Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Happy 50th: Spider-Man's Best Costumes

      The month of August marks the 50th birthday of the Amazing Spiderman, as you know, one of the coolest superheroes ever created. Here at Doomsday & Beyond, I’ve decided to dedicate August to the Webbed Wonder by stylizing a new website header, changing the background, and most importantly, writing articles focusing on Spidey’s best stories, villains and much more over his 50 years of publication. To start this month off I’ve chosen to examine 5 of Spiderman’s coolest costumes (coolest, my personal favorites or costumes that played intrical parts in Peter Parker’s life). Okay, without further adieu, Spiderman’s best costumes…

“The Old Red And Blues” (The Original Suit)
      No one can argue that Peter Parker had a good taste of fashion. When most try to think of his finest costumes, many overlook the very first one. Classic red and blues, and a web pattern making him the best character to draw. This costume has seen minimal changes throughout the years such as webbing under his arms, a slight change to his spider-logo or his eyes being shaped differently. Most of these changes occurred purely because of different artists drawing the character. But just the fact that Spidey’s original costume has more or less stood the test of time is proof of how ‘amazing’ it is, and apparently still is.

“Back In Black” (The Symbiote Suit)
       Its origin has changed over various forms of media, but the suit itself has remained the same. Originally bonding to Spidey on an alien planet during The Secret Wars Spidey brought this suit back home with him. After using the black suit as his primary costume for a very, very long time, he soon discovered it was a symbiote, alive and slowly taking over his mind. With the help of sonic vibrations Spiderman was able to rid himself of the suit. Soon after though, as we all know, Venom was created. Fans who enjoyed the black suit feared they’d never see it again after it bonded to Eddie Brock, but there were two more replicas made of the suit, not symbiotes, but almost identical in design. The first was designed by Black Cat when she and Spidey were working together and the second by Peter Parker in the storyline ‘Back In Black’. It was just such a good costume. Very simple in design, with a large new spider-logo stretched all around his chest and back at the fact it attempted to take over its host’s mind just makes it that much better.

“I’m Not a Man, Just a Copy, a Clone.” (The Scarlet Spider)
      The Clone Saga not only brought confusing storylines, strange new characters and an excessive amount of, well, clones, it also gave us a new character Ben Reilly; a character worthy of replacing the original Webhead. Along with Ben came a new costume titled The Scarlet Spider. Its just plain red spandex with large white eyes and a blue, sleeveless hoodie with Spiderman’s logo. So simple yet one of the most iconic costumes in Spidey’s history. Ben also wore his web-shooters on the outside of his costume, as he did when he designed his own Spiderman costume while temporarily filling in for Peter. Both the Scarlet Spider and ‘Ben Reilly’ costumes are two iconic suits in comics. Certainly legendary costumes, used in a legendary story arc and worn by a legendary character.

“Any Questions?” (The Iron Spider)
      During the age of the Marvel Civil War heroes were forced to either side with SHIELD and the government and reveal their secret identities to the public or become fugitives of the law and join Captain America’s band of rebel heroes. In Peter’s case he initially sided with Ironman and SHIELD, revealing his identity to the world. Needless to say his cast of supporting characters were very surprised, namely Jameson. Tony Stark later developed a new high-tech costume for Peter called The Iron Spider. It had shiny, gold wrist guards along with gold eyes and a large gold spider-logo that stretched over his shoulders to the back of the suit. The rest of the suit was a dark red color and it came with four metallic arms, resembling that of a spider. Spiderman soon abandoned the costume after fighting Ironman and changing to Cap’s side. Replicas of the suit were made for several government agents calling themselves The Scarlet Spiders as part of the Post-Civil War Initiative.

“What Lies Ahead” (The Future Foundation)
       After the tragic death of Johnny Storm, The Human Torch, The Fantastic Four renamed themselves the Future Foundation, changing their costumes and adding a new member, Spiderman. Spidey met the FF in his first solo issue, asking to join their team. Who knew that 50 years later they would finally accept his request? The FF now wear black and white suits, each designed slightly differently to resemble their specific power. Spidey’s is mostly white with black designs of the spider and designs running down his legs. There is even an inverted version of the costume featured in some issues of FF and in the new Amazing Spiderman videogame.

      There have been many great costumes worn by the Web-slinger in 50 years of comics and I’ve only chosen a select few of dozens of innovative designs, so go online, type in Spiderman costumes and check’em all out. Stay tuned for Spidey’s greatest villains as Doomsday & Beyond continues to celebrate Spidey’s 50th.

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