SPIDER-MAN 's Suit : A Comic Book History

SPIDER-MAN 's Suit : A Comic Book History

"A spider spins his web strand by strand." - anonymous
A feature on the costumes worn by Peter Parker, our friendly neighborhood SPIDER-MAN.

Article requested by @chubakka (request made on a feature on batman suit.): Any chance we can get one on Spiderman's suit? I'm sure a full fledged article on the different version will help tone down the bashing of the new suit.

Quick wiki on SPIDER-MAN:
Spider-Man is a fictional Marvel Comics superhero, created by writer-editor Stan Lee and writer-artist Steve Ditko. He first appeared in Amazing Fantasy #15 (Aug. 1962). Lee and Ditko conceived of the character as an orphan being raised by his Aunt May and Uncle Ben, and as a teenager, having to deal with the normal struggles of adolescence in addition to those of a costumed crime fighter. Spider-Man's creators gave him super strength and agility, the ability to cling to most surfaces, shoot spider-webs using devices of his own invention which he called "web-shooters", and react to danger quickly with his "spider-sense", enabling him to combat his foes.
source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SPIDER-MAN

The Classic/Traditional Red and Blue suit

This is the suit the hero debuted in Amazing SPIDER-MAN #15. The staples of this suit is the bug-eye mask, the spider-logo on front and back torso, a hidden webshooter on his wrist, a distinct pattern for the red and blue part of the suit and a webbings on the red part of the suit.

One distinct variation made on the suit is the webbing under his arms, that serves as a gliding apparatus. Early days of the character this was more evident but later times it is rarely seen.

Aside from artistic interpretation this suit has relatively looked consistent. The "artistic" interpretation/variation often is focused on the eyes, and the spider-design on his chest. Another often minor variant is the color of the costume, instead of red and blue, the blue part is replaced by black.

Black Costume

This suit first appeared on Amazing Spider-Man #252

In the Marvel Secret Wars series, Spider-Man's costume was torn during battle and he was sent to a machine that would repair it. Unknown to Spider-Man, the machine was actually a prison that contained an alien symbiote, which copied Spider-Man's thoughts about the costume worn by the Julia Carpenter version of Spider-Woman, and created a duplicate of it.

This suit greatly enhances his powers, provides him with its own supply of web-fluid, and can change its appearance at his command. But later he discovered that the costume is actually an alien symbiote bent on permanently bonding with its host. He was able to remove this with the help of Mr. Fantastic.

He also had a non-symbiote version of this costume made for him by the Black Cat. It doesn't have the added abilities of the symbiote costume but "dubbed" sexier by Black Cat. He was apprehensive in wearing this suit for obvious reason with what happened with the symbiote one, he only used the suit when the regular one is out of commision or on stealth missions.
This suit first appeared on Spectacular Spider-Man #99

Amazing Bag Man

This suit first appeared on Amazing SPIDER-MAN #258
After removing the alien symbiote, SPIDER-MAN was without costume so the Human Torch lent him an old Fantastic Four costume, with a brown paper bag for a mask and a "Kick Me" sign on the back. This is one of the funniest and memorable costume that Spider-man wore.

Spider Armor

This suit first appeared on Web of SPIDER-MAN #100
When a group called the New Enforcers attacked New York city using high powered firearms, Spider-Man created an armored spider-suit. This is suit is composed of a pseudo-metallic compound that Peter (Spider-man) himself developed at Empire State University, because of the material used for the suit it slowed him down, but was defended from the firearms. During battle, the suit was destroyed by acid.

Insulated Suit

This suit first appeared on Amazing Spider-Man #425
Peter Parker designed an insulated suit for him to wear when battling Electro since the last time they fought; he ended up wrapping himself in a rubber, inflatable mattress. The Insulated costume helped in taking some of the impact from a much more powerful Electro and his electric blasts.


a doctor named Oscar McDonnell gave Peter a cyborg cast for his arm that had a hairline fracture. It gave Peter the ability to heal his arm faster while still acting as Spider-man.

SPIDER-MAN Unlimited

In Webspinners #13 & 14, Spider-Man introduced a new costume that resembled the one in the animated series. The story featured Spider-Man and Negative Zone Dusk battling Carnage and Blastaar in the Negative Zone. It also saw the return of the Carnage Symbiote to Cletus Kasady after their return to Earth.

Spider Octopus

In The Funeral for an Octopus #2 Spider-man wore the harness that Doctor Octavius wore as Doc Ock. Spider-man couldn't control the arms and has yet to wear them again.

Spider Lizard

At the end of Spectacular Spider-Man #39 Spider-Man turned into a Lizard like creature resembling one of his most feared foes, the Lizard. In Spectacular Spider-Man #40, it was learned that while Spider-Man was curing Curt Connors of the energy charge that turned him into the Lizard, Spider-Man absorbed radio-active feedback that affected his blood. Spider-Man was cured after Connors administered a vial of serum into his bloodstream.

Six-armed SPIDER-MAN

Spider-Man grew four extra arms at the end of the infamous Amazing Spider-Man #100 where Peter tried to create a potion that would make him normal once again. After taking it, Peter had some hallucinations then was surprised to learn that he grew the four extra limbs. He went on to battle Morbius in Amazing Spider-Man #101 with the Lizard joining in on the fun in Amazing Spider-Man #102. The extra arms were all gone by the end of the trilogy.

Spider Hulk

In the midst of battling the Hulk in Web Of Spider-Man #69, Spider-Man was zapped with a Biokinetic Energy Absorber that was in the same vicinity as the Incredible Hulk. He then became the Hulk.

Spider Phoenix

Excalibur guest starred in Spider-Man #25 and they combined forces to combat Arcade. After administering C.P.R. to Phoenix, Spider-Man somehow gained similar powers to her and became the Spider-Phoenix. It was quickly learned that a Bio-Organic Circuitry Board was webbed to Spider-Man's back and that Arcade was behind the shenanigans experienced by all.

SPIDER-MAN Captain Universe

When a lab accident granted Spider-Man the Uni-Power, his costume was cosmically changed into the Captain Universe outfit by the Uni-Power. This form gave him incredibly enhanced senses, strength, speed, flight, and limited telekinesis.


At the beginning of the Civil War storyline, Tony Stark fabricated a new red and gold costume for Peter utilizing much of the same technology used for his Iron Man suit, with the main difference being the suit's mesh-like quality. This new suit provided Peter with advantages he never had before in other costumes such as radio transmission scanners and receivers, multiple biological sensors for himself and others (such as EKG readings, pulse rates, etc.), multiple vision settings, deflection of small caliber firearms, and limited gliding capabilities. The Iron Spider costume also provided Peter with three retractable pseudo-arms, though not ideal for fighting. If Peter ever felt that he would like a change of pace in his appearance, Stark also built in a feature for the costume to change its appearance at Peter's will. This was an ideal feature for Peter because he never had to worry about trying to hide his suit in public.


This costume appeared in Amazing Spider-man #650 is a cross between the black costume and a tie -in by Marvel with parent company Disney's Tron: Legacy. The suit is a Stealth suit which bends both light and sound, thus not only making Spidey invisible, but utterly silent and immune to sonic attacks.

SPIDER-MAN Future Foundation

With the death of the Human Torch, the Fantastic Four died with him, but from the ashes rised the Future Foundation with SPIDER-MAN towed in with the other original Fantastic Four. New also is the costume design, and SPIDER-MAN have to in some ways have a similar dud if he is going to hang out with this crew. The suits have been described as "Elegant", "Very Sci-Fi", "Deceptively Simple" and "Very Apple".

Live Version
SPIDER-MAN has his fair share of live adaptations. In most of these adaptations he is seen sporting the Traditional Red and Blue costume.

Danny Seagren : Electric Company(1970)

Spider-Man was an occasional character in the Electric Company which presented brief tales using a combination of animation and live action called the Spidey Super Stories. In addition, in the educational spirit of the series, Spider-Man communicates only in speech balloons for the viewer to read.

Nicholas Hammond : The Amazing SPIDER-MAN(1977)

A short-lived live action television series was produced called The Amazing Spider-Man, starring Nicholas Hammond in the title role. Although the series earned good ratings, fans complained about its low-budget production values and its writing, which neither followed the comics' spirit nor provided adventures that were distinctively appropriate for the character. Several episodes from this series were released as full-length motion pictures outside the U.S. Three movies were released overseas, including The Amazing Spider-Man (the original TV-movie pilot from 1976), Spider-Man Strikes Back (1978), and The Dragon's Challenge (1979). One distinct variation the show the made on the suit is the bulky webshooters and a utility belt.

Tobey Maguire : SPIDER-MAN (2002), SPIDER-MAN (2004) & SPIDER-MAN (2007)

Tobey Maguire played SPIDER-MAN in three movies. The costume he wore here is respectful to the traditional comic costume with only slight variations on the spider symbols. The costume is tweaked a little for the sequels. The 3rd movie introduce a black symbiote costume which closely resembles the traditional costume he is wearing on the movie only colored black with an altered spider symbol on the chest (this design differs from the symbiote costume from the comics). A notable difference on this version is the lack of webshooters.

Andrew Garfield : Amazing SPIDER-MAN (2012)

Garfield stars in Amazing SPIDER-MAN. His costume is a highly stylized version of the traditional SPIDER-MAN Costume.

sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SPIDER-MAN : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spider-Man_in_other_media : http://www.freewebs.com/spidermanhome/costumes.htm : http://marvel.wikia.com/Spider-Man%27s_Suits

Whatever the version is, whatever he will wear, He will always be our friendly neighborhood SPIDER-MAN. And to end this article everybody needs to join in the chorus.:

This is the 3rd article in my Comic Book History series. Any requests and suggestions for an article for this series write it down in the comment section.

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Member Since 1/15/2011
Filed Under "Spider-Man" 3/19/2011 Source: DCMU
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