You might not know it, but Spider-Man has worn a lot of different costumes over the years. Some have been worn by Peter himself and some by other folks while filling in for him. There have been some really amazing designs in there, but also some real stinkers. Now we’ll break down the best and worst for you.
5. Classic Red and Blue
You can’t argue with a classic, and this one has it all. It’s bold, it’s iconic, it’s got primary colors. What more could you want? Personally, I’ve never fully understood the red and blue motif in terms of how it relates to spiders, but screw it, maybe Peter Parker just knows what colors look best on him. Various comics and movies have made slight tweaks to this design over the years, but the general idea has remained more or less intact. You just don’t mess with a good thing.
4 . Iron-Spider
A few years ago during Marvel’s Civil War storyline, Peter Parker publicly unmasked himself to show support for the pro-registration heroes led by Iron Man. After this, good old Tony Stark decided to throw Peter a bone by making him a costume infused with the Stark-tech. This outfit enhanced his strength and agility, gave him some limited gliding ability, and had some mechanical spider-leg-thingies that came out of his back (I honestly don’t remember what those did). He also made it the red and gold Iron Man colors, because Tony Stark is a narcissistic douche. Normally this is exactly the kind thing I would make fun of, except let’s be honest, it looks awesome. Spider-Man eventually changed sides in the Civil War and Stark took his armor back, giving it to the black ops, Scarlet Spiders team, because… comic books.
3. Miles Morales
In the Ultimate Universe, when Peter Parker died at the hands of the Green Goblin, it wasn’t the end of Spider-Man. Miles Morales, a young boy who happened to also have spider powers (once again, because comic books) decided to take up the mantle. Originally he wore a copy of the original Spider-Man’s outfit, but it was deemed to be in poor taste, by which I mean a bunch of loud mouthed New Yorkers yelled at him. After paying a little visit to SHIELD, Nick Fury gifted Miles with this new suit. While bearing some similarities to the original, Miles’s outfit is most a black body suit with a limited red webbing design. It’s actually a lot sleeker looking and the color scheme is much more “spidery”.
2. Future Foundation
When the Human Torch was abandoned and presumed dead in an alien dimension full of horrific bug monsters, the Fantastic Four were forced to rethink their team name. They decided that now FF stood for Future Foundation, redesigned their costumes, and invited Spider-Man to join. Naturally, they gave Spidey a new outfit to match when they were out on adventures together because team unity really affects your superheroing. This costume actually got some mixed reviews, but I just think it looks really cool. It’s certainly better than the first outfit Reed Richards gave him.
1. Black Costume
As many people know, the original black costume was an alien symbiote that bonded with Peter Parker during the Secret Wars storyline. Peter actually wore that suit for four years (1984-1988) before the symbiote started influencing his decisions and making him more and more violent and aggressive. Eventually after ridding himself of the creature, it bonded with Eddie Brock to create the villain/anti-hero Venom. Following the Civil War and Captain America’s death, Peter realized he didn’t need an alien parasite to look like a badass and just started wearing a regular old black costume. As you can see from the picture above, it really makes Spider-Man look much more imposing. If only someone had told Sam Raimi…
5. Spider Armor
More than any other superhero, Spider-Man relies on his agility. His lightning fast reflexes, combined with his spider-sense, allow him to literally dodge bullets. Why then would he need to wear bullet-proof armor? Especially considering that it was so bulky, it slowed him down, thus making him more likely to be hit by the aforementioned bullets. This was what we call a solution to a non-existent problem.
4. Scarlet Spider
The 90’s were a time we’d all like to forget, but no one more so than Spider-Man. Following the incredibly convoluted and confusing Clone Saga, Ben Reilly (a clone of Peter Parker) decided to prove his worth as hero the only way he knew how, by dressing like a complete asshole. Taking the name Scarlet Spider, Reilly wore what was essentially just an all red Spider-Man costume sans webbing design. If he had stopped there, everything would probably have been fine. Since this was 1995 however, he had to wear his web-shooters on the outside of his costume. Then he put on a sleeveless baby blue hoodie over his body suit. Oh and the hoodie had a spider logo on it, but it was at a crooked angle and slightly off center. Nothing says, “I’m serious about fighting crime” quite like dressing up like a homeless raver.
3. Captain Universe
Captain Universe is title that has been held by different characters in the Marvel Universe. For a short time Spider-Man was bestowed with the Uni-Power (I swear I’m not making this up) that granted him cosmic-level abilities. The Captain Universe costume is pretty stupid in and of itself, as you can see it has sort of a “connect-the-dots” theme, but also there’s stars. I don’t mean star shapes, but actual twinkling stars. Spider-Man, wanting to make sure that everyone could still recognize him in this new outfit, made it a point to wear his normal costume underneath the Captain Universe get up, thus ensuring no one would see his mouth. Words can’t describe how dumb this all looked.
2. Spider-Man 2099
I assume this is how the editorial meeting at Marvel went: “You know what the Spider-Man of the future needs? A big skull in the middle of his chest like the Punisher, because people like the Punisher. Also, little blades coming off his arms like Batman, because people like Batman. Also, a cape made out of webs, because… well screw it, because it’s the 90’s.” Noticing a theme yet?
1. The Slingers
The number one spot is actually a four way tie because there’s just no way to choose. In 1998 (of course), Norman Osborne framed Spider-Man for the murder of a small time crook. Peter Parker still felt the need to fight crime so he created four new hero personas; Ricochet, Hornet, Prodigy, and Dusk. For each of these personas, he also created a new costume, each dumber than the last. Of course he actually only wore each outfit for two issues, before promptly throwing it in a dumpster. The dumpster was however metaphorical, as the costumes and their accompanying monikers were bestowed on a group of teenagers who formed a superhero team known as The Slingers. Both the team and their eponymous comic book series were incredibly short lived, a fact that no one, Spider-Man especially, was all that broken up about.