There’s no costume more iconic in the Marvel Universe than Spider-Man’s, and yet there are so many different variations of it, no doubt because he’s so popular. The wall crawler has used a variety of costumes for different circumstances that require a change in look.
What’s interesting is how Marvel and others have utilized this trend in things like video games, where Spider-Man’s different skins can be customized to fit whatever is a favorite look. He has so many in fact, sometimes it’s important to take a step back and appreciate them all.
10) Secret War
When Nick Fury asks a bunch of superheroes to conduct a secretive and illegal operation in Latvia, he comes up with a brilliant plan to give the heroes different suits so that they can’t be recognized. Unfortunately, it’s not all that brilliant, as they all relatively look the same, but the suits are definitely awesome.
They look like a mixture of superheroes and special forces, and like usual, Spider-Man’s is a standout of the bunch. It still keeps some of the same colors with a splash of red and blue, but the suit is primarily black to go with the secret nature of their mission. It’s a drastic change from Spidey’s standard look, but the classic spider symbol makes it clear who is underneath the webs.
9) Spider-Man 2099
The 2099 universe was an experiment in reimagining Marvel characters in the futuristic yet edgy atmosphere. The design of 2099 Spider-Man really took this to a whole new level as the spider symbol on his chest became stylized more like a skull.
Very little elements of the original Spider-Man remain. This Spider-Man, who is actually Miguel O’Hara, has a much more vicious yet sleek looking costume, including spikes on his elbows. It’s changed a bit over the years, but it still remains a fan favorite to this day.
8) Superior Spider-Man
It was a controversial move when Otto Octavius took over Peter Parker’s body, and of course, Otto would want to have his own suit. A big difference are the eyes, which protrude a bit more and have more definition.
The color scheme is a bit different as well with a lot more black to it. It’s darker to represent Otto’s more sinister personality, and even contains some hi-tech adjustments like wrist gauntlets and extra spider legs similar to Otto’s tentacles. But overall, this suit has come to represent this bizarre period in Spider-Man’s life and fans will always remember it for that.
7) House of M
Even though the storyline wasn’t directly about him, Spider-Man was severely impacted by the events of House of M. He had been down on his luck so much that it was interesting to see him finally get the life he always wanted.
Because of that, the basic tones of his suit remain the same, and yet still, the redesign is fairly drastic from what fans are used to. A big change is the fact his classic spider logo now has webs, as well. For the most part, this suit has not been seen outside the House of M universe, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t deserve respect.
6) Spider-Man Noir
The Noir line of comics had some fairly suitable adaptations such as The Punisher and X-Men. Yet for some reason, it was Spider-Man Noir that resonated most with fans. And no doubt, the costume had something to do with it.
From a story standpoint, Spider-Man Noir is way different than the Peter Parker fans are familiar with. He’s darker and his origin story is more supernatural. He has traditional goggles for the eyes and a trench coat to go with the detective style of his vigilantism. The gun is also a big change, but his costume is the perfect blend of the Spidey fans know and noir flavor.
5) Ben Reilly Spider-Man
Ben Reilly wasn’t the most popular character when he debuted way back when, and he has had a roller coaster of a ride, but the biggest highlight of his career was when Peter Parker retired the role of Spider-Man to him. The Clone storyline would never truly pay off, but Reilly’s costume was one of the highlights.
Now that he was officially Marvel’s wall crawler, Ben Reilly had a very different kind of suit to go with it. The similarities are subtle, including a much larger spider logo on the chest, but it was definitely a suit that Reilly owned as his own. What’s even doubly impressive is that his niece in an alternate future adopted it to become Spider-Girl.
4) Future Foundation
The Future Foundation represented a significant shift in both Spider-Man and Fantastic Four storylines. To accompany this shift, a change in costumes was needed for both characters. The biggest change was that Spidey’s color scheme is completely gone, replaced by a stark white and black approach. Also interestingly is that he took the hexagon approach the team has and incorporated that into his spider logo.
Even though Spider-Man has had many different suits over the years, very few have actually been a uniform that’s part of a team. The Future Foundation suits have come to represent this more than any other, as it really shows Spider-Man was a part of something when he wore it.
3) Iron Spider
The best Spider-Man suits are ones that come about because of a certain storyline. The Iron Spider exists because of Civil War and how Spider-Man sided with Iron Man. This is probably why the suit has Iron Man’s traditional yellow and red colors, which is a big change from Spidey’s normal red, white, and blue.
Besides being technologically advanced with spider legs protruding from the back, the Iron Spider has also came to represent Peter’s mistake during that story. He was torn in two directions, and the suit, along with his original, reflected the turmoil in his inner character.
2) The Symbiote Suit
There is never been a better, yet more drastic redesign in superhero history than Spider-Man’s black symbiote suit. It was so simple as a stark black suit, yet so iconic at the time, and it was made even more interesting that it reflected also a change in his character. The spider logo was much different, and came to be synonymous with the character Venom. In fact, only Spidey’s eyes remain the same from the original.
It was so well liked that he continued wearing it even after ditching the symbiote. Of course, it would have to go upon Venom’s arrival, but the black suit has reemerged from time to time for various stories. It was also one of the boldest creative decisions in comic history.
1) Ultimate Spider-Man
It’s strange that when Marvel decided to reboot the entire universe they chose to leave Spider-Man’s suit alone, especially when they completely reinvented the Green Goblin. But, it makes sense as to why they did it. The original Spider-Man costume is iconic and brilliant.
There are some subtle changes that Ultimate universe fans can point out. The eyes are more pronounced, not to mention Spider-Man’s body type has changed as well. He’s not so much a “man,” as he was during his initial appearance, as he is a more of typical teenager. This Spider-Man is lankier and skinnier, creating the ideal image of a child superhero that many Spider-Man fans of a generation have come to appreciate.