VULTURIONS

Membership: Gripes, Honcho, Pigeon, Sugar Face, two unidentified members

Purpose: profit; revenge on Spider-Man

Affiliations: Senator Woodman;
Costumes derived from information from the Vulture (Adrian Toomes)

Enemies: Baron von Blitzschlag, Kingpin, Scarlet Spiders (Michael, Van, Patrick), Spider-Man, Spider-Man's alien costume (later Venom), Vulture (Adrian Toomes)

Base of Operations: Manhattan, New York;
formerly Ryker's Island prison

First Appearance: Web of Spider-Man#1 (April, 1985)

Powers/Abilities: Each of the Vulturions wore near duplicates of the Vulture's costume, which granted peak to enhanced human strength and winged flight in the range of mph. They also used blow darts containing a derivative of curare, which causes total paralysis and is often fatal if a patient is not hospitalized and treated for respiratory paralysis. They were also seen to use a corrosive able to eat through plate glass in seconds.

History:
(Web of Spider-Man#1 (fb) - BTS) - Each of the Vulturions was imprisoned after being brought in by Spider-Man. Honcho was imprisoned alongside Adrian Toomes, the Vulture, and, feigning ignorance, convinced the lonely old man to share the secrets of his flight costume. After being paroled, Honcho designed four costumes based on what he had learned from the Vulture, and he and his three allies set out to make money and take revenge on Spider-Man.

(Web of Spider-Man#1) - While out on a scouting mission, Gripes observed Spider-Man fighting with his own costume, which had taken on a life of its own. Not wanting a chance to take advantage of the hero while he was at a disadvantage. The other Vulturions joined the fight to help Gripes, but even while fighting his own costume, Spidey fought off three of the Vulturions, and then forced them fourth to fly him into church bell tower to weaken his alien costume with the intense sound of the pealing bells. The last Vulturion, dazed from being smashed into the bell, gladly fled the church tower at Spider-Man's direction.

(Web of Spider-Man#2) - Honcho revealed his blow dart weapons to the group, which they used successfully in robbing an armored car shipment. They next contacted the Kingpin and told him of their plans to slay Spider-Man, in hopes that he would then hire them as his assassins. They ambushed Spider-Man in full view of the Kingpin's tower, and the distraction agitated his wife, Vanessa, who was just beginning to recover from her psychological trauma. Spider-Man was carrying a birthday present, a hat, to his Aunt May, and his efforts to prevent the hat from being damaged put him at a severe disadvantage against his four attackers. Nonetheless, he managed to take the group down one by one, though he ended up getting nailed by several darts in the process, and he fell to the ground, unconscious as the hat blew away. However, the Kingpin was pleased with Spider-Man for ending the unwanted distraction, and restored and returned the hat to him, good as new.

(Web of Spider-Man#3) - Adrian Toomes, having read newspaper reports of the Vulturions, was furious over their usurping his identity. Designing a new costume and breaking out of prison, Toomes located and attacked the four Vulturions. Though outnumbered, his superior experience and determination won out, and he began to whittle down the group. The Vulture planned to go back and finish off each of the team after defeating the last of them, but Spider-Man got involved. Spider-Man took another dart in the arm, and while he did web up the last of the Vulturions, he passed out, leaving them at the mercy of the Vulture.

A newspaper report revealed that all four Vulturions had subsequently been taken into custody.

 

(Avengers: The Initiative#7 (fb) - BTS) - With his old crew gone, Honcho found two new members for the Vulturions. They were hired by Senator Woodman, a Hydra agent, to steal gamma-enhancement secrets from Baron von Blitzschlag.

(Avengers: The Initiative#7) - The Vulturions successfully stole the case from Blitzschlag, but the Scarlet Spiders and Spider-Man soon caught up with them and defeated the Vulturions.

COMMENTS: Created by Louise Simonson and Greg LaRocque.

I would guess the Vulture would have badly beaten, or maybe even killed, the Vulturions, once he had them at his mercy, but what exactly happened isn't clear. They did survive, and were taken into police custody.

That hat was also involved in at least one other sub-plot: Knowing that it was for Spider-Man's aunt, Alistaire Smythe tracked it, and when he saw Anna Watson try it on for size, he mistakenly assumed her to be Spider-Man's aunt, making Spider-Man Mary Jane Watson, as far as he was concerned. He kidnapped MJ and tried to force the secrets from her, but the real Spidey came along and rescued her.

Both spellings, Vulturions and Vulturians, were used, but Vulturions seemed more prevalent, and as it is reminiscent of the Roman Centurions, I prefer it.

CLARIFICATIONS:
The Vulturians should be distinguished from:

Honcho has no known connection to:

Sugar Face has no known connection to:

 


GRIPES

 

He was a mugger before being arrested. He often broke with the plans of the group and would act on his own.

 

--Web of Spider-Man#1 ([1(fb)], 1-3

 

 


HONCHO

 

He is an engineer, but had also sold heroin to make extra money, which was what got him arrested. He was imprisoned alongside Adrian Toomes, and, feigning ignorance, he convinced the lonely old man to reveal the secrets of his costume. After being released on parole, he designed the four Vulturion costumes and their weapons. He also arranged most of their plans.

 

--Web of Spider-Man#1 ([1(fb)], 1-3, [Avengers: The Initiative#7 (fb)], 7

 

 


PIGEON

 

He was a pickpocket before being arrested. He spoke with a stutter.

 

--Web of Spider-Man#1 ([1(fb)], 1-3

 

 


SUGAR FACE

 

He was a mugger before being arrested.

 

--Web of Spider-Man#1 ([1(fb)], 1-3

 

 


images: (without ads)
Web of Spider-Man#2, p1 (main image)
Web of Spider-Man#1, p5, pan6 (head shot)

p4, pan4 (Gripes, Pigeon & Sugar Face)
p5, pan1 (Honcho)


Appearances:
Web of Spider-Man#1-3 (April-June, 1985) - Louise Simonson (writer), Greg LaRocque (pencils), Jim Mooney (inks), Danny Fingeroth (#1) & Jim Owsley (editors)
Avengers: The Initiative#7 (December, 2007) - Dan Slott (writer), Stefano Caselli (artist), Tom Brevoort (editor)


Last updated: 01/07/14.

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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