Sunday, July 1, 2012

My 10 Favorite Spider-Man Looks

Trying something new here, thought it might be interesting...
Does whatever a spider can...
Spider-Man's has had a lot of different looks in his soon-to-be 50 years of publication. Some of these different looks involved simply a wardrobe change, others a transformation and even more actually involved alternate dimensions. Hell, some even included imposters. So here at the sixtyverse we're going to take a look at 10 of my favorite Spider-Man outfits, transformations and over all appearances. Hit the jump, and swing right on in.

10: The (original) Scarlet Spider
I have to admit it, I'm a fan of Ben Reilly. A clone of Peter Parker, the original Spider-Man, who after finding out he himself was the clone, combined and took the names of Uncle Ben, and Aunt May's maiden name. Rumored at one time to be a replacement for Peter, Ben was a love him or hate it kind of guy, and the costume? I wouldn't have included this, but I have to just for the ankle pouches.
It was the 90's - it was required to wear silly pouches.
The costume itself is very 90's. From the angled spider logo across a torn hoodie (yeah, some artists never drew it as an actual hoodie, I know) to the aforementioned ankle pouches, everything about this costume screams 90's to me. It wasn't as overboard as most other costumes that reek of worse of the worse from the dark age of comics, but it does go down as possibly the most boring Spider-Man costume ever. Well, almost ever...

9: Bag Man
Okay, let's up a little hypothetical, shall we? Let's say you're in the role of our favorite wall crawler when you find out your costume turns out to be a horrible alien symbiote. Having turned to the smartest man you know, Mr. Fantastic himself, Reed Richards, you ditch the suit so the big brains can study it, and now you find yourself in a predicament. What do you wear? Well, apparently this:
Who needs a Spectacular Spider-Man when you could have a Bombastic Bag-Man?
I have to admit, I really want to make this the #1 choice on here, just for the realism of it. The Fantastic Four lent Spidey a spare costume, and at the time no member of the Fantastic Four actually wore a mask. Granted he could probably have put on some of the Human Torch's old clothes, and mucked it like all us non-metahumans, but this is Spider-Man. He needs to go out of the house, or the Baxter Building, in this case, in style. Even if it's bad fashion sense, it's still style, and that's why I love it. It was this the first of several FF costumes to be in Spidey's future, but it wasn't my favorite FF costume.

8: Future Foundation
Oh, this is awkward. I haven't read anything with the Future Foundation. I've had to cut back, financially, on things that weren't a necessity some time ago, and new comics was one of those things. As such, I can't actually talk at any length about the team, the occurrences or anything. Only the look. And man, is it one bad ass look.
First Fantastic Four, now Future Foundation? What's next, Final Fantasy?
I'm sorry, but
Spider-Man decked out in white and black is kind of kick ass. It really is. Granted everyone else's costume looks a bit odd, poor Thing up there looks like he's going to a cook-off, but Spidey stays a bit sharp. There's been a few costumes that feel a little close to this one (not pictured: Spidey's Stealth Suit for example, which is now in the hands of another clone, Kaine.) It's got a nice contrast, and it's stark, plus you should always know your heroes from your villains. Heroes wear white, while villains wear black. Like this next costume.

7: The Symbiote/Black Suit
I want you to know I'm cheating. I'm counting more than one costume here. Not that you'd ever know it, by looking at the upcoming picture of course. The first of them being the Symbiote Suit, which was gained during the so-called Secret Wars (the 1984 Secret Wars, not the 2004 Secret War.) Ol' Web Head needed to replace his suit, and well, as has happened to all of us at least once or twice, he ended up with an alien entity that attempted to bond with him. Later Black Cat would sew him a version of the symbiote costume, only made out of simple black cloth instead of a freaky-deaky alien organism, though he would later give it up sometime after the appearance of Venom.
I still wanna see a symbiote suit that makes Spidey look like a clown fish
This is just a classic storyline, and a classic moment in Marvel History, possibly comicdom itself. This costume came out in 1984, I wasn't even old enough yet to read comics, let alone read Dr. Suess, and yet it's still a huge part of my childhood. I should push this up at least in the top 5, but I'm going to be fair. The costume, while stark and very elegant looking, worked fantastically for Spider-Man, shifting around in the dark alleyways of New York City. But then again, it wasn't much to look at, was it? Yeah, a cool spider logo, and the trademark eye markings are great looking, but I honestly can't call it the best. And it certainly can't rank higher the classic we all know and love.

6: The Classic
The classic Spider-Man suit, the one we all know and love, needs no introduction. Though you might argue it's placement here, at number six, you certainly couldn't argue it being on the list. But not in the top five?
Look, to make up for it being #6, I'm showing you two, okay?
Spider-Man's most basic, sought after and iconic look truly is Spider-Man. Any other look, for the most part, looks almost wrong. Every look on this page, save for #1, which you'll see soon enough, just looks off. Nothing should top the classic, but if this was a list of "Best Costumes" instead of "Favorite Costumes" this would certainly be #2.

5: Spider-Lizard
Spider-Man doesn't always just change costumes, as I alluded to earlier sometimes the costumes don't change, he does. This was the case when Spider-Man tried to save Curt Connors, better known as one of Spidey's classic enemies, the Lizard. Spider-Man's blood ended up absorbing radiation from Dr. Connors, which caused Spidey to undergo the same transformations Connor was plagued with. The result is a classic Spider-____ transformation. Though to be fair, I could have put Spider-Hulk here instead.
At least he didn't turn into the Spider-Gibbon
This, I have to say, is really gimmicky, but oh so awesome. The idea of Spider-Man becoming the Lizard, it's just great. There's a long history in comics of turning a hero into a beast of some sort, and often that beast will be some form of animal themed enemy that fights against our hero. It's nothing new, really, but when Spider-Man turns into the Lizard, it somehow feels new. A large part of this was the appeal of the Lizard himself. The costume itself, though it's just the classic costume as if it was worn by the true Lizard, has a great feel to it. I particularly love how it looks on the cover. Though it wasn't the coolest new costume to appear on a cover.

4: Spider-Zombie
In an alternate universe (Earth-2149, for those count track at home) the majority of the Marvel roster underwent a radical change. No, they didn't all become lizards in their own right, nor Spider-Men (ala Spider Island,) instead they became zombies. This is amazing. I love zombies, and not just because of the craze of popularity the genre has received in recent years, no I'm talking about since I was four years old and watched Night of the Living Dead with my father. So of course, I gotta love me some Spider-Zombie.
You're friendly neighborhood Zombie-Man?
Again, it really boils down to the realism of it. The mask being torn open at the mouth, you know, so he can feed and the broken eye visor. What I really enjoyed is the idea that Spider-Man couldn't even look at himself, and he kept the mask on out of shame. While that may seem like a "character portrayal" thing, and not a costume apparel thing, often a costume defines how you see a character. Those small touches really made the Spider-Zombie more charismatic than most of his fellow long pig eaters. Plus, when put in the spot light on a few panels, he was a real ham. But not the hammiest.

3: Peter Porker
Don't you love my segues? Get it? Hammiest? Spider-Ham? Har har, bad joke parade coming on through here, watch out! Spider-Ham, just because of the pun, should be awesome, and he was. He hailed form Earth-8311, where the entire Marvel roster was cast as anthropomorphic animals.
I wonder if One More Dayfly affected his marriage to May Jane Waterbuffalo
I know some of you might be cursing at me right now. Spider-Ham beat out the classic costume, that's what you're probably saying in disbelief. Spider-Ham just wears the classic costume, but has a pig's snout, that can't be right?! Oh, yes it can. It's just a great pun, an awesome caricature and has some awesome art. Face it, the classic costume never had a chance. I apologize, I really do.

2: Radioactive Spider-Man
Ha! What happens when you imbue radioactive material in someone's blood? Do they get super powers? No, not really. Unless you count radioactive burns and rashes, as well as being able to contaminate what you touch a super power. Kind of sounds like a few X-Men though, doesn't it? Well in Earth-9501 that sort of is what happens. Otherwise known as Ruins, this story told a more realistic approach to what happens when someone is contaminated with radioactivity.
Listen bud, he's got radioactive blood
Here Peter Parker was still bitten by a radioactive spider, but that's where the similarities end. I love this look, I really do. It's what the earlier mentioned Kaine should have looked like, if you ask me. And giving it to an alternate version of Peter Parker just revs up the squeamish factor for any long time Spider-Man fan. Well, maybe not. I mean, after the Clone Saga and One More Day, some fans would love to dish out some punishment and neuter Mary Jane's favorite Tiger. It was something we hadn't seen before, and was fairly original. At least for a Spider-Man look.

1: The Real Classic
Wait, what? What do you mean "real" classic? Well, there's really two 'classic' Spider-Man looks. Depending on your interpretation of the art, what is generally known as the 'classic' (IE: red and blue look) might not be the original, nor the defining costume our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man has worn. You see, he used to be decked out in red and black. The coloring style at the time generally used, call it, four colors. Blacks were often given definition by highlighting them in blue. If you scale up to the symbiote/black costume above, you'll see what I mean. Plus he had gliding wings under his arm pits. That was just cool.
Don't give me any crap about how that's blue. It's not. It's black, highlighted in blue. Or a blueish grey, but either way, this is the true Spider-Man look, the very best. At least if you ask me. The web gliders under the arms, I always loved those. Sure they wouldn't work at all, but I still love it. To be honest, I've always cared for the smaller eyes on the mask as well, but that could just be me. It works on costumes like the symbiote suit, but I think it works best when they're smaller, like with this costume.

And that's all I have to say about that. If anyone actually reads this and has an opinion, by all means comment away. Share your own favorite costumes or looks for Spider-Man while your at it. Oh, and before I go...

Spider-Man is a property of Marvel Comics Inc, all rights reserved and I do not own, in any way, any of the images above.

P.S. like Spider-Man? Then check out Back at The Lab's retrospect on the Clone Saga, and check out some of Norphen's other posts while you're at it.

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