Monday, July 31, 2017

Real Name: Adrian Toomes
First Appearance: Amazing Spider-man #2 (May, 1963)
Fight Club Ranking: #534

Featured Fights:
- vs AVENGERS: Marvel Knights: Spider-man #11 (Apr 2005)

Spider-man: Homecoming is now in theatres, and most of the world seems to agree that the joint production between Disney and Sony has given Marvel Entertainment one of its most compelling villains to date! Vulture seems an unlikely candidate, but the winning formula was easy to see!

Michael Keaton was always going to be an engaging choice -- not just because of his famous three year reign as the big screen Batman -- or because it played up jokes made in Best Picture Oscar winner Birdman. Keaton is a good actor. A star who brings a lot of character and intensity to even his worst roles. Trailers immediately announced he was taking the role seriously, and the concept as its written gives him plenty to bite into as a regular guy pushed to cruel and unusual action!

The only thing I can't quite get to grips with is the idea that Michael Keaton could be viewed by some of the audience as old. I mean, sure. The Dream Team may be running out of bench, but geez. Marisa Tomei as Aunt May?! Don't get me started, man. Don't get me started!

"Ageism" in the culture, especially Hollywood, isn't exactly breaking news, but it does surprise me that Vulture's age seems to be a tougher sell than the green, fur-lined flying suit. Growing up, I always thought it was kind of a fun distinguishing feature of the character. There was the obvious visual hook of a thin bald man (to look like the bird), but even the idea of an old man pushed to kicking youngster's arse is pretty fun. The more the audience resists, the more it makes sense - to me.

I always thought it would be a lot of fun to see Vulture starring in a Curb Your Enthusiasm type series. A comic that deals with the mundane of the super-villain's existence, and his frustrations in the every day life that push him to criminality. Yes, I rather like the visual of Larry David scowling in the costume, too. It's a thought that's been with me a while, as far back as when Peter Parker unmasked during Civil War. Which struck me as a great premise for comic indignation. Anybody who remembers Peter Parker's late eighties coffee table book, Webs, could understand the humor of a super-villain lawsuit for use of their likenesses without permission.

It's interesting to imagine what might've been had Sam Raimi completed his vision for Vulture in Spider-man 3. Ben Kingsley might not be the cantankerous old man of the comics, but again, I can see a closer visual. I also imagine Raimi's instincts might've veered a little closer to the comics. He certainly went all-in on the memorable image of Sandman. I'd like to think it wouldn't have been another Green Goblin "Power Rangers" suit.

I'm a little disappointed the Homecoming version of the costume veers away from the source, but even the most loyal comics fan probably doesn't demand a green leotard with wings attached.

The vibe of flight jacket is a pretty sympathetic adaptation. I could do without the pseudo-realism of fan-force wings, but what're you gonna do? I have mixed feelings about the helmet, but it's not the worst thing in the world. It's certainly not enough to stop Vulture being our Hero of the Week!

Edit: July was supposed to be the month we built up our fight record with more Vulture action. Sadly, 2017 had a knack for getting in the way of my beautiful, beautiful schedule. With any luck we'll get a chance to dip a toe into the Vulture file again in the future.

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