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10 Weirdest Spider-Man Costumes –

 

 

Everybody needs to change their look from time to time. A new color scheme, a dab of paint, some new tech incorporated into the outfit… minor tweaks can add new life to a character that’s starting to feel tired and old hat.

But sometimes, tweaking goes too far, and soon you find yourself bending, warping, and otherwise distorting a classic look into some truly bizarre variations.

Spider-Man has been subject to random costume changes more than most. From sentient alien outfits and Iron Man-designed techsuits to discount Halloween costumes and improvised bargain-bin calamities, he’s run the gamut from stylish to stupid and back again.

(Of course, we’re talking about Spidey here, so we’ll be disregarding that brief period where he ditched being Spider-Man entirely and became the Hornet, Dusk, Ricochet, and Prodigy, a quartet of random superpowered miscreants. (One of whom required a fake nose in addition to a new costume.) After all, none of them were really Spider-Man.)

Although some of those outfits are now iconic, others are cringeworthy in their silliness, strangeness, and sheer what-were-they-thinking-ness.

So enjoy this trip down Memory Lane as Peter Parker’s better half gets the Fashion Police treatment.

10. Spider Armor

Marvel Comics

So, you’re a superhero whose crime-fighting prowess and successs are predicated on your agility, leaping ability, and lightning-quick reflexes. Clearly the best way to augment that would be with shiny, heavy armor.

For some reason, Spidey celebrated the one-hundredth issue of Web of Spider-Man with this bulky edition of his classic gear. Granted, with heavily-armed foes like the New Enforcers dogging him, it’s understandable that the Wall-Crawler would want to be a little less susceptible to bullets than normal, but given that the armor didn’t even survive its introductory issue, clearly this is one idea that should’ve remained on the drawing board.

Spidey would, of course, return to the idea of armored suits several times with varying degrees of success. But the original is both the weirdest and the most famous.

9. Ends Of The Earth Spider-Man

Marvel Comics

To mark the 50th anniversary of Spidey’s first appearance, fans were treated to the Ends of the Earth event, wherein Doctor Octopus managed to turn virtually the entire world against Spider-Man, framing him as a global-warming-accelerating worldwide threat. (Timely!)

They were also treated to a new version of Spidey’s costume, one that made him look like DC’s Deathstrike tried to join Emperor Palpatine’s Royal Guard. Although the outfit contained new countermeasures to help Spidey thwart the Sinister Six, it somehow manages to be both incredibly bland and strikingly unforgettable.

But it certainly doesn’t feel like something Spider-Man would wear.

8. Future Foundation Spider-Man

Marvel Comics

Spider-Man has teamed up with the Fantastic Four on multiple occasions, and more than once, this has led to a costume change. But seriously, what the hell? This suit just looks like the artist got tired of drawing the web pattern on Spidey’s usual gear, and wanted something WAY easier to ink and color.

For a character forever linked to the red-and-blue, this just feels washed out. It’s essentially the opposite of his striking symbiote suit, and feels weird, unsatisfying, and derivative.

Also, the suit can supposedly mold itself to whatever Spider-Man wishes. So if the suit can look like literally anything… why would you leave it looking like that?

7. Spider-Man 2211

Marvel Comics

A lot of variant Spider-Man costumes involve extra appendages. Iron Spider, Superior Spider-Man, and Octo-Spidey all come to mind, and they all seem more organic and natural that the costume world by Max Borne, the Spider-Man from the year 2211.

He essentially has a classic Spidey-patterned dickey under a generic superhero suit, topped off with the arms of the Robot Devil from Futurama and a six-eyed helmet. If you asked an entire third-grade class for ideas for new Spider-Man outfits, then jammed them all into one design, you’d probably still get something more cohesive than this.

It’s not the weirdest, but it might be the silliest.

6. Fear Itself Spider-Man

Marvel Comics

Fundamentally, Spider-Man is a good guy. He doesn’t kill. He, in fact, often endangers himself trying to save his villains from their own worst impulses.

That made it a bit strange during the Fear Itself event, when the Serpent — Asgardian god of fear and hammer-sharing deus ex machina du jour — plunged the Earth into total panic, and Spidey responded by donning a new suit with giant freaking spikes on the forearms. (Not to mention a glowing blue web pattern that made him look like a minty version of the Holodeck from Star Trek: The Next Generation.)

This look was extreme, even with Asgard-inspired villains running amok, and sticks out as one of the weirdest and least-necessary costume changes in the Webhead’s long career of crimefighting.

5. Spidey-Speedos

Marvel Comics

Spider-Man has battled a lot of strange foes over the years. There’s the guy in the rhino outfit, and the man made of bees, and that elderly flying gentleman, for starters.

But in the aftermath of the Superior Spider-Man arc, Spidey battled a villain named Skein, who could telekinetically unravel clothing. She attacked Spidey’s trademark outfit, forcing him to quickly web-up some underwear to hide his Spider-shame.

Amazingly, this otherwise ridiculous encounter had some serious consequences, as Spidey’s love interest realized Peter was the Webslinger after recognizing some tell-tale freckles.

That being said, this was one of the weirder Spidey moments in recent memory.

4. The Bombastic Bag-Man

Marvel Comics

Your friendly neighborhood author poked fun at the Future Foundation’s sartorial choices earlier, but those were light-years ahead of the Fantastic Four’s first attempt to set Spidey up with some new duds.

While Mr. Fantastic studied Spidey’s fancy new black suit, the Human Torch dressed Spider-Man in whatever he could find laying around, leaving the Wall-Crawler shirtless in red pants, black boots, and a brown paper bag over his head. Like a drunken Santa Claus, Spidey bumbled around the city, patrolling as the Bombastic Bag-Man and basically being a laughingstock for the entire comic.

Come on, Spidey, surely a truly bombastic bag-man would collect some empty soda cans, cash them in, and acquire better clothes than these.

Of course, one could argue that it’s a step-up from his other bag-headed look, where he wore a Fantastic Four outfit sans shoes with a brown bag. It’s a toss-up. A sad, sad toss-up.

3. Tron Spider-Man

Marvel Comics

Yes, this is technically known as the stealth suit, but this outfit is just begging for a light cycle and a Jeff Bridges reference. (Especially the blue-tinted version.)

To be fair, this was technologically one of Spidey’s most advanced suits, protecting him from sonic blasts, rendering him invisible, and ensuring that he’d be welcome at every rave from now ’til eternity.

It’s not entirely clear how cloaking yourself in shades of glowstick makes you invisible; perhaps he’s so eye-searing that people simply prefer to block him out. In either case, this is the perfect outfit to have in case of an accidental crossover with any Big Trouble in Little China graphic novels.

2. Spider-Man 1602

Marvel Comics

Neil Gaiman’s 1602 series raised a lot of interesting questions, but perhaps none were more thought-provoking than this: what’s less dignified, a Shakespearean neck ruffle or a bag on your head?

This befrocked version of the classic hero battled all sorts of seventeenth-century baddies — despite the complete lack of skyscrapers, which you’d think would hamper his web-slinging a tad — but the mishmash of Elizabethan clothes and standard Spidey trappings just made him look like a doorman at a fetish club.

Gaiman’s reimagined world was full of ambitious ideas, but Shakespidey was one of the biggest misses among some entertaining hits.

1. Captain Universe (aka The Cosmic Spider-Man)

Marvel Comics

After being imbued with the ill-defined Uni-Power (you know, sort of a budget version of the Phoenix Force), Spidey defeated the Tri-Sentinel (three Sentinels squished together by Loki, obviously) and became the new Captain Universe. As you do.

At the very least, all of the other outfits in this list have some tie to the original Spider-Man outfit, whether it’s the chest symbol, the web pattern, or the color scheme.

But Spidey’s time as Captain Universe led to his most peculiar outfit of all-time, because it, much like the hero himself, was completely sublimated by the new persona. He’s virtually unrecognizable, wearing a Silver Surfer onesie with a goofy constellation cardigan and mask, leaving only his “mouth” with the classic web pattern.

He was granted a whole host of new abilities, like the power of flight, force fields, energy blasts, psychically creating webbing from nothing, and manipulating matter at the molecular level.

His powers were as jarring and inconsistent as his outfit, and thankfully, he soon relinquished the Uni-Power and went back to the old Webhead we know and love.

 

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