The release of The Amazing Spider-Man got us thinking about the different Spidey costumes we've seen over the years. Spider-Man's costume is one that has undergone a whole lot of changes over the years. From various appearances in comic books, to his appearances on television and film. And just like Spidey's appearances have been different, so have his costumes undergone changes. The interesting thing about Spider-Man's costume, however, is that no matter how many changes are made to the costume's design, it has managed to always maintain its iconic appearance. Never once have we looked at a version of a Spider-Man costume and thought that it was someone else's costume.
The most recent appearance of Spider-Man on film will be in The Amazing Spider-Man, directed by Marc Webb, starring Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker. A high resolution photograph of the costume shows that the texture does not appear smooth; in fact, it looks to be almost scaly. Maybe the costume designer wanted to go with a "Lizard" theme for the film. We kid.== TEASER ==
Regardless, this costume is extremely different compared to the Spider-Man costume in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man movie, worn by actor Tobey Maguire. Garfield's Spider-Man features a very thin spider logo as a chest piece. The arms of the spider extend, and appear to blend in with the seams of the costume itself. The color of the costume is primarily blue, and the trim is red. The red at the center of the costume makes Garfield appear slimmer than he actually is, and basically elongates his body in general. The red gloves come up to his elbow. His feet are covered in what appear to be red boots; and the feet of the costume even look as if they have traction at the bottom. This is sort of an interesting choice considering Spider-Man can already walk on walls, so why would he need traction beneath his heels and feet? The most notable change, however, has to be the decision to incorporate mechanical web shooters at his wrists, just like we see in the comics.
Probably the biggest distinction between the latest Spider-Man movie costume and the costume we saw in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man movies are the web shooters. In Raimi's film, the web shooters were not mechanical, they were organic, and therefore they became something that Peter had to learn to get control of during the film. The Raimi Spider-Man costume also looked more like webbing and less scaly than the costume we see in the latest film. The logo at the center of Spidey's chest is also bigger, wider, and stands out more than it does in the latest movie costume. The back of the costume also features a very large, red spider logo.
The movies weren't the only place where we saw "organic webbing." During Spider-Man: The Other, Spider-Man was bestowed the power to shoot organic webs from his wrists -- just like what we saw on the big screen. This power, however, seemed to have disappeared (along with some other important Spidey events) following BRAND NEW DAY. But we don't have to get into that.
When Peter Parker's clone, Ben Reilly, wore the Scarlet Spider costume, he also had the ability to shoot impact webbing; and in a fight with Venom, the impact webbing is what saved him. While not exactly 'Spider-Man' just yet, Ben wore a completely red costume and a loose blue sweatshirt over his outfit. So 90's.
When Peter retired briefly, Ben created a slightly altered Spider-Man costume as well.
The most recent change to Spider-Man's costume in comics has to be the introduction of Miles Morales. If you're a fan of the Ultimates universe then chances are you're already very well acquainted with Morales' character and costume. Unlike Peter Parker in the 616 universe, the Ultimate universe Spider-Man dons a black and red costume. Like Parker, Morales also has mechanical web shooters that were given to him by his uncle. Morales doesn't just have a different costume, though, he's also got a lot of different powers, too. You can see them on full display in the recently released SPIDER-MEN mini series; a cross over where Miles meets Peter Parker.
Probably the greatest representation of just how many different costumes Spider-Man has had can be seen in the 2010 video game Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions by Activision. The game featured four different universes and accompanying costume designs. Each different universe featured in the gameplay had a completely different feel, the "Noir" universe felt darker, and had more realistic graphics whereas the Ultimate and Amazing universes were bright, colorful -- very similar to the way we see the character in the comics. Yet, those weren't the only versions of Spidey's costumes we got to see. The game also featured a lot of unlock able and downloadable content including the Manga Spider-Man costume, inspired by Japanese art. The game's designers also looked to the comics when making the game, and as a result each Spider-Man costume hoists a different power.
These are only some of the more recent costumes that Spidey has donned over the years, as well as a variety of different gadgets. During the Big Time with Peter working at Horizon Labs, he's developed quite a few more costumes.
In your opinion, which is the most iconic Spider-Man costume? Which costume or incarnation is your favorite?