In his relatively short time being a big screen hero, Spider-Man has had as many incarnations as Superman and Batman. He's also been a hero of the small screen for years, appearing in animated shows since the '60s. Over the many years he has been on-screen, Spider-Man has accumulated many different looks. Some of them have worked, and others have fallen flat. Throughout the films and TV shows, there have been looks based on his classic suit, his variant suits (such as the black symbiote), even the Spider-suits worn by other characters like Ben Reilly. However, within context, some of these suits fall completely flat in their look, leaving viewers dissatisfied and wondering why they wouldn't just go with the classic design.
That's not to say that every variant design in films and on television has been bad-- far from it, actually. All it means is that there is a time and place to start playing around with how Spider-Man looks, and filmmakers have to choose their battles. Sometimes they're a little more daring, and it pays off. Other times, it's just not right at all. Then again, if everyone played it too safe, we might just end up with the same thing over and over, which would eventually start to feel stale. As it is though, it appears that filmmakers are continually learning how to make Spider-Man look better and really pop on screen. There have been a few stumbling blocks along the ay, but overall, the webslinger's look has only matured and been improved. These are 15 of Spider-Man's on-screen looks, ranked from worst to best.
15 THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN
When The Amazing Spider-Man was released in 2012, people wondered if it was too soon to start the series all over again with a completely different Spider-Man. Turns out the short wait before the reboot was the least of the film's troubles, as it received middling reviews and a less than hospitable welcome from audiences.
One of the big problems with the movie was how things looked. It was bad enough to have a snout-less Lizard, but one thing that seemed to really get under people's skin was the look of the suit. For some reason, the traditional look of the suit was altered until the eyes were smaller, there were needless designs on the gloves, and the whole time it looked like Spidey was wearing sneakers.
14 SPIDER-MAN UNLIMITED
Spider-Man Unlimited was a short-lived animated series that saw Peter Parker traveling to a second Earth where things had really taken a turn for the worse (and weird). Behind the scenes conflicts between Saban and Sony over the rights to Spider-Man's early stories meant that Saban could not use the original outfit or tell any of the original stories.
This led to the variant suit seen in Spider-Man Unlimited, which is definitely not great. There are small details, like how the spider's rear four legs are all attached at the bottom. However, the biggest faux pas on this suit has to be the web cape. There are plenty of superheroes whose capes are part of who they are, but Spider-Man is not, and never has been, one of them.
13 SPIDER-MAN (2002) - WRESTLING OUTFIT
This particular costume lands further down the list because it's not exactly iconic. However, that doesn't mean that it isn't fun. When Tobey Maguire first gets revealed in the wrestling arena wearing this outfit (and being wrongly referred to as the "Human Spider," by Bruce Campbell), it's all in good fun.
The suit is great in its own way because it really does look like something that was cobbled together one night by someone who has no experience making a costume. Even the shirt looks like it had the design stenciled onto it. Finally, the ski mask and gardening gloves are nice touches. It's not a great Spider-Man costume, but it is a pretty funny pre-Spider-Man costume.
12 SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING - HOMEMADE SUIT
Here we have another homemade suit, albeit one that is not so much meant for the wrestling ring as amateur crimefighting. The homemade suit from Spider-Man: Homecoming (though it is briefly seen in Captain America: Civil War first) straddles the line between technical marvel and homemade Halloween costume.
The reason this costume ranks so low is that it's hard to wrap your head around how Peter managed to create this thing without drawing any attention to himself. Presumably, he would have needed to buy some components for the goggles and web shooters. Then again, maybe that's how Stark managed to track him down in the first place.
11 SPIDER-MAN 3 - BLACK SUIT
Spider-Man 3 was an unmitigated disaster in many ways, and if there was one particular element to blame for the film's failure to live up to its predecessors, it would have to be the black suit/Venom arc. This entire plotline was shoehorned into the movie against Sam Raimi's wishes in order to appeal to a fanbase clamoring to see Venom on the big screen.
Let's focus on the suit, though, because it was one of the biggest costume disappointments in a film since, well, the Green Goblin in Spider-Man. The black suit is supposed to look alien, and have a style all its own. However, what we ended up with in the film is the exact same suit, but black. No big, white spider or anything.
10 SPIDER-MAN (2002)
This was the very first Spider-Man suit to wind up on the big screen, and for Spidey fans, it was a breath of fresh air. After all, the last time anyone had seen a superhero wearing bright colors was Superman IV: The Quest for Peace. This suit was almost completely faithful to its comic book counterpart, which was a nice change of pace from molded rubber Batman and black leather X-Men.
However, this suit falls further down the list for a couple of reasons. One, the suit always seems like its a bit stiff. Watch any of these movies again and pay attention to how Spider-Man moves when he's not CGI. Second, the eyes. The more angular shape of the eyes on the mask made Spider-Man look a little more aggressive than he is. It wasn't perfect, but it was a good start.
9 SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME - BLACK AND RED SUIT
Next year will see the release of Spider-Man: Far From Home, which will continue the story of Peter Parker following the events of Avengers 4. Judging by the leaked behind the scenes photos, fans are sure to see a whole collection of new suits, one of which was premiered by Tom Holland on Jimmy Kimmel Live.
This particular suit, which replaces Spider-Man's signature blue portions of his suit with flat black seems like both a combination of the look originated in Captain America: Civil War and the suit worn by Miles Morales. This black and red suit is sleek and helps the thicker black accents blend in more, but it just doesn't have that sense of familiarity or nostalgia as the classic suit.
8 SPIDER-MAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES
The ‘90s featured a boom for superhero cartoons and fortunately for our favorite Wall-Crawler, that era was good to him. The animated series was everything that Spidey fans wanted -- cool villains, great supporting characters, some engaging storylines, and a completely classic look.
The series didn’t try anything crazy with Spidey’s threads and went with the look that fans of the Marvel comics all know and love. Yes, it didn’t do anything different nor did it veer off and feature any of the alternate costumes seen throughout the years of Spider-Man history, but sometimes a classic look is good enough.
7 SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE - SPIDER-MAN NOIR
Speaking of Spider-Man Noir, that's one of the versions of the web-slinging hero who will be showing up in the animated Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Voiced by none other than Nicholas Cage, this alternate universe version of Spider-Man opts for a completely black design, with a few period touches thrown in for good measure.
Chief among these are the fedora and trenchcoat, lending this version of Spider-Man a far different and more incognito look than any of the other versions. In the trailer, the suit also appears to be made of more conventional materials, which would make sense for this version of Spider-Man.
6 SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE - MILES MORALES
Miles Morales is probably the second most recognizable version of Spider-Man after Peter Parker. Both have the same abilities but chose far different styles for their suits. While Peter opted for blue and red, Miles went with the combination of black and red, giving him an appearance that mimics an actual black widow spider.
Miles's suit retains many of the same elements as Peter's, such as the web patterns on the mask and gloves, as well as the spider on the chest. However, the suit is less patterned and relies more on the solid black as its primary shade. Miles also sometimes wears a pair of sneakers and a hoodie with the suit, which give it a look that is all his own.
5 THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2
Despite the critical reaction to The Amazing Spider-Man, it did well enough to warrant a sequel, albeit one that spent far too much of its runtime setting up a sequel that Sony was absolutely sure would happen. It didn't, but if there was one element of the film that really stood out, it was Spider-Man's suit.
At the time, this was the absolute closest thing any Spider-Man fans had seen to the suit they knew and loved from the comics. The design and colors of the suit were perfect, with no real exaggerations. However, what really stood out were the eyes. These were Spider-Man's eyes, and even though later films would continue to improve his look, this suit was designed very well.
4 SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN
Spectacular Spider-Man might have only lasted for two seasons, but it had developed a style all its own. This was reflected most in the character designs, including how Spider-Man looked. While the costume didn't have any significant changes to its look, it was small details that made this a great design.
For example, the way this version of Spider-Man's face was drawn in the mask really gave him more of a personality. The bigger, rounder eyes and the shape of his head really gave the sense that someone was inside the costume. In addition, this version of Spider-Man also had the under-arm webbing, a detail from the comics that only occasionally works its way into other media.
3 SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE - PETER PARKER
Once again, a look from Spider-Man: into the Spider-Verse makes the list. This time, it is the classic spider suit, worn by an older, wiser Peter Parker (voiced by Jake Johnson). This version of the suit is probably the closest to the classic comic book look that will appear on the big screen.
One difference that seems to be carried over from Spider-Man: Homecoming, however, is the very visible button for Peter's web shooter. This is a nice touch, but what really makes this look stand out are the massively expressive eyes on the mask. They can go from determined to relaxed to entirely surprised, stretching as far as they need to go.
2 AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR - IRON SPIDER
Once fans saw the ending of Spider-Man: Homecoming, they knew that big things were in store for Peter Parker, particularly in regards to his suit. Even though he didn't get a chance to wear it at the time, Avengers: Infinity War finally put Peter in the Iron Spider suit, which looked just as good as everyone thought it would.
The suit maintains the flexibility of Peter's regular costume while giving it a metallic edge that looks far more strong and protective than the classic material. In addition, viewers got to see the extra legs in action, as well as the glowing eyes. Overall, this spider-suit was a great addition to the cinematic Spider-Man legacy.
1 SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING - STARK SUIT
It may have a few extra touches that make it look different from his classic suit in the comics, but Peter's suit, designed and made by Tony Stark, worn first in Captain America: Civil War and then predominantly in Spider-Man: Homecoming is probably the best version of Spider-man's suit fans have got to see on the big screen.
What really made this suit great, and put it head and shoulders above the rest, were the expressive eyes. That's been a big thing throughout this list, but it really does make the difference in allowing Spider-Man to show his emotions without removing the mask (a problem earlier filmmakers could never seem to get around). Plus, fans got to see the web wings in action for a brief scene, making this the best Spider-Man suit on film (so far).