Welcome to the next edition of Spider-Style! The first time around, we looked at the 15 best Spider-Man costumes outside the world of comics. This time around, we’re taking a look at some of the best alternate Spider-Man Spider costumes. That is to say, any individual wearing the webs that may (or may not) be the Peter Parker we all know and love.
So basically, if it’s not 616 Peter Parker in sound mind and/or body, he or she can be included on this list as a subject of our fashion policing. There are quite a few Spideys out there who meet that criteria, of course, but these are our personal favorites. With the highly-contentious “Clone Saga” swinging through the pages of the Spider-Books at the time of this list’s writing, there’s really only one place to start…
15. Scarlet Spider (Ben Reilly)
Ah, the Clone Saga. Never has such a Spidey tale wrought such havoc in the hearts of all Spider-Fans great and small. Making his debut all the way back in 1975 in “The Amazing Spider-Man” #149, Peter Parker’s then unnamed cloned was left for dead, after battling the one true Spider-Man, Peter Parker. Fast forward almost 20 years later (that would be five years in comic book time), and the clone, now going by the name of Ben Reilly, returns to make his presence known to Spider-Man and the world in “The Clone Saga.”
Imbued with all of Peter Parker’s powers (and memories), Ben Reilly took on the mantle of the Scarlet Spider. To fight crime his own way, Ben dons a pretty awful (but let’s be honest, equally iconic) plain red bodysuit, spider mask and sleeveless blue hoodie. This being the mid-90s, accruements were expected and Ben did not disappoint with external webshooter bracelets, a utility belt and the oh-so necessary pouches on his ankles.
14. Spider-Man (Ben Reilly)
Ben Reilly hung onto that wanna-be Scarlet Spider costume look for sometime. That is, until Peter Parker asked him to take over his web patrol so that he and Mary Jane Watson could move forward and start a family of their own.
Rather than just wear the classic Spider-Man suit, Ben decided the look needed an infusion… of the Scarlet Spider variety, to be precise. And that’s exactly what Peter Parker’s clone did (or was it the other way around?). Using the iconic Spider-Man costume as a base, Ben Reilly’s Spider Suit featured a torso-sized spider atop a red, webbed background, a classic Spider-Man webbed mask, and navy blue sleeves and pants. Gone were the red, webbed boots of the classic Spider-Man costume; added instead were the Scarlet Spider’s external webshooter bracelets.
As far as costumes go, it’s not too bad a look. If not for the oversized spider and bracelet webshooters he was very clearly so fond of, the suit would’ve been a nice update to the original iconic costume. At least he ditched those ankle pouches. Savvy choice, Benjamin.
Hailing all the way from Earth-982 comes the teenaged daughter of Peter Parker and Mary Jane, May “Mayday” Parker. Making her Marvel Comics’ debut in “What If…” #105 Vol 2, Spider-Girl was part of a new imprint published by Marvel Comics in the late ’90s called MC2 (Marvel Comics 2).
In a future alternative timeline of the MCU, where Peter Parker is crippled (losing his leg in battle) and retired from his chores as Spider-Man, MayDay would begin to exhibit her father’s powers around the age of 15. While her parents at first weren’t very supportive of her wanting to continue Peter’s work, they would soon acquiesce to her heroic desires.
Mayday would don the costume of Ben Reilly’s Spider-Man, with very little variation between the two suits, other than it being modified to fit a teenaged girl instead of a grown man. And while it didn’t work so well on Ben Reilly, the suit is far better suited (get it?) for Mayday, possibly owing to the fact that it didn’t have to ask for as much real estate to cover Mayday as it did for Ben.
Back in the crazy, hazy days of the mid-90s, DC and Marvel got together and finally produced what was (and still is) every fanboy’s dream: the mythical “DC vs. Marvel” (or “Marvel vs. DC,” depending on which issue of the mini-series we’re referring to). A four-issue mini-series, co-published by both companies, “DC vs. Marvel” saw the heroes (and villains) of both universes finally throw down.
In an interesting turn of events, the DC and Marvel universes would combine after issue three of the mini-series, into what became known as the Amalgam Universe. Captain America and Superman were combined to become the Super Patriot; Batman and Wolverine would merge into Dark Claw; and Spider-Man and Superboy were mashed together to become Peter Ross, Spider-Boy.
Spider-Boy’s costume was a true amalgamation of Spidey and Superboy’s looks at the time, complete with leather jacket, plenty of leg straps, pouches and the spider symbol inside the all-too familiar Superman diamond. Alas, the Amalgam Universe, along with Spider-Boy, weren’t long for this world, and with the fourth and final issue of the mini-series, the comic universes were resurrected back into their former ways, along with the heroes.
11. Scarlet Spider (Kaine)
Before there was Ben Reilly, there was Kaine. The first clone of Peter Parker created by the Jackal, Kaine would quickly become mentally unstable, and develop deformities due to problems in the cloning process. Seeing the clone as a failure, the Jackal disposed of Kaine, improved the cloning process and created Ben Reilly.
But that would not be the last we would heard from Kaine. Over the years, he would wander the streets of New York, rearing his head from time to time to cause Pete some brother-clone angst. In 2011, Kaine would turn things around and adopted the identity of the Scarlet Spider from his deceased clone brother, Ben Reilly. That’s where the Scarlet Spider association would end. Kaine’s costume would be a complete departure from Ben’s, only sharing the large spider eyes on the mask. A red bodysuit with a black spider and black mask, Kaine’s Scarlet Spider suit would feature yet another departure from all previous spider-suits, Red spider eyes.
Kaine would go on to meet his maker in the pages of “Spider-Verse,” but as everyone knows, you can’t keep a good spider down. Kaine marks his return in 2016 in the pages of “Dead No More: The Clone Conspiracy” story arc.
10. Spider-Man 2211
Coming to us all the way from the 23rd century, and Earth-9500, is TimeSpinner, Max Borne. Part of the temporal police (also known as the Timespinners), Max Borne is charged with overseeing a team that prevents disruptions in the time stream. Created by Peter David and the late Mike Wieringo, Max Borne made his Marvel Comics debut in the pages of 1995’s “Spider-Man 2099 meets Spider-Man.” Borne would travel back in time, and into the main time stream, to help Spidey and Spider-Man 2099 defeat the dimension-hopping Hobgoblin of 2211.
While for the most part keeping the color scheme of the iconic Spidey Suit, Max Borne’s costume was more akin to Doc Ock, featuring four mentally-controlled mechanical arms. Comprised of a blue bodysuit, red gloves and an oversized red spider on the torso, Borne’s costume also featured a helmet with multiple visual sensors, giving it a look of a spider’s head. Spider-Man 2211’s tale is a sad one, though, as he was killed by the Chameleon of 2211. Those 2211s are a troubled lot.
9. Blood Spider
Part of a trio of super-villains trained by the Taskmaster (that included Captain America and Hawkeye analogues, Death-Shield and Jagged Bow) to take on our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, Michael Bingham became known as the villainous Blood Spider.
Created by David Michelinie, Mark Bagley and Jerry Bingham, Blood Spider made his Marvel Comics debut in October 1992 in the pages of “The Amazing Spider-Man” #367. Not nearly as strong as Spider-Man, Blood Spider still displayed some superhuman strength, like the ability to shatter a concrete wall. Blood Spider’s costume, very similar in design to Venom’s, consisted of a navy bodysuit with an oversized spider (reminiscent of what would become the emblem on Ben Reilly’s Spider-Man suit several years later), and a partial webbed mask with large spider eyes. Blood Spider’s suit also had a fairly inconvenient backpack with an attached webshooter, that allowed Bingham to shoot webbing similar to Peter Parker’s webbing, minus the strength and durability, of course.
Yet another of the Jackal’s Peter Parker clones, Spidercide began his life believing himself to be the one true Peter Parker, and spent much of his time trying to convince Mary Jane that he actually was Pete. Of course, the whole thing was a ruse perpetrated by the Jackal. This clone of Pete had special abilities beyond those of the original, however, namely the ability to shape-shift. He was also genetically programmed by the Jackal to kill Peter Parker, Ben Reilly, Kaine and MJ; to cause a “spidercide,” if you will.
Created by Tom DeFalco and Sal Buscema, Spidercide (also known as “Freakface”) made his comic debut in “The Spectacular Spider-Man” #22 back in March of 1995. Spidercide’s suit is a simplified version of the iconic Spider-Man costume. Featuring a reversal of colors, the suit has blue over the shoulders, down the arms and torso with the red traveling down the opposite sides of the torso and onto the legs. A few other interesting deviations of Spidercide’s suit include a lack of webbing throughout and blue boots with a red stripe running throughout. Perhaps the biggest difference between Spidercide’s suit and all of its predecessors, however, was the inclusion of a mouth opening in the “mask.” No muffled voice for this bad guy.
7. Steel Spider
Starting off his career as Kid Ock, Ollie Osnick idolized Otto Octavius, also known as Doctor Octopus. After a run-in with Spider-Man, good ol’ Ollie decided crime didn’t pay and altered the mechanical arms of his Kid Ock costume into spider-legs and changed his moniker to Spider-Kid. A few years later, when Osnick’s college girlfriend became paralyzed after being mugged, Osnick would upgrade his suit again, this time becoming the Steel Spider. Consisting of a dark navy bodysuit, Steel Spider’s costume still featured the mechanical spider-legs and silver spider on the torso.
Having no real super powers to speak of, Steel Spider had to rely on his genius-level intellect, creating all sorts of gadgets to back up the suit. Along with the mechanical legs that allow him to climb walls, Osnick also fashioned gauntlets that fire grappling hooks and pepper spray blasters.
Steel Spider is still kicking around the Marvel U, making an appearance in Marvel Comics’ “Civil War” and even more recently in the “Ultimate Spider-Man” animated series.
6. Spider UK
Part of the Captain Britain Corp, Billy Braddock made his Marvel Comics debut in “Edge of the Spider-Verse’ #2 in November of 2014. Created by Jason Latour and Robbi Rodriguez, Spider UK comes to the Marvel Universe by way of Earth-833.
Since he is both a Spider-Man and a member of the Captain Britain Corp, Billy has a whole slew of powers, including superhuman strength, reflexes, senses and stamina, as well as the powers of your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. The one power he seems to be missing out on is the ultra convenient spider sense (can’t have everything).
Billy’s costume is a cool amalgamation of both the Spider Suit and the Captain Britain costume; a light blue bodysuit with the traditional red webbing of the classic Spider-Man costume making up the Union Jack portion of the design. Billy’s costume is complete with a full Spider-Man mask or the Captain Britain helmet.
5. Spider-Man 2099
Back in 1992, Marvel Comics created a new imprint that explored a possible future timeline of the Marvel Universe: Earth 928, otherwise known as the 2099 universe. The new universe kicked off in the summer of ’92 with four titles: “Doom 2099,” “Punisher 2099,” “Ravage 2099” and of course, “Spider-Man 2099.”
Created by Peter David and Rick Leonardi, Miguel O’Hara was a geneticist working on a project to recreate Spider-Man’s powers in 2099. On one particularly fateful day, while trying to cleans his body of a highly addictive drug (one that bonds to user’s DNA) that Miguel unwittingly injested, O’Hara’s genetic code was re-written with 50% of the DNA code from an arachnid. Spider powers, as you might imagine, ensued.
To hide is identity from his nefarious boss, Miguel dons a bodysuit that he wore to a Day of the Dead festival. The navy suit is comprised of Unstable Molecule Fabric (invented by Fantastic Four’s Reed Richards), which allows Miguel to use his powers without ripping or otherwise tearing the suit. The costume features red highlights up the arms that come together to form a skull-ish spider. The mask features a similar design, a departure from the classic spider eyes look of yore. In his current ongoing series, Miguel has switched up his classic look for one that is predominantly white with a blue/black base and red highlights that somewhat call back to his old “death-spider” chest design.
In a bit of a twisty-twist, it’s not Peter Parker who’s fatefully bitten by that radioactive spider on Earth-65, but rather his love interest, Gwen Stacy. Part of an all-girl band comprised of Mary Jane Watson, Betty Brant and Glory Grant, known as the Mary Janes, Gwen Stacy knocks around her version of New York as Spider-Woman. Having more of the Peter Parker personality than that of her Earth-616 counterpart, Gwen’s a sardonic, wisecracking hero who does whatever a spider can.
Gwen’s Spider Suit is another departure from the iconic Spider-Man costume, using the colors Gwen Stacy from Earth-616 wore as the palette for her costume. Designed by artist Robbi Rodriguez, Gwen’s costume is a white and black body suit with pink and turquoise webbed highlights under the arms and inside of the attached white hood. The all-white mask features the traditional spider eyes, but outlined in pink, and the whole thing comes together with turquoise slippers (which is pretty ironic for a hero who can stick to things). Thanks to her unique costume, Spider-Gwen quickly went from a bit player in the “Edge of the Spider-Verse” story arc to hanging around in a popular ongoing series of her own.
3. Superior Spider-Man
The “Superior Spider-Man” arc is one of the more controversial moves in the history of Spider-Man, which is franky saying a lot. It all went down in late 2012, in the pages of “The Amazing Spider-Man” #700. Peter Parker, mind-swapped with Doc Ock, would die in Otto Octavius decrepit body, whereas Otto would live on in Peter Parker’s. Inspired by his old nemesis’ heroic life, but convinced he could do better, Spider-Ock would go on to try and prove that he was the Superior Spider-Man.
At first using the iconic Spider Suit, Otto would soon become frustrated with the limitations of the traditional costume and begin to make upgrades at once, most notably in his more functional and articulated lenses, and in retractable claws in his fingertips (shades of Spidey 2099), which were also capable of injecting nano-spider tracers. Finally, Otto would debut a brand new look for a brand new Spider-Man. A black bodysuit with a red, webbed upper body, the suit featured an oversized black spider on the torso, a red spider backpack (which held four mechanical spider legs — clearly, Otto just couldn’t help himself) and a red, webbed mask. The mask would feature a further evolution of his raised, sensory-enabled lense upgrade.
2. Miles Morales
When the Ultimate Universe’s Peter Parker died back in 2011’s “Death of Spider-Man” story arc, Brooklyn-born Miles Morales would rise up to fill the Spider-void. Bitten by a wayward Oscorp-created genetically-enhanced spider, 13-year-old Miles would soon find himself thrust into Pete’s old webs.
While they were both bitten by altered spiders, Miles has slightly different powers than Pete. He may have a weaker spider-sense, but Miles didn’t totally get the short end of the spider stick. Unlike Parker, he has the ability to camouflage himself into his surroundings and also has a “venom sting,” which allows him to temporarily paralyze anyone with just a touch.
Miles’ Spider Suit, meanwhile, which was designed by artist Sara Pichelli, is mostly a black bodysuit with red webbing on the upper torso and mask. Given to him by Nick Fury after helping S.H.I.E.L.D. take down Electro, Miles’ costume features larger spider eyes and a red spider on the chest. At first, Miles would use Peter’s old web shooters, given to him by Pete’s Aunt May, but he would get a web shooter upgrade from S.H.I.E.L.D., as well.
1. Mangaverse Spider-Man
In 2000, Marvel Comics began publishing a series of titles under the Marvel Mangaverse banner. Created by Ben Dunn, and based on the über popular Manga style, the Marvel Mangaverse featured alternate version of the likes of the X-Men, Iron Man, The Punisher and Spider-Man.
Designated as Earth-2301, the Marvel Mangaverse’s Peter Parker is a member of a clan of ninjas known as the Spider Clan. When Venom killed his sensei, Uncle Ben, Peter became the sole survivor of the Spider Clan. The Marvel Mangaverse Spider-Man’s costume is based off the original suit, with red upper body and blue pants. In lieu of boots, however, Earth-2301’s Spider-Man wears red and white sneakers. But that’s not the only difference between the two costumes.
Mangaverse’s Spidey sports short sleeves with no webbing on the torso and taped-up hands and wrists. On the inside of the modified spider gloves are metal claws to allow Pete to climb up walls. Created by Ben Dunn and Tommy Ohtsuka, the Marvel Mangaverse’s Spider-Man was mostly recently seen in the pages of “Spider-Verse” #1.
Of the almost infinite other alternate Spider-Man suits, which are your favorite duds? Swing into the comments and let us know!
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