Sunday, July 26, 2009
Spider-Man Gets His Butt Whupped Week - 5: The Vulture
Spider-Man's butt whuppin' for today comes courtesy of The Vulture, aka Adrian Toomes. The Vulture debuted in Amazing Spider-Man #2 and is, therefore, the first classic Spider-Man villain (issue #1's villain was perennial B-lister The Chameleon).
The vulture's power? His suit slightly increases his strength, and he can fly. That's it. And the great thing about The Vulture? That's plenty. He's always been totally confident about his ability to get away with anything based on these mild and pretty common powers. "No one can stop a man who can FLY!" he would yell, flying away from a crime, unconcerned with the fact that he certainly could not fly faster than bullets.
Another great thing about The Vulture - he's old. Super crime is usually a younger man's game, what with all the running around and punching. Middle aged men in the business usually take more of a criminal mastermind
role than a physical thievery modus. The Vulture, however, is a card carrying member of the AAERP (American Association of Evil Retired Persons) and he's out there scrapping and runnin' with the youngins.
Writers over the years have fretted, repeatedly, that The Vulture's old age make him an unintimidating enemy, replacing him with a younger protege, replacing him with three upstarts. Recently, they've replaced him yet again with a acid-spitting mutant cannibal (and the only interesting scene in that story was when Spidey went to talk to old Adrian in his jail cell about the new guy). The simplicity of Adrian's powers, the unusual aspect of his age, and his general creepiness are the things that make him such a strong and memorable character. I don't know how many times new writers will try to replace him, but I do know they'll always come back to the original.
TOMORROW: Green grinning Goblins come out to terrorize!