Clothes make the man. Or the spider. Or, in this case, both.
Q: So, I hear that Spider-Man is getting a new costume. I demand an explanation.
A: Okay. For the months surrounding Marvel’s “Civil War” event, Spider-Man will be wearing a spiffy new costume designed by his buddy Tony Stark, aka Iron Man. The costume will accentuate his new powers.
Q: New what now?
A: Recently, during the crossover billed as “The Other,” Spider-Man died and came back to life with some new powers in addition to his old ones.
Q: Oh, that old trick.
A: Precisely. He has night vision, stingers, an expanded spatial awareness through his webbing, boosted reflexes, and an improved spider-sense. The costume will incorporate GPS tracking, extendable camera/fighting arms, and gliding capability.
Q: Gliding… interesting. What’s the costume look like?
A: Well, take the outfit you remember from the movies.
A: Now, take out the black lines, and the blue on the legs. You should have a flat red suit with eyepieces and spider emblems.
Q: With you so far.
A: Deepen the red to a burgundy, and turn the eyepieces a metallic gold. Now, take the spider emblem on the front, extend it to a wraparound that goes around Spidey’s back and meets a similar emblem on the back. It, too, is that same gold color. Finally, note that three of the arms, which fold over his shoulders, are 3-D metal extensions, which can detach and extend, like Doc Ock’s arms.
Q: Why just three of them?
A: Because that’s how many Joe Quesada drew.
Q: No, really.
A: No, really. Have I mentioned I love this business?
Q: Not recently. This isn’t the first costume change for Spidey, is it?
A: It is not. The most prominent came in 1984, when Spider-Man briefly wore a black-and-white outfit, starting with Amazing Spider-Man 252. That costume turned out to be a sentient being that wanted to bond itself to his central nervous system. Once he ditched it, he still used a cloth version the Black cat made him for a while, until the original black suit turned up on a psycho killer named Venom. Then he went back to the red-and-blues full-time.
Q: I think I saw that suit on a cover recently.
A: You did. Each part of “The Other” shipped a second printing, and each of those had a variant cover with an old Spider-Man costume. They included: the Spider-Armor from Web of Spider-Man 100; Spider-Man 2099; Cosmic Spider-Man from 1989’s Acts of Vengeance crossover; The Scarlet Spider uniform once worn by Spider-Man’s clone, Ben Reilly; the Dan Jurgens-designed costume Ben Reilly wore during the brief time he was Spider-Man instead of Peter Parker; the “Amazing Bag-Man” suit from Amazing Spider-Man 258, a prank pulled on Spidey by Johnny Storm of the Fantastic Four; 6-armed Spider-Man from Amazing Spider-Man 100-102; Peter Parker’s sweater-and-pantyhose wrestling outfit from Amazing Fantasy 15; Peter in street clothes with the front of the costume exposed; and Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham.
Q: Wait, the what?
A: Funny animal book from the now-defunct Star line. Featured animal versions of all the Marvel heroes, and Spidey’s supporting cast. My favorite? Mary Jane Water Buffalo.
Q: You’re kidding.
A: Nope. The retailers actually voted on that variant.
Q: The mind boggles.
A: Doesn’t it, though?
Q: So, I take it this change won’t last either?
A: Not forever, but at least through the summer.
Q: But the big question is, can he still do whatever a spider can?
A: He can actually do substantially more of what a spider can than he could before. And still spin a web, any size, catch thieves, just like flies. Look out, here comes the Spider-Man.
A: Damn skippy.