Spider-Man is about to get his ass handed to him. On November 2, Kevin Feige confirmed for the first time that Michael Keaton will play supervillain Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming. On Tuesday, a Reddit user posted possible concept art for Keaton’s character, though no confirmation of the art’s origin was given.
Regardless of how Keaton’s Vulture is adapted to the screen, the character will likely be a formidable foe for the still very young Peter Parker (Tom Holland). It’s not often that a Marvel hero faces off against a creature this much older than him, and Spider-Man’s distinct focus on high schoolers will make Vulture an extra disturbing presence.
Age is an integral part of Vulture’s villainy, because he covets Spider-Man’s youth whenever he appears in Marvel comics. A scientist and biomedical engineer, Vulture, aka Adrian Toomes, has long used his own body as grounds for experiments, and his Vulture suit is a mash-up of his tech inventions.
Vulture first appeared in Marvel comics in 1963, where he worked primarily as a jewel thief and bank robber. Though Vulture operates outside the law, he doesn’t have a history of outright cruelty, and doesn’t necessarily have to be depicted as a murderer. In his very first appearance, he joins the New York crime scene by stealing some guy’s briefcase, and Spider-Man only decides to chase him down because J. Jonah Jameson wants a picture of him.
As more official concept art and plot details emerge, fans will receive a clearer picture of Keaton’s Vulture. As for the character who appears in comics, he’s relatively uncomplicated in his purest form, and is probably showing up in Homecoming because he was one of Spider-Man’s earliest foes. Here’s hoping that the MCU’s Vulture isn’t as dumb as Marvel’s original character, who made sure to send the police notes about his crimes before he committed them.