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Take 10: Spider-Man Costumes

The Wallcrawler’s most wondrous wardrobe changes

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Every week, a secret cabal of Marvel staffers gathers to discuss the best of the best when it comes to the House of Ideas. They say the clothes make the man, and since 1962 they've been making Peter Parker the Spider-Man. Spidey may not swap threads as often as Iron Man changes armors, but he's no Captain America, wearing more or less the same union suit for seven decades. Nope, the Web-Slinger likes to switch it up every now and again, and some would argue that a couple of his variant duds outshine the original red and blue togs. Did the Secret Cabal come to that conclusion? Read on and see what Spider-Man costumes they picked as their top ten of all time! For each outfit you get the quick rundown as well as a special spotlight comic courtesy of Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited. As always, these picks reflect the personal choices of the Secret Cabal, not the official opinion of Marvel or Marvel.com, and can be considered subjective at best. Enjoy!
 

10. PETER PORKER First Appearance: MARVEL TAILS #1 (1983) Last Seen In: ULTIMATE CIVIL WAR: SPIDER-HAM #1 (2007) Worn Because: A pig with spider powers needed a costume. Why It Makes The List: "He's shorter, stouter, and, um, porkier. He's Peter Porker, Spectacular Spider-Ham! And he has a snout and a curly tail, so don't judge what's inside the costume, judge the costume itself, kids. This week, at least…" – Secret Cabal member RunawayJ Spotlight Comic: ULTIMATE CIVIL WAR: SPIDER-HAM #1—Peter Porker returns to solve the mystery of the missing thought balloons!

9. SPIDER ARMOR First Appearance: WEB OF SPIDER-MAN #100 (1993) Last Seen In: WEB OF SPIDER-MAN #100 (1993) Worn Because: Spidey needed extra protection in the midst of a gang war. Why It Makes The List: "The Spider Armor is the Spider-Man equivalent of empty calories. It's totally a guilty pleasure and yes, we know it makes no sense for a character centered on speed and agility to be weighed down by a bulky metal costume…but c'mon—it's so shiny! The Armor didn't stick around longer than one specifically targeted adventure, so we can forgive its impracticality and merely bask in its wonderful excess." – Secret Cabal member Annihilator882 Spotlight Comic: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN v1 #9—Peter Parker conducts an early experiment in armoring up to take on Electro!

8. FANTASTIC FOUR COSTUME WITH BAG MASK First Appearance: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #258 (1984) Last Seen In: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #258 (1984) Worn Because: After ditching his alien symbiote with the help of the FF, Peter Parker needed a change of clothes. Why It Makes The List: "You've got this alien parasite that acts as a substitute for everything you wear—so what do you do when Mr. Fantastic separates the nasty thing from your body and you're just standing there naked? You grab a spare Fantastic Four costume and a paper bag, of course! It's the ultimate disguise! I mean, the worst thing that could happen is that people think you're the Thing's brother and you're hiding some kind of grotesque disfigurement under that bag, right? – Secret Cabal member HeartOfOak Spotlight Comic: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #258—Spider-Man must seek the help of the Fantastic Four to fend off his alien costume gone bad!

7. RICOCHET First Appearance: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #434 (1998) Last Seen In: Currently worn by a second Ricochet Worn Because: Suspected for murder, Spider-Man adopted four alternate identities, including Ricochet. Why It Makes The List: "There's a reason Ricochet remains semi-active in the Marvel Universe as one of the Loners while his Slingers teammates toil mostly in obscurity or death…well, there are a few reasons, but his rad costume is certainly one of them. The three quarter face mask that covers facial features while letting the costume's wearer's hair to fly free provides a unique and modern look while the leather jacket adorned with throwing discs makes for a nice functional addition. When the Slingers pilfered Spider-Man's wardrobe, Johnny Gallo struck the jackpot while Dusk got caught swinging." – Annihilator882 Spotlight Comic: THE LONERS #2—Find out what Ricochet does on his day off in sunny California!

6. BEN REILLY First Appearance: SENSATIONAL SPIDER-MAN v1 #0 (1996) Last Seen In: PETER PARKER: SPIDER-MAN #75 (1996) Worn Because: Taking over the role of Spider-Man from Peter Parker, Ben wanted to add his own touch. Why It Makes The List: "A new take on an old classic, Ben Reilly did a little revamp on Peter Parker's iconic costume before hitting the streets as Spider-Man. He added a bigger spider, did a little rearranging of the ol' red and blue and tossed the web shooters on the outside. All this together gave a fresh new look to everyone's friendly neighborhood web-swinger while still preserving the spirit of the original get-up. And if you like this costume, you should check out AMAZING SPIDER-GIRL—what's that they say about fashion going in cycles?" – Secret Cabal member Mercury552 Spotlight Comic: SPIDER-GIRL #44—Peter Parker recounts the story of Ben Reilly to his daughter May, aka Spider-Girl!

5. SCARLET SPIDER First Appearance: WEB OF SPIDER-MAN #118 (1994) Last Seen In: SPECTACULAR SCARLET SPIDER #2 (1995) Worn Because: Ben Reilly needed a super-heroic look of his own when he decided to join Spider-Man as a wallcrawling wonder. Why It Makes The List: "When Peter Parker still had dibs on the Spider-Man identity but Ben Reilly wanted to do some webswinging of his own, the Scarlet Spider was born. With some new colors and a hoodie over the classic super hero spandex, Ben took his design to the streets. And don't forget the bold move of un-centering his spider symbol, a definite super-fashion risk. Short-lived though it may have been, the Scarlet Spider duds still stand as a bold take on the iconic costume." – Mercury552 Spotlight Comic: SPIDER-GIRL #46—In the future world of Spider-Girl, a new Scarlet Spider appears!

4. IRON SPIDER First Appearance: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #529 (2006) Last Seen In: Currently worn by the Scarlet Spiders in AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE Worn Because: Tony Stark provided Peter Parker with a new, hi-tech costume during the latter's internship under the cool exec with a heart of steel. Why It Makes The List: "A new body deserves a new costume, or at least that was Tony Stark's idea after Peter Parker came back from the 'dead,' following 'The Other.' Swapping out Spider-Man's trademark red and blue for Iron Man's own red and gold, Stark brought Spidey into the 21st century with bullet-proofing, glide-functionality and a stealth-mode, not to mention that 'butt-kicking' button. Throw in three mechanical arms Doc Ock would be envious of and you've got a very different kind of Spidey with a world of possibilities before him." – Mercury552 Spotlight Comic: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #530—Spidey takes his fancy new suit out for a test ride around New York City!

3. SPIDER-MAN 2099 First Appearance: SPIDER-MAN 2099 #1 (1992) Last Seen In: EXILES #100 (2008) Worn Because: Given spider-like abilities following an experiment gone horribly wrong, Miguel O'Hara decided to become the Spider-Man of the year 2099. Why It Makes The List: "Give it up for dystopian futures! Remember back in the '50s when the world expected jet-packs and flying cars in the future? They were so wrong! It's all about the bleak, grimy future scenarios whereupon the world's controlled by giant, evil corporations. And you can't have a future like that without a totally kickass looking hero! While the 2099 line had its ups and downs, Spider-Man 2099 delivered on cool 100 percent of the time, particularly with a costume that completely flipped the script on the traditional Spidey motif while keeping the vibe alive. Go Miguel O'Hara, go!" – Secret Cabal member Agent M Spotlight Comic: SPIDER-MAN 2099 #1—Miguel O'Hara becomes the Spider-Man of 2099!

2. BLACK COSTUME First Appearance: SECRET WARS #8 (1984) Last Seen In: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #543 (2007) Worn Because: On the Battleworld during Secret Wars, Spider-Man found an alien costume that responded to his thoughts and modeled itself after the look of then-Spider-Woman Julia Carpenter. Later, after getting rid of the alien, Spidey decided to keep a cloth version of the suit. Still later, after his Aunt May gets shot, the Webslinger donned the black duds to match his darker attitude. Why It Makes The List: "It's sleek, it's sexy and originally it was alien. Spidey's black suit took the simple approach, slapping a big white spider across the back and chest and calling it a costume. Bringing with it an attitude and a coolness all its own, this suit not only drove the ladies nuts, but also helped to hide those extra pounds put on from eating too many of Aunt May's muffins. A fan favorite to this day, you can't help but be impressed by a costume so awesome it became its own character." – Mercury552 Spotlight Comic: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #252—Back from Battleworld, the Wallcrawler debuts his bold new look!

1. ORIGINAL COSTUME First Appearance: AMAZING FANTASY #15 (1962) Last Seen In: Currently worn in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN Worn Because: Wanting to make it in the flashy world of professional wrestling, Peter Parker created a colorful costume to accentuate his persona. Why It Makes The List: "There's no doubting that Spidey's classic costume is at the pinnacle of super hero fashion. Despite alien redesigns, Tony Stark upgrades and a slew of variant editions, Spider-Man always seems to find his way back into his old duds. At this point the costume has reached an iconic level. And to think, Peter Parker sewed it together when he was only 15—who says Home Ec class is for losers? The only question that remains, then, is webbed armpits or no webbed armpits?" – Mercury552 Spotlight Comic: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #301—After an attack by Venom sours Mary Jane on the black costume, Spidey returns to the classic red and blue!

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