Adrian Toomes is the former owner of Toomes Salvage Company, based inside New York City, who was forced to turn to a criminal lifestyle after his livelihood was usurped by the Department of Damage Control, a joint venture between the federal government and Tony Stark. Recruiting his co-workers and equipping himself with a flying exo-suit created from Chitauri technology he had stolen, Toomes took on the identity of Vulture and spent the next four years stealing advanced weaponry to sell on the black market. Toomes' activities were noticed by Spider-Man, forcing him to hunt down the young hero. During their final clash, Vulture's life was saved by Spider-Man and in turn, Toomes decided not to reveal Spider-Man's true identity to the other prison inmates.
Toomes Salvage Company
Raising a Family
Adrian Toomes married Doris Toomes and together they had their daughter named Liz Toomes. In order to support his own family, Toomes founded the Toomes Salvage Company which cleaned up the wreckage left behind by battles involving super humans such as Iron Man. Toomes discovered his daughter had a natural talent for art which made him proud as he vowed to support her.
Battle of New York Cleanup
In the wake of the Battle of New York, the Toomes Salvage Company had successfully gained the contract to clean up the city. Having shown Phineas Mason a picture that his daughter had just drawn of the battle, Toomes oversaw all his men cleaning up Grand Central Station, telling Herman Schultz to use the Chitauri technology to take apart one of the crashed Chitauri Chariots before Toomes then had to confront Jackson Brice for arriving late on the job.
Toomes was then approached by Anne Marie Hoag and her group of agents, telling him that he was to withdraw his men from the area as the new Department of Damage Control had secured the contract to clean up after Avengers battles. As Toomes explained that he had the contract to clean up New York City, he concluded that they were now allowed to be there. Hoag was unrelenting, however, telling Toomes' Crew to stop their work and then leave immediately.
Toomes started begging her to let him have the contract, as he had a family to support. When Foster, one of Hoag's men mockingly told him to not overreach in his work, Toomes punched him in the face, causing the guards around Hoag to draw their guns and ordering that Toomes and his men to leave the area. Hoag told Toomes that he could talk to Tony Stark about the contracts if he wished to continue fighting for the job to keep himself and his men employed.
Turn to Crime
- "I'll tell you what. Let's keep it. The world's changing. It's time we change too."
- ―Adrian Toomes
Furious at the disappointment, Toomes watched the television report on how Tony Stark had now created Damage Control in the wake of the Battle of New York to clean up the mess left behind. Toomes watched the report with Herman Schultz who commented on how the system was now rigged against them all, with Schultz noting the Avengers were now being paid to clean up their own mess they were left unemployed.
As they watched the report, Randy Vale discovered that the group still had a large amount of Chitauri technology left over which had not been handed back over to Anne Marie Hoag and her own team to be stored away. With Jackson Brice refusing to move it, Toomes then decided to keep it, convincing the group to turn to a life of crime by reverse-engineering and weaponizing the technology for sale on the streets in order to keep themselves earning money.
Over the next few years, Toomes still worked alongside Schultz and Brice while employing the Tinkerer to use more advanced technology and creating his own Vulture Suit, avoiding the attention of the FBI as well as the Avengers as they continued breaking the law. As Vulture flew into his base, he proudly told the Tinkerer and his crew that business is good as he delivered even more technology for them to weaponise and then sell to all of their new buyers.
Jackson Brice's Mistake
- "I'm just saying maybe your wife would like to know where you really get your money from?"
"You know what? You're right. I can't afford that."
- ―Jackson Brice and Vulture
A few months later, Toomes' arms-dealing business was still going strong. However, he received a call from Herman Schultz that Spider-Man had come across their arms deal with Aaron Davis and was pursuing him. Toomes quickly donned the Vulture Suit and flew off to Schultz's location. Open arriving at his crew's speeding van, he spotted Spider-Man about to catch the group. Swooping down, he seized Spider-Man in his talons, flying hundreds of feet into the air above New York City, only for the Spider-Man Suit to deploy a parachute, ripping the young hero out of Toomes' grip. Seeing that his men had made a successful getaway, Toomes flew back to his lair.
Toomes successfully landed back in his base, removed his Vulture Suit and waited for his men to return. Jackson Brice and Herman Schultz managed to get back to the base, Brice thrilled with the chase. Toomes confronted Brice, asking him how many times he had told Brice not to fire the weapons in public, with Brice defending his actions saying that he had to move the weapons. Toomes became fed up with Brice's recklessness and attitude, telling Brice that he was fired.
Now angry, Brice threatened Toomes, saying that he will inform the authorities about their operation. Brice then asked Toomes what would happen if he told Doris Toomes about his business. This was a step too far for Toomes, who promptly picked up a weapon and shot Brice with it, instantly disintegrating him. Confused and shocked about his actions, he asked Tinkerer if he had picked up an Anti-Gravity Gun, only to have picked up a Chitauri Gun instead. Toomes walked over to Brice's ashes and picked up the Shocker Gauntlet and passed it to Schultz, sarcastically telling him that he was the 'Shocker' now.
Hijacking Damage Control Truck
- "Okay. I got eyes on the convoy. Pulling in behind the caboose."
"No outgoing distress signals. You're all clear."
- ―Vulture and Tinkerer
Several days later, Toomes' crew received the tip that a truck full of confiscated technology was heading to the Damage Control Headquarters by the way of Maryland. With the Shocker and Tinkerer in a van nearby, Vulture stealthily intercepted the truck. Anchoring his Wings to the truck, Vulture used a Matter Phase Shifter to enter the truck's trailer. Taking in the sight, Vulture started filling a duffel bag with the technology. To his surprise, however, Spider-Man showed up, causing Vulture to quickly exit the truck, seeing that Spider-Man was about to jump through the wormhole he created, Vulture shut of the Matter Phase Disrupter, sealing Spider-Man in the truck. Vulture quickly made his escape, angrily leaving his stolen technology behind.
Back at his base, Toomes was still fuming over the loss of the technology. Tinkerer offered to upgrade the Vulture Suit with the high-altitude vacuum seal, so they could pull off an airborne heist against Avengers Tower. Toomes turned Mason down, asking if they still had enough technology to sell on the Staten Island Ferry in a few days which Mason confirmed. Toomes began muttering that it was all Spider-Man's fault and he would kill him for interfering with his business. Overhearing, Schultz told Toomes to look at the television, which was broadcasting the Rescue at the Washington Monument, including Spider-Man saving Toomes' daughter, Liz.
- "You're messing with things that you don't understand!"
- ―Vulture to Spider-Man
The next day, Toomes and Herman Schultz made their way onboard the Staten Island Ferry where they planned to have a secret meeting in order to sell more of their Chitauri and Ultron based technology to criminals. Once they had discussed their plan, Schultz left Toomes behind while he and Randy Vale dealt with their latest buyer, Mac Gargan, while Toomes stayed behind and kept his distance, ready to suit up and get involved if anything was to go wrong with the deal with Gargan.
However, Toomes was soon informed by Schultz on the radio that the deal had been interrupted by Spider-Man. Upon hearing all this, Toomes quickly ran down to his van where his suit was being kept, seeing that the Shocker had been subdued during the fight and his own Gauntlet had been trapped in the railing. Once Toomes knocked out one of Gargan's men into get to the van, he briefly locked eyes with Spider-Man before he then climbed inside of the van.
Just before Spider-Man could confront Toomes, the FBI showed up to arrest Gargan and Schultz, distracting Spider-Man long enough for Toomes to don his Vulture Exo-Suit and armed himself with a Chitauri Gun. Bursting through the van's doors, Vulture fired upon the agents and Spider-Man, who had managed to knock the FBI agent out of the way while the Vulture inadvertently threw a car off the ferry which had collided with Gargan and knocked him into the water.
Freeing the Shocker from his webbing restraints, Vulture told him to get off the ferry as they were retreating from the mission. Unwilling to allow Vulture to escape, Spider-Man fired his Web-Shooters at him, however Vulture fought back by shooting the Chitauri weapons at Spider-Man while cutting the webs with his wings. During their fight, Spider-Man gained the advantage by activating the Taser web when one of the strands managed to hit the Vulture in mid-air.
The shock of the Taser web caused Vulture to drop the gun, which reacted violently with the electricity, causing it to fire several lasers that cut the ferry in half, despite Spider-Man desperately attempting to web it up. Seeing his opening, Vulture flew to the top of the ferry, where the Shocker was waiting for him. With the Shocker aboard his wings, Vulture flew away from the battle before Iron Man could show up and assist Spider-Man with saving the ferry's passengers.
One Last Job
In the wake of their fiasco on the Staten Island Ferry, Toomes was informed that Herman Schultz had finally decided to quit the Crew and go on the run, citing that the FBI were waiting in the wings to arrest them. However, Toomes asks Mason to create the high-altitude vacuum seal for the Matter Phase Shifter and asks Schultz to stick around for one last heist.
Learning Spider-Man's Identity
- "I want you to understand that I'd do anything to protect my family... I think you know what I'm talking about. So don't mess with me. Don't interfere with my business again. 'Cause I'll kill you and everybody you love."
- ―Adrian Toomes to Peter Parker
A few days later, on the night of the local homecoming dance, Toomes warmly, yet casually welcomed Peter Parker into his home and tried to make small talk with the already uncomfortable boy, who was turning pale after immediately recognizing him as Vulture. He then made quips, joking that if he wanted any alcoholic beverages and also watched as a nerved Parker awkwardly took a picture with Toomes' family.
During the drive to the dance, Toomes asked Parker about what his plans were post-graduation. Liz explained to her father that Parker was only a sophomore but that he held an internship with Tony Stark. Toomes' interest was piqued further when Liz declared that Parker was even friends with Spider-Man. When Toomes asked what Spider-Man was like, Parker fumbled, prompting Toomes to ask if they had met before, stating that Parker's voice was familiar to him, as if he had recently heard it somewhere. Parker responded that they had never met, ending their conversation.
However, Liz carried on about how Parker came to their house party and left after a few minutes and then mysteriously disappeared during the Decathlon. Realizing that the Chase of Adrian Toomes' Crew was on the same night as the party, Toomes suspected that Parker might be Spider-Man and inquired how Parker felt to have been saved at the Washington Monument, only for Liz to declare that Parker was not with them.
Toomes' suspicions about Parker's true identity were confirmed, although he kept his observations quiet and inconspicuous. Once Liz exited the car upon arrival, Toomes told her to give him a few minutes alone with Parker as he wished to give him the "dad talk". Once she left, he pulled a gun from the glove compartment and confronted Parker, asking him whether Liz was aware of his duality and sparing his life as gratitude saving her life. He warned Parker to stop pursuing him or else he would kill him and everybody he loved, and then prompted Parker to thank him for saving his life, declaring that they were now even.
Despite Toomes' warning, Peter Parker refused to back down and, following a fight with the Shocker tracked Toomes back to his hideout with help from Ned Leeds and confronted him. Toomes tried to justify his actions to Spider-Man, explaining that everything he had done was to support his family and claiming that the wealthy and powerful care nothing for the common people like themselves. When Spider-Man refused to listen again, Toomes summoned his Vulture Exo-Suit to break the support beams around his lair, trapping Spider-Man under a pile of rubble and leaving him to suffocate.
With Parker seemingly being crushed to death as his hideout fell apart around him, Toomes stepped outside and donned his Vulture Wings which had been upgraded by the Tinkerer. Looking out over New York City, the Vulture spied on Stark Tower and waited until the cargo plane filled with the Stark Industries weapons and the other Chitauri and Ultron technology was moved out so that he could steal it and sell all of the technology on the black market.
- "Hot dog."
With that, Vulture flew after and quickly caught up with and entered the last cargo plane leaving Stark Tower holding the equipment he planned to steal. Speaking to the Tinkerer during his flight, Vulture noted that the new Exo-Suit felt like it was dragging extra weight. Grabbing onto the side of the plane, Vulture cut himself inside using his gadgets and deployed a decoy drone to throw the plane's ground control, which Happy Hogan was monitoring, off his scent during the heist.
Entering the plane, Toomes discovered it was filled with even more than he could have hoped for, boxes of Chitauri weaponry, robotic parts of Ultron and well as various armors from the Iron Legion, all of which would be worth millions on the black market. Toomes began going through the boxes, throwing aside the one of Iron Man's old helmets to get to the Chitauri Guns. While attempting to alter the plane's course and marveling at the Avengers' equipment, Vulture discovered that Spider-Man had survived their previous encounter, having broken out of the rubble and quietly followed him and was now attempting to knock his exo-suit off the plane.
Furious, Vulture fought against Spider-Man outside the plane, using his claws on his suit to try and scratch at Spider-Man. During the battle, Vulture destroyed one of the engines in the process causing the plane to lose control. Tinkerer pleaded for Vulture to abandon the mission but Toomes refused to leave without at least one crate. While Spider-Man focused on trying to use his Web-Shooters to redirect the craft away from New York City, Vulture sliced the plane's outer shell with his wings to pick up a crate, but before he could the plane crash-landed on the beach at Coney Island and causing them both to hit the ground hard. Both survived the crash but Vulture's Wings were damaged
- "Time to go home, Pete."
"I'm trying to save you!"
- ―Vulture and Spider-Man
As Spider-Man slowly regained consciousness after the horrific crash landing, he took his mask off and looked around at the rubble of the destroyed Stark Cargo Plane. Because the crash had made his ears begin to ring loudly, Vulture used this to his advantage and was able to pounce at Spider-Man, who was caught off-guard, souring down from the smoke all around Coney Island and knocking Spider-Man over with force.
Having already beaten him down into submission, the Vulture then picked Spider-Man up with his talons, and slammed him into the ground repeatedly. Vulture prepared to kill Spider-Man but became distracted when he spotted a crate full of Arc Reactors. Feeling the heist wasn't a completely failure yet, he dropped Spider-Man and grabbed the crate with his talons, and attempted to escape and sell all of the Stark Industries technology on the black market.
However, all of the radiation emitting from the Arc Reactors caused the Chitauri Technology in Vulture's Exo-Suit to short-circuit and had caused his wings to malfunction. Seeing the new danger as he had witnessed this happen in Washington, D.C., Spider-Man attempted to pull Vulture away from the Arc Reactors before the suit exploded, but he was too late and ignored his pleas to save him, overdriven by greed as he desperately attempted to make his escape.
Having ignored Spider-Man's attempts to help him, Vulture's suit eventually went up in a ball of flames. Just after Vulture had crashed landed, Spider-Man ran into all the debris and pulled him out alive. Powerless without his suit and weak from the explosion, Spider-Man was able to use his Web-Shooters to tie Vulture to a crate, where he was later found and arrested by Happy Hogan and the FBI, with the Vulture offering no resistance as he was taken into custody.
Toomes was sent to prison impending his trial. Not wanting Liz and Doris Toomes to watch that, he asked them to move to Oregon. In prison, he encountered former potential buyer Mac Gargan, who questioned him about the rumors about him knowing Spider-Man's true identity and to divulge it so his friends could kill him. Wanting to repay Peter Parker for saving his life, Toomes merely responded to Gargan that if he knew who Spider-Man really was, then he would already be dead before leaving to talk with his family.
- "Nothing is more important than family. You saved my daughter's life, and I could never forget something like that, so I'll give you one chance. You ready? You walk through those doors, and you forget any of this happened. And don't you ever, ever interfere with my business again, because if you do, I'll kill you, and everyone that you love. I'll kill you dead. That's what I'll do to protect my family."
- ―Vulture to Spider-Man
Before being thrown out of business by Damage Control, Toomes was apparently a hard-working man who supported his family honestly. However, after being thrown out of business he became desperate knowing he and his family would suffer, showing that he deeply cared for their well-being. As a result, he became a ruthless and calculating man who was willing to commit crimes to do whatever it takes to support his family. Outside of his new criminal career Toomes continues to be an ordinary family man.
Despite his criminal career, Toomes makes it a point not to get his family involved in any of his black market business nor does he want them to find out by staying off the Avengers' radar for years. Despite his intense hatred towards Tony Stark, Toomes does not actively seek revenge against him either because it would draw attention towards his activities. He was fully prepared to quit his criminal career should his family be close to finding out or if his operations were discovered. Upon being arrested, Toomes asked his wife and daughter to move to another city so that they wouldn't have to see his trial and incarceration either.
Initially, Toomes was annoyed by Spider-Man and tried multiple times to get the young hero out of his way, his realistic worldview clashing with Spider-Man's boundless idealism. Nevertheless he was impressed by the hero's sheer determination and to some degree stubbornness. However, after his daughter was saved by Spider-Man, and learning that he was actually Peter Parker, Liz's date, he gradually developed a sense of respect for him and even tried to convince him to join his side. When Toomes and Parker were alone in his car, he offered Parker the chance to end their feud in a peaceful manner if Spider-Man agreed not to hunt him down any further, however he was still willing to kill him if he tried to thwart his plans again.
Despite Spider-Man ruining his plans and putting him in prison, Toomes showed some degree of gratefulness towards Parker for saving his life and his daughter's by pretending he hadn't figured out Spider-Man's secret identity yet when asked by Mac Gargan about it.
Powers and Abilities
Exo-Suit: Toomes was outfitted with a flying mechanical suit created by Phineas Mason with salvaged Chitauri technology. As Vulture, he would use the suit for heists on other salvaged equipment from Damage Control. In appearance, it consists of a metallic body armor, outfitted with a winged steel harness.
- Flight: Vulture's suit is outfitted with a powerful winged harness that also has jet propulsion systems which allow him to fly.
- Superhuman Strength: The suit gives Vulture the strength to overpower both humans and superhumans, while the wings and talons are strong enough to destroy concrete and lift heavy objects with ease.
- Superhuman Durability: Vulture's suit is designed to withstand blows from superhumans like Spider-Man.
- Superhuman Speed and Agility: The suits jet propulsion systems allow Vulture to fly at high speeds and maneuver in the air with incredible agility, despite its large frame.
- Gifted Intelligence: Toomes is very intelligent, being able to deduce Spider-Man's secret identity from existing information. He is able to see the profit in anything, seeing that the Chitauri technology could be used for more nefarious needs.
- Expert Tactician: Toomes was able to plan and execute the Attack on the Damage Control Truck and the Hijacking of the Stark Cargo Plane.
- Expert Marksman: Toomes was able to aim and fire a Chitauri Gun precise enough to cut through the webbing restraining Herman Schultz from a far distance.
- Vulture's Exo-Suit: Vulture uses a suit made with Chitauri technology and outfitted with a winged steel harness that allows him to fly.
- Chitauri Gun: Vulture uses a powerful beam gun that is capable of bisecting large ships.
- Matter Phase Shifter: Vulture used technology designed by Phineas Mason to be able to turn a portion of a surface intangible and transparent, making it look like glass with a purple glow. He would notably attach this device to Damage Control trucks and even the hull of an Avengers cargo plane to pass through them to steal the supplies inside.
- Jackson Brice † - Former Employee turned Accidental Victim
- Peter Parker/Spider-Man - Former Enemy, Attempted Victim, and Savior
- Damage Control - Business Opponents
- Stark Industries
- In the comics, Vulture originally flew with a pair of magnetic wings to get revenge on his former business partner. Vulture was also one of the founding members of Spider-Man's recurrent group of enemies, the Sinister Six alongside Doctor Octopus, Sandman, Mysterio, Electro and Kraven the Hunter.
- In the comics, Wilson Allan is the father of Liz Allan and the second husband of Doris Raxton. This is, however, not the first time Liz's father is a supervillain. In the Ultimate Comics, her father is the mutant villain Blob.
- The collar of Toomes' aviator jacket is a nod to many of the Vulture's costumes in the comics.
Behind the Scenes
- In an early version of the character, Adrian Toomes was a member of the Air National Guard alongside Sam Wilson, and the Vulture's Exo-Suit was a less refined version of the EXO-7 Falcon.
- Jon Watts stated that he was inspired by John C. Reilly's Rhomann Dey from Guardians of the Galaxy for Toomes' "ground-level perspective" in the film.
- Jon Watts said Toomes would be different from other Marvel Cinematic Universe villains like Thanos and Ultron, as "It's fun to think that if Spider-Man is a regular kid who becomes a superhero, there's got to be a bunch of regular guys who become supervillains, too."
- Michael Keaton calls Toomes "interesting to play" and not completely villainous, saying "there's parts of him that you go, 'You know what? I might see his point.'
- Co-producer Eric Hauserman Carroll likened Toomes to "the dark Tony Stark", a "businessman with a family. He wants to look out for his kids. He’s got sort of a Tony Soprano mentality. He doesn't have these big delusions of grandeur where he wants to take over the world, or replace the government, or even defeat the Avengers or anything. He just wants his shot at the good life".
- The Vulture is the third superhero-type character based on a flying animal that Michael Keaton has portrayed, with the previous two being Batman in Batman and Batman Returns and Birdman in Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance).
- Toomes intensely dislikes Tony Stark for putting him out of business. Michael Keaton's character in Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), Riggan Thompson, has a similar dislike of Robert Downey, Jr. due to the fact that while they both achieved fame portraying superheroes, Downey is one of the biggest stars in Hollywood while he has faded into obscurity.
- Mark Hamill originally wanted to play the Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming only if Michael Keaton didn't accept the part. Keaton initially turned down the offer, but later regretted just in time and played the role.
- Donald K. Overstreet, Trampas Thompson and Marlow Warrington-Mattei were stunt doubles for Michael Keaton in the role of Vulture.
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 Spider-Man: Homecoming
- ↑ Spider-Man: Homecoming Post-credits Scene
- ↑ Josh Nizzi's Concept Artwork of Vulture on Instagram
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 'Spider-Man': Check out the first photos of Michael Keaton as Vulture
- ↑ Exclusive photo: Spider-Man Tom Holland unmasked in 'Homecoming'
- ↑ Michael Keaton on ‘The Founder’s’ ‘Billy Wilder’ Elements, Playing ‘Spider-Man’ Villain Vulture
- ↑ ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ Set Visit: Everything We Learned
- ↑ Rotten Tomatoes on Twitter - July 17, 2017