By Marc Strom
Spider-Man has a new threat to watch out for in the skies of Manhattan.
Writer Mark Waid and artist Mike McKone send an all-new Vulture after the Wallcrawler in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #592 on April 22, kicking off the three-part "24/7!"
The idea for a new Vulture first came up "during the last Spidey summit," Waid remembers. "We talked about this new Vulture being, with all due respect to his predecessor, everything the old Vulture was not: shrouded in mystery, eerie, and full of criminal vitality.
"The new Vulture isn't a robber, he's an urban-legend-turned-real for New York's underworld, the winged monster who feasts on dead and dying criminals for reasons that are as yet a secret. Is he a villain? Is he a good guy with a very severe M.O.? Spidey must investigate and live to tell the tale."
As for why the idea of reinventing the Vulture, specifically, appealed to Waid, he tells us it comes back to his love of a very specific type of Spider-Man's villains.
"I really like Spidey villains who take Spidey out of his element, and it's tough to fight a winged guy who can, at any point in the battle, grab you and haul you up into the sky," the writer explains.
A number of men have taken up the mantle of the Vulture since Adrian Toomes, the original flying menace, first appeared, but Waid promises this latest incarnation of the villain has a few distinctions from his predecessors.
"I think the biggest difference is that this may not be gear," Waid notes, referring to the external suit all other Vultures used to take flight. "Unlike some of Toomes' surrogates, the new Vulture may or may not have connections to Toomes."
Nonetheless, in order to make the new Vulture a true successor to the past incarnations of the villain, Waid lists off a number of qualities that the character had to have:
"Wings. An imposing, disturbing silhouette and look. A sense of decay."
The Vulture has maintained a constant presence in Spidey's rogues' gallery since his first appearance in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #2, something that Waid attributes to a number of factors.
"Again, the ability to take Spidey out of his natural element is one of the big appeals," he remarks. "Plus, the costume and the look [are] so striking. And there's always affection among fans and pros alike for the earliest Spidey villains. So, fear not, Toomes is still alive and well—but he seems as surprised by this new Vulture as anyone!"
Waid points to one Vulture story in particular as his favorite—coincidentally enough, the first instance of someone else taking up the mantle besides Adrian Toomes.
"I loved the first time someone—Blackie Drago—decided to be a new, younger, 'better' Vulture and Toomes was so offended that he busted out of jail just to show this young punk who he was dealing with [in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN v1 #48]," Waid reminisces.
The title of the upcoming story arc refers to Spider-Man's new, mysterious "24/7 mission," but don't expect Waid to let slip how the Vulture fits into the picture just yet.
"You'll just have to read and see, though I can tell you that the new Vulture is a huge and unexpected impediment to the '24/7 mission.'"
Plus, the writer teases the Vulture has at least one card hidden up his sleeve that will prove even more troubling for your Friendly Neighborhood Wallcrawler.
"The new Vulture has at least one super-power that Toomes did not—and it throws Spidey into a tailspin!"
The new Vulture swoops into AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #592 on April 22. You can read the original Vulture's first appearance right now on Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited!
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