Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Vultures Are Circling

At first I wasn't sure how old Adrian Toomes, a.k.a. the Vulture, managed to fly in that winged suit of his. I remember seeing vintage film clips of people who designed a suit with wings and attempted to fly off a cliff or a bridge--it didn't end pretty. And assuming Toomes is in his seventies, I can't really see him flapping those wings up there with enough vigor to sustain flight, or even get into the air in the first place.

But apparently he wears some sort of pack on his upper back that makes use of anti-gravity in much the same way the "wingless" Wizard does, with his wings giving him not only maneuverability but also a nice terror motif to enhance his rep as a villain who might swoop down and attack at any moment.

But even "the Vulture" must succumb to injury.  And when Toomes was in prison and on his death bed due to an accident--an accident that his fellow prisoner, Blackie Drago, was behind--Drago saw his chance to step up into the big leagues.

Toomes supposedly died, and Drago went on to retrieve the wings and begin his winged life of crime in New York--only to meet eventual defeat at the hands of Spider-Man. But unknown to Drago, Toomes survived his bout with death and escaped prison. And he has a little score to settle with Drago, which requires suiting up his rival again in a spare pair of wings and breaking him out of prison (jeez, that prison must have a revolving door):

Drago is under the impression that Toomes needs him to team up with him, and attempts to assert his authority with Toomes by making it clear that he's going to be top dog in this partnership. But Toomes, with a crack to the jaw, makes his real reason for freeing Drago known:

And so the fight is on, in full view of the city--which is just the way Toomes wants it. But Drago spent enough time in that suit to make a pretty good Vulture, and he's arrogant enough to think he can easily take down his older counterpart:

The battle escalates, with Drago realizing that he's not going to be able to beat Toomes with one wing tied behind his back, after all. And as the fight grows in ferocity, the two combatants become unmindful of any collateral damage:

Eventually, the tide turns against Drago, with his older opponent outmaneuvering him at every turn as well as being able to give him a respectable thrashing. And Drago finally sees the writing on the wall:

Frankly, my money was on Drago. You have to think he's in better shape to go the distance in a fight--plus he's wearing the same set of wings that give him the same advantages in power as Toomes. But I'm still glad that Toomes was the victor--his subsequent battle with Spider-Man was one for the record books. And you have to hand it to a guy who can have an all-out battle with Blackie Drago and then have Spider-Man for dessert.

(And before you ask, Spider-Man saved that little kid. Did you think I was going to *ahem* leave you hanging like that?)

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