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Adrian Toomes (Earth-616)

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Adrian Toomes (Earth-616)
Vulture
Full name: Adrian Toomes
First Appearance: The Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 1 #2
Created by: Stan Lee, Steve Ditko
Home Universe: Earth-616
Alignment: Bad
Status: Alive
Place of Birth: Staten Island, New York
Citizenship: American
Base: New York City
Affiliations: "Vulture robbers"; formerly the Sinister Six
Powers/Abilities: Electrical Engineer
Height: 5' 11" (1.81 m)
Weight: 175 lbs (79 kg)
Hair Color: Bald
Eye Color: Hazel
Unique Features: Often depicted as frighteningly thin, with oddly formed nose.


"I fought Daredevil. I was in the Sinister Six. I'm faster, stronger, and smarter than a hundred men my age. No flunky with a pistol gets the drop on me."
— Vulture


Adrian Toomes (of Earth-616), better known as the Vulture, is a former member of the Sinister Six and enemy to Spider-Man.

Adrian is one of Spider-Man's oldest enemies and one of the first villains Spider-Man battled in his career as a superhero.

History

Early life

Adrian Toomes' parents died when he was young. He was raised by his older brother, Marcus Toomes. During both grade and high school Toomes excelled and got good grades. However, Toomes' brother, Marcus was involved in a motorcycle accident and Toomes took care of him.


Adult Life

Adrian Toomes (Earth-616) from Amazing Spider-Man Vol 1 241 001

Toomes telling of his origin

In his adult years, Toomes co-founded a company with Gregory Bestmen. The company was called Bestman and Toomes Electronics and had Toomes making inventions while Gregory saw to any and all administrative affairs.

Toomes spend a large amount of time on a side project, a electromagnetic winged harness that allows the person who wears it to fly. However, one day after the harness was completed, Toomes ran to Gregory's office to tell him the great news. But Toomes found out that Gregory was embezzling funds and stealing Toomes' share of the company. 

Physically confronting Gregory, he found out that the harness gave him superhuman strength. Gregory got away and soon after took full control of the company, leaving Adrian with no options. 

Adrian retired to Staten Island taking on his life savings, taking his harness with him and working on it in his spare time, which he had a lot of.

Seeing the potential for revenge with his new found strength and ability to fly, Toomes named himself the Vulture along with donning a green costume. With his new identity, Vulture tried looking for evidence against his old partner Gregory in his office, but to no avail. Soon after, he robbed a company plant after his attempt at finding evidence.


Rise of the Vulture

Adrian Toomes (Earth-616) from Amazing Spider-Man Vol 1 241 005

Vulture thinking of the power he has now

Toomes loved the rewards that came with the seemingly easy robberies he was commiting while being the Vulture. Before robbing the Park Avenue Diamond Exchange, Toomes announced where he was strike next. However, not before Vulture was attacked by the new hero, Spider-Man. However, Peter as Spider-Man was not very expierence, since at this point he had only been Spider-Man for about a month. Vulture easily defeated Spider-Man, and got away.

The next day with everyone expecting Vulture to strike from the sky, Toomes tricked the police by going through the New York City sewer system. Vulture robbed a case of diamonds from an armored car and got away without much of a fight from the police.

Toomes was overconfident, however. He started to fly in the same area he fought Spider-Man the first time, taunting him in broad daylight. Spider-Man attacked him, but he had a anti-magnetic inverter built in order to disable Vulture's harness. The Vulture was turned into the police and he was jailed.

In less than two months, the Vulture escaped from jail by using the tools in the prison shop to built a temporary harness. Toomes escaped to an abandoned silo to built a bigger, better harness.

After a few days, the Vulture returned to crime. During an encounter with Spider-Man, Peter realized that Toomes made improvements in order for the anti-magnetic inverter to not work anymore. After realizing this, Vulture fought Spider-Man normally. Vulture got the upper hand and dropped Spider-Man from a great height, breaking his arm. Spider-Man retreated, and as Peter Parker, trained himself to get the upper hand on Vulture without a device. When Vulture attacked the Daily Bugle, Peter changed into Spider-Man and defeated Vulture by wrapping his wings up with webbing, leaving him to be arrested and taken to jail.


Joining the Sinister Six

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Vulture questioning Otto's plan

While in jail, Toomes grew a strong hate for Spider-Man for defeating him twice. 

Doctor Octopus smashed into the jail holding Toomes and freed him under the condition that he would join Otto's new Sinister Six team with five other villians that Spider-Man defeated which were Sandman, Mysterio, Electro, Kraven the Hunter and Otto himself.

Due to their cocky from their large group, Otto's plan was to lure then attack Spider-Man one-on-one in their element. They seemed to have the upper hand at the time, since Peter Parker was seemingly losing his spider powers due to him subconsciously wanting not to be Spider-Man anymore. Spider-Man was defeated and retreated.

But when Peter gained a new will to be Spider-Man, his powers came back better than ever and defeated every member of the Sinister Six, jailing all of them.


The Second Vulture

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The Vulture beating Drago

While in jail, Vulture met Raniero "Blackie" Drago and befriended him. While in the prison shop, Blackie caused an accident that nearly killed Toomes and put him on his death bed.

When Toomes thought he was dying, he revealed to Blackie the location of his Vulture harness in order to get revenge on Spider-Man once and for all.

Blackie was not only inexperienced with the Vulture harness but Spider-Man had a cold, which led to his quick defeat. Blackie thought he had defeated Spider-Man once and for all, but Kraven then showed up to take the credit that he defeated Spider-Man eariler. Kraven and Blackie fought in a helicopper that Blackie stole.

After getting over his cold, Spider-Man defeated both Kraven and Drago, by using Kraven to shoot a special ray that slowed down Blackie's muscles.

After hearing of Blackie's defeat at the hand of Spider-Man, Toomes earned the will to recover and he broke Blackie out of jail to team-up with him to properly defeat Spider-Man. Toomes not only defeated Blackie to prove he was the better Vulture, but defeated Spider-Man as well.

Blackie went on to say "I'm through! I'm never putting on these wings again!".


Crime Boss

After his jailing from the Sinister Six team-up, Vulture escaped many times only to be jailed each and every time by Spider-Man.

One day, Toomes decided that he did not want to be a petty thief, but a crime boss instead. He started by humiliating an infamous mobster, Mr. Morgan, who hired a hitman to kill Spider-Man. The Vulture then arranged the murder of many New York City crime bosses, followed by taking becoming a big one himself with his nephew, Malachi Toomes

Malachi became the head, while Adrian ran the gangs behind the scenes. 

Soon, Adrian's gangs went to war with Blackie Drago's gangs, where Adrian's gangs came out on top. At the celebration of the gangs success, Spider-Man broke in, ready to fight.

Adrian and his men were prepared, however. They chained up Spider-Man and threw him into a furnace where they regularly threw dead bodies and evidence in to burn away. Spider-Man broke free, but in the process of breaking free, set the building on fire that the gang was still in. 

Adrian pulled Malachi out of the burning building, but despite his nephew's request, Adrian did not save anyone else. The gangsters were trapped in the building and nearly died, but Spider-Man managed to get all of them out the building.

While Spider-Man was doing this, Toomes and Malachi tried to escape with the rest of Blackie's gang going after them. Malachi took a bullet shoot at Toomes, dying from his gunshot wound.

This enraged Toomes, since Malachi was the only family he had left and was the only person he truely cared for. He attacked Blackie and nearly beat him to death until Spider-Man showed up. Spider-Man chased after Vulture, even hanging on to a piece of webbing attached to Toomes while he was flying. 

While Vulture was flying, he was violently shaking Spider-Man off him only to crash into Graham Central Station. During the battle, there was plenty of location damage and Vulture crashed headfirst into shatterproof glass, Toomes landed on his head, giving him brain damage. 

Toomes then became involved in Atlantic City casino gambling operations to prepare for his own "funeral", but was stopped by the Hobgoblin. Toomes then moved his gambling operations to Las Vegas, where he attacked Snake Diamond in the middle of the desert for stealing his special embalming fluid formula.

At one point, Toomes fought the mutants Firefist and Skids to try to release the villian, Nitro.


Nathan Lubensky and Cancer

Over time, Toomes got ill from his head injury, old age and wounds and during this time, befriended a  paraplegic man named Nathan Lubensky. Nathan told Toomes that he should not let his old age get in the way of enjoying life.  

Toomes listened to Nathan's advice and as the Vulture, tried to take over his rehab clinic. Spider-Man arrived on the scene to defeat Vulture, with Vulture almost killing Nathan. This worried Toomes, not wanting Nathan to die because of the influence Nathan had on him. This distracted Toomes long enough to be captured and jailed. 

Toomes was broken out by Kingpin in order to assinate a high ranking casino runner.

During another fight with Spider-Man as apart of Doc Ock's new Sinister Six, Vulture selected a hostage as a shield and selected May Parker, Peter's aunt from the crowd of people. 

Nathan, who was May's love at the time, leaped from his wheelchair and onto the Vulture's back while he was flying. Toomes, not knowing who the man was, kepting flying with Aunt May. Nathan took one look down and started to have a heart attack. Toomes soon fled, but dropped Nathan in the process. Spider-Man caught him and deliver him to Aunt May, but it was too late and Nathan died in May's arms.

One day, Toomes found out that he had cancer, due to the frequent exposure to the essentials needed to power his wings.

Upon find this out, Toomes traveled to the Parker household to apologize to Aunt May for killing Nathan. Peter Parker, angry at Toomes, leaped on him and started to beat on him. However, Vulture got the upperhand and knocked Peter out, taking him to his hideout. 

When Vulture left, Peter changed into his Spider-Man costume and started to brutally beat Toomes. During the battle, Toomes power pack for his harness exploded, causing his wings to catch fire. Spider-Man ripped off the pack, causing both of them to crash land in a muddy ditch.

Toomes was later arrested and taken to the Parker house so Aunt May and Peter could identify him only for Aunt May to wish that Toomes' death would be slow and painful.

Aunt May visited Toomes in jail and said sorry to him for her early statement, but also said that she did not forgive him, and that any kind of redemption would be left up to him and God.

The Vulture technology was later copied by a group of thugs called the Vulturions, whom Toomes defeated.


Young Once Again

1793659-vulture . amazing spider man 387

Toomes' new gear and young age

One day, the Vulture ran across the Chameleon and the Green Goblin finishing up shapeshifting robots that were designed to look like Peter Parker's dead mother and father in order to drive him crazy. 

Toomes' interference caused the robots to be destory, but not before Peter as Spider-Man saw them and had a neverous breakdown.

However, Toomes somehow absorbed the life force of the May Parker robot and gained his youth back, complete with a full hair of hair and being cured of the cancer he had.

Toomes was now a young man, and during this time, tried to get a new lease on life by killing anyone who wronged him while he was an old man.

During this time, Toomes ran into an impersonater of the Prowler (the hero who stopped Toomes from taking over his former company). This fake Prowler did battle with the Vulture and was almost killed, if not for Spider-Man showing up and taking the Prowler away to the hospital. 

During a fight with Spider-Man, Toomes was attacked by the leftovers of a man named David Kalen who had the power to dissolve anything by touch. David was depressed by the death of his brother, Henry, so he started directing his power inwards and killed himself. However, the leftovers of him wanted to thank Spider-Man (now Peter Parker again) so he looked for Spider-Man, who was now battling the Vulture. Due to the effects of David's power, Toomes turned old again.


Identity Disk and Back in the Six

With the help of Sandman, Toomes manipulated Bullseye, Deadpool, Juggernaut, and Sabretooth into destorying an A.I.M. building to gain a disc that had on it the identities of undercover S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, one of those including Toomes daughter, Valeria Toomes.

During a short time, Toomes as the Vulture worked for the Owl, Leland Owlsley. During one of his missions, he failed and had his face slashed by the Black Cat. When Toomes returned, he was harshly beaten. He was also a member of Norman Osborn's Sinister Six team, wearing a helmet to presumably to hide the wounds Black Cat caused to his face.

For a very brief time, and under the authority of Kraven the Hunter's son, Alexei Kravinoff, Vulture tried being a hero, only to turn back to a life of crime very soon. Toomes also had a grandson and started to commit robberies to finance a cure for his grandson's terminal illness.


Civil War and Zoo Time

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Vulture in Marvel Knights: Spider-Man #3 preying on a hospitalized Peter Parker

During the events of Civil War, Vulture, along with Grim Reaper and the Trapster was arrested by Captain America who chained them all together and broke Toomes' nose. Soon after, he was found by S.H.I.E.L.D. and taken into custody, saying "that lunatic broke my damn nose".

After Spider-Man unmasked himself on live television, Toomes is seen in his jail cell, touching his fingers together. As someone on the television set said they hoped it wouldn't be any trouble for Spider-Man, Toomes said, "Oh, I think it will be."

After Spider-Man defected from Iron Man's side, he was considered an outlaw by S.H.I.E.L.D. and the police. S.H.I.E.L.D. saw this and gave Vulture his harness back in order hunt down Spider-Man saying he "is now an outlaw, same as you."

Vulture swooped in on Spider-Man at a book signing, slashing him with a sedative. However, Toomes falls unconscious and Spider-Man takes him to the hospital.

A few hours later, it was revealed that Toomes suffered a stroke in battle and many of the muscles on the right side of his body were paralyzed.

After the doctor left, Peter walked in the room as Toomes asked Peter to kill him because he was weak. When Peter refused, Toomes taunted Peter, telling him he was weak and always had been. After making remarks about Peter's dead Uncle Ben, Peter took a pillow and started suffocating Toomes. After Toomes started to fight back, Peter took the pillow away and saying "For somebody who's begging to die, you fight for life pretty hard."

After the events of Civil War, Peter made a deal with the demon Mephisto to save his Aunt May who was shot, at the cost of removing Peter and Mary Jane's marriage from the Marvel timeline. Peter also wanted his identity wiped from everyone who knew it, which included Toomes.

When Alexei Kravinoff started to collect a zoo of animal-themed villains, Vulture was one of many that were captured. To stop Vulture from finding a way to remove his bomb collar, Alexei broke his hands repeatedly, but escaped with help from the Rhino.


Third Vulture and Dark Reign

Amazing Spider-Man Vol 1 623 Quinones
When Norman Osborn assumed power over S.H.I.E.L.D. and rebranded it H.A.M.M.E.R., many super villains were able to leave prison and even continue being villains during Norman Osborn, so long as they cut deals with both the Hood and Osborn himself.

Vulture was one of the few that stayed in jail and never took a deal along with Tombstone, Lady Bullseye, and Mister Negative.

While in jail, a new Vulture appeared and killed trapped and injured people, followed by eating them. Spider-Man came to Toomes' cell to ask him if he had anything to do with this Vulture, to which he said he had no connection and going to kill this new Vulture once he got out, but hoped the new Vulture killed Spider-Man.

However, before Toomes could eliminate the new Vulture, he was sent to kill the Punisher by the Exchange, only to be killed by the Punisher stabbing him to death.


Superior Vulture

Adrian Toomes (Earth-616) from Superior Spider-Man Team-Up Vol 1 7 001

Superior Spider-Man Team-Up, with Vulture in the Superior Six

Vulture soon returns with upgrading to his harness to provide him more strength, started a gang of Vulture minions to do his robberies for him. Carlie Cooper tracks the technology to Toomes, which Spider-Man finds battles once more, but due to his upgrades, Toomes escaped.

After Otto switched bodies with Peter Parker and dubbed himself the Superior Spider-Man, he finds Vulture who sent his henchmen to get some documents he left behind at MJ's, formerly his hideout. Otto finds Vulture at this hideout, and tries to bribe him with money into leaving the city and his life of crime behind.

Toomes does not accept the offer and attacks Otto. Otto accidently knocked out one of the Vulture's minions and sees that they are children. Since Otto was beaten as a child, this enraged him and he savagely attacked Toomes. Using the light of the Spider-Signal, Otto blinds Toomes causing him to crash into the roof where the Spider-Signal was. Charlie Cooper finds Vulture bloody, blind and beaten, but alive.

Along with Boomerang and the Scorpion, Toomes was arrested taken the Raft's infirmary. Soon after, Alistair Smythe's mini Spider-Slayers heal and enhances Toomes' eyes where Smythe tells them to kill Spider-Man.

He was eventually defeated and was temporarily forced by Spider-Man to work in his Superior Six.

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Blinded once more

In the Raft while Otto is busy fighting Boomerang, and Scorpion goes after Mayor J. Jonah Jameson, Vulture attacks civilians. Glory Grant, Norah Winters, and Smythe's lawyer plead with him to stop, saying that he can clear Toomes of any and all charges.

This causes Toomes to stop and consider his options, but when Smythe is killed, the Vulture's Spider-Slayer enhancements fail, leaving him blind once again.

He is then tasered by Ted Shipley, the Raft's chief of security.

Power and abilities

Powers

  • Limited Levitation: 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, however at a very slow speed. Like his other abilities, it is probable that this ability too would fade with time away from the harness.

Abilities

  • Genius Intellect: The Vulture is intellectually brilliant in the fields of electronics and mechanical engineering, with a great talent for inventing. He has earned a Master of Science degree in electrical engineering.

Strength Level 

While wearing his harness, Toomes can provide himself with super strength, able lift no more than 700 pounds. While wearing his new black and red suit made by the Green Goblin, he said he was 500 percent stronger, but this doesn't seem to be true.

Media

Television

Video Games

Equipment

    • Vulture using his claws
    • Toomes' super strength from the harness
    • Toomes using his smarts to create a harness from prison tools
    Electromagnetic Wing Harness: 
    Using his smarts, Toomes has made a wing harness that allows anyone who wears it to fly. While wearing the harness, he can reach speeds of up to 95 miles per hour and attain a maximum height of 11,000 feet.
    • ​Upgrade: A new red and mostly black version of Vulture's harness made by the Green Goblin supposedly makes him stronger and allows him to fly without making any noise.
  • Wing Projectiles: The Vulture's feathers are as sharp as swords and can be used as projectile weapons. They can self-replenish themselves so he can maintain his ability to fly.

Transportation

  • Flight: Vulture uses his electromagnetic harness to fly.

Weapons

  • Bombs and Guns: The Vulture carries some form of plasma pistol and several grenades of unknown types.
  • Claws:  Toomes has claws in any version of his Vulture costume and has often used these to harm his foes.

Notes

  • Adrian Toomes was not the first fictional villain to call himself the Vulture. In the 1941 comic Doll Man Quarterly, a robber named the Vulture used his pet vultures to carry bombs and commit crimes.
  • The Vulture was the first traditionally costumed super-villain Spider-Man ever faced, having previously only squared off against the super spy Chameleon in Amazing Spider-Man #1.
  • Up until Amazing Spider-Man #676, the Vulture had been the only Spider-Man foe besides Electro to be a member of every incarnation of the Sinister Six, Sinister Seven, and Sinister Twelve. He has also never once served as leader of any the groups, and wasn't a member of the All-New Sinister Six.

Trivia

See Also

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