In celebration of everyone’s favorite web-head, July is Spectacular Spider-Month at AiPT!. We have a series of amazing articles in store for the month. Movies, television, gaming, and of course comics will all be covered with great responsibility as we honor one of comics’ greatest heroes.
Ah, Peter Parker, Marvel’s most fashionable insect man. From the iconic red and blue to armors MK I through III, to more than one Fantastic Four costume, Parker has had as many suits as he has reboots. Between crime-fighting, Daily Bugle reporting, MJ-dating, and Aunt May doting where does he find the time? We’ll never know (maybe stitching comes with the web-weaving territory?) but that doesn’t stop myself, Manga Editor Eric Cline, Podcast Host, contributor Nathan Simmons, and Comics podcast cost and AiPT! Content Manager, Dave Brooke from rating some of his best and worst looks of all time in Spectacular Spider-Month’s first Fashion Friday! Which will come out on top? Find out below!
For the purposes of our ranking, alternative universe Peter Parkers that do not take the form of a different character with the same name (William Braddock, Spider-Man U.K.) are included in this poll even if they have variations on spelling or origin such as Spider-Man 1602.
Classic Red and Blue
Forrest: Do I have any idea what red and blue have to do with being a spider let alone a spider-man? No. Do I like the suit anyways? Yes, of course. Iconographic without being garish, this is a classic for a reason and it looks just as good in the generic form as it does iterated upon (as we’ll soon see!) 8/10
Eric: A long-lasting classic for a reason. The colors work, the webbing lines work, and the eyes on the mask are very expressive. 8/10
Nathan: What more can you say? It’s one of the most enduring superhero costumes of all time. Basically perfect, right out of the gate. 10/10
Dave: I still remember seeing Wizard Magazine rank every superhero costume. Spider-Man won then (must have been in the ’90s) and it wins today. It’s equally complex and simple (those little web details are amazing yet the color contrast is on point). Plus it’s the colors of America! 10/10
Forrest: While the story it was born out of isn’t a good one, this is my most favorite superhero costume of all time. Unlike the previous suit, everything here is boiled down to the bare essentials: a stark spider icon, and a nice physique. Knowing that this eventually turns into the Venom storyline helps all the more. 10/10.
Eric: Sleek and cool, though all the real pizzazz just comes from the spider logo. 7/10
Nathan: As a toddler, I knew this suit from my action figure of it first. I thought it was the coolest I still do. There’s something strangely more intimidating about this suit on Peter. He doesn’t need the muscles and fangs; he’ll wreck you anyway. 9/10
Dave: The costume is simple, sleek, and just right for fighting crime late at night. Honestly, it makes more sense than even Batman’s costumes for fighting crime. The only negative in my mind is it’s a touch too simple hence why there have been so many variations on it. 9/10
The Bombastic Bag-Man
Forrest: It’s funny, but it isn’t really a good or engaging costume yeah? I love it for its tenacity, and catching it in various video games or one offs is good for a laugh, nothing more. 5/10
Eric: A solid gag costume. 7/10
Nathan: Ah, yes. The Spider-Man costume I would wear if I were a superhero. I first became aware of this one back in 2000 when it was an unlockable suit in the Spider-Man PlayStation game. I always thought it was a joke, so when I finally saw this on a page a few years after, my jaw dropped. And not in the best way. Still, there are times when a wallcrawler has to make do. My rating doesn’t reflect the quality, but rather how much affection I have for it. 7/10
Dave: I echo Eric as it’s a gag costume, but not much more. It’s iconic though that’s for sure. 1/10
Future Foundation (Fantastic Four)
Forrest: Somebody liked Anti-Venom! But hey, so do I. I like how this retains the immediate recognizability of Spidey while also changing it up quite a bit. I think we’d be better off just leaving the sides all black, though. The segments don’t add much and were probably a pain to draw. 8/10
Dave: I’ve always loved this costume and while it somewhat reminds you of Spider-Man’s Ghost Rider look (see below) the cut away black strips and angular nature reminds me of a science-y shape like a double helix. 9/10
Eric: This is a solid, clean design all around. My issue is that nothing about it feels especially creative. It’s just, yep, a white and black Spidey suit. 6/10
Nathan: I’m with Eric on this one, although I actually do dig the segmented bits. They’re the closest the suit has to a spider web pattern. 7/10
Forrest: The concept is awesome but the execution is atrocious. It’s so over the top and while there’s an attempt at keeping Spider-Man in there with the mask, I think it’s lost in all the other stuff. Miles rocked it much better in Spider-Geddon (spoilers!) 4/10.
Eric: This is one I like because of how out there it is. The fact that he still has that teeny bit of webbing on the mask is fun. 7/10
Nathan: I’ve always dug the conceit of Captain Universe much more than the execution. This costume always puzzled me with its decision to leave just the mouth the same as normal. His face ends up looking like Imperfect Cell from Dragon Ball Z. 5/10
Dave: I love the subtle red mask peeking out. The design itself screams, “Superpowered, watch out!” Gotta love the cosmic energy fists too. 7/10
Spider Armor MK I
Forrest: Remember the ’90s? Spider Armor MK I does. It’s actually only around in the comics for a very short amount of time, but the impact is kind of immeasurable and I do love catching all the various iterations and gags (2099 literally digging it out of his closet). It’s always felt much more Mortal Kombat or TMNT to me than Spider-Man in the end, though. 5/10.
Eric: A decent suit. The armor provides the opportunity for some great shading with light reflecting off of it. 7/10
Nathan: I always loved this one from its ToyBiz action figure and brief appearance in the ’90s cartoon, so that’s usually what I usually associate it with. Like Eric said, it opens itself up for some really sytlish imagery. I love the glare that seems to come straight out of the eye lenses, but so much of this is likely pure nostalgia talking. 6/10
Dave: I’ve always disliked this costume! It’s stiff and odd looking. I guess it’s going for a samurai armor thing? I dislike it. 2/10
Forrest: Nah. I think it looks much better in the movies than it does here, but the gold really doesn’t feel in line with Peter’s ethos to me at all. While the arms are immensely cool, and lean into the spider angle well, in the end Tony made a suit for him and that’s how it looks. 4/10.
Eric: I really dig the concept of the big honkin’ mechanical arms, but the rest of the suit itself is just kind of average. 6/10
Nathan: Another suit that I love aesthetically, but not from a storytelling perspective. Pete’s reasons for joining up with Tony never really jived with me, though I like the suit more here than I did in the movies. The mechanical arms really open it up for some of Pete’s coolest poses ever. 6/10
Dave: It upsets me knowing this is the armor a lot of younger people look at and love since they were the right age for it. It’s just so far removed from the classic look it doesn’t make sense. Like if Iron Man was Spider-Man, but in this case he forced it on Peter. The arms are cool, admittedly. 6/10
PS4 Advanced Suit
Forrest: I personally love this. I think it’s a really fashion forward as well as practical design that sits itself soundly between bold and sleek. Are you honestly going to tell me that Peter never thought about putting some goddang padding on his vital organs? No, you aren’t! Doing so in the same way a BMX rider might makes perfect sense and that white detailing works perfectly in the color scheme and looks great in motion. 10/10
Eric: A slightly modified take on a classic that works quite well. It all looks streamlined, and the use of white for the emblem helps it pop a lot more than when it’s done in black. 9/10
Nathan: This one’s tough, because I’m not totally in love with the design, but like Eric mentioned, it pops like wild when playing the video game. I do love the seams on the shoulders that give it a bit more of a sporty look. It’s a solid way of showing that this game is a newer take on the mythology. 8/10
Dave: I don’t hate this costume, but the white adds too much to the original design. I will say I enjoy the way the red gets cut out by the blue giving it an angular armor look. 8/10
Forrest: Louder for the people in the back: “REMEMBER THE ’90S?!” Which is to say, this is a lot. Too much. Although not as bad as later iterations which give Peter a tech mustache. Points for no techstache, deductions for everything else including but not limited to unnecessary leg bandage. 2/10.
Eric: Hell f----n’ yeah. 10/10
Nathan: OOF. The most ’90s thing to ever ’90s its way into the ’90s. But the sheer excess does make me laugh. 4/10
Dave: I never liked how the eyepatch kinda just droops over the eye. It threw the whole thing off as it looks impossible. 3/10
Forrest: Man, for being the Spectacular Spider-Month coordinator, I feel like the mean judge but I’m just going to lean into liking what I like and meaning it. I think this is an example of taking the spider motif a little too far for my tastes, so much so that it kind of starts to not look like a spider anymore. I love the color scheme and the cape, but I also think those are done better elsewhere like 2099’s suit. 5/10
Eric: I like how far this goes in terms of not just being the usual. The colors pop well in how they’re laid out, and I like how dramatic the webbing is. 8/10
Nathan: The suit that dared to ask the question, “What if Spider-Man was Batman Beyond?” The result? A pretty dope suit in a pretty rotten cartoon. I really liked this design back in the day, especially with its similarities to the 2099 suit. While the cape doesn’t necessarily work for me now, I like the color scheme and the massive Ben Reilly-style logo on the chest. 7/10
Dave: It’s like the original costume was turned inside out and then all the detail was smudged off. Blah! 4/10
Forrest: Nathan made a comment higher up about Bagman being the suit he would wear if he was Spidey, and I think this is that for me. You try to emulate the characters you like in a real world sense as best you can, and I’ll admit to picking up some red and blue sneakers, a Parker-esque backpack, and some semblance of nerdy tee to do just that like here. It’s not particularly inspired, but it works in a really earnest way. 9/10
Eric: Very simple and cute. It feels streamlined, but with just enough unique touches to make it stand out from the pack. The arm bandages, gauntlets, and backpack all work for me. 9/10
Nathan: I like this one! It has a very “thank god I was wearing all of these matching colors when I decided to fight evil” feel to it, which matches up with how much this version of Spidey often finds himself on his own, even against his own family. The backpack is a cute touch, too. 8/10
Dave: It’s the tape on the arms that make this for me. The backpack helps too, but you get the idea this is a thrown together look for fighting and no nonsense. 8/10
Forrest: Hornet, Ricochet and all the other stuff has never been my favorite Spidey fare, but it’s definitely interesting. I like the weird static texture of the torso segments and the leather jacket is a must for any edgy look. Still nothing to write home about, though. 6/10
Eric: Silver booty shorts, a theatrical mask, and embellished jacket with his initial all over the arms? It’s a toot from me. 9/10
Nathan: I will always appreciate that Pete colored his hair to fully pull off this edge-tastic LEWK. 6/10
Dave: Jackets should not be allowed on costumes! That said, I do dig those gold discs. 5/10
Forrest: Now this is edgy done right. The outward facing stitching is pitch-perfect, I’ve already admitted to being a sucker for a good jacket and I own those boots. Somewhere between every Mignola character and Tim Burton, it’s a great, simple look that should get a lot more attention. 10/10
Eric: It’s very simple, but the streamlined use of all black works. The long jacket and goggles are the best elements here. 8/10
Nathan: I. Love. This. Suit. A friend of mine says it looks like a beetle, but he looks like one, so shut up. I love the homemade, back alley brawl feel of it, especially the kind of aviator-looking goggles. 10/10
Dave: This is like a Halloween version of Spider-Man which I dig. The stitching makes it look homemade and the jacket is tight enough that it looks as if it’s stitched in too. The goggles are reminiscent of the classic Catwoman costume too. It all makes sense! 9/10
Forrest: Eh. Sure, it works for the time period but unlike Noir I think it leans a little too hard into the original motifs to really feel unique or important. Points for trying, but I think we haven’t seen this around much for a reason. 5/10
Eric: Hell yeah. I love silly s--t like this. It works well enough as a whole, but the frilly neckpiece and the open eyes on his mask send it over the top for me. 8/10
Nathan: Yet another suit that I would 100% wear. I like the frilly collar and the waistcoat that looks almost like it could be armored. It looks super uncomfortable, which makes it all the more impressive that Peter Parquagh is jumping around town in it. 8/10
Dave: Oh, wherefore art thou Spider-Man? It’s a cute look (and kind of reminds me of the Morlun and his goons), but it’s too simplistic for my tastes. 5/10
Forrest: This Spider-Man listens to Disturbed on public transportation via bluetooth speaker. Do love that he put a lil skull in his logo so he can skull while he skulls, though. 2/10
Eric: This looks neat as a skin on the PS4 game, but otherwise…it’s not actually doing much besides just having the skull. But hey, skulls are fun. 7/10
Nathan: I think it’s okay if we forget that THIS Ghost-Spider ever happened. Gwen’s got this covered. But yes, skulls are fun. 2/10
Dave: I echo what Eric said it’s just way too simple. The blue flame is definitely rad, but it’s so not Spider-Man it could be anybody. 2/10
Winner: Spider-Man Noir
Chalk it up to the recent success of Into the Spider-Verse, the perpetual popularity of goth looks (I have Sisters of Mercy on while I edit this very post!), the fact that black will always be the new black, or anything else you’d like but you can’t deny Noir’s steez. Edging out the classic red and blue by just one point — 37 to 36 — he’s our winner, and while I have a feeling he couldn’t care less, he’s got baddies to beat around after all, we’re certainly glad to have him!
Thank you for joining AiPT! during Spectacular Spider-Month! Be sure to check back in every day for more Spider-Man content including interviews, features, opinions, and more!