By A Thread: The Spectacular Evolution of Spider-Man's Cinematic Costumes

Spider-Man has been one of the most consistently popular superheroes of all time. As such, he’s one of the heroes who has appeared in film and television more than almost any of his fellow Marvel characters. With all those adaptations, there have come a lot of tweaks and changes to his classic look.

With leaked behind-the-scenes pictures confirming that Spider-Man: Far From Home will introduce a new version of the Spidey suit, let’s take a look back at how it compares to all the previous live-action incarnations of the iconic costume, and explore which ways his iconic look could swing next.

The Amazing Spider-Man (TV Series)

The Amazing Spider-Man wasn’t the first television appearance of Spider-Man. He actually first appeared on The Electric Company, narrated by a young Morgan Freeman. However, the show, which originally aired on CBS in 1977, was the first attempt to modify his costume. While the color scheme for the costume is the same, the logo on his chest was simplified. Producers also didn’t even try to hide his belt and web-shooter, now prominent on his waist and wrist.

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The strangest change came with Spidey's eyes, a difficult element for live-action Spider-Man costumes to nail. This costume used reflective lenses, which in the right light could recreate the bright pop of the comics. But since that right light wasn’t always there, the eyes were weirdly reflective or even full on black at times.

The Japanese Spider-Man

Like the CBS series, the look of the Japanese Spider-Man TV series simplified the spider on his chest and had a prominent web-shooter on his wrist. The eyes were made plain white, reflecting the comics costume but losing their more emotive attributes. However, while the costume was relatively similar -- apart from the bulky "Spider-Bracelet" storage unit/web-spinner -- the story was radically different.

The Japanese Spider-Man replaces professional wallflower Peter Parker with motorcycle racer Takuya Yamashiro, who gets his powers from a dying alien instead of a radioactive spider bite. Oh, and he can call down a giant robot called Leopardon to fight Godzilla-sized threats, which admittedly is a pretty useful upgrade.

Sam Raimi Spider-Man


Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy was one of the biggest hits of the 2000s, with his take on the character and his look inspiring an entire generation of fans. The costume reflects the iconic look of the character, but tried to add a sense of depth to the costume by making the black webbing more pronounced. The raised webs are an acquired taste, as is the shine they give off as a result.

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The spider logo was also tweaked, and made more accurate to the comics. The eyes are larger, too, giving Spider-Man a much more comics-accurate look, though one that is not necessarily exact. They are incredibly static, as well, but do reflect some of the more classic design notes, like the black detailing around the rim.

The Black Suit From Spider-Man 3

Spider-Man 3 Movie

To date, this is the only instance of a live-action Spider-Man actually swapping out his iconic red and blue for his popular black costume from the comics. Eventually revealed to be the Venom symbiote and forcibly ripped off his body, it was similar to the original Raimi garb, save for the obvious color swap.

Another, slightly more subtle change was made to the spider logo. It was made silver instead of the traditional white, expanded in size, and raised up in a similar way to the webbing. Altogether, this was one sinister look, but it didn't go far enough, for many fans, in transforming the character into a believable pre-Venom Spidey.

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