Rogue's Gallery Vulture Bust
Spider-Man is one the most unique and popular characters in comics, and the offbeat hero has a rogue's gallery just as interesting as he is. Many of these characters have been immortalized in mini-busts, and the latest entry is the classic Vulture. All of Spider-Man's foes are unique, and the Vulture fits right in with the eclectic mix of nefarious criminals.
The Vulture is one of Spidey's oldest foes in two senses - one is that he's very elderly, and the other is that he's been around since nearly the beginning. The character is actually the first costumed foe of Spider-Man when you consider the thief who killed Uncle Ben and the Chameleon both are without true costumes, and they are the only foes of Spidey to pre-date the Vulture. Other than Flash Thompson.
Adrian Toomes spent his life as an engineer and when he found that his partner was cheating him, This didn't create a healthy work environment so Toomes was fired but he kept his secret flying harness as part of his severance package. The harness allowed him to fly and exposure to the radiation from it gave him incredible strength.
Since life had dealt him a bad hand, he decided to turn to a life of crime and began robbing people. When you rob people in New York City you will eventually run across Spider-Man, and so he did. Their first meeting ended with the Vulture in jail for his crimes after Spidey builds an anti-magnetic inverter to counter-act his harness.
Prison in the 60's was much different than 'Oz' because the Vulture came through relatively unscathed and escaped after building a new flying harness from parts he scavenged he was able to escape prison. After breaking out of prison you might as well keep committing crimes, and the Vulture fell back into his old ways. Since then he's been a thorn in Spidey's side, fighting him over and over, and even regaining his youth.
The Vulture was created by Steve Ditko and Stan Lee and made his first appearance in Amazing Spider-Man #2. He was back in the pages by issue 7 and has been making regular appearances ever since.
The classic Vulture as a character is at first glance just an old man in a costume, but like the prior Kingpin bust, they have found a way to elevate the bust beyond that. The sculpting detail and paint are top-notch down to the multitude of feathers that populate the Vulture's costume. The funky pin striping is present but the standout is the detail on the face and head. The crotchety Vulture's face comes through with plenty of wrinkles around the face, the beak-like nose and even a few raised veins on the bald head. The neck is reminiscent of a real vulture's, and the character is captured perfectly.
A signature of the Rogue's Gallery line is the integrated base design that sets this line apart from other mini-busts. Each base has a logo for the character, and the Vulture has a simple nameplate. The innovative aspect to the base is that the figure's torso is held in mid-air by the wings that fold downward and suspend the bust above them.
The Vulture is the latest bust in the Rogue's Gallery line from Diamond Select Toys. The Rogue's Gallery is a collaboration between Diamond Select and Art Asylum to finally give the bad guys their due. The series has been working through Spider-Man's villains starting with the Lizard, then Sandman, Carnage, the Kingpin and Kraven the Hunter. The next piece in the line is the Scorpion, followed by Venom, Sunfire and the Mandarin.
Eli Livingston was the sculptor for the Vulture, and he has done work at McFarlane Toys in the past but now hangs his hat at the Asylum. Eli's work on the Vulture isn't the only Rogue's Gallery bust he's had a hand in. He's done sculpting on the Scorpion, Sunfire and the Mandarin. He also worked with Ken Usanami on the Marvel Milestones Thanos statue to be released later in 2003.
The bust is packed in the white boxes that are typical of the Rogue's Gallery, and there are 6500 identical boxes each with a copy of the Vulture mini-bust. The white boxes have Japanese writing as well as English, but no French. There are also 6500 pairs of identical Styrofoam blocks designed to hold the Vulture safely until you get him home. There are even 6500 hand-numbered certificates of authenticity with the sculptor's signature on them, and these are in full-color (as opposed to partial or color-blind versions).
More Pictures of Vulture
|Where to buy the Vulture Bust: This piece is limited to a run of 6500, and you can find it at your local comics shop and various online retailers for between $35 and $45 USD.|