a man who had become the new love of May Parker's life. Nathan was unaware of Toomes' true identity, and encouraged the injured criminal to take his chances with life and not to let handicaps drag him down (Nathan was a paraplegic). Toomes followed Nathan's advice and attempted to take over his rehab clinic as Vulture. A battle with Spider-Man led to Toomes almost killing Nathan, the shock of almost taking the life of a man who had helped to save his own distracted Toomes and led to his capture.[16]

Vulture would seemingly cherish Nathan's influence, but irony would serve him a cruel blow when he was hired by the Kingpin to assassinate a high-ranking casino runner. During another conflict with Spider-Man as part of Doctor Octopus's new Sinister Six, the Vulture sought to use a hostage as a shield, and selected May Parker from the crowd. Little did he suspect though that Nathan was also with May, and he defiantly leapt from his wheelchair and grabbed Toomes; still not realizing who it was, Toomes flew high into the air with Nathan on his back, warning the man to get off. Nathan took one look down and realized how high they were, triggering a fatal heart attack. Toomes fled as Nathan fell. Though he was successfully caught by Spider-Man, Nathan would die in May's arms.[22]

Toomes was later diagnosed with cancer, caused by frequent exposure to the essentials needed to power his flying apparatus. In an attempt to be forgiven for all of his previous sins, Vulture terrorized the Parker household, pleading that May Parker forgive him for indirectly causing Nathan's death. An enraged Parker attacked Toomes, forcing The Vulture to capture him and take him back to his old lair. After escaping Toomes, Peter switched to Spider-Man and brutally assaulted The Vulture, and in the ensuing battle, Vulture's own power pack malfunctioned and exploded, setting his wings ablaze. Spider-Man successfully ripped the burning pack off of Toomes, and the two crash landed in a muddy ditch.[23]

After being arrested, Toomes was returned to the Parker home so May, reunited with Peter, could identify him. May hoped that Toomes' death would be slow and full of suffering. The next day, she visited Toomes in prison and apologized to him for her cruel remarks, but also stated that she could not forgive him, and that any kind of redemption would be left up to him and God.[24]

Vulture once stumbled across a plot by the Chameleon and the Green Goblin (Harry Osborn) to drive Spider-Man insane by having shapeshifting androids impersonate his late mother and father; due to Toomes' interference, the androids were destroyed, leading the wall-crawler to a brief nervous breakdown. The Vulture absorbed the artificial life force from the Mary Parker android, and the effect on the Vulture was twofold; not only did he become a young man again, but he was instantly cured of the cancer that had been slowly killing him for some time.[2] During this period he attempted to kill everyone who'd ever known him as an old man in an attempt to get a clean slate for his life, but this plan went wrong when he targeted a Prowler impersonator as the Prowler having once thwarted his attempted takeover of his old company; Toomes was unconcerned about the fact that the current Prowler was a thief who'd stolen costume of the original Prowler (Hobbie Brown) and Spider-Man; although Toomes nearly gutted the fake Prowler, Spider-Man managed to get him to the hospital. During a later fight with Spider-Man, the Vulture was 'attacked' by David Kalen, a man capable of dissolving anything he touched who had turned his power on himself in his grief at the death of his brother. Toomes subsequently reverted to his old age, presumably due to Kalen's power having negated the youth effect.[3]

Adrian Toomes' identity as Vulture has been claimed by impostors on several occasions. Blackie Drago and Professor Clifton Shallot are some of them. Vulture technology was later copied by a group of thugs called "The Vulturions"; Toomes defeated these usurpers as well. Also, Toomes himself was not the first comic villain to use the name. In the 1941 comic Doll Man Quarterly, a robber named Vulture used his pet vultures to carry bombs and commit crimes.[volume & issue needed]

In the Identity Disc series, it was revealed that Toomes, with the help of Sandman, manipulated Marvel villains Bullseye, Deadpool, Juggernaut and Sabretooth into laying siege to terrorist group A.I.M. headquarters in order to retrieve a disc containing the identities of undercover S.H.I.E.L.D. operatives (including that of Toomes' daughter).[volume & issue needed]

During a brief time working for the Owl, he failed in a mission (and had his face brutally slashed by the Black Cat) and was severely beaten as punishment. He subsequently revealed himself as a member of Norman Osborn's Sinister Twelve — though he wore a helmet, presumably to mask the wounds.[25]

Under the tutelage of Alyosha Kravinoff, the son of Kraven the Hunter, Toomes briefly attempted a stint at heroism, but before long he returned to the other side of the law.[volume & issue needed]

Aside from his daughter, Toomes also has a son, whom he has dismissed, and a grandson from that son. The Vulture has come to care deeply for both his grandson and his mother, committing a series of robberies to finance a cure for his grandson's terminal illness. He once had a nephew, Malachai Toomes, and flew into a killing rage when he was murdered by a gang-lord.[volume & issue needed]

During the Civil War, he was apprehended along with the Grim Reaper and the Trapster, by Captain America and his growing Resistance, who chained him together with Grim Reaper to a pole and broke his nose. When he was found and taken into custody by S.H.I.E.L.D., he complained, "that lunatic broke my damn nose." After Spider-Man unmasked himself, Toomes was seen in his jail cell, knitting his fingers together. As someone on the television set said they hoped it would not be any trouble for Spider-Man, Toomes said, "Oh I think it will be." [26]

After Spider-Man goes rogue, Toomes is seen in a S.H.I.E.L.D prison cell speaking with Agent Jamie Madrox, and commenting on Spider-Man's inherent weakness, that being his unwillingness to use his powers for personal gain. S.H.I.E.L.D. then returns his flying harness and encourages him to hunt down Spider-Man, saying that he "is now an outlaw, same as you."[volume & issue needed]

Later, the Vulture attacks Spider-Man at a book signing, and manages to slash him with a powerful sedative. Toomes, however, falls unconscious and, sensing something is wrong, Spider-Man rushes him to the hospital.[volume & issue needed]

Toomes wakes up a few hours later, where a doctor reveals that he has suffered a stroke, and many of his muscles on the left side of his body have been paralyzed. When the doctor leaves, Spider-Man sneaks in and Toomes asks him to kill him because he is weak. When Spider-Man refuses to do so, he says that Spider-Man is also weak, and always has been. After making remarks about Uncle Ben, Spider-Man takes a pillow and begins suffocating him. He fights back, and Spidey removes the pillow, commenting that "For somebody who's begging to die, you fight for life pretty hard." [27]

When Alyosha Kravinoff began collecting a zoo of animal-themed superhumans, Vulture was one of his captives.[28] To stop Vulture from using his intellect to find a way to remove his bomb collar, Kraven broke his hands repeatedly[29] but with the help of Rhino, Vulture escapes.[30]

Spider-Man later visits Vulture's cell to ask him about the latest person who calls himself the Vulture. Toomes says calmly that he has no connection to him, though he heard that the new Vulture was made that way by the mob and is out for revenge. He just as blandly states that while he normally hates people who steal the Vulture name, he would have no problem with him killing Spider-Man.[31]

Following the Spider-Island storyline, Vulture returns as the leader of an unnamed gang of penthouse thieves and murderers who have vulture-like wings, but with a new gothic style. The members of his gang have the same name of an angel that matches with the black angel look they have.[32] However, it is swiftly revealed that the gang's technology is actually controlled by the Vulture, who designed their wings so that he could shut them down with a simple signal if they tried to act against him. Having used his new magnetically sensitive webbing to catch the gang and deactivate their wings, Spider-Man defeats Toomes despite his new use of his gravity-manipulating technology to give himself seemingly superhuman strength.[33]

Carlie Cooper works with The Superior Spider-Man (Doctor Octopus' mind in Spider-Man's body) when it comes to investigating a series of crimes committed by Vulture's gang. Superior Spider-Man confronts Vulture and uses the money to bribe Vulture into giving up crime and leaving town. Vulture does not believe a word of it and has his midget henchmen attack Superior Spider-Man. Superior Spider-Man accidentally knocks out one of the midget henchmen and realized that Vulture has been using children all this time. Superior Spider-Man then attacks Vulture in a rage. Using the light of the Spider-Signal, Superior Spider-Man blinds Vulture with the light and causes him to crash onto the roof. Carlie arrives and finds Vulture, broken and bloody but still alive.[34] Vulture was later seen in the Raft's infirmary with Boomerang and Scorpion, having been blinded by Superior Spider-Man's attack. When Alistair Smythe escapes with the help of the mini Spider-Slayers, he sends the mini Spider-Slayers into the infirmary where they heal and enhance Vulture, Boomerang and Scorpion. Smythe then gives them the offer to kill Superior Spider-Man.[35] While Superior Spider-Man is fighting Boomerang, Vulture is sent to attack the civilians in the Raft while Scorpion goes after Mayor J. Jonah Jameson.[36] Glory Grant, Norah Winters, and Smythe's lawyer plead with him to stop, claiming they can clear him of any charges, causing him to stop and consider his options. When Smythe dies, the Vulture's enhancements fail, leaving him blind once again. He is then tasered by Ted Shipley, the Raft's chief of security.[37]

Raniero "Blackie" Drago[edit]

Vulture
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance The Amazing Spider-Man #48 (May 1967)
Created by Stan Lee
John Romita
In-story information
Alter ego Raniero "Blackie" Drago
Partnerships Adrian Toomes

Raniero "Blackie" Drago, was a prison cellmate of Adrian Toomes' who tricked Toomes by causing an accident in the prison workshop that made Toomes think he could die soon, and stole the Vulture harness and costume which was recently rebuilt. He used the suit to make money through air piracy which ended up in a three-way battle against Spider-Man and Kraven the Hunter — Kraven resented Drago's claims that he'd recently killed Spider-Man when in fact Spidey had merely collapsed due to a cold — which Spider-Man won.[9] After robbing a helicopter, Drago was pursued by Kraven the Hunter and ended up fighting him until Spider-Man arrived. Spider-Man managed to defeat them and webbed them up for the police.[10]

Drago later teamed up with Toomes when escaping from prison, but that was merely so that Toomes could prove himself the true Vulture once again. Once free, he was subsequently defeated and humiliated by Toomes whom regained the recognition he deserved. A humbled Blackie was taken away by the police, vowing "I'm through!! I'll never put these wings on again!"[11]

He was seen in the same prison that Norman Osborn was incarcerated in during the "Sinister Twelve" storyline.[38]

Clifton Shallot[edit]

Vulture
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance The Amazing Spider-Man #127 (Dec. 1973)
Created by Ross Andru
Gerry Conway
John Romita
In-story information
Alter ego Clifton Shallot
Team affiliations Empire State University

Professor Clifton Shallot, was an expert on bio-mutation and professor at Empire State University.[39] He also had a Vulture wings and costume making project which he requisitioned from the State Prison Authority. When one of his courses was canceled by the university trustees, something snapped in the doctor's head, and so he underwent the final stage of the mutation himself when he donned the Vulture costume. The result was a change in himself which no amount of expertise and practice could do for the original Vulture...his face, teeth, and fingernails mutated, and for a short time, the wings became part of his body. The only one who knew his secret was his lab assistant Doctor Christine Murrow and her roommate Gloria Jenkins.[40]

Mary Jane Watson witnessed him killing Gloria (whom he had mistaken for Christine) and she became a target. While flying around Mary Jane's apartment, he noticed Spider-Man and attacked him. Vulture managed to defeat Spider-Man and leave him for dead. Clifton then searched for a way to reverse the transformation. He stole some chemicals from a ship called Düsseldorf at Dock 20. The next morning as he was flying to Christine's lab, Vulture noticed Mary Jane in her car. He dove toward the car and grabbed Mary Jane. He was then encountered in the air by Spider-Man who dropped Mary Jane giving Vulture enough time to reach the Biology Lab. He attacked Christine only for Spider-Man to arrive and defend her. Vulture managed rip the webbing with his talons and teeth. Their fight continued with Spider-Man blinding Vulture with the webbing as the cops arrived and threw a net over them. Still blinded by the webbing, Vulture broke free from the net and grabbed Spider-Man thinking he was Catherine. When he saw it was Spider-Man, Vulture ended up dropping him.[13]

Vulture went back to his lab and transformed back into Clifton. He then had an agreement with Christine stating that he will not kill her if she does not betray his trust. Later that night, Vulture flew back to Dock 20 and stole some chemicals. He noticed that Peter Parker had followed him and picked him up and dropped him into the water. When he flew above Mary Jane's apartment, Vulture noticed her getting into a taxi. Vulture attacked the taxi and kidnapped Mary Jane only for Spider-Man to interrupt him causing Vulture to flee. He makes it back to his lab where Christine is. Spider-Man then arrives an hour later finding Christine there. Vulture then attacks Spider-Man who subdues him and force-feeds Vulture the antidote stolen from the Düsseldorf. After reverting from Vulture, Clifton fainted. Clifton Shallot is presumably still serving his sentence for the murder.[40]

Vulturions[edit]

While in prison for dealing heroin, an engineer named Honcho becomes the cellmate of Adrian Toomes, who has revealed the designs of his Vulture harness to him. Memorizing how to construct the Vulture harness, Honcho (when released on parole) builds four red, yellow and silver Vulture harnesses with which he equips himself and three petty criminals (Gripes, Pidgeon, and Sugar Face). Gaining all the powers of the Vulture, the group members call themselves the Vulturions.[41] Wanting to make names for themselves and become big-time criminals, the Vulturions make several attempts to kill Spider-Man and accumulate wealth, ultimately failing in all their attempts. Learning of the Vulturions' existence and exploits, Adrian Toomes builds a new Vulture harness and breaks out of prison, intent on hunting down his "rip-offs." Locating the group, Adrian beats them all and comes close to killing them only to be stopped by Spider-Man who defeats the Vulture and turns him and the Vulturions in to the police.[42]

A new group of Vulturions (consisting of three members) appear in Avengers: The Initiative, where they steal a briefcase containing classified research on gamma radiation from Baron Von Blitzschlag. One of the Vulturions is identified as Honcho (apparently released from prison and back to crime). They are stopped with ease by a costume-less Peter Parker and the Scarlet Spiders.[43]

Jimmy Natale[edit]

Vulture
Vulture Gauntlet Quinones.jpg
Jimmy Natale's Villain Variant cover for The Amazing Spider-Man #623. Art by Joe Quinones
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance The Amazing Spider-Man #593 (June 2009)
Created by Mark Waid
In-story information
Alter ego Jimmy Natale
Abilities Flight
Acid spitting

A new Vulture appears in the story arc "Spider-Man 24/7." He is a mutate vigilante rather than a supervillain, mercilessly killing and eating criminals. During battle, Spider-Man is temporarily blinded by an acid the creature spits in his face.[44] Spider-Man defeats the new Vulture in the new Yankee Stadium.[31]

During The Gauntlet storyline, he escapes prison and goes after the mobsters responsible for his transformation. The first mobster he finds reveals Vulture's past as a mob "cleaner" Jimmy Natale, and then claims that the transformation was caused by J. Jonah Jameson.[45] Jimmy is later seen soaring past a jobless, depressed Peter Parker into the night.[46]

Jimmy joins Doctor Octopus' supervillain team where he becomes involved in securing some specific items.[47]

Jimmy attacks the Punisher under orders of a criminal organization called the Exchange and is killed in a mid-air fight with the Punisher.[48]

Powers and abilities[edit]

Utilizing his harness, the Vulture is able to fly as if by natural winged flight. He wears a costume of synthetic stretch fabric housing a tailored electromagnetic harness with bird-like wings attached beneath the arms. This consists of an electromagnetic anti-graviton generator worn on his body as a harness enabling him to fly silently with precise maneuverability. The harness also increases his resistance to injury to the point that he can survive blows from Spider-Man's enhanced strength despite his age. Another by-product of his exposure to the harness is that despite his age and lack of exercise, his physical strength represents the upper limit of human development. When he removes the harness some of his enhanced abilities slowly fade, although the rate at which this transpires remains unclear (some writers have suggested that his strength is permanent). The Vulture is elderly and depends on his electromagnetic harness to augment his strength, vitality, and athletic prowess as well as absorbing life force to maintain his vitality. It has recently been revealed that, due to his prolonged use of the harness, the Vulture can levitate or float his body even without the harness, although he requires his wings to maneuver while airborne. The Vulture has a new version of his flight harness that has supposedly been augmented by the Green Goblin. Though Vulture claimed that it increased his strength by five-hundred percent it appeared to be a bluff to frighten the Black Cat, who proceeded to beat him half to death. The Vulture is intellectually brilliant in the fields of electronics and mechanical engineering, with a great talent for invention. He has earned a Master of Science degree in electrical engineering.

The Jimmy Natale version of Vulture not only can fly, but he can also spit acid from his mouth.

Other versions[edit]

Marvel 1602[edit]

In the Marvel 1602 reality, the group of warriors working for Otto von Doom are referred to as the Vulture-Fliers and wear flight enabling armor similar to the mainstream universe Vulture.[49]

MC2[edit]

In the timeline of MC2, Blackie is revealed to have had a daughter named Brenda Drago, the Raptor.[50]

Marvel 2099[edit]

Spider-Man 2099 and Vulture 2099 on the cover of Spider-Man 2099 #7.

In Marvel 2099, a new Vulture is a recurring foe of that era's Spider-Man. This version of the character uses advanced combat armor to fly, and is an insane cannibal who wishes to rule the sky. In his debut, the Vulture saves Spider-Man from a group of thugs, and proposes an alliance against the Public Eye Police Force with him, but Spider-Man rejects his offer of partnership when he realizes the Vulture is a man-eater. Spider-Man and the Vulture fight, their battle bringing them to a church, where the Vulture and his followers ("The Freakers") are driven off by Spider-Man's ally Kasey Nash and her gang, the Throwbacks. [51]

When the original Spider-Man is brought to the year 2099 due to two companies (one in 2099, the other in the past) experimenting with extra-dimensional generators, he fights and defeats the Vulture before meeting his successor, Spider-Man 2099.[52]

House of M[edit]

In the House of M reality, Vulture is one of Rhino's friends who helped him attack and detain the Green Goblin for ruining the best chance at a good life Rhino ever had.[53]

Earth X[edit]

In the Earth X reality, Adrian has mutated into a more vulture-like appearance, with real wings, claws and beak, due to the action of the Terrigen Mists. He was seen as a member of the Enforcers, bodyguards of the USA President Norman Osborn.[54]

Marvel Zombies[edit]

In the second issue of Marvel Zombies, an undead Adrian Toomes can be seen among a group of zombified heroes, whom he later aids in attacking the Silver Surfer.[55] The zombified Vulture is among those who battled against the Silver Surfer, and is seemingly killed. In "Marvel Zombies 3," it is revealed he survived, and along with Angel, The Falcon, and Beak, he attacks the Earth-616 Machine Man, Ultron and Jocasta, but is quickly killed by a zombified Spider Man by ripping out his skull and crushed it with his foot.[56]

In the one-shot prequel to Marvel Zombies, Marvel Zombies: Dead Days, the Vulture is part of an undead version of the Sinister Six, alongside Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, Electro, and Mysterio, who he helps in attacking and devouring the inhabitants of New York.[57]

Ultimate Vulture[edit]

The Ultimate Marvel version of Vulture made his first appearance in Ultimate Spider-Man #90, and was rendered by artist Mark Bagley to resemble actor Jason Statham as per writer Brian Michael Bendis' instructions.[58] This version is named "Blackie" Drago.[59] A disgruntled former S.H.I.E.L.D agent, Drago had been hired to kill Donald Roxxon, head of the Roxxon Corporation. Drago received his equipment from former Roxxon employee Tinkerer (Elijah Stern). He was defeated by Spider-Man and taken into S.H.I.E.L.D. custody, imprisoned in the Triskelion, headquarters of the Ultimates. When Norman Osborn broke out in Ultimate Spider-Man #113, several other villains including Drago escape in the chaos; a news report depicts Vulture's recapture at Captain America's hands. He was apprehended by Spider-Woman and Human Torch after a robbery.[60] Alongside the rest of the Ultimate Six, Vulture plays a role in the "Death of Spider-Man" storyline. Osborn breaks him and the rest out of the Triskelion, and after their escape, informs them that God wishes for them to kill Spider-Man.[61] When Vulture shows up with the rest of the Sinister Six in search of weapons, Tinkerer accommodates them by upgrading Vulture's suit.[62] When Electro is shot by Aunt May, an electric surge knocks out Kraven the Hunter, Sandman and Vulture.[63]

Doctor Adrian Toomes's Ultimate incarnation made his first appearance in issue #125 as an employee of Bolivar Trask. They were about to extract the Venom suit from Eddie Brock, Jr., when the Beetle attacks the facility with knockout gas.[64]

After killing off Tinkerer, one of Tinkerer's various tech devices that the Prowler (Aaron Davis) claims for himself is a Vulture-like suit.[65][66]

Marvel Noir[edit]

The Marvel Noir version of Adrian Toomes (a.k.a. the Vulture) is depicted as a former circus freak, a geek who lived in a cage, feeding on chicken heads. The Vulture was taken by mob boss Norman Osborn (The Goblin) to become one of his hitmen. Toomes was responsible for the death of Ben Parker, whom the Vulture cannibalized after Parker was beaten by Osborn's Enforcers.[67]

In issue #4, Vulture took May Parker hostage and attempted to kill her, but Spider-Man killed him instead.[68]

In other media[edit]

Television[edit]

  • The Blackie Drago incarnation of Vulture appears in the 1960s Spider-Man TV series, voiced by Gillie Fenwick. In this series, he is referred to as Vulture Man. In the episode "The Sky is Falling", Vulture attacks the city with an army of vultures wanting a $2,000,000 ransom until they attack him due to Spider-Man sabotaging his control. He apparently escapes, but Spider-Man gets the money back. In the episode "The Vulture's Prey", Vulture commits penthouse robberies and traps J. Jonah Jameson in a clock tower after he accidentally stumbles upon the Vulture's loot in there. He hears from Jameson about an experimental missile and steals it to try and help him commit crimes, using Jameson to inform him. He loses the missile due to Spider-Man. Jameson then causes the clock tower to go haywire, causing Spider-Man to go there after the Vulture, and web him up. In the episode "To Catch a Spider", Doctor Noah Boddy frees him, Electro and Green Goblin from prison by knocking a guard out and unlocking the doors. Vulture weakens Spider-Man with concussion bombs, before Electro challenges Spider-Man to a battle at midnight. Electro knocks him out after Spider-Man makes the villains fight using ventriloquism. All the villains are webbed up and arrested. In the episode "The Winged Thing", Spider-Man sees him robbing a millionaire's penthouse then putting into action the robbery of an experimental missile, which is apparently going to be used to bring him down, as part of a plot to steal an experimental device to control a flock of vultures. This episode uses footage from the first two Vulture episodes.
  • Vulture appears in the 1981 solo Spider-Man series, voiced by Don Messick. In the episode "The Vulture Has Landed", he kidnaps several scientists and forced them to make inventions that will help him steal the Jupiter Space Probe. He also has an assistant named "Vultress" (his granddaughter).
Vulture in the Spider-Man animated series.
  • The Adrian Toomes incarnation of Vulture appears in the Spider-Man animated series, voiced by Eddie Albert (as an old man) and Alan Johnson (as a young man). In his first three appearances in the episodes "Ravages of Time", "Shriek of the Vulture" and "The Final Nightmare", he is an old man who seeks revenge on Norman Osborn for rejecting his work. Later, he used his Vulture talons to suck youth out of people to temporarily make him young. In the episode "The Final Nightmare", Vulture transformed into the Man-Spider after absorbing Spider-Man's DNA and youth. Eventually, Spider-Man enlisted Doctor Connors's aid who helped defeat Vulture and return Spider-Man's youth, although he reprogrammed the device so that the Vulture would absorb the excess DNA that had caused Spider-Man to become the Man-Spider originally. The episode "Partners" reveals that the Scorpion (Mac Gargan) afterwards captured Vulture (who then began shifting between his young and old selves). His intent was to have Vulture cure him once he had enough money for a laboratory. Vulture saves Spider-Man, Black Cat and Scorpion from Silvermane's clutches. He also becomes young full-time by swapping energy with the baby Silvermane regressing Silvermane back to an old man. In the episode "Six Forgotten Warriors" part 1-5, Vulture became a member of the Insidious Six replacing Mysterio (who was originally a member but died in an earlier episode). He went after Miss America for the key to the doomsday device that she had as she had flying powers. By the end of the story arc, he has been arrested.
  • A Counter-Earth version of the Vulture appeared in Spider-Man Unlimited, voiced by Scott McNeil. Like Green Goblin's Counter Earth version, this Vulture is a hero instead of a villain and also first mistook Spider-Man for a villain. It is explained Vulture was a human who got Bestial powers, hanging out with Bestials and disrespecting humans while he was also playing with one. When he caused his human friend trouble, he hated the High Evolutionary for what he did and rebelled against him.
  • The Adrian Toomes incarnation of Vulture appears in The Spectacular Spider-Man, voiced by Robert Englund.[69] This version uses the costume Terry Dodson gave him during his run on Marvel Knights Spider-Man with some differences and has a more bird-like nose. In his first episode "Survival of the Fittest", he is an elderly scientist who claims that Oscorp has stolen his flying technology and seeks revenge against Norman Osborn. He takes his 'Vulture' name from Osborn's insult 'buzzard'. He and the Enforcers are defeated and soon jailed by Spider-Man.[70] Vulture reappears in the episode "Group Therapy" in which he, Doctor Octopus, Rhino, Shocker (Montana) and Sandman are busted out of Ryker's Island by Electro and form the Sinister Six, and has his flight tech protected by reinforced steel. During a later battle, Vulture is defeated yet again when Spider-Man damages his helmet, causing him to pass out mid-flight. Vulture escapes prison once again in the episode "Reinforcement" to join a new Sinister Six created by the Master Planner (Doctor Octopus). Master Planner sends the Sinister Six to attack Spider-Man. Vulture teams up with Electro to fight the web-slinger at Rockefeller Center, but he is caught in Spider-Man's webs and tied to the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, then zapped by an overeager Electro and trapped when the tree collapses. He is retrieved before the police arrive. In the episode "Shear Strength", Vulture continues to aid the Master Planner in his plan for world domination by gaining control over all the computers in the world and attempts to kill Osborn with an explosion to satisfy Vulture's hunger for revenge, but is stopped by Spider-Man. Vulture is later sent with Electro to kidnap Gwen Stacy in order to blackmail her father George Stacy into downloading the codes that would give the Master Planner access to all the computers in the United States, and possibly the world. Master Planner sends Vulture, now with a laser-firing attachment to his flight pack, to distract Homeland Security agents so that Stacy can more easily steal the codes. When the plan is foiled by Spider-Man, Master Planner sends Vulture the order to withdraw. In the episode "Gangland", Vulture accompanied Doctor Octopus to a sit-down with Silvermane and Tombstone (Big Man). When Hammerhead instigated a fight between the three crime lords, Vulture leapt to protect Doctor Octopus, but was quickly dispatched by Hammerhead. He escaped with Silver Sable before the police could arrest them.

Film[edit]

  • It was reported on December 8, 2009 that John Malkovich was in negotiations to play Vulture in Spider-Man 4.[71] Malkovich himself confirmed the casting in January 2010.[72] However, production of the movie was subsequently canceled so that the Spider-Man franchise can be rebooted with The Amazing Spider-Man with a different director (Marc Webb) and cast.[73]

Video games[edit]

  • Vulture appears in the video game adaptation of Spider-Man, voiced by Dwight Schultz. He is working with Shocker to rob a jewelry store. Having defeated Shocker, the player is directed to a clock tower in the lower east side of New York, where they must pass various bombs and traps to catch Vulture, followed by a chase through the streets of New York before confronting him by the Chrysler Building, where the player must force Vulture to land to attack him.
  • Vulture appears as a boss in the Nintendo DS adaptation of Spider-Man 2, based on the film of the same name. Vulture's feathers can be seen on the Chrysler Building in a reference to the first game. The Vulture also makes a cameo in the PlayStation 2 adaptation of Spider-Man 2 as one of the many villain assistants for Quentin Beck in his scheme to humiliate Spider-Man. Vulture also appears in the PSP version of Spider-Man 2, voiced again by Dwight Schultz. Rhino has broken him, Mysterio and Shocker out of prison. Vulture then plants bombs around the city. After Spider-Man shuts them down, Vulture flees with Spider-Man in pursuit. Spider-Man defeats him at a construction site, where a webbed up Vulture tells Spider-Man that he was kicked out of a job with Rhino and Shocker at the docks. Spider-Man then leaves Vulture for the police to take care of.
  • Adrian Toomes appears in the Ultimate Spider-Man game for the PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube and Xbox, voiced by Brian George. However, he does not appear as Vulture. Here, he is a researcher for Trask Industries who used to work with Peter Parker and Eddie Brock's fathers. He injects the micro-samples of the Venom symbiote in Peter Parker as he makes a reference on how he knew Peter's father. When Peter Parker is turned into Carnage, Adrian Toomes ends up knocked out.
  • Vulture appears as a primary character in Spider-Man: Web of Shadows, voiced by Kristoffer Tabori. In this game, his wings are sword-like blades that attach to his suit through magnetic means and be used to attack when launched. He is shown supplying the Kingpin with high-tech armor for his henchmen to wear and gliders for some of them to ride. Spider-Man finds his hideout in the Kronas Corporation and battles him. If the player takes the Red Suit path, Spider-Man webs up Vulture and leaves him for the police. If the player takes the Black Suit path, Spider-Man still webs up Vulture, but Spider-Man also tells Vulture not to mess with him again. Over the course of the game, he is seen working with S.H.I.E.L.D. and Kingpin to defeat the symbiote threat. When Spider-Man needed a ride to an island prison to gain the Tinkerer's help, if he chooses the Black Suit path, he uses Vulture to travel there instead of Moon Knight and his moonjet. When Vulture becomes infected, he also tries to coax Spider-Man into embracing his evil symbiote when Tinkerer has completed his device to stop the symbiotes. If the player takes the Red Suit Path, Spider-Man activates the machine and destroys the symbiotes. If the player takes the Black Suit Path, Spider-Man knocks the device off the Trask Building. In a follow-up with the Black Suit path, Spider-Man will force Vulture to fly him toward the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier and Vulture will reprogram the Helicarrier's hangar for access to the bombs that will blow up the Helicarrier. Despite this, he still threatens to blow the Helicarrier up with Spider-Man still on it.
  • Vulture appears as a villain character in the video game Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions,[74] voiced by Steven Blum.[citation needed] Vulture's Noir incarnation is a deformed, murderous cannibal and described as Norman Osborn's "right-hand monster". It is specifically stated that Vulture not only killed Ben Parker but actually ate him alive, further increasing Spider-Man's grudge against him. It is also stated that his love of human meat began with people laughing at him for his appearance during his time in a cage. In combat Vulture is as agile as Spider-Man, and uses throwing knives, bombs, shurikens and bolas against Spider-Man. When Vulture uses a tablet fragment, he gains the ability to fly and teleport away in a puff of black feathers. At one point, he is heard coveting the fragment, claiming that with this new power he no longer has to take orders from Osborn or anyone else. Light is his only weakness as he seems to have strong photosensitivity. Spider-Man manages to defeat him and claim the tablet fragment. Vulture's 2099 incarnation also appears in the game's DS version and fights the Spider-Man of the year 2099.

Toys and collectibles[edit]

  • Vulture was thrice made in action figure form by Toy Biz, first (in his young form) as part of line based on Spider-Man: The Animated Series, then later (as his older self) in the regular Spider-Man line and again as part of the Marvel Legends line.
  • Vulture was made in mini-bust form as part of Art Asylum's Rogues Gallery collection.
  • A statue of Vulture comprises one seventh of Diamond Select's "Sinister Six" collection.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Young Men #26
  2. ^ a b The Amazing Spider-Man #388
  3. ^ a b The Sensational Spider-Man #18
  4. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #387
  5. ^ Manning, Matthew K.; Gilbert, Laura, ed. (2012). "1960s". Spider-Man Chronicle Celebrating 50 Years of Web-Slinging. Dorling Kindersley. p. 18. ISBN 978-0756692360. "[Stan] Lee and [Steve] Ditko focused on Peter Parker's career when they had Spider-Man develop a knack for photography in the first of [The Amazing Spider-Man #2's] two stories. As the sinister Vulture - soon to be a major foe of Spidey - debuted, Peter Parker set out to earn the reward money offered by The Daily Bugle for snapping a photo of the winged villain." 
  6. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #2
  7. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #7
  8. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1
  9. ^ a b The Amazing Spider-Man #48
  10. ^ a b The Amazing Spider-Man #49
  11. ^ a b The Amazing Spider-Man #63
  12. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #64
  13. ^ a b The Amazing Spider-Man #127
  14. ^ Spectacular Spider-Man #4-5
  15. ^ Spectacular Spider-Man #44-45
  16. ^ a b The Amazing Spider-Man #224
  17. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #240-241
  18. ^ Web of Spider-Man #1-2
  19. ^ Web of Spider-Man #24
  20. ^ Web of Spider-Man #45
  21. ^ New Mutants #86
  22. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #336-339
  23. ^ The Spectacular Spider-Man #187
  24. ^ The Spectacular Spider-Man #188
  25. ^ Marvel Knights: Spider-Man #9-12
  26. ^ Civil War #2
  27. ^ Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #16
  28. ^ Punisher War Journal vol.2 #13
  29. ^ Punisher War Journal Vol.2 #14
  30. ^ Punisher War Journal vol.2 #15
  31. ^ a b The Amazing Spider-Man #594
  32. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #674
  33. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #675
  34. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #3
  35. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #11
  36. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #12
  37. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #13
  38. ^ Marvel Knight: Spider-Man #10
  39. ^ Sanderson, Peter (2007). The Marvel Comics Guide to New York City. New York City: Pocket Books. pp. 30–33. ISBN 1-4165-3141-6. 
  40. ^ a b The Amazing Spider-Man #128
  41. ^ Louise Simonson (w), Greg LaRocque (p), Jim Mooney (i). "Till Death Do Us Part!" Web of Spider-Man 1 (April 1985), Marvel Comics
  42. ^ Louise Simonson (w), Greg LaRocque (p), Jim Mooney (i). "Iron Bars Do Not A Prison Make... Or Vulture Is As Vulture Does!" Web of Spider-Man 3 (June 1985), Marvel Comics
  43. ^ Dan Slott (w), Stefano Caselli (p), Stefano Caselli (i). "Triple Threat" Avengers: The Initiative 7 (December 2007), Marvel Comics
  44. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #593
  45. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #623
  46. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #624
  47. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #644
  48. ^ The Punisher vol 6 #3 (2011)
  49. ^ Marvel: 1602 #1-6
  50. ^ Spider-Girl #18
  51. ^ Spider-Man 2099 #6-8
  52. ^ Spider-Man 2099 Meets Spider-Man
  53. ^ Spider-Man: House of M #3
  54. ^ Earth X #9
  55. ^ Marvel Zombies #2
  56. ^ Marvel Zombies #3
  57. ^ Marvel Zombies: Dead Days one-shot
  58. ^ Brucie, Dylan (March 2007). "Ultimate Spider-Man". Wizard Xtra!. p. 117.
  59. ^ Ultimate Spider-Man #90
  60. ^ Ultimate Spider-Man #129
  61. ^ Ultimate Spider-Man #156
  62. ^ Ultimate Spider-Man #158
  63. ^ Ultimate Spider-Man #159
  64. ^ Ultimate Spider-Man #125
  65. ^ Bendis, Brian Michael (w), Pichelli, Sara (a). Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man #6. Marvel Comics. March - June 2012.
  66. ^ Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man #11
  67. ^ Spider-Man: Noir #1
  68. ^ Spider-Man: Noir #4
  69. ^ Comics Continuum by Rob Allstetter: Monday, February 11, 2008
  70. ^ Comics Continuum by Rob Allstetter: Saturday, December 8, 2007
  71. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: Spider-Man 4 Circling John Malkovich, Anne Hathaway". Movieline LLC. MoveLine. 2009-12-08. Retrieved 2009-12-12. 
  72. ^ Armitage, Hugh. "John Malkovich confirmed in Vulture role". Digital Spy. 
  73. ^ http://www.deadline.com/hollywood/urgent-spider-man-4-scrapped-as-is-raimi-and-cast-out-franchise-reboot-planned/
  74. ^ "San Diego Comic-Con 2010: Spider-Man: Shattered Dimension Updates". Retrieved 2010-07-22. 
  75. ^ [1]

External links[edit]