Micheal Keaton The Vulture Spiderman Homecoming

5. He’s a complex human being

His story is not based on loss of family. It’s a revenge story with a twist. It’s more of a Robin Hood gone bad. He cares for his family and provides for his workers, but is not above killing people if necessary to achieve his goals. Is he good? Is he bad? Is he both?

4. He isn’t defined by his kick-ass suit

Adrian Toomes retains a dual identity. He isn’t physically damaged in any way, like many villains are. This allows him to seamlessly blend into society and mask himself with the awesome costume he builds. He is the mirror, adult version of what Peter Parker could become. The man Tony Stark challenges Peter not to be.

3. He employs really smart associates

The Vulture surrounds himself with smart, tech savvy creators. He values their skills and treats them well. He considers it his responsibility to make sure they are provided for. It’s what drives him besides taking care of his family. The only time he treats someone badly is when the person behaves dishonorably in his mind.

2. Personal motivation/vendetta

Creating a villain with a legitimate gripe against an Avenger sets up a powerful dynamic for the rest of the film. Casting The Vulture as Everyman being wronged by the system generates conflict that doesn’t require the predictable CGI filled over-the-top ending that has become overdone in superhero films. There is a battle, but the battle ends with personal choices.

1. Michael Keaton

One of the best Marvel casting choices ever. What you get is an amazing actor who takes the role so seriously that it pushes the other actors around him to another level. Watch the pure terror in Tom Holland’s eyes in their scenes together. The payoff at the end is intense. The rest of his performance is pure magic.

Micky Small is a graduate student in Digital Media and Performance at Arizona State University by day, and building a production company called Femme Powered Productions with original live-action female superheroes by night. Follow her @femmepwrdprod

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