Hey guys, I’m Dev and I think a hero is only as good as their villain.
Spider-Man has always been defined by his rivalries with masterminds like the Green Goblin and Doc Ock.
But I can kind of see why there hasn’t been a lot of talk about the villains in ‘Homecoming.’
The Vulture and his gang aren’t exactly on the same level as Joker or Magneto.
But the movie is putting a cool new twist on Spidey’s street-level bad guys.
Let me tell you about the Villains of ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ and What Makes Them Cool.
The world's changing, boys. Time we changed too.
Bird-costume aficionado Michael Keaton plays Adrian Toomes, A.K.A.
In the movie, he runs a salvage crew that scrounges up advanced technology left behind in superhero battles.
When Tony Stark’s new company, Damage Control, squeezes them out of business,
Toomes goes on a crime spree in a flying suit made of Chitauri technology.
So why’d they pick him for Spidey’s first MCU movie?
Well, he’s been on deck for a while. The Vulture was a long time coming.
The Vulture was the second supervillain Spidey ever faced, way back in 1963.
Toomes has been in a ton of video-games and nearly every Spider-Man cartoon,
including the original 60s show where he’s called “Vulture Man.”
I control the skies! Run, you fools! RUN!
But he’s never been in a movie, even though we came super close during the Sam Raimi era.
He was going to be the main antagonist in ‘Spider-Man 3,’ and he was even going to be played by Ben Kingsley.
But Sony insisted that Raimi use Venom, so the Vulture was pushed back to ‘Spider-Man 4.’
John Malkovich was cast as Toomes, and there were rumors that Anne Hathaway would play his daughter.
But there was still bad blood between Raimi and Sony,
so the movie never happened and we got a not-so ‘Amazing’ reboot instead.
Why did Raimi want to use the Vulture over the much more recognizable Venom?
Well, it might be because he's a grandfather.
At least in the comics.
Toomes is a grumpy old man and it’s probably his most defining character trait.
Neogenics is my hope for the future! Don't rush me to the grave so soon!
He even de-aged himself for a while, but it didn’t stick.
Imagine if your grandpa turned off Fox News and put on flying green pajamas to go rob banks.
And, like your grandpa, he’s got his loving family for motivation.
At one point, he was stealing to fund medical treatment for his terminally ill grandson.
And his daughter Valeria is an agent of SHIELD.
But the life of crime is rough on this old timer.
One time, he had a massive stroke and begged Spider-Man to smother him with a pillow.
There aren’t too many supervillains who are card carrying members of the Sinister Six and the AARP.
But you don’t wanna drop your guard around the Vulture, because there’s a lot of fight in this old dog thanks to his wings.
Without his suit, Adrian Toomes is about as useful in a fight as Larry David.
But inside his electromagnetic harness, he’s the most dangerous old man at Denny’s.
He invented it himself, but his business partner screwed him out of the profits.
It generates particles called anti-gravitons that lift him off the ground.
With his razor-sharp wings, he can fly up to 95 miles per hour at an altitude of 11,000 feet.
The anti-gravitons come with an extra bonus: Toomes has superhuman strength and durability inside his harness.
They take a while to wear off, too, so even without his suit, Vulture can still put the hurt on Spidey.
Given that ‘Homecoming’s’ Vulture is a scavenger like his namesake, it makes sense that his suit in the movie is more like Iron Man’s armor.
The rest of his gang has that cobbled-together look too, like our second villain: The Shocker.
His name is Herman Schultz, and I’m shocked it took him this long to get into a movie.
What's with the costume?
He’s been reliable cannon fodder for Spider-Man since 1967.
I always thought he’d be a great “first act” villain for Spidey.
Like a James Bond-style, opening credits warm-up, before we tackle the real bad guy.
I dunno if he could handle his own movie, but I like Shocker’s role as the professional.
Herman Schultz was a career criminal, who invented his vibro-shock gauntlets as a quicker way to crack safes.
This is why they call me the Shocker!
Unlike a lot of comic book rogues, the Shocker isn’t driven by insanity, or revenge.
He doesn’t have anything against Spider-Man personally.
The Shocker is a professional. Like Robert DeNiro in 'Heat.'
Guy told me one time, don't let yourself get attached to anything you're not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you feel the heat around the corner
That's the discipline.
Where’s the profit in swapping brains with your nemesis and destroying his life?
Does throwing his girlfriend off a bridge get you any closer to retirement?
Shocker would rather be well-paid muscle for the Kingpin.
Bring them to me! Bring me the keys to our future ownership of the world!
Or threatening to blackout NYC for a very reasonable ransom of $1 million.
There's like 8 million people here? That's like less than a buck each, right?
To Shocker, all that matters is the score, the getaway, and that dream house in Hoboken.
And, like any career criminal, he knows his limitations.
Schultz has been portrayed as a coward.
A sad-sack with a crippling lack of confidence.
I think my career has just hit a new low. Who cares what you think?
He’s definitely not afraid to run like hell when a job goes bust.
But he’s just keeping his eye on the prize and playing it safe.
That’s why he wears his quilted yellow suit.
He doesn’t walk around like that because he enjoys looking like a couch.
Hey Shocker, have you been re-upholstered?
Shocker’s gauntlets can shatter concrete.
And that heavy padding is the only thing keeping his flesh from vibrating off his bones.
I can’t really justify the color scheme though.
The last weird thing about the Shocker in ‘Homecoming’ is that there might be more than one.
From what we’ve seen, different people in Vulture’s crew are using Shocker’s tech.
The gauntlets look like modified versions of Crossbones’ jackhammer gloves from ‘Civil War.’
Now, apparently Bokeem Woodbine is playing Schultz.
He was awesome as a super professional gangster in ‘Fargo,’ so he'd be perfect for the Shocker.
You wouldnt by any chance be Mike Milligan and the Kitchen brothers, would you?
You make us sound like a prog rock band. 'Ladies and gentlemen, introducing Mike Milligan and the Kitchen Brothers...'
The whole gang gets their weapons from the last villain we know about, the Terrible Tinkerer.
His name is Phineas Mason, and he’s great because he helps the Marvel Universe make sense.
There are so many comic book bad guys who create crazy advanced battle suits just to mug old ladies.
Why are all these brilliant inventors knocking over bodegas?
Can’t they just ask Tony Stark if he’s hiring?
Or at least put out some feelers to Tesla?
That’s where the Tinkerer comes in.
He’s the shadowy weapons dealer who builds all their gear.
He helped create Mysterio’s suit, the Scorpion’s tail, the Grim Reaper’s scythe, you name it.
It’s characters like the Tinkerer and Melvin Potter from ‘Daredevil’ that keep the Marvel Universe grounded.
Not everyone can be a genius engineer like Stilt-Man.
It makes a little more sense that there’s one mad scientist hooking everybody up with animal-themed weapons of mass destruction.
Plus, it works within the MCU too.
All the Avengers do is fight off alien invasions and robot apocalypses.
So of course there’d be a ton of crazy technology left over
Naturally, you’d expect someone to tinker.
It’s a great plot device to streamline origin stories and get some lesser known characters on the screen.
Like, we still don’t know who Donald Glover is playing.
We could be halfway to a Sinister Six by the time the movie’s over.
And why not? Spidey’s got such a great rogues gallery.
They’re not the most intimidating bunch, but you can still tell compelling stories about them.
Check out ‘The Superior Foes of Spider-Man’ if you want an awesome in-depth dive on the Shocker and his c-list villain friends.
Look, I think we all know ‘Homecoming’ isn’t about the bad guys.
But there’s one rule that’s constant in every great superhero story:
A hero is only a good as their villain.