The Surprisingly Good Villain in ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’

‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ is now out in theaters and it is surely worth your time. I saw the film last night with a couple of buddies and I have to say that we were all very pleasantly surprised by ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’. Honestly, I was expecting another mediocre MCU movie with the same plot as always, but no; ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ is insightful, funny, and very entertaining.

One thing about it struck me the most: the villain. Usually, Marvel isn’t very good at creating villains; they are all basically the same, they purposes and motives differ only the slightest, and you forget who they are and why they did right after the movie. Not in ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ though. The Vulture is the main villain in this particular flick and I was very pleasantly surprised by his development and general composition.

WARNING: Major spoilers from ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ ahead!!!

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He’s fresh.

Reason one why I found the Vulture so fascinating is that he hasn’t been seen before on the big screen. I would have been happy if we got Doctor Octopus, Green Goblin, or even Electro as the main villain in ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’, but those I’ve already seen and somewhat gotten to know before through other films. The Vulture, I haven’t. And as someone who knows a lot about the comics, but hasn’t actually read any, I was very excited and interested to see how they would present the Vulture on screen.

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The building blocks.

The main reason why the Vulture works so great is because of how well-structured and presented the character is. There is a clear and logical cause why Adrian Toomes becomes the Vulture. There is also a clear and logical reason why he does all those evil things. This structured development surely works well: the Vulture isn’t a chaotic character, he isn’t at all random, and those things work perfectly together to make him interesting to the viewer.

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Cause & Reason.

The cause as to why Adrian Toomes becomes the Vulture is presented in the very beginning of the film. Basically, the Avengers (Tony Stark in particular) ‘take everything from him’ and he is pissed off because his career is ruined. He says that ‘The world is changing, boys, time we change as well’ or something like that and becomes, basically, a guns salesman. The cause behind the character’s change is neither compelling nor original, but it is functional. This may not make things exceptionally interesting when it comes to the character, but at least it’s logical and makes sense.

The reason as to why the Vulture is doing all those evil deeds is surely a lot more compelling and truly the culmination and big plot-twist of the movie. Throughout the film, Adrian constantly talk about how what we does, he does for family. Now, this is yet again not much of an original or compelling reason, but it is functional. If the writers had left it this way, Adrian just talking about family, the villain would have been fine, but nothing more.

But the big plot-twist of ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ comes when it is revealed that Adrian is in fact the father of Liz, Peter Parker’s high-school crush. This is a genius decision: to show the Vulture’s family and to show who he is when he is not wearing the suit. Those things make him a lot more real and a lot more interesting. The big plot-twist reveal actually catalyses three significant things in the ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ movie.

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The connection with Spidey.

One, it adds a lot more depth to the movie. After the revelation, the tone of the movie shifts a bit, becoming darker and more serious. We now watch things through a new perspective and try to understand a deeper meaning. Two, it makes the Vulture an adequate villain. Again, all the things I already talked about: showing, not telling; seeing the Vulture as Adrian and getting the sense that he is a real person; understanding his motives and even putting yourself in his position. This really adds a whole new layer to the character. And third, this creates a connection between Spider-Man and the Vulture.

Adrian Toomes is not just some guy who does whatever he wants. He stands behind a set of rules and moral principles. He will not do something just for the sake of it and he will not screw over someone just because he enjoys it.

So when Spidey saves his daughter, Adrian offers him a choice: forget this ever happened and walk away or continue the fight. The Vulture owes one to Spider-Man and is ready to settle his debt. This yet again develops the character a lot, showing that he is in fact ready to let the feud go just to thank his enemy for saving his daughter. Also, take in mind that later on Spider-Man saves the Vulture from dying. These two things create a connection between the villain and the hero, foreshadowing a possible team-up in future films. The Vulture is also an extremely important part in the development of Peter Parker, as he is the key factor that turns Spider-Boy into Spider-Man.

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I am so mind-blown only because my expectation were so low prior to watching ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’. Not for the movie, for the villain. It’s just that Marvel does not usually exceed in that category and based on the trailer, the Vulture looked highly mediocre.

Gladly, I was wrong. He is fantastic. He is fresh, he is deeply developed because of some very smart decisions in the writing room, and he even makes Spider-Man more exciting. The Vulture is truly one very well created villain. Cudos, Marvel. You finally did it.


What do you think about this article? Do you like ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’? Do you like the Vulture? Share your thoughts in the comments section below, please! Don’t forget to LIKE and SHARE this article if you enjoyed it!

As always, thank you so much for reading,

Mickey Angelov