'Spider-Man': A Guide to the Changing Look of Marvel's Wall-Crawler

What if the new cinematic Spidey didn't draw inspiration from the traditional costume?
Sony Pictures

With almost a year left before Tom Holland debuts as the new cinematic Spider-Man, Marvel's chief creative officer Joe Quesada promises that the latest costume will "blow people away," yet look very Marvel. So what might that mean?

In conversation with IGN, Quesada said that the new movie costume "looks awesome," adding that "there are elements of it that are really going to blow people away, where they are going to do, 'Ah, that's Marvel doing Spider-Man.' "

Given the muted tones and "realism" offered by the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it'd be easy to joke that we should expect a Spider-Man wearing a red jacket, leather pants and mask that inconveniently tends to come off to show off the actor at important points in the movie (Of course, Sony's earlier Spider-Men suffered from the same last flaw themselves), but what if Quesada is referring to Marvel's comic book designs for the character?

For the majority of Spider-Man's comic book career, he's stuck to the basic design created by artist Steve Ditko in the character's first appearance in 1962's Amazing Fantasy No. 15, But that doesn't mean he's adverse to switching things up every now and again. Here are some of Spidey's other clothes.

The Black Costume

Debuting in 1984's Amazing Spider-Man No. 252 as the result of the company's Secret Wars event, the black costume was the first attempt to significantly alter Spider-Man's look. Due to unfavorable pre-release reactions from the fan press, Marvel had already put plans in motion to bring back the classic look even before the costume debuted, only to reverse plans when sales spiked due to the new look. Eventually, the costume would be revealed to be a living entity that would be spun off into the villainous Venom.

The Spider-Armor

What happens when being Spider-Man isn't enough? The counter-productive answer is apparently to wear a lot of armor — something that Spidey has done on a number of occasions, despite it raising the question of how he can stick to anything through an armored suit. The answer, of course, is "comics," although 1993's Web of Spider-Man No. 100 — where the Spider-Armor debuted — would have you believe it's really a special "pseudo-metallic compound" that Peter Parker created.

The Iron Spider

When Peter Parker befriended Tony Stark, the latter hero saw a kindred spirit in the wall-crawler — so much so that he created a special Iron Man-esque suit of armor for Peter, complete with additional "arms" to really double-down on the spider motif. It didn't last too long, however, with the Civil War storyline seeing Peter return to his classic look when he sided with Captain America against Iron Man, but only after he'd given his new toys back.

Ultimate Spider-Man

Marvel's alternate-universe Spider-Man had a costume identical to the original when he first appeared in 2000's Ultimate Spider-Man No. 1, but when Miles Morales took over the role in Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man in 2012, he brought a new look to the character, with red webbing on a black costume. The new cinematic Spider-Man is still Peter Parker, but if there was ever a way to have the "new hero" cake and eat it, giving Peter Miles' costume might be the way to go ...

Superior Spider-Man

When Otto Octavius took over Peter Parker's body — and with it, the identity of Spider-Man — he redesigned the classic costume, adding new goggles, claws to his gloves and talons to his boots. Later, he added additional spider-arms to his back, in an echo of his previous supervillain identity. It was a sad day for accessorizing when Peter Parker reclaimed both the costume and his life.

comments powered by Disqus