Biography

Biography

One of the oldest, most sinister of the villains in the Spider-Man universe is the Vulture, AKA Adrian Toomes. An engineer from Staten Island, Toomes turned to a life of crime after finding out his business partner had been embezzling funds from their joint enterprise—clearly the logical decision in such an event. While not an actual bird, Vulture utilizes a special anti-gravitational harness to fly and a green-feathered suit to enhance his avian appearance. Toomes, a maniacal madman with little to no remorse, has given Spider-Man quite a lot of trouble over the years.

Sinister Start

Toomes grew up as an orphan on Staten Island, where he was raised by his older brother Marcus. As an adult he became a petty criminal and spent some time on the run with his lover, Cheryl. After an alleged run-in with legendary crime lord Tristram Silver, Toomes went straight, and went into business with entrepreneur Gregory Bestman, founding B&T Electronics. Their business thrived, as Toomes designed their products and Bestman handled the finances.

One day, Toomes had a breakthrough on an electromagnetic flying harness and excitedly burst into Bestman’s office so he could show his partner the device. Bestman was not there and Toomes discovered his supposed friend had been stealing funds from the company. He confronted Bestman and, having no legal recourse, was fired.

Toomes finds out that Bestman has been stealing funds from the company.

Toomes set up shop on a Staten Island farm where he could perfect his harness. When he learned that Bestman planned to sell the business, he incorporated the wings into a costume and dubbed himself the Vulture. He then robbed Bestman’s offices and burned them down. After basking in the destruction, he turned his talents to thievery and embarked on a high-flying crime spree.

Newsman J. Jonah Jameson offered a reward for pictures of the high-flying felon, which novice Super Hero Spider-Man (Peter Parker) aimed to collect. Spider-Man pursued the Vulture, only to be defeated and tossed into a water tower. But, he returned soon after, figuring out how the Vulture’s wings worked and grounded him with a home-made anti-magnetic inverter. Their battle launched both Parker’s long association with the Bugle and the Vulture’s undying hatred for the Wallcrawler.

Soaring Smarts

While Adrian Toomes is just a regular man, the Vulture commits crimes and fights Spider-Man with the help of his electromagnetic anti-graviton generator-powered flying harness. With it, he can fly silently at speeds of 95 mph for up to six hours and can attain a maximum altitude of 11,000 feet (the maximum altitude at which Toomes can breathe). Initially powered by a back-mounted power pack, Toomes has since installed backup generators. Thanks to years of experience using the harness, Toomes can levitate unaided, although he needs to have a headwind in order to travel any significant distance.

Spider-Man in pursuit of Vulture and fighting

The harness also energizes Toomes’ musculature, enhancing his elderly frame’s strength and durability to near super human levels (lifting 700 pounds). However, these attributes gradually diminish the longer he goes without wearing the harness. Toomes’ wings are sharp enough to cut concrete and can be used as melee weapons. His costume is armored, protecting him from small-arms fire. He has also supplemented his armament with a number of additional weapons including conventional firearms, a lasso, an oil sprayer, an electrified power pack, an improvised electromagnetic tractor beam generator, hallucinogen-doused wingtips, hand grenades, a tranquilizer dart gun, clawed gauntlets, and trained vultures with viral payloads on their talons.

Toomes also has a device called the Juvenator which allows him to suck the youth/life out of others, restoring his own for a few hours. In his rejuvenated state, he wears a new, armored costume, which incorporates an electromagnetic bolt pistol.

As a genius inventor, Toomes can rapidly assemble makeshift flying harnesses out of other machinery; he once did so in 45 minutes. Toomes is also a skilled chemist, having created an embalming fluid which kills any living thing injected with it within minutes and an antidote for it. He also developed a chemical that ignites in the presence of electricity, allowing him to destroy electrical circuits; he uses a finger-mounted lighter device in conjunction with this fluid, which he can use to set opponents aflame.

Arachnid Adversary

Vulture’s biggest enemy is Spider-Man, who is always disrupting Toomes’ daylight raids on New York’s banks, jewelers, and armored cars. He is constantly being beaten by the Wallcrawler or crashing into solid objects, like a glass barrier in Grand Central Station. He even once accidentally set himself on fire after using a new circuit-destroying chemical to black out Manhattan and commit a series of daring jewelry heists. He has spent a lot of time near death or in traction from his many injuries.

Vulture fighting Spider-Man, his biggest enemy, again.

Thick as Thieves

Sick of being thwarted by the Web-slinger time and time again, Vulture allied himself with other Spider-Man villains at the behest of Doctor Octopus to form the Sinister Six. Octopus originally contacted every Super Villain he’d ever met, but the only ones to answer were Vulture, Electro, Kraven the Hunter, the original Mysterio, and Sandman.

Vulture allied himself with other Spider-Man villains at the behest of Doctor Octopus to form the Sinister Six.

height

5'11"

weight

175 lbs.

gender

Male

eyes

Hazel

hair

Bald (formerly brown)

  • Universe
  • Other Aliases
  • Education
  • Place of Origin
  • Identity
  • Known Relatives
  • Powers
  • Universe

  • Other Aliases

  • Education

  • Place of Origin

  • Identity

  • Known Relatives

  • Powers

Troubled Timeline

After being defeated by Spidey’s anti-magnetic scrambler, which neutralized the flying thief’s power pack, Toomes was sent to jail where he gained Blackie Drago as a cellmate. While incarcerated, Toomes was injured and, believing he was dying, shared his scientific secrets with cellmate Blackie Drago. After Drago revealed that he caused Adrian’s accident to steal the Vulture-suit’s secrets (primarily, the location where it was hidden), the old man regained his will to live and escaped, determined to destroy his latest betrayer. He broke Drago (who had used Toomes’ stolen wings to become a new Vulture, only to be defeated by Spider-Man) out of jail and gave him a set of wings, to prove who the better Vulture was. Toomes beat Drago handily, and a humbled Drago vowed never to don the wings again. Immediately thereafter, Toomes soundly defeated Spider-Man, but fled due to a damaged power pack before he could finish him off.

As a part of the Sinister Six, Vulture fought Spider-Man with the goal of progressively wearing him down and forcing him to battle them for the location of the next. Toomes fought fifth and attempted to lasso Spider-Man, but the Web-slinger ensnared the Vulture with his own lasso and took the location of the Six’s hideout from him.

Toomes announces himself to the room as Vulture.

Despondent, Adrian retired. While living in the Restwell Retirement Home he met May Parker’s friend, the vaudevillian Nathan Lubensky. This old curmudgeon inadvertently inspired Toomes to reclaim his dignity and place in the world. Toomes began another crime spree as the Vulture, surreptitiously operating out of the Restwell Retirement Home. When Spider-Man found out, Toomes—not wanting to harm Lubensky—fled to a retirement community in the Southwest where he planned to live out his days until he saw that Bestman had rebuilt his business and would be exhibiting his wares at a trade show in New York City. Toomes attacked the trade show and kidnapped Bestman, taking him to Toomes’ Staten Island farm. When Spider-Man arrived to rescue the businessman, Toomes detailed Bestman’s crimes. Although the Web-Slinger soon defeated him, Spider-Man had recorded Toomes’ confession, badly damaging Bestman’s reputation.

Sadly, Lubensky died when Toomes agreed to a contract from Kingpin to kill casino magnate Raymond Trask. Spider-Man intervened and Toomes took a hostage to make his escape, but realized too late that he had grabbed his old friend, who died of a heart attack from the shock. Doctor Octopus intercepted Toomes as he fled and recruited him into another version of the Sinister Six which tried (and failed) to ransom the world’s cocaine addicts and hijack Hydra’s orbital weaponry.

Norman Osborn recruited Toomes into his Sinister Twelve to attack Spider-Man and Black Cat (AKA Felicia Hardy), but the Avengers and Fantastic Four apprehended most of the team, including Toomes. Vulture was then briefly mutated into an animalistic form by the mystical Rock of Life, prompting him to kill and cannibalize several people before Spider-Man destroyed the Rock.

Toomes imprisoned in a "zoo" of animal-themed villains.

After being captured by Captain America’s (Steve Rogers) Secret Avengers, Toomes was enlisted by S.H.I.E.L.D. to hunt down the fugitive Spider-Man. He was also captured by a maddened Kraven the Hunter (Alyosha Kravinoff) and imprisoned in a “zoo” of animal-themed villains. Kraven repeatedly broke Toomes’ hands to prevent him from using his inventive genius to escape. After Kraven freed the prisoners to kill the Punisher (Frank Castle), Toomes escaped with the Rhino (Alexei Sytsevich). However, he soon ended up in prison again, where skinhead Titus Purves threatened Toomes’ daughter Valerie and her son, to force Toomes to build a flying harness for him. Toomes rigged the harness to kill Purves.

Toomes then learned that his harness had given him terminal cancer, leaving him with only months to live. After murdering Bestman, Toomes tried to make amends with May for killing Nathan, but Spider-Man intervened, misunderstanding his intentions. Toomes amplified his suit’s power to new levels, hoping to kill himself and Spider-Man, but Spider-Man refused to let Toomes die and saved them both.

As a final insult to Bestman, Toomes took the alias of “Holden Tooks” and usurped control of Bestman Electronics from Bestman’s son John. The vigilantes Prowler (Hobie Brown) and Nightcreeper (Eric Horst) exposed Toomes’ identity and ousted him from the company.

Ironically, Spider-Man once convinced Toomes to turn himself in to the police when Vulture was broken out of jail by Gangster Nick Lewis and hired to kill Kingpin (Wilson Fisk). Before Toomes could carry out the mission, Spider-Man intervened and inadvertently reminded Toomes of his happier, younger days, causing the villain to give up. However, he later tried to take advantage of Kingpin’s retirement by attempting to take over New York’s organized crime. Several others have used the Vulture name and/or tech over the years, including Blackie Drago (Toomes’ cellmate), Professor Clifton Shallot (who mutated into a vulture-man), corrupt criminologist Bluebird (Zora Loftus), the New Warriors’ Blackwing (Barnell Bohusk), a trio of crooks calling themselves the Vulturions, and mob cleaner Jimmy Natale. Toomes’ latest gang included children in Vulture outfits, a crime for which the Superior Spider-Man (Doctor Octopus) beat him nearly to death, blinding him in the process.

Vulture uses his new wings to attack Spider-Man.

Later, Toomes was recruited by Doctor Octopus, now the Superior Spider-Man in Peter’s body, to join the Superior Six, which was made up of former villains like Toomes, William Baker (Sandman), Maxwell Dillon (Electro), Dmitri Smerdyakov (the Chameleon), and Mysterion.

5
durability
1
energy
2
fighting skills
5
intelligence
3
speed
3
strength