Organization Seed: V.U.L.T.U.R.E.

VULTURE – Google Docs




V.U.L.T.U.R.E.  They are the very Platonic archetype of a superhero world’s international villainous paramilitary organization, with one glaring exception.  Everything from their green and black uniforms (complete with masks obscuring their features) to their endless array of custom-built, themed weapons, armor and vehicles — plus their deliberately obscured origins and numerous secret bases — screams “Cower before the might of Vulture-One, people of Earth!”  Or it would, if V.U.L.T.U.R.E. ever showed any sign of trying to take over the world.  Or, indeed, any sign of organized villainy at all.


Oh, to be sure, V.U.L.T.U.R.E. is a criminal organization in several countries: the kind of countries where ‘criminal’ can be a badge of honor. Elsewhere, they come across as an extremely bizarre and melodramatic charitable NGO, devoted to disaster relief and infrastructure repair in the most over-the-top, four-color way possible.  Is there a drought? Fire the Precipitation Mega-Stabilizer Ray, my Vulture Nestlings!  Dam just collapsed?  Watch the Earth itself tremble as we unleash the power of the Vulture’s Interlocking Claws! Need a road network?  The Screaming Hammer orbital laser network will make short work of any presumptuous hill that dares to defy our greatness!

…And so on.  They’re all like this, from the Vulture Fledgling trainees to the mid-level Vulture Nestlings and Nest Leaders to the shadowy figure of Vulture-One, himself.  Presumably ‘himself:’ people mostly only know Vulture-One from his periodic (paid) interruptions of television programs to grandly announce how soon V.U.L.T.U.R.E. will swoop down from the skies to unleash earthquake relief upon Indonesia. Or just to plug the latest product from Vulturetech Industries.


What is Vulturetech Industries?  It’s the company that holds the patents on quite a few ridiculously useful products, like the ultra-strong, ultra-light ceramics that made flying cars and personal jetpacks commercially viable. Or solar-cell fabric. Or, well, the stun bolt rifles and pistols that every member of V.U.L.T.U.R.E. carries.  In other words: if you’re wondering how Vulture-One can afford all of this, it’s because of Vulturetech.


And then there’s the paramilitary stuff. V.U.L.T.U.R.E. is more than happy to sign up for international security contracts; it’s also been known to adjust its prices downward for ‘suitable’ contracts.  The most infamous example of this was when a Central Asian warlord was ultimately tossed out of office because a full V.U.L.T.U.R.E. Combined Arms Squadron was hired by a seven year old boy for them to protect his village. The payment, in American currency, was somewhere around twenty-three cents. Things just sort of… snowballed from there.  That happens a lot, with V.U.L.T.U.R.E. They’re also not shy about showing up armed for alien invasions, rampaging giant monsters, and other events of that nature.


As you might imagine, there’s a lot of discussion inside the superhero (and supervillain) community about V.U.L.T.U.R.E.  Many supers assume that the organization does have a villainous plan, er, planned: V.U.L.T.U.R.E. is just leading up to it.  Other supers argue that possibly what’s happening here is that Vulture-One (or whoever’s running things over there) is simply “suffering” from whatever is left of megalomania when you remove the sociopathy, and insert a functioning sense of ethics.  Still others think that it’s an elaborate PR stunt to flog Vulturetech’s insanely profitable toy line.  Which pays quite a bit for the rights to market both heroes’ and villains’ likenesses for action figures, by the way…


PS: Nobody knows what the acronym means.  In fact, it’s generally assumed that the acronym doesn’t actually mean anything: V.U.L.T.U.R.E. needed a cool name and symbol, and “vulture” was the best one that hadn’t been picked yet. And when interviewers ask Vulture-One, he just cackles a little — then changes the subject.