For what feels like the hundredth time, we’re getting Spider-Man on the big screen. But despite being a second-time reboot, fans have a reason to be excited for this summer’s Spider-Man Homecoming. And that comes in the form of Michael Keaton’s Adrian Toomes, aka the Vulture.
While the Marvel Cinematic Universe has done an amazing job in most aspects, it does seem to have one problem. That is, the shallowness of its villains. So far, it’s felt like every villain not named Loki or Bucky has been disposable, even forgettable in the grand scheme of things.
Here are a few reasons that the vulture can buck that trend and be better than expected.
He’s A Street Level Villain
So far, the MCU has faced villains at the cosmic and global level: Norse gods, and international terrorist to name a few. But we’ve had very few good villains coming from the street-level, the regular folk. That’s exactly what we’re getting in the Vulture.
According to the Spider-Man Homecoming synopsis shared by director Jon Watts, Toomes was an ordinary guy who worked for a salvaging company that cleaned up after the messes left in the wake of big superhero battles. When Tony Stark buys out his company, he feels like he’s got a bone to pick with Iron Man. Making use of some of the tech he’d acquired from work, he builds the winged Vulture suit.
It’s refreshing to not worry about a villain with delusions of grandeur, to not worry about Infinity Stones and the like. Our hero, played by Tom Holland, is a regular highs chooler (radioactive spider powers aside). Our villain is an every man who feels like he’s been slighted by society. These kinds of dynamics make for the best storylines.
He’s The Dark Tony Stark
As shared by Watts on USA Today, Adrian Toomes is basically what we get when we have “the dark Tony Stark”. While Iron Man ended up making use of his weapons and tech know-how for good, Toomes’ resentment as a lesser privileged man pushes him to use his skills for evil.
It’s a lot more complicated than just greed, of course, just as Tony Stark himself is a complicated man. But it’s an interesting take: we’ll be watching Spider-Man Homecoming the whole time with the knowledge that this could have been Tony Stark, had circumstances been different.
Michael Keaton Is Playing Him
Let’s not understate the importance of getting a highly reliable Hollywood veteran to step into you villain’s shoes. After all, Alfred Molina’s Doctor Octopus was one reason that 2004’s Spider-Man 2 was so great. Keaton was recently nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in Birdman (no relation to Vulture). In that film, he showed how rage and resentment can seep into the life of an otherwise hard-working average joe. That should be invaluable for his portrayal of Toomes in the film.
Spider-Man Homecoming comes out on July 7, 2017.