Watch Stan Lee reveal the origin of the winged villain of 'Spider-Man: Homecoming' (exclusive)

The Vulture was one of the earliest villains that Spider-Man tussled with in his comic-book crime-fighting career. So why did it take five movies to bring the character to the big screen? A new featurette included on the Spider-Man: Homecoming home edition (Digital HD is available Tuesday; the 4K, Blu-ray, and DVD versions will be out Oct. 17) sheds some light on the Vulture’s long (flight) path into the incarnation that moviegoers saw in this summer’s blockbuster. And who better to explain the Vulture’s origin than the man who created him — the one and only Marvel legend, Stan Lee. (Watch the clip above.)

The Vulture as he appeared in the 1960s. (Image: Marvel Comics)

As Lee remembers, the Vulture and his alter ego, Adrian Toomes (played by Michael Keaton in Homecoming), grew out his desire to match the wall-crawler up against a villain of a vastly different body type. “I liked the idea of somebody who is not very muscular but who has the ability to fly,” he explains. “The idea of this middle-aged Vulture — there had never, as far as I know, been a villain like that before.”

But the Homecoming filmmakers realized early on that what worked on the page likely wasn’t going to … well, fly onscreen. “Once we started talking about Vulture, it was clear that the version in the comics wouldn’t do, where he was this bald old man,” co-writer Jonathan Goldstein told Yahoo Entertainment earlier this year. That led to an extreme makeover that jettisoned the character’s green leotard and bald head in favor of the high-tech suit and graying scalp that Keaton sports in the finished film. Now that one winged baddie has been transformed, hands up all those who would like to see the Homecoming universe version of the Human Fly.

Watch: Tom Holland debriefs us on Spider-Man: Homecoming spoilers:

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