The most popular Spider-Man costume, outside of the original, is probably the black symbiote suit. It’s for good reason, as it is directly connected to another popular character Venom, and has been featured across the many Spider-Man movies and cartoons. For a collector that might be looking to expand their collection beyond that, here we will attempt to showcase a few other standout suits.
AMAZING BAGMAN / BOMBASTIC BAGMAN
Starting things off with Peter Parker’s simplest costume: a brown paper bag. In The Amazing Spider-Man #258 (1984), after Peter’s black suit meddles in his relationship with Mary Jane Watson, Peter has a terrible nightmare that ultimately pushes him to have Reed Richards take a closer examination of the black suit. Upon discovering that the black suit is actually an alien symbiote, Reed helps Peter remove it. To help keep Peter’s real identity a secret on his journey home, he is offered an old Fantastic Four costume (without shoes) and a brown paper bag. To add further insult to injury, Johnny Storm tags Peter on the back with a “kick me” sign. As Peter makes his way home, he even has to fight crime in this costume, which has many bystanders puzzled as to who this new superhero is. Perhaps a new addition to the Fantastic Four team?
Oddly, this costume was a brief possibility in the short timeframe that all the movie studio relationships aligned. The first appearance of the Bombastic Bagman is a humorous story definitely worth a read; if not also for the story being a key plot point of Peter realizing the black suit really being an alien symbiote. At the moment, the fair market value for a copy of The Amazing Spider-Man #258 (1984), graded CGC 9.8, stands at $200.
NEGATIVE ZONE COSTUME / DUSK SUIT
The black and white film negative-like (as its name would suggest) costume first appeared in Peter Parker Spider-Man #90 (1998). When Spider-Man tries to save some kids from falling into a black hole, he himself gets sucked in. Not only does he land in the Negative Zone, but he falls right in the middle of a dangerous battle between the imperial forces of Blastaar and the rebels. In this zone, Spider-Man’s costume immediately takes on the negative color scheme of his normal costume. In this same issue, his stint in the negative zone suit was very short as the rebel leader Dusk is killed; so the rebels get Spider-Man to put on Dusk’s costume and fight in their rebellion. The Dusk Suit gave Spider-Man the ability to fly and even camouflage into the shadows.
NM raw copies of this two-for-one costume first appearance book, Peter Parker Spider-Man #90, can be found affordably at under $5 price levels.
FUTURE FOUNDATION COSTUME
As if the one Fantastic Four designed “Bombastic Bagman” wasn’t iconic enough, Spider-Man got another costume from them; specifically, the Future Foundation costume in FF #1 (2011). Following the death of the Human Torch, the Future Foundation gains Spider-Man as the newest member; unfortunately, he comes in at a time when the remaining members are struggling to keep it all together. Back to the Future Foundation suit, it is primarily made of Reed Richard’s invention “unstable molecules,” which allow quick adaptation to any environment or weapon-type they are exposed to. The suit can change colors, but Spider-Man seemingly prefers to keep in in the very distinct black and white look; the original goal in this article was to feature costumes dissimilar from the black and white symbiote suit, but Spider-Man’s color preferences have unraveled that. At the moment, raw copies of FF#1 can be found under the $5 level; pictured on the right is a different issue, but shows the costume better.
Stealth Suit / Big Time Suit
The Tron-like Stealth Suit made its first appearance in Amazing Spider-Man #650 (2011), the third issue of the “Big Time” story arc, to help him fight against the Hobgoblin. Made by Peter at Horizon Labs, the suit combines some of the best technology from the various Marvel inventors that have inspired Peter: it can heal itself, make him invisible, cancel out sound, and is reinforced with unstable molecules. The only criticism perhaps is that ironically the suit glows with very distinctive green lights as it goes stealth; not very stealth-like. The current FMV for Amazing Spider-Man #650 sits at $90.
“Is this some sort of super hero initiation prank?” – Reporter, to the Bagman
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