Follow TV Tropes


Characters / MCU: Adrian Toomes
aka: MCU Vulture

Go To

Main Character Index > Villainous Organizations > Criminals & Terrorists | Criminal & Terrorist Organizations (Ulysses Klaue | Arthur Harrow) > New York-Based Criminals (Fisk Crime Ring (Wilson Fisk | Benjamin Poindexter) | Stokes–Dillard Crime Ring | Vulture's Gang (Adrian Toomes))

For tropes applying to his appearance in Sony's Spider-Man Universe, see SSU: Others

Spoilers for all works set prior to Spider-Man: No Way Home are unmarked.


Adrian Toomes / Vulture
"The world's changing. It's time we change too."

Species: Human

Citizenship: American

Affiliation(s): Bestman Salvage (formerly), Vulture Gang

Portrayed By: Michael Keaton

Voiced By: Tōru Ōkawa (Japanese), René García (Latin-American Spanish), Bernard Lanneau (French), Paweł Wawrzecki (Polish), Garcia Júnior (Brazilian Portuguese)

Appearances: Spider-Man: Homecoming | Morbius note 

"Eight years without any trouble from those bozos over at Stark Tower, and then this little bastard in red tights shows up, and he thinks he can tear down everything I've built! We're gonna put 'em outta business! We're gonna take everything they got!"

The blue-collar head of a salvaging company who turns to crime after the Department of Damage Control (a government organization co-founded by Tony Stark) threatens to run him out of business. Toomes's modus operandi is to steal tech scavenged from the Avengers' various fights (starting with the Battle of New York) and sell it on the black market, doing so with a winged flying suit built for him by his employee Phineas Mason.


    open/close all folders 

  • Accidental Murder: After Brice is unrepentant of his screw-ups drawing Spider-Man to him, Toomes kicks him out. Brice starts making threats about snitching, so Toomes grabs what he thinks is a newly-completed anti-gravity gun, intending to discipline him by Wreaking Havok — only it turns out to be some kind of Disintegrator Ray which reduces the idiot to ashes. Everyone present is a little freaked out for a moment, but they quickly shrug it off; Toomes then passes Brice's gear to Schultz, dubbing him the new Shocker.
  • Action Dad: He is a supervillain and the father of Liz Toomes.
  • Adaptation Origin Connection: In the comics, Tony Stark played no part in creating the Vulture and he did not hold such a personal hatred towards him. He also never gets involved with Damage Control.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: The comic book version of Vulture is a lot more wrinkled and bald, whereas this version looks like he's passed middle-age not too long ago. Albeit the constant wearing of the helmet mask does actually wrinkle his face to make him look like that.
  • Adaptational Badass:
    • The comic Vulture's traditional costume boils down to a green bodysuit, a feather boa, and feather-styled wings strapped to his arms, forcing him to flap them like a bird to fly anywhere, which fans have mocked for quite a few years. This Vulture sports a fur-necked bomber's jacket, a creepy glowing-eyed mechanical battle mask, intimidating hydraulic-lifter "talons" on his feet, and an enormous mechanical set of "wings" mounted on his back, complete with turbines, blades and taloned feet. And then at the film's climax he upgrades to an even bigger and scarier-looking set of wings.
    • It even applies when one looks at Adrian Toomes without the suit. In the comics, Adrian for most of his appearances is just an old decrepit man without it, whereas this version is younger to begin with and pretty spry for his age too, almost flooring a government official in the movie's opening scene, and generally being a cunning ringleader rather than a one-note villain. While it never really gets commented on in the movie, he is a competent marksman too, cutting Spider-Man's webbing thread from a large distance with one shot.
    • Additionally, thanks to Mason, this Toomes has access to a few extraterrestrial perks — e.g., his Anti-Gravity Gun and his Matter Phase Shifter.
  • Adaptational Dumbass: Zigzagged. His comic counterpart had the engineering skills to build his own wingsuit. The MCU's Toomes has to rely on Mason to design and upgrade his tech, but displays impressive personal ingenuity (he quickly figures out how to best disassemble Chitauri tech with their own gear), the cunning necessary to operate for years without drawing attention from both the authorities and the Avengers, and has some degree of engineering ability when he's seen doing metal work on his tech. In other words, Toomes is (like most of his team) a street-level blue-collar type, highly knowledgeable in hands-on stuff. To put it another way, he and his crew (with the exception of Mason) are far more Street Smart and Book Dumb.
  • Adaptational Dye-Job: In the comics, he has hazel eyes; here he has blue eyes instead as a result of being played by Michael Keaton.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: While he's still a villain, he's far nobler than his comics counterpart. In the comics, he's an unapologetic crook who happens to care for his family. This incarnation plays up his redeeming traits; he's a dedicated family man, he cares for his employees/goons, and he has a lot more reasons to do what he does. However, this does not make him any less vicious than his original counterpart.
  • Adaptational Superpower Change: In the comics, Vulture used an anti-gravity pack while he flapped with his wings to get from place to place. MCU Vulture's wings are mechanical and utilize jet propulsion turbine engines. He can also use the wings themselves offensively to slash or stab at enemies.
  • Adaptational Sympathy: His original version in the comics was a genius inventor screwed over by his business partner, who had been embezzling funds and stole a flight harness that Toomes recently invented. His MCU counterpart was the head of a salvage company whose government contract was screwed over by the Department of Damage Control and Stark Industries, also leaving him without compensation. Deep in debt and unable to find further work, Toomes and his crew worked to invent super weapons leftover from the battle of New York and sell them on the black market, so as to provide for their families.
  • Adaptation Relationship Overhaul: Comics Vulture has no personal interest in Spider-Man or Peter Parker. Here, Peter dates his daughter and he outright admits he is impressed by what Peter does going as far as hiding Peter's identity before Mac Gargan.
  • Affably Evil: He might be a crook and an occasionally ruthless one at that, but he does what he does to protect his family and co-workers' livelihoods. He's even willing to offer Peter the option to just walk away — and even continue dating his daughter — despite Peter more or less ruining his operation, and keeps Peter's identity a secret at the end of the film out of respect for saving his daughter's life, and later his own.
  • Age Lift: Downplayed. He's somewhere in his 60snote  in the film, whereas the comic Toomes is a bit older.
  • Animal Motifs: His suit is modeled after a vulture, with large wings and a beak-like mask, and just like the bird of prey, he's a scavenger, taking bits and pieces of technology left over from the Avengers' battles to repurpose into powerful weapons for criminals.
  • Anti-Villain: This applies if his own word is to be believed and he really was just selling weapons the whole time so his family could live comfortably. Considering the fact that he makes the argument even when Spider-Man isn't present and him losing the contract to salvage after the Battle of New York is shown in its entirety, it's very likely he's being truthful.
  • Arch-Enemy: He sees Tony Stark as this for being the indirect cause of his financial situation. He doesn't actually look for a fight with him though, knowing it could bring down the wrath of the Avengers, who he can’t fight back against.
  • Arms Dealer: He and his gang make their money by selling Mason's advanced weaponry to other street criminals, which is what puts them on Spider-Man's radar in the first place.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: He's able to put together that Peter is Spider-Man after having encountered his secret identity in person, and realizing they have the same voice and personality, along with some hints from Liz about Peter disappearing whenever Spider-Man is active and Peter's inconsistencies with his responses.
  • Ax-Crazy: He has a moment of this when the Avenger's plane crashes into Coney Island, he swoops down on the already injured Spider-Man and repeatedly slams him into the ground until he can't stand. Despite this, he still won't go through with killing him.
  • Became Their Own Antithesis: Adrian Toomes detests Tony Stark for being a weapons manufacturer that suddenly has a change of heart and gets rewarded while his own livelihood is destroyed by Stark's company... so Toomes becomes a weapons manufacturer himself to make a living.
  • Believing Their Own Lies: He's convinced that he's in the right for taking what he thinks he's owed and believes he's standing up for the little guy. Except, the scales were balanced ages ago. His home is opulent, his family is thriving, and he killed a man (albeit accidentally) for threatening to tell his wife about the operation. This shows that, deep down, he's simply a greedy man who wants to keep the money rolling in no matter who dies or gets in his way.
  • Benevolent Boss: He looks after his goons, who used to be fellow employees at his salvaging company. Just don't threaten his family. It won't end well.
  • Big Bad: He's the one leading the criminal ring Peter battles throughout Spider-Man: Homecoming.
  • Big Fancy House: Years of success as a criminal means he can afford a big expensive house for his family.
  • Book Ends: The start and conclusion of his supervillain career involve him getting screwed over by Tony Stark. At the beginning, when Damage Control (recently created by Tony) took over his lucrative contract to clean up after the Battle of New York, and at the end where his reckless attempt to steal a crate full of arc reactors with his damaged wingsuit almost gets him killed.
  • Break Them by Talking: Played with when he and Peter are alone in the car after Liz goes into the Homecoming dance. He casually pulls a gun from the glove compartment, shuts down a nervous Peter's attempts to deny being Spider-Man, then calmly and coldly threatens to kill Peter and his family if Peter interferes in his work again. Peter is clearly shaken, so in that regard, it works, but it also reinforces his decision to put the welfare of others ahead of himself (stopping Toomes instead of spending a pleasant night with Liz).
  • Building Is Welding: He is shown welding something in his warehouse when Mason comes to tell him about Schultz's call regarding Spider-Man's intervention during one of their arms deals.
  • Car Fu: During the battle on the Staten Island Ferry, Vulture grabs a parked car with his talons and tries to smash Spider-Man with it, but he manages to get out of the way, causing it to hit Mac Gargan instead.
  • Casting Gag: This is not the first time Michael Keaton plays a character in a bird costume.
  • Celebrity Paradox: Eternals makes a reference to Batman, which implies that the Batman Film Series exists, where Vulture's actor Michael Keaton plays Batman himself in the first two films.
  • Civvie Spandex: Unlike his comic version's bright green bodysuit, Toomes now just wears a leather jacket and blue jeans whenever he has the vulture suit on.
  • Clothes Make the Superman: Is given his powers by a flight-enabling wingsuit similar to The Falcon's. The helmet itself is based on an RAF Prototype Helmet.
  • Cold Ham: In contrast to the usual Evil Is Hammy, he's never over-the-top when near the hero, aside from some smirks while talking to Peter in the car. In fact, Adrian mostly employs a threatening but calm tone. That being said, when dealing with his gang, he lets it loose at times, whether happy ("business is good") or angry, like his outburst after throwing Spider-Man in the river.
  • Color Motif: Closely associated with green, his bomber jacket is a dark shade of green and his visor has two glowing green "eyes". Camera shots inside his visor also provide an eerie green glow.
  • Comic-Book Movies Don't Use Codenames: Toomes, as the Consummate Professional he is, sees codenames as way too 'pro wrestling' for his tastes. Despite this, Tony and Spidey do call him "the flying vulture guy" even if he never calls himself this. By Spider-Man: No Way Home, Vulture officially becomes his alias as Ned mentions him by this name.
  • Composite Character:
    • Has the namesake and older age of Adrian Toomes, the Mainstream Universe Vulture, but is a professional criminal and receives his wingsuit from Phineas Mason as opposed to inventing it himself like Blackie Drago, the Ultimate Universe Vulture. Related to the Ultimate universe, he takes the Blob's role as the father of Liz Allan.
    • He's also a flying supervillain in a demonic outfit who, to Peter's astonishment, turns out to be the father of one of his close friends. All of this invokes Norman Osborn minus the insanity and lack of any rational schemes and planning.
    • He's a "working-class" villain who isn't interested in villainy itself outside of making a living and taking care of himself and his family. This brings to mind the Shocker, surprisingly enough.
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist:
    • He's a far-cry from most of MCU's past Big Bads but in line with Phase 3 (such as Zemo, Killmonger, Ghost). He has principles and a degree of honor he abides by. He was a law-abiding citizen without a criminal record (as confirmed by Karen when she first scans Toomes at the Ferry) who turned to villainy out of real grievances. He truly loves his family and cares for them.
    • He's a particularly notable contrast to Ego from the preceding MCU film Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Ego was, beneath his gregarious façade, an omnicidal monster who murdered his own children and had no issue with wiping out all life in the universe. Toomes is a genuinely benevolent family man who loves his wife and daughter and is generally just a normal guy who happens to be a supervillain. The two couldn't be more different.
    • He has plenty of similarities and differences to the previous Spider-Man villain Electro from The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Both consider themselves the little guy who is stepped on by a large company and struggled to have the little they have, but unlike him Max Dillon was an electrical engineer who worked for Oscorp and gained actual superpowers due to an accident. Also while Toomes was a family man and was a respected owner of his own business, Max had no family except for an cruel mother and was disrespected at everyone where he worked to the point he sought after any form of validation. Their goals differ drastically as Toomes simply wanted to make enough money to support himself and his family before deciding to steal from Stark directly, while Dillon wanted the electrical grid he designed which Oscorp used without giving him the credit.
  • Cool Old Guy: He may be evil but he's still a benevolent family man with a code of honor. Also, he's played by Michael Keaton, making him this by default. In his scene with Peter, before learning who he is, he comes across as an affable Dad who is pleased at Peter's general responsibility (i.e. refusing to drink because he's underage).
  • Cowboys and Indians:
    • Discussed, with Toomes commenting that that's what they always used to play when he was a kid, before all this superhero stuff took over; Mason hesitantly tries to correct him that "Native Americans" is the accepted term now, but he isn't listening.
    • Ironically inverted when Toomes becomes the Vulture, the epitome of a No-Nonsense Nemesis and tells Peter upfront that he doesn't want to fight him, but will kill him if need be.
  • Create Your Own Villain: Stark does, inadvertently. His company took co-control of a government agency to help with disasters left in the wake of superhero battles. The joint organization, Damage Control, voided Toomes' legal contract without compensating him, when he had invested (gone "all-in" as he tells them) heavily into what he saw as his big ticket. This radicalized Toomes into villainy, becoming an Arms Dealer who repurposes and sells the alien tech for a series of heists and then selling them to other criminals.
  • Deadpan Snarker: It's Michael Keaton in an MCU film. Of course he's going to make wisecracks. As noted elsewhere, he is a Cold Ham so all of his wisecracks are delivered dryly.
  • Determinator: During the final battle he's so fixated on not going home empty-handed that he abandons all reason over Mason's objections that he should abort.
  • Dimensional Traveler: The events of Spider-Man: No Way Home cause him to be transported to Sony's Spider-Man Universe.
  • Don't Make Me Destroy You: He thinks Peter is a good kid and would rather not harm him, but he warns Peter that if he gets in the way of his goals, he will not hesitate to kill him.
  • Doting Parent: He clearly adores Liz.
  • Driven to Villainy: The film shows us a working-class man who clearly knows his business and is happy and competent in his work... only to be completely undercut by a new government order that ends his contract just as it starts. When he complains that he took on a whole lot of debt to get the equipment he needed for this contract, that his men have families, that he has a family, a Jerkass government douche snarks that maybe he shouldn't have overextended himself. A few hours later, it's easy to understand how he'd be willing to start stealing and selling alien tech.
  • Dynamic Entry: His first encounter with Spider-Man has him suddenly swoop in from behind while Peter is distracted chasing Jackson and Herman, fly him high into the air, and unintentionally activate his parachute, sending him into a lake where he almost drowns.
  • Easily Forgiven: Even though he severely injured Mac Gargan by throwing a car at him during the fight on the Ferry, Gargan tells him that he doesn't have any hard feelings towards him when they meet in prison, as he considers Spider-Man to be the one and only responsible.
  • "Eureka!" Moment: Has one after meeting Peter and hearing his daughter's complaints about his mysterious absences (which happen to coincide with Spider-Man showing up) and quickly matching Peter's voice to Spider-Man. The exact moment that this happens is symbolized by the stoplight turning from red to green.
  • Energy Weapon: Uses a gun-like one made from Chitauri technology during the battle on the Staten Island Ferry that accidentally ends up slicing it in half when it overloads.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He has a family he cares about, and uses this to pull a "Not So Different" Remark on Peter before threatening to kill his family because he knows how much it would hurt. This is because he's Liz Allan's dad.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Plenty, given his status as one of the MCU's most principled and sympathetic villains.
    • It's made clear that Toomes became a criminal mainly to support his own family, a motivation that is implied to be shared by most of his fellow gang members, though later in the film he seems to care more about making money through his weapons trade than supporting his family. When confronting Brice, his tone makes it clear that he does not approve of Brice screwing around just for the hell of it when everyone else has justified motivation for their actions.
    • While he wouldn't hesitate to kill Peter if he felt he had no choice, he openly respects the boy and is reluctant to kill him. At the entrance to the homecoming dance, Toomes offers Peter one last chance to walk away from interfering, a promise that, given his character's portrayal, he most certainly would have kept. This is shown again in the climax of the fight, where at one point he had Peter in his grasp and could easily have killed him, but chose to pursue his primary objective of the cargo instead, dropping him to the ground alive in the process (though this might have been his Fatal Flaw coming into play as well).
    • He most certainly understands the concept of gratitude and thoroughly averts the Ungrateful Bastard trope. Part of the reason why he offered Peter a chance to walk away was because Spider-Man saved his daughter's life in Washington. And when Mac Gargan approaches him in prison to ask about Spider-Man's secret identity so that he can have his outside contacts kill him, Toomes lies and pretends not to know because Pete saved his own life as well.
  • Evil Costume Switch: When he worked in clearing up devastated areas, he wore a blue-grey jumpsuit. He switched to a black bomber jacket after turning to crime, and then donned the monstrously large and dangerous Vulture wingsuit.
  • Evil Counterpart:
    • Homecoming co-producer Eric Hauserman Carroll likens him to a "dark Tony Stark." In fact, this ends up taking an interesting twist - he's not just Stark but eviler, but a pre-redemption Tony Stark without the wealth and background that made him a celebrity rather than a simple criminal, and while he's worse in some ways (theft, on-screen manslaughter), he's better in others (in that he actually has a proper reason for selling hideously lethal supertech to whoever will pay). To highlight the "Dark Tony Stark" element of the character, the film occasionally has in-helmet close-ups of Toomes, similar to how Tony's face is shown when he's wearing the Iron Man armor. But while Tony's face is fully shown and well-lit, the audience can only see Toomes's eyes lit by an ominous green glow. Tony is also widely seen as Marvel's own Bruce Wayne, and guess who is playing Vulture, the OG Bruce himself.
    • This version also comes off as being an evil version of MCU's Falcon, as both are bird-themed and utilize mechanical wings that enable flight, only Vulture uses his for evil. It's unknown which of their harnesses was created first. More amusingly, he has his own drone which looks dark and sinister, compared to Peter's friendly looking Droney.
    • He can also be seen as one to Scott Lang. Both are family men who love their daughters, and originally had honest jobs before being forced to turn to a life of crime as thieves. Both got their hands on very powerful technology allowing them to be Impossible Thieves, however Scott reforms and uses his powers to become a hero, while Toomes stayed on as a super villain where his thieving finally led to his downfall.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Toomes is very careful to avert this trope within his organization to keep them beneath the notice of the Avengers, even mocking Jackson for calling himself the Shocker.
  • Evil Is Not Well-Lit: The base of operations for his gang is their old warehouse back when they were legit, without most of the lights on. He also has most of his gang's operations take place under the cover of night.
  • Evil Old Folks: He's a professional criminal in his sixties who is able to fight Peter at an even level.
  • Evil Parents Want Good Kids: He has absolutely no intention of letting Liz know about his criminal career and wants her to have a life far removed from it.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: His voice is usually even when he's living his normal life and speaking with his family and friends, but once he realizes Peter is Spider-Man, he begins to speak in a menacing and deep yet quiet voice.
  • Evil Virtues: He's both highly loyal to his friends and a devoted family man. He is also far from devoid of a code of honor, repaying both times Peter saves him or a member of his family.
  • Exactly What I Aimed At: When he attacks Peter with his flying rig, he evades the rig easily, but he isn't aiming for Peter, he is aiming for the load-bearing pillars in the warehouse, causing the warehouse to collapse and bury Peter in the rubble.
  • Expy: Of Walter White. He was a family man who felt cornered and did what he initially felt was necessary, but VERY quickly becomes a self-righteous, ruthless, and unapologetic criminal, perhaps only having used the fact that he was financially ruined as an excuse and continuing long after he left from that risky situation , kills people without any hesitation , doesn't care a bit about the damage caused by his actions as long as it doesn't affect him , obviously enjoys being an unrepentant criminal and ( even more obviously than Walt ) uses the excuse of giving a good life for your family as a weak justification for continuing to commit crimes!
  • Family-Values Villain: While he's an unapologetic criminal, he's also a hardcore family man who is more than willing to put his wife and daughter's happiness above even his own.
  • Fatal Flaw:
    • Greed. He could have gotten away in the end if he wasn't insistent on stealing at least one case from the damaged airplane, causing himself to be trapped and crash along with it. Had Peter not saved his life, this trope would have been literal.
    • He also has a dark version of a virtue; Kindness. When he loses the Chitauri salvage job, he asks Miss Hoag how he's gonna support his employees and family. They remain a concern for the entire film, and he even lets Peter walk away when he has the kid dead to rights. He doesn't even want to steal from Tony's plane because it would, presumably, draw too much heat on his operation. Right up until he's backed into a corner and has no other options.
  • A Father to His Men: Again, he tried to take care of all the employees of Bestman Salvage, even Jackson until he tried to take it a bit too far with Toomes and got his punishment.
  • Fisticuff-Provoking Comment: After he loses his job to Damage Control, he seems more dismayed than angry, but then Agent Foster decides to make a remark about "overextending" himself. He almost immediately puts him on the ground with a punch.
  • Foil: Following a similar pattern as the comics. He's a cynic, bitter old man who contrasts with Peter's youthful energy and idealism. However, they are not that different in this case (both being concerned with their families and both coming from humble backgrounds). It's also worth noting that his villain arc starts to him turning to crime out of responsibility for the well-being of his employees, whereas Peter's responsibilities as a hero stem from failing to use his powers in a responsible way, leading to the death of Uncle Ben.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: He goes from a legit blue-collar relief worker to a super-villain gang leader overnight, all fueled by a desire to get even with the people who snubbed him from his livelihood.

  • Good Parents: Part of his motivation for criminal behavior is providing a comfortable life for his daughter, Liz. When Peter arrives for the Homecoming dance, he's a jovial guy doing the Overprotective Dad bit as if for fun. Though Peter does point out that his criminal activity is actually endangering his family, and the Vulture's insistence on taking risks is pretty irresponsible.
  • Graceful Loser: When the cops capture him, he merely grins in amusement and keeps Spidey's identity to himself out of gratitude for saving both his daughter and him.
  • Guttural Growler: His voice is quite low and rumbly, and is used to chilling effect to threaten Peter once he deduces that the kid is Spider-Man.
  • Happily Married: We don't see a lot of it, but what we do see of his married life would imply this.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: His flight suit for the Vulture includes a leather bomber jacket. It's suitably old-fashioned flying gear for an old-fashioned sort of guy, and the fur-lined collar also resembles a vulture's distinctive plumage.
  • Honor Among Thieves: Toomes is fiercely dedicated to helping his goons in the criminal gang. If you are one of them but you threaten to cause trouble for the rest, then he won't stand for that. You might get (accidentally) vaporized.
  • Hypocrite:
    • He loves his wife and daughter, claiming his criminal acts are a way to keep income for them since family is the most important thing in the world. But he has no problem threatening someone else's family and friends. When Toomes pieces together that Peter is Spider-Man, he warns him to stay out of his way or he'll kill him and everyone he loves, including Spidey's family.
    • He constantly characterizes himself as a working-class stiff picked on by the rich and powerful. But it's revealed near the end of the film that Toomes owns a three-story, six+ bedroom, beautiful house in the New York suburbs - which would easily go for $10 million in reality, considering the real estate prices of that area. He hasn't been "working-class" for a long time, and he became a millionaire by exploiting actual working-class stiffs and endangering them with his arms dealing, such as Mr. Delmar the Deli owner who gets hospitalized and has his property incinerated by Toomes' weapons. He's also been racketeering for eight years, which means that he had plenty of time to at least try and go legit and consolidate some of his ill-gotten gains, but instead has gotten used to criminal life.
    • He chastises Brice and other members of his gang for their dangerous activity attracting heat from the Feds and Tony Stark. Yet he himself doesn't hesitate personally targeting and attacking a superhero, threatening said hero after learning his secret identity and his personal connection to the same Tony Stark, and then despite barely dodging an FBI sting, he still decides to take a big risk and personally rob the Avengers transport plane mid-flight.
  • Hypocritical Humor: He derides Brice for using the name "Shocker"... And then foists the name on Schultz after killing Brice.
  • Icy Blue Eyes: He has blue eyes and has no problem killing anyone who threatens his criminal activities.
  • If I Wanted You Dead...: When Mac Gargan asks for Spiderman's secret identity, he convinces the other criminal that he doesn't know it with this line of logic. I.E. "If I knew Spider-Man's secret identity, he would already be dead". So the fact that Mac Gargan is even asking him this question is proof that he doesn't know the answer. Presumably, he figures this is the line of logic that someone like The Scorpion would believe.
  • I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: He intends to shoot Brice with an anti-gravity gun when Brice threatens to snitch on the crew, but he ends up picking up something a touch more lethal.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: It never really gets commented on, but he was able to use an alien gun to cut Spider-Man's web thread from several hundreds of meters away, while flying.
  • I'll Kill You!: After deducing that Peter is Spider-Man, he tells him that if he ever interferes with his business again, he will kill him and everybody he cares about.
  • Just a Gangster: By the mid-point of Homecoming, he has a lot of money, some control of his crew, and a potential way out of the original situation that led him to crime, but after spending so much time as a criminal who has successfully evaded notice and capture by the government and the Avengers, he finds it easier to simply threaten and kill a kid who is otherwise not in any position to move against him, and decides to outright rob an Avengers transport flight mid-delivery.
  • Just Between You and Me: Once he discovers that Peter is Spider-Man, he threatens him in this fashion, casually letting him know that he knows the truth and that he will go after Peter's loved ones if he interferes with his plans.
  • Justified Criminal: Toomes was a law-abiding citizen without a criminal record (as confirmed by Karen the Suit Lady when she scans him). He won the contract to clean up New York fair and square, then invested his life savings purchasing the equipment to do it, only for Stark's "Department of Damage Control" to steal the contract out from under him. He couldn't even re-sell the equipment, as the DDC snapped up every construction/clean-up job within a hundred miles. He thus justifies using the one truckload of scrap he was able to sneak off with to start a business as an arms dealer as the only path he believes is left to him - not just by Tony Stark, but by society in general. He genuinely wanted to make a living for his family and had been robbed of an honest way with which to do it. That doesn't mean he's not a criminal, but damn if he wasn't pushed far beyond the breaking point. This ultimately makes Peter turn down the offer of becoming an Avenger, preferring to help the little guy instead.
    Adrian Toomes: Look. I bought trucks for this job. I brought in a whole new crew. These guys have a family. I have a family. I'm all in on this. I could lose my house.
  • Just Like Robin Hood: Toomes only wanted to get revenge on Stark Industries for stealing a high paying job from him and his workers. Toomes did this to help his employees and provide for his family, by converting the technology into weapons and selling it to other criminals.
  • Karmic Death: Just barely subverted. His battle with Spider-Man ends with his own damaged flight suit (which he was warned about) exploding after trying to make off with a crate full of Stark tech in the burning skeleton of the plane he stole and crashed. He survives that to wind up pinned under the remains of the winged exoskeleton where he would have been crushed and suffocated to death (like he had tried to do with Peter earlier) if his enemy hadn't rescued him.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: An accidental version of this. He vaporizes Jackson Brice after mistaking a lethal weapon for the anti-gravity gun. Given that Brice was threatening to endanger his family, Adrian isn't that worked up about it, and neither was the rest of the crew nor the audience.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Almost every time he and Peter run into each other, things turn serious, uncomfortable, or dangerous. Or all of the above.
  • Knight Templar Parent: Considering the length he's willing to go for his family (i.e. stealing alien technology and then selling it as weapons to criminals), he firmly falls into this territory.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em:
    • He bails out on a job immediately when the FBI shows up. He's also generally careful never to let any authorities get wind of his or his gang's dealings.
    • Conversely, he gets so pissed during the final battle that he becomes fixated on not leaving empty-handed, which proves to be his downfall.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Presumably, he forgets Peter Parker is Spider-Man due to the effects of Dr. Strange's spell in Spider-Man: No Way Home. Though Morbius reveals this wouldn't be the only effect the spell had on him...
  • Last Chance to Quit: When he figures out Peter is Spider-Man while driving him and his daughter to the homecoming dance, he decides to give him a final opportunity to walk away. When he doesn't accept, he drops an entire warehouse on him and continues with his operation.
    Toomes: Peter, nothing is more important than family. You saved my daughter’s life. I could never forget something like that. So I’m gonna give you one chance. Are you ready? You walk through those doors, 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 everybody you love. I’ll kill you dead. That’s what I’ll do to protect my family. Do you understand? Hey, I just saved your life. Now what do you say?
    Peter: (Beat) ...Thank you.
    Toomes: (Completely sincerely) You're welcome!
  • Leitmotif: He has his own rather impressive one that wouldn't sound entirely out of place in the '60s cartoon.
  • A Lighter Shade of Grey: One of the most sympathetic MCU villains you're likely to meet. A guy whose only hope to keep from being driven into bankruptcy by uncaring bureaucrats was to turn to the black market. Plus, he seriously, loves his family and keeps them entirely in the dark about his criminal activities. And the cherry on the Sundae... he's not even really a killer. His murder of Brice is completely accidental, and the only time he actively tries to kill someone (Peter) he first gives him a chance to walk away.
  • Marquee Alter Ego: As the Vulture, he wears a military-style bomber jacket under his wingsuit, rather than a body suit like he does in the comics.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Unlike his comics counterpart, whose name is more or less arbitrary, this Vulture, like the bird, is a scavenger. He is introduced literally taking apart the corpse of a giant Chitauri monster.
    • Additionally, his last name "Toomes" is similar to the word "tombs", like how he tried to bury Peter.
  • Moral Myopia: He claims that all of his actions are for the sake of his family and friends, and he has no problem threatening the lives of Peter's loved ones and also doesn't really seem to care who buys his weapons as long as they don't leave a trail back to his people.
  • Movie Superheroes Wear Black: Zig-zagged. His costume is definitely darker than what the Vulture wears in the comics, but there's still green in it.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The Vulture and The Tinkerer were introduced in the same issue of The Amazing Spider-Man way back in 1963, albeit in separate stories. They're also two of the earliest villains Spider-Man ever fought (pre-dating the likes of Doctor Octopus and the Green Goblin), which works well with the younger version of Peter Parker portrayed in the film.
    • The collar on his flight jacket is meant to mimic the white ruff of feathers the Vulture has on his costume in the comics. During the climax, he ditches his helmet, making him look even more like the comic Vulture.
    • The taloned feet on the Vulture suit were taken from The Spectacular Spider-Man.
  • Never My Fault: To his mind, Tony Stark forced him to become a criminal just to make ends meet, so anything bad he does is on Tony's shoulders.
  • Noble Demon: Overall, he's a rather principled man. His main goal is stealing, and just that, so he doesn't hurt anyone he doesn't have to (tellingly, he only kills one person in the entire movie and by complete accident). Also shows to have his own personal code of honor, particularly when it comes to gratitude, such as initially letting Peter go when he learned he's Spider-Man for saving Liz's life, and later refusing to divulge his secret identity for saving his own.
  • No-Nonsense Nemesis: After the years he's spent maintaining his anonymity, he has no interest in any "cops and robbers" routine with a superhero. He wants Spider-Man either dead or permanently off his back.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: As he tells Peter, both of them do what they do out of a desire to protect their families and loved ones. He also points out Tony Stark gained his fortune through arms dealing, just like what he's been doing.
  • One Last Job: Mason repeatedly tries to convince him to rob a plane containing enough Avengers gear for complete financial security but he consistently rejects it, insisting it's too risky. When he finally decides to take the risk, it gets him and Schultz arrested, and his organization completely taken down.
  • Overprotective Dad: Invokes this trope to have a private conversation with Peter once he's realized he's Spider-Man by telling his daughter that he needs to have "the Dad talk" with him.
  • Papa Wolf: His daughter Liz comes first, second, and third to him. He will do anything to protect her and keep her safe, and is very grateful to Peter for protecting her.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • He's a family man through and through, and a good business leader to his "employees", even though he's a criminal. Overall, he's one of the most sympathetic antagonists in the setting.
    • He has the opportunity to reveal who Spider-Man is to Mac Gargan, but he opts not to take it since Peter saved his daughter's life and his own.
  • Playing the Victim Card: He justifies his actions by believing he's just taking what he's owed. This is something his actor, Michael Keaton, commented on in an interview.
    Michael Keaton: Some people see themselves as victims. He sees himself like that. He has a probably strong argument that he never got a fair shot. A lot of "Why not me?", "Where's mine?".
  • Pragmatic Villainy: What kept him in business as an arms dealer for nearly a decade/half a decade Note  is keeping below the radar and not drawing the attention of the FBI or the Avengers, stealing only what will not be missed and selling only to discrete clients. Brice acting like a supervillain and firing alien weapons in public really pisses him off.
  • Preemptive Apology: While his wings attack Peter in the warehouse, he gives an apology right before the final support beam is destroyed and he leaves Peter to die buried in the rubble.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: His reason for turning to crime was because he needed the money after Tony accidentally destroyed his job. Subverted in that he becomes a true supervillain for Revenge over said job.
  • Punny Name: "Toomes" sounds like "tombs", a Meaningful Name, given that he's not too averse to killing and is styled after a certain scavenging bird.
  • Put on a Prison Bus: Unlike most MCU main villains, Toomes is arrested and sent to prison instead of dying. To further demonstrate the Anti-Villain cred that earned him his survival, there is a quick scene near the end in prison where he meets Mac Gargan, a minor villain from earlier who also got arrested, and refuses to disclose Spider-Man's Secret Identity.

  • Related in the Adaptation: In this universe, he is the father of Liz Allan (here named Liz Toomes), who is completely unrelated to him in the comics.
  • Remember the New Guy?: He's supposedly been active as a criminal for 8 years in the MCU, but has never been seen or mentioned until Spider-Man shows up. Justified in that Vulture and his gang have gone to great lengths to keep a low profile. In the MCU, the fact that S.H.I.E.L.D. was taken out from its former role as series overseer, the Sokovia Accords dividing and leashing the Avengers' jurisdiction, and Tony's focus on cosmic threats, created a big fog for him to go low similar to how the Mob and other criminal organizations benefited from the Post-9/11 shift in focus to global terrorism.
  • The Resenter: Adrian has a clear distaste for the rich (like Tony Stark) and the powerful (also like Tony Stark) and their privileges and this desire to stick it to them motivates his villainy, in part. Tellingly, he uses his ill-gotten gains to buy a Big Fancy House.
  • The Reveal: Late into Spider-Man: Homecoming, both Peter and the audience discover that he is the father of Peter's Love Interest Liz.
  • Rogues' Gallery Transplant: He is still the main villain of Spidey's movie and still faces him, but his vendetta is (initially) against Iron Man, while Spidey is (initially) just in his way.
  • Save the Villain: Peter Parker saves him when he becomes trapped under flaming rubble. He is grateful for this and returns the favor by refusing to reveal Spider-Man's identity to Mac Gargan a.k.a. Scorpion.
  • Secret-Keeper: He figures out Peter is Spider-Man but when Gargan approaches him in prison and requests the information to have him killed by people outside, he keeps quiet.
  • Starter Villain: Since Spider-Man's first outing has him aid Iron Man in apprehending former members of the Avengers, Vulture is the first proper supervillain that the MCU incarnation of Spidey faces off with.
  • Sunk Cost Fallacy: His ultimate undoing. If he had just cut his losses and left instead of trying to leave with the Arc reactors, he most likely would have escaped successfully, but no, he needed to have something to show from his bungled final job.
  • Superhero Movie Villains Die: Just barely averted. He was going to be killed by a combination of his malfunctioning wingsuit and the contents of the crate he was carrying but Spider-Man pulls him out in time.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: After discovering that Brice and Schultz have been selling weapons in the open and got noticed by Spider-Man, he returns furious to his warehouse, calling them idiots.
    Toomes: Idiots! Idiots! Idiots!
  • Tantrum Throwing: He tosses his helmet in anger upon realizing that Brice's lack of discretion has drawn Spider-Man's attention.
  • Technically a Smile: He cracks a couple of awkward, teeth-baring smiles when driving Peter and Liz to school, having realized that his daughter's date is Spider-Man.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: Toomes' Start of Darkness is set to "Can't You Hear Me Rocking?" by The Rolling Stones. A song about the underclass crying against the privileged hedonists about their suffering and resentment, and how they are knocking, "all around your town".
  • They Look Just Like Everyone Else!: When not running his gang, he's a typical suburban dad who loves his family and spends his spare time doing things around the house. Peter is absolutely stunned when he meets him at Liz's house and witnesses him acting like a normal parent.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Tony Stark dismisses the Vulture as "below the pay grade" of the Avengers and delegates the task to bring him in to the FBI. But the Vulture has for 8 years evaded the Avengers at the height of its power (i.e. the period in which they took out HYDRA and before Ultron), successfully laid Beneath Suspicion of most criminal justice organizations, repurposed alien tech to create flight armor with similar capabilities to Tony (i.e. wings that can be remote controlled and operate by itself, which evaded Stane and Vanko, to cite the villains of Iron Man's solo adventures), and had it not been for Peter would have succeeded in robbing the vein of the Avengers big weapon cache mid-flight. His criminal organization is also multi-state, stretching from New York to Maryland.
  • Unknown Rival: For a long time, Tony had no idea he existed, and even when he does, he does little but snark about how dealing with him is below his pay grade. To an extent, this is necessary for Toomes, as catching the attention of even a single Avenger would be the quick end of his entire operation.
  • Vile Vulture: Kind of obvious, but he does have a genuine love for his wife and daughter.
  • Villain Has a Point: He was completely right about Peter having no idea how far in over his head he was and also about his very black-and-white understanding of life. Yeah, Peter was right to try and keep those alien weapons from getting out onto the street and into the hands of truly bad people who could do some major damage with them, but at the same time, Toomes was, at the core, a man whose entire life had been upended who was just trying to provide his family with a comfortable life. His gripe with Tony Stark for putting him out of business and his anger over the fact that he was brushed aside by the authorities who didn't care that he invested all his savings into a business they were destroying are also well-founded.
  • Villain Respect: He comes to respect Peter for his tenacity, for saving his life in the end rather than letting him die, and for saving his daughter's life. Because of this, Toomes decides not to sell him out to Gargan in the end.
  • Villainous Underdog: He's an old working-class guy with repurposed gadgets (that he doesn't entirely understand and control) going against the security of Tony Stark, the Avengers, S.H.I.E.L.D., and the young super-powered Spider-Man. The fact that his Vulture suit doesn't even appear to be designed for combat, but rather for theft and salvaging materials, makes him come off as even more of an underdog.
  • Weak, but Skilled: In contrast to Spider-Man being Unskilled, but Strong. Vulture isn't superhuman and relies on a suit of Powered Armor that is designed for lifting/salvaging rather than direct combat, and overall is less agile and likely weaker compared to Spider-Man going all-out (who is established to have a 25-ton casual lifting strength and can exceed 50 or even 130 tons with effort). However, Vulture is a hardened criminal, knows how to fight, doesn't hold back, and can make the very most of what his suit is capable of. Compare this to Spider-Man, who for all of his strength, speed, agility, and reflexes, has as much experience as a 15-year-old kid who's never actually fought and barely knows what he's doing. This makes him the overdog to the inexperienced Spider-Man, despite his inherent disadvantages.
  • What You Are in the Dark: When he's in prison at the end of the film, he has the chance to spill Spider-Man's true identity to Mac Gargan without anyone knowing about it. He chooses not to.
  • Where Does He Get All Those Wonderful Toys?: From a bunch of scavenged technology put together by Phineas Mason, who is Vulture's gadget man. Fitting, considering the Trope-Naming quote was directed at another Michael Keaton character.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility: A villainous variant; Toomes is ultimately responsible for his employees, and his turn to crime is mostly motivated by keeping them employed and financially secure (with the other part being getting even with Tony Stark).
  • Working-Class Hero: He sees himself as a guy making ends meet and providing for his family, despite not doing anything "heroic" (beyond this at least). He manages this worldview by casting Tony Stark as the villain in his life, and on meeting Spider-Man notes, that the latter has more in common with him than Tony Stark.
    Adrian Toomes: Those people, Pete, those people up there — the rich and the powerful — they do whatever they want. Guys like us, like you and me, they don't care about us. We build their roads, and we fight all their wars and everything, but they don't care about us. We have to pick up after them. We have to eat their table scraps. That's how it is. I know you know what I'm talking about, Peter.
  • Worthy Opponent: Toomes grows rather fond of Spider-Man's grit, as he describes it, and Peter develops a certain kind of respect for him himself, which is part of why he saves Toomes's life at considerable personal risk. Even after he ends up in prison, he's still happy to keep his enemy's Secret Identity under wraps.
  • Would Hurt a Child: After finding out that Peter, a young man who's asked his daughter out for prom, is Spider-Man, he tells him that he'll kill him if he ever tries to interfere with his business again and true to his word, he crushes him under a pile of rubble and leaves him for dead when he decides to try and stop him. When Peter survives and makes it to the plane he's trying to steal from, he pulls no punches and does everything he can to try and kill the boy.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: In the third act of Homecoming, he has a lot of contingency plans in place for his big heist. After figuring out that Peter Parker is Spider-Man, he first tells Peter that he'll let the boy go off if he stays away from his plan to hijack an Avengers jet. When that doesn't work, it's revealed that he had a backup plan — have the Shocker stick around and keep Spider-Man busy long enough for him to pull off the heist. When Shocker is defeated, he lures Peter into an empty area of his building and uses his wingsuit to cause the building to collapse on Spider-Man. And when Spider-Man manages to get out of that anyway, that's when he resorts to a one-on-one fight. He very nearly would have succeeded had it not been for his own greed.
  • You Are What You Hate: Despite being a loving father and husband who provides for his family, Toomes has become just like the rich he looks upon with disdain; he lives in a luxurious home, manufactures and sells dangerous weapons, has more money than he knows what to do with, and isn't as noble as he makes himself out to be. Whereas Stark risks his life to protect the world, Toomes uses his inventions for his own benefit, and that of his small crew, and while Tony had his hangups, he at least didn't try to murder a child.

    Vulture Suit 

Vulture Suit
"Business is good."

Appearances: Spider-Man: Homecoming | Morbius note 

The mechanical wingsuit used by Adrian Toomes. It was made by Phineas Mason using salvaged Chitauri technology.

  • Collapsible Helmet: Downplayed. The eyes of the helmet retract upward into the rest of the helmet, but the remaining parts of the helmet still need to be removed manually.
  • Dark Is Evil: The Vulture suit is very dark in color.
  • Drone Deployer: The Vulture suit has a drone stored in its back compartment. Toomes deploys it to act as a decoy during his heist of the Stark Cargo Plane at the end of the film.
  • Evil Counterpart:
    • The Vulture wingsuit has its own drone, which looks dark and sinister compared to Peter's friendly looking Droney.
    • The drone can also be considered as an evil version of Falcon's Redwing, since they are both used by a bird-themed character.
  • Evil Is Bigger: In terms of equipment, compared to the Falcon's wingsuit, the Vulture's is massive. Justified, as the Falcon's suit was originally designed for quick rescue missions whereas Vulture's suit was designed to carry extremely heavy advanced tech.
  • Future Copter: In addition to wings, the Vulture suit has VTOL rotors.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: The flight helmet features a high-tech pair of goggles, which have disturbing, glowing green pinpricks where Toomes's eyes are.
  • Green and Mean: The wingsuit helmet has prominent bright green eyes, and Toomes can be a very brutal criminal when he is not being Affably Evil.
  • Heads-Up Display: Toomes's helmet features a HUD, not unlike a certain superhero he hates (albeit colored green).
  • Immune to Bullets: The Vulture wingsuit is strong enough to withstand bullets. During the fight on the ferry, some FBI agents try to shoot at Toomes, but he uses his wings to protect himself.
  • Imported Alien Phlebotinum: The suit incorporates technology left over from the Chitauri invasion of New York.
  • Noisy Robots: Toomes's suit makes a robotic noise when he turns around.
  • Powered Armor: A downplayed example - it doesn't cover all that much of its wearer, mostly leaving him with a helmet, heavy leathers, and his wings to defend himself, but it does include a powered exoskeleton over his legs that lets him carry enormous weights with the claws on his feet while still having his hands free to defend himself.
  • Razor Wings: The suit's wings double as bladed weapons.
  • Remote Body: Toomes can control his Vulture wingsuit remotely, as seen when he sends it to attack Peter while they were having a discussion in his warehouse towards the end.
  • Turbine Blender: During the Vulture's final fight with Spider-Man on the Stark Cargo Plane, one of his wings gets badly damaged by one of the propellers.


    Webb-Verse Toomes 

Only mentioned in The Daily Bugle's Alternate Reality Tumblr which is considered to be Loose Canon to the films, meaning he exists on Earth-120703. However the wings to his Vulture suit appear at the end of The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

For more info on this Variant, see The Amazing Spider-Man Series: Others page

""Nothing is more important than family."

Alternative Title(s): MCU Vulture