The Amazing Spider-Man #2 (May 1963)
The Amazing Spider-Man #48 (May 1967)
The Amazing Spider-Man #127 (Dec. 1973)
The Amazing Spider-Man #593 (June 2009)
John Romita, Sr.
John Romita, Sr.
|Alter ego||Adrian Toomes
|Team affiliations||Sinister Twelve
|Abilities||Genius electrical engineer
Electromagnetic tailored body-harness grants:
Enhanced physical attributes
The Vulture is an alias used by several fictional supervillains appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The first character to use the alias is Adrian Toomes (//), a recurring enemy of Spider-Man, and the second villain he encountered, after the Chameleon. Over the years, other characters have taken the mantle as enemies of Spider-Man, but Toomes is still the most recurring and well-known Vulture.
After Toomes there have been several Vultures since his debut. The second Vulture, Blackie Drago, first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #48 and was created by Stan Lee and John Romita, Sr. The third Vulture, Clifton Shallot, first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #127 and was created by Ross Andru, Gerry Conway, and John Romita, Sr. Another Vulture, Jimmy Natale, first appears in The Amazing Spider-Man #593 as part of the story arc "Spider-Man 24/7", and was created by Mark Waid and Mike McKone.
Fictional character biographies
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, though this wore off after exposure to an elemental superhuman's corpse. 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.
Vulture was on a robbery and burglary spree throughout New York City when he first encountered Spider-Man. 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. Due to his preoccupation with his camera, Spider-Man 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 from 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. Vulture modified his harness, and attempted to rob the Daily Bugle payroll. 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. 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.
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 revealed to Toomes he caused the accident for this purpose. Toomes was angry, but apparently fell unconscious within the next few minutes; Blackie knocked out a guard, dug up the wings, and escaped. Drago, as the Vulture, teamed with Kraven the Hunter against Spider-Man. Toomes ultimately got out of prison - crediting his hatred for Drago's actions with the strength to overcome his injuries - and defeated Drago. Toomes then nearly defeated Spider-Man in battle, injuring his arm before Spider-Man managed to play possum and tricked Toomes into coming in close enough for Spider-Man to damage his power pack and force his enemy to back off. Some time later, Dr. Clifton Shallot mutated his body into a form resembling Toomes's, but possessing natural wings and flight capability.
Vulture later humiliated the racketeering mobster Mr. Morgan, who hired the Hitman to kill Spider-Man, trying to rob the Vulture of his revenge. Vulture then arranged the murder of New York's top mobsters to become New York's new crime lord, and battled Spider-Man. Vulture later escaped prison, and battled Spider-Man again.
Vulture came out of retirement to claim vengeance on Gregory Bestman, his former research partner who embezzled him out of the profits. He then confronted the Vulturions, a group of criminal youths who stole his designs.
He became involved in Atlantic City casino racketeering to prepare for his own ostentatious funeral, but was thwarted by the Hobgoblin. Reduced to a "mere salesman", he journeyed to Las Vegas, where he attacked Morris "Snake" Diamond in the middle of the desert for stealing Toomes' blueprint journals for ultrasonic-sensitive dice. Intending to inject Snake with a mummification serum, Vulture was thwarted by Spider-Man (who had been granted a flight on Snake's plane back to New York) and agent Sara Glenville of the Central Intelligence Division. He later confronted the mutants Rusty Collins and Skids in an attempt to release Nitro.
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 ranks of the Sinister Twelve. He has a strong friendship with fellow villain Electro; the two of them nearly beat Spider-Man to death.
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.
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. Nathan, who was with May, leapt from his wheelchair and grabbed Toomes. Not realizing who it was, Toomes flew high into the air with Nathan on his back. The shock of seeing how high they were caused Nathan to suffer a fatal heart attack. Toomes fled as Nathan was falling. Though he was successfully caught by Spider-Man, Nathan would die in May's arms.
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.
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.
Vulture 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 his cancer. 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 (Hobie 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.
Adrian Toomes' identity as Vulture has been claimed by impostors on several occasions. Blackie Drago and Professor Clifton Shallot are two of them. Vulture technology was later copied by a group of thugs called "The Vulturions"; Toomes defeated these usurpers as well.[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, Valeria Toomes, aka "Valerie Jessup").[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.
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."
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."
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.
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."
When Alyosha Kravinoff began collecting a zoo of animal-themed superhumans, Vulture was one of his captives. To stop Vulture from using his intellect to find a way to remove his bomb collar, Kraven broke his hands repeatedly, but with the help of Rhino, Vulture escapes.
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.
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. 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.
Carlie Cooper later works with the Superior Spider-Man (Otto Octavius' mind in Spider-Man's body) to investigate a series of crimes committed by Vulture's gang. Spider-Man confronts Vulture and attempts to bribe him into giving up crime by offering him a small fortune from Octavius's hidden bank accounts. Vulture does not believe a word of it, and has his midget henchmen attack. Spider-Man accidentally knocks out one of the midget henchmen, who turns out to be a young boy. Realizing that the Vulture has been using children all this time, and remembering his own abusive childhood, Spider-Man attacks Vulture in a rage. After a brief midair struggle, Spider-Man blinds the Vulture with a searchlight, causing him to crash onto the roof. Carlie arrives and finds Vulture, broken and bloody but still alive. The Vulture's child henchmen are then recruited by the Goblin King to be part of his Goblin Nation. Vulture is later seen in the Raft's infirmary, along with Boomerang and Scorpion. When Alistair Smythe escapes with the help of his mini Spider-Slayers, he sends the mini Spider-Slayers into the infirmary, where they heal and enhance Vulture, Boomerang, and Scorpion in exchange for their assistance in killing Spider-Man. While Spider-Man fights Boomerang, Vulture is sent to attack the civilians in the Raft. 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.
The Vulture eventually has another encounter with the Superior Spider-Man, seeking revenge for his recent defeats, but is defeated again. The Vulture, Chameleon, Electro, Sandman, and Mysterion are later seen as part of a team led by Spider-Man called the "Superior Six", which is forced via mind control to perform heroic (and occasionally dangerous) deeds as an act of "redemption". When they are not being controlled, they are kept in containment cells. They eventually break free of Spider-Man's control and attempt to exact revenge on the wall-crawler, nearly destroying New York in the process. Spider-Man barely manages to stop them with Sun Girl's help.
Adrian Toomes later developed a modified version of his Electromagnetic Wing Harness that has a reinforced helmet and lightweight, razor-sharp, nano-woven wings which responded to his mental commands where he took on the name Falcon where he believed the name to be vacant at the time. He robbed a location in East Village where he fought Spider-Man until they were immobilized by a new Trapster who made off with Falcon's loot.
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 led to a confrontation with Spider-Man, that Blackie believed ended in the wall-crawler's death (in reality, Spidey had merely collapsed due to a serious cold). After robbing a helicopter, Drago was pursued by Kraven the Hunter, who resented his claims of victory over Spider-Man, and ended up fighting him until Spider-Man arrived. Spider-Man managed to defeat them both and webbed them up for the police.
Drago was later 'rescued' from prison by Toomes- who revealed that the revelation of Drago's role in his accident had given him the strength to overcome his injuries- but that was merely so that Toomes could prove himself the true Vulture once again. Once the two were free, he was subsequently defeated and humiliated by Toomes who 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!"
He was seen in the same prison that Norman Osborn was incarcerated in during the "Sinister Twelve" storyline.
Professor Clifton Shallot was an expert on bio-mutation and professor at Empire State University. 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, he snapped, and underwent the final stage of the mutation himself when he donned the Vulture costume - 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.
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 Christine. When he saw it was Spider-Man, Vulture ended up dropping him.
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.
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. 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.
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.
During the Civil War II storyline, the Vulturions resurface. This time, they have upgraded their gear and are still using the same moniker. The Vulturions were seen committing a heist until they were stopped by Spider-Man upon him being tipped off by Ulysses.
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. Spider-Man defeats the new Vulture in the new Yankee Stadium.
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 the Maggia's "cleaner" Jimmy Natale, and then claims that the transformation was caused by J. Jonah Jameson. In truth, it was actually biochemist Dr. Charlie Goss who used the machines that were previously used by Dr. Farley Stillwell and his brother Dr. Harlan Stillwell so that they can have a newer Vulture. It was Charlie Goss that claimed that Jameson had a hand in his creation when he confessed to the authorities about Vulture. After being fended off from Spider-Man, Vulture visited the mobster again who came clean about who was behind his transformation. Vulture then killed the mobster. Vulture is later seen soaring above the ruins of the Daily Bugle and past a jobless, depressed Peter Parker into the night.
In the Origin of the Species story-arc, Vulture joins Doctor Octopus' supervillain team, which was assembled to procure specific items. He attacks Spider-Man, who was caring for Lily Hollister's newborn child, in Hamilton Heights, but their fight is interrupted by Freak. The two villains team-up after a brief scrimmage, and are knocked out by Spider-Man.
A further-mutated Vulture is hired by the Exchange to assassinate the Punisher. Vulture ambushes the vigilante at an abandoned warehouse, and the two engage in aerial battle that ends with the Punisher fatally stabbing the Vulture in the torso and jaw, causing him to crash land in the South Bronx. The Punisher flees the scene, leaving Vulture's body to be recovered by the NYPD, and examined by Carlie Cooper.
Powers and abilities
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. 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 with the razor-sharp wings that are bonded to his torso, but he can also spit acid from his mouth, possesses super-strength, and enhanced durability. Vulture later developed bird-like talons on his hands and feet. Prior to his mutation, Jimmy Natale was an expert cleaner.
Other characters named Vulture
The Ultimate Marvel incarnation of Doctor Adrian Toomes is 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.
The Ultimate version of Vulture was rendered by artist Mark Bagley to resemble actor Jason Statham as per writer Brian Michael Bendis' instructions. This version is Blackie Drago, a disgruntled former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent that had been hired to kill Donald Roxxon. Drago received his equipment from the 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 the Green Goblin broke out, 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 the Human Torch after a robbery. 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. When Drago shows up with his teammates in search of weapons, Tinkerer accommodates them by giving them weapons including upgrading Vulture's suit. When Electro is shot by Aunt May, an electric surge knocks out Kraven the Hunter, Sandman and Vulture.
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.
House of M
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.
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.
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.
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. 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, and Jocasta, but failed. Just as Machine Man killed the other three wingsters, Vulture, after almost being torn in half by a dangling Jocasta, attempted to retreat to his boss, but was blown up by Machine Man before he could successfully escape.
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.
Old Man Logan
In the pages of Old Man Logan, Vulture was among the villains that attacked the Avengers in Connecticut. Teaming up with Roderick Kingsley, Vulture targeted Wasp. After Hobgoblin was knocked off his glider and Wasp was shot in the chest, Giant-Man crushed Vulture in his hands.
During the Spider-Verse storyline, a group of five Vultures (consisting of alternate versions of Blackie Drago, Jimmy Natale, Vulture Noir, a young Adrian Toomes, and Clifton Shallot) are members of the Hounds which are owned by Morlun's sister Verna. They are sent after the Ben Reilly of Earth-94 by Verna. Reilly defeats them with the aid of Spider-Ham and the Old Man Spider-Man of Earth-4. Toomes was eaten by the other Vultures, Shallot and Natale implied to be killed by Verna for their failure, and the rest are killed by Assassin Spider-Man, Superior Spider-Man, and Spider-Punk.[volume & issue needed]
The Vulture appears in the first arc in the Spider-Gwen solo series taking place on Earth-65 where Gwen Stacy was bitten by the radioactive spider. Vulture appears more deranged than his Earth-616 incarnation and secretes a green gaseous cloud wherever he goes. Vulture was attacking police officers while mentioning how Spider-Woman "killed" Peter Parker and was easily lured out by Gwen who wrote graffiti insults towards him all over the city. Once she caught his attention, both fought. As Vulture was flying away, Spider-Woman shot a webline in order to be carried away with him and follow him. However, Vulture used the claws in his suit to rip the web, causing Spider-Woman to fall from a great height With Spider-Woman believed dead, Vulture was captured by Kingpin's henchmen and beaten up by Matt Murdock. Vulture admitted not being certain of Spider-Woman's death due to the lack of a body. He was ordered by Matt Murdock to find evidence of her survival. Vulture attacked George Stacy in his home in order to find his connection with Spider-Woman due to her rescuing him from Aleksei Sytsevich time ago and gassed the residence. Gwen, who was on the scene, used the gas as a cover to change to her Spider-Woman suit and confront Vulture. After being shot in the shoulder by George Stacy, Vulture was forced to flee. Spider-Woman followed him where she managed to beat him even though she was under the effects of the gas. He was then left webbed to a police car.
On Earth-138, Adrian Toomes is the CEO of Bestman/Toomes where the company had the subsidiary Toomestone Records. Using Toomestone Records, Adrian Toomes bought Free Medianet in an attempt to shut down Spider-Punk and his Spider-Slayers at the time when they were giving a free concert sponsored by Free Medianet. This interruption led to a fight between Toomes' security force and Spider-Punk's Spider-Army until it was interrupted by the arrival of the forces led by Ducktor Doom 2099 of Earth-8311.
In other media
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- The Blackie Drago incarnation of Vulture (referred to as Vulture Man) appeared in the 1960s Spider-Man TV series, voiced by Gillie Fenwick. In the episode "The Sky is Falling", he 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 while fleeing the vultures, 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 the man accidentally stumbles upon the Vulture's loot in there. He hears from Jameson about an experimental missile and steals it to try to 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", Dr. Noah Boddy frees him, Electro and the 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.
- The Adrian Toomes version of Vulture appeared 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.
- The Adrian Toomes incarnation of Vulture appeared 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 ("Ravages of Time", "Shriek of the Vulture" and "The Final Nightmare"), he is an old engineer and inventor who seeks revenge on Norman Osborn for rejecting and ridiculing his work. Later, he used his Vulture talons to suck youth out of people to temporarily make himself young, which he was able to do with the Tablet of Time he bought from Hammerhead. However, Vulture transformed into the Man-Spider after absorbing Spider-Man's DNA and youth. Eventually, Spider-Man enlisted Curt Connors's aid to defeat Vulture and return Spider-Man's youth, although he reprogrammed the device so that Vulture would absorb the excess DNA that had originally caused Spider-Man to become the Man-Spider originally. The episode "Partners" reveals that Scorpion afterwards captured Vulture (who then began shifting between his young and old selves). Scorpion's intent was to have Vulture make a cure once securing 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 apparently 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 went back to his own life.
- A Counter-Earth version of Vulture appeared in Spider-Man Unlimited, voiced by Scott McNeil. This version is a hero who mistakes Spider-Man for a villain. Vulture received his powers from the High Evolutionary.
- The Adrian Toomes incarnation of Vulture appears in The Spectacular Spider-Man animated series, voiced by Robert Englund. This version uses the black and red costume by Terry Dodson 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 was an aerodynamics engineer who developed a magnetic air transport harness which enabled him to fly at high speeds and make agile aerial maneuvers. He showed his invention to Norman Osborn, but his concept is rejected. But when Osborn announces OsCorp Tech Flight, the outraged Toomes goes to OsCorp when Osborn interrupts him and assures that OsCorp has nothing to apologize for. Toomes accuses Norman of stealing his work, to which Osborn goes on to insulting Toomes as an "old buzzard", saying that no one would believe he created Tech Flight, because he had never amounted to any success before. As he is escorted out by security, Toomes declares that he no longer blames Otto Octavius for the theft of his work. Toomes then dons his suit, dubs himself the Vulture, and attacks Osborn. He is eventually defeated and jailed along with the Enforcers by Spider-Man. Vulture reappears in the episode "Group Therapy" in which he, Doctor Octopus, Rhino, Shocker and Sandman are busted out of Ryker's Island by Electro, and has his flight tech upgraded with reinforced steel. As part of the Sinister Six, he and the other villains surprise and openly attack Spider-Man in retaliation for the web-slinger interfering with their plans. During a later battle, Vulture is defeated 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. When Master Planner sends the Sinister Six to attack Spider-Man, Vulture teams up with Electro to fight the web-slinger at Rockefeller Center. Vulture 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, but he is retrieved before the police arrive. In the episode "Shear Strength", Vulture continues to aid 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 George Stacy into downloading the codes that would give 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 accompanies Doctor Octopus to a sit-down with Silvermane and Tombstone. 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.
- A teenaged version of Adrian Toomes appears in the Ultimate Spider-Man animated series, voiced by Tom Kenny. This version has organic wings and sonic shrieks along with a vulture-like anatomy (a beak, vulture feet, vulture feet-like hands and the presence of dark green feathers) that he can freely shift to from his human form. The episode "The Vulture" revealed that he turned out to be one of Doctor Octopus's animal serum experiments who had his mind wiped to make room for programming, resulting in his amnesia. While living in an abandoned building, Adrian searched for information about himself by stealing from other criminals in the streets, causing the Daily Bugle Communications to dub him 'Vulture' and becomes a target for S.H.I.E.L.D.. After one of his nightly heists, Vulture met and befriended Spider-Man and promised to help him. After intimidating Harry Osborn fruitlessly for information, Spider-Man took him to the S.H.I.E.L.D. Tri-Carrier to find answers. However, Doc Ock forced him to attack Spider-Man by activating Vulture's mind programming. Vulture is ordered to free Doc Ock and they head back to Vulture's hideout, which turns out to be one of Doc Ock's labs. Spider-Man follows and helps Vulture overcome his mind programming and they defeat Doc Ock. After Doc Ock's defeat, Spider-Man gave him an offer to join a team of superhero warriors, but declined as he wanted to find own path as he searches through any Oscorp leads for his missing past. He soon ended up a recruit of Taskmaster (using stolen data from Doc Ock's computer and told him his real name). In the episode "New Warriors", Vulture ends up being a member of Taskmaster's team alongside Cloak and Dagger. Taskmaster's team attacks the Tri-Carrier and trick Agent Venom and Iron Spider into freeing several supervillains led by the Green Goblin. When Vulture sees Doc Ock among the villains, he wants revenge but Taskmaster tells him to wait and will get his chance for payback. When the escaped supervillains take off in a Quinjet, Taskmaster allows Vulture to get his revenge on Doc Ock by causing the Quinjet to crash onto the Tri-Carrier. While the other villains are defeated (sans the Goblin), Spider-Man lets Vulture escape as they were once friends. Vulture has a cameo appearance in the episode "Contest of Champions" [Part 1] among the Grandmaster's villain collection against Spider-Man and the Collector. In the episode "Iron Vulture", Vulture is equipped with special Hydra armor to kill the Osborns (albeit reluctantly) in exchange for Doctor Octopus's information containing Vulture's past. The two of them, alongside an Octobot, end up fighting Spider-Man, Kid Arachnid, Iron Patriot and the Patrioteer. Using Norman's Iron Patriot helmet, Vulture found no records of his past in Oscorp's files or Doctor Octopus's data files, causing Vulture to attack Doctor Octopus in rage. Wanting to keep Vulture as a weapon and potential recruit for the Sinister Six, Doctor Octopus's nanites overrides Vulture's armor, changing its color from green to black and red and causing him to lose his free will. Before he loses his free will, Vulture tells Spider-Man that Doctor Octopus has a spy in S.H.I.E.L.D. and then takes off. In the episode "Beached", Spider-Man and Iron Spider were searching for the rogue Vulture before Doctor Octopus could find him. Vulture encounters Spider-Man and Iron Spider, with Spider-Man's attempts to reach out to his friend was foiled by Iron Spider's intervention of seeing Vulture as a mindless monster. During a mid-air battle, Vulture left the heroes on an island, where they find Sandman being controlled by Doctor Octopus. After saving Sandman, Spider-Man and Iron Spider speculate that Vulture purposely led them to the island to help Sandman, believing Vulture might retain some of his free will. In the two-part series finale "Graduation Day", Vulture reappears as member of Doctor Octopus's Superior Sinister Six alongside Rhino, Kraven the Hunter, Scorpion and Lizard. At the docks, he and Kraven attack Cloak, Dagger, Squirrel Girl and Triton. Squirrel Girl's squirrels subdue Vulture and capture him. Upon breaking out of his cell, Vulture joins the Superior Sinister Six and fights against with Spider-Man. During the battle at Oscorp, Spider-Man used one of Doctor Octopus's antidote darts to cure Vulture, which also freed from his mind-controlling armor and helped him regain his memories of his past. Adrian and Alex O'Hirn briefly assist Spider-Man against Kraven, and later enrolls in S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy under Spider-Man's supervision.
- Vulture appears in Marvel's Spider-Man episode "Horizon Hight" Pt. 1, voiced by Alastair Duncan. This version of Adrian Toomes is middle-aged man with reddish-brown hair and a former employee of Horizon High, seeking revenge on Max Modell where he was fired for catching him stealing equipment, though Vulture claimed that his technology was not his. In this adaptation, Vulture's flight suit has visor and a neck device that enables him to perform sonic attacks. After Spider-Man thwarts his henchmen's robbery of Vibranium, Vulture attacks Spider-Man. During the fight, Spider-Man had to let Vulture get away when he causes a sonic attack that sends shards of the window glass towards two police officers. Vulture later crashes the aftermath of the sabotage to the Vibranium device where he abducts Max Modell as part of his revenge. After saving Max Modell, Spider-Man heads back to the school to obtain the Vibranium where Spencer Smythe was displeased with Vulture's interference. Vulture states to Spencer Smythe that he does not care for Spencer's personal issues towards Max Modell and does a sonic attack to knock down Spencer Smythe. Spider-Man manages to defeat Vulture just as the police arrive. In the episode "Symbiotic Relationship," a black-suited Spider-Man sights Vulture flying around the city following his fight with A.I.M. and takes him down only for the police to vouch for Vulture stating that Norman Osborn had negotiated his release in exchange for becoming a teacher at Osborn Academy. Adrian Toomes is later seen working on his suit when Norman Osborn comes in to discuss the Stark Expo as Adrian suspects that the V-252 will be presented. Both men do allow Alistair Smythe into using an upgraded version of the Vulture suit to sneak into Horizon High where Spider-Man mistook him for Adrian Toomes. After Norman Osborn figures out that the V-252 is on Spider-Man, both Alistair and Adrian attacked Spider-Man with sonic attacks. This enables Spider-Man to break it off and steal the container the V-252 is contained in from Norman Osborn. In the episode "Stark Expo," Norman Osborn uses the Vulture technology for the Stark Expo to introduce the Vulture Force, only for their outfits to be hijacked by Ghost. In the episode "Ultimate Spider-Man," Adrian continues to acts has a confidant for Norman and learns about Raymond Warren's spider experiments and the purpose of the Spider-Slayers after Spencer Smythe attacked Oscorp as a diversion to steal some Warren's spider specimens. In the episode "Kraven's Amazing Hunt", Adrian joins Norman in capturing with Spider-Man and Kraven the Hunter, after the latter's actions veers off his deal with Norman. They takes the two a lab to take Spider-Man's blood, but new Spider-Man, Miles Morales, stops them and fights Adrian off before he ad Norman are force to flee when the lab explodes.
- During the early development of Spider-Man 3, Ben Kingsley was in negotiations to play the Vulture in the film, but producer Avi Arad convinced director Sam Raimi to use Venom instead.
- In December 2009, John Malkovich was in negotiations to play the Vulture in Spider-Man 4, but the film was cancelled.
- At the 2016 San Diego Comic-Con, Kevin Feige confirmed the Vulture would appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe Spider-Man films which will reboot the Spider-Man film franchise. In November 2016, Michael Keaton was confirmed to be portraying Adrian Toomes / Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming. This version of the character runs a New York salvaging company and is the father of Liz. With the creation of the Department of Damage Control following the Battle of New York, his company is run out of business. He persuades his colleagues Phineas Mason, Herman Schultz, Jackson Brice, and Randy Vale not to give up the salvaged Chitauri technology, instead to start a scavenging operation in the form of a black market weapons ring. He later deduces Spider-Man's secret identity and threatens him with retaliation unless he stops interfering in Toomes' business. However, Spider-Man thwarts Toomes' attempt to hijack a plane carrying Avengers weaponry and saves his life from a resulting fire when his suit malfunctions. Happy Hogan and the FBI find Vulture tied up with a note from Spider-Man saying that he caught Vulture. As a result of Toomes' arrest, his family prepare to move away from Queens so they would not be there for his trial. In prison during the mid-credits, Toomes is approached by Mac Gargan who states that he has some friends on the outside that would like to meet Spider-Man. Gargan then tells him that a rumor is circulating that Toomes knows who Spider-Man is. Toomes denies it, stating that if he knew Spider-Man's identity he would already be dead. Toomes then smirks with his back to Gargan and leaves to say his goodbyes to his family.
- Vulture appears in the Sega CD adaptation of The Amazing Spider-Man vs. The Kingpin.
- Vulture appears in Spider-Man: Return of the Sinister Six.
- Vulture appears in the SNES Spider-Man Animated Series video game.
- 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 working for Bolivar Trask of Trask Industries. Adrian used to work with Peter Parker and Eddie Brock's fathers. He injects the micro-samples of the Venom symbiote in Peter as he makes a reference on how he knew Peter's father. When Peter is turned into Carnage, 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.
- Alternate versions of Vulture appears as a villain character in the video game Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions, voiced by Steven Blum. 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, Molotov cocktails and bolas against Spider-Man. When Vulture uses a tablet fragment, he gains the ability to 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. During the credits, he is shown back in the cage having eaten a couple of birds while people stare at him. Vulture's 2099 incarnation appears in the game's DS version and fights the Spider-Man of the year 2099.
- Vulture is featured as a boss in the Facebook game Marvel: Avengers Alliance.
- Vulture appears in Lego Marvel Super Heroes, voiced by Nolan North. In a bonus mission, he and Howard the Duck storm Marvel Comics HQ and hold the artists there hostage. Both of them are defeated by Mister Fantastic and Spider-Man.
- Different versions of Vulture appear in Spider-Man Unlimited, voiced by Christopher Daniel Barnes.
- Vulture appears in Marvel: Contest of Champions.
- Vulture is a playable character and a villain in Marvel: Future Fight.
- Vulture (Adrian Toomes) is a playable character in the match-three mobile and PC game Marvel Puzzle Quest. He was added to the game in July 2017.
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"He's been one of Spider-Man's most frequent and iconic antagonists ever since his first appearance in issue 2 of The Amazing Spider-Man .
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[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.
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