The 10 best Spider-Man suits, ranked

spider-man
Image via Sony Pictures Animation

It’s time to rank the top-10 Spider-Man costumes of all time, but we all know the Bombastic Bag-Man will be on the list. 

When you have been in business since 1962, you go through plenty of costumes. Spider-Man stayed true to the red and blue for 22 years before trading to black. By the 1990s and 2000s, Spidey had a wide assortment of costumes to choose from, which brings us to today’s list. In honor of Spider-Man’s return to a comics-accurate MCU costume, let’s explore the ten best suits in the web slinger’s closet.

10. Spider-Armor Mark I

Long before there was an Iron Spider costume, Peter Parker invented the Spider-Man Armor Mark I. Children of the 1990s have fond memories of this suit, despite it only appearing for one issue. Then came 1994’s Spider-Man animated series, which gave the suit an alternate-dimension origin story. 

In the pages of Web of Spider-Man #100, Peter created the suit to stand up to the New Enforcers’ high-powered weapons. Although the bulky reinforced armor slowed him down, Spider-Man was mostly safe from the villains’ new weapons. One thing Spidey didn’t count on was acid, which destroyed the suit. 

9. Bombastic Bag-Man

By the 1980s, several of Marvel’s most famous heroes were given makeovers. One of the most prominent of those was Spider-Man’s black suit. As much as fans loved the new look, it was not to be. Famously, the suit was alive and aimed to bond with Peter Parker. The symbiote was so strong that it fought Peter’s attempts to rid himself of the alien. If it hadn’t been for Spider-Man discovering that the living black goo was sensitive to loud noise, he might not have gotten free of the costume.

Spider-Man turned to his trusted friends, the Fantastic Four, for help. Reed Richards managed to contain the suit in a chamber and conducted experiments on the alien. Meanwhile, Peter was left in nothing but his underwear and web-shooters. The Human Torch loaned him a spare FF costume, but Spidey needed a mask. Since there were none available, he did the next best thing and put a brown paper sack over his head. Thus, the Bombastic Bag-Man was born purely out of necessity.

8. Ben Reilly suit

In the 1990s, Marvel experimented with their heroes’ suits. Almost all the major characters had some sort of redesign and change. It is no wonder that Spider-Man has three ‘90s era suits on today’s list.

This retool of the classic Spider-Man costume was designed for Peter’s clone, Ben Reilly. The character first appeared in the Bronze Age when the Jackyl cloned Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy because that’s not weird at all. Spider-Man fought his clone, and it appeared the duplicate had died. Decades later, Marvel dusted off the old idea, and Ben returned to the pages of Marvel Comics.

Reilly would initially wear a solid red bodysuit with a baby-blue hoodie and proclaim himself to be the Scarlet Spider. Years later, when Peter’s powers began to fade, Ben transitioned to being the full-time Spider-Man. 

The Ben Reilly suit was a ‘90s take on the classic. The spider symbol stretched around the shoulders and onto the back while the blue extended to the fingers. Ben also wore his web-shooters on the outside of the costume, which gave it a bit of Black Widow flare. 

7. Future Foundation

In 2010, the Fantastic Four’s Reed “Mr. Fantastic” Richards assembled a new team of would-be heroes. These were intellectually gifted teenagers whose goal was to advance science to further benefit mankind. The team had a wide range of members, but the most prominent were the Richards children, Franklin and Valeria, as well as Dragon Man. They sported white and black jumpsuits made of unstable molecules that gave the costumes symbiote-like properties, such as the ability to change its appearance with a thought and never get dirty.

Years after the Future Foundation was formed, Johnny Storm died during a Fantastic Four mission. As part of his last will and testament, he asked that Spider-Man join the Foundation. How could Peter say no? While his time with the Future Foundation was mostly unremarkable, it did produce a cool suit. Like the symbiote costume, the FF suit could change into his classic red and blue costume, his street clothes, or anything else Spider-Man could imagine.

6. Superior Spider-Man

Fans have wondered if we will see an adaptation of the Superior Spider-Man appear in the MCU. At the least, it would be a great suit to see on the silver screen.

Like so many things from comic books, the Superior Spider-Man has a convoluted origin. As the story goes, Doctor Octopus was dying, so he concocted a scheme to help him stave off death. Step one was to abduct Peter Parker. From there, Otto Octavius transferred his consciousness into his victim’s body. That left Spider-Man in the dying old man’s form while Otto took control of Peter’s frame. What the mad scientist wasn’t expecting was to inherit some of Peter’s memories. The lessons from Aunt May and Uncle Ben changed the former Doctor Octopus, and he vowed to fight for the side of good. Only, he would be a better Spider-Man…a superior Spider-Man, if you will.

Although Otto was fighting crime and villainy, the Superior Spider-Man’s costume had a sinister design. There was more black on the suit, which was a combination of Ben Reilly’s costume and the Iron Spider armor. The eyes were more expressive, and they had a distinctly nefarious appeal. 

5. Miles Morales suit

Similar to the Superior Spider-Man, Miles Morales’ suit has a distinct red and black color pattern. The look is meant as a spin on Peter’s classic costume, but with a dose of Miles’ personality. Into the Spider-Verse took the inspiration to a new level, depicting the younger Spider-Man making the costume himself and spray painting his redesigned logo on the black canvas. 

What made the suit truly reflect Miles’ spirit were the addition of the Air Jordans. Sure, the shoes don’t make a lot of sense when you think about him climbing walls, but they gave the Spidey suit a dash of youth that was perfect.

In the past year, Marvel has redesigned Miles’ Spider-suit, but there’s no replacing the original. The design worked well for him, and it was instantly identifiable with the new younger character. My guess is we’ll see this costume again in the near future.

4. Iron Spider

As much as I dislike Spider-Man suits filled with tech, the design for the Iron Spider costume was brilliant. While the gold and red colors were clearly meant to remind us of Iron Man, who built the suit in the comics, it transcended that role. Instead of appearing as an Iron Man Mark-whatever armor, the Iron Spider had its own personality, and that is why fans loved it.

This has been the most recognizable costume for Spidey’s MCU career. Beginning with Infinity War, the Iron Spider has been a mainstay on the silver screen. Toys and statues abound with Spider-Man’s added appendages, but there’s more to the story than what we’ve seen in the films.

The costume’s roots lie in the original Civil War crossover. As the superhero community was divided between Team Iron Man and Team Captain America, Peter Parker chose to stand beside Tony Stark. To show his solidarity to the Superhuman Registration Act, Spidey unmasked on live television, revealing his secret identity to the world. Soon thereafter, Stark built a new Spider-Man armor with enhanced tech inspired by the Iron Man suits. 

Years later, the Iron Spider costume would be taken up by a new wearer. This time, it was Miles Morales’ uncle Aaron, formerly the Ultimate Prowler, who would sport the armor in a revamped Sinister Six.

3. Spider-Man 2099

The comics community at large complains about the 1990s, a decade defined by excess. From the rise of the variant and gimmick covers to the sheer volume of comics being printed, whatever the consumers wanted, publishers gave them too much of it. That included the art style that portrayed everyone with bodybuilder physiques. 

The ‘90s superhero fashion sense was questionable at times. Many artists were in love with the weird Gambit-style headgear with free-flowing hair coming out of the top. At one point, Thor was slapped with a ridiculous suit and matching headgear. The colors, the pouches, as well as the numerous unnecessary and impractical accessories were what helped define the decade’s style. 

As much as there is to complain about, the ‘90s managed to get one thing right: Spider-Man 2099. Inspired by the skulls and skeletons of the Dia de los Muertos festivals, this was one of the best Spider-Man suits ever created. The original design retained the iconic red and blue color scheme, but it had a spirit all its own. Of course, this was worn by Miguel O’Hara and not Peter Parker, but there’s no way to make a Spider-Man suit top-10 list without including the Spider-Man 2099 costume. In fact, I wager that the aesthetic appeal of the suit is a major reason that the 2099 universe is never forgotten. 

2. Symbiote suit

Many fans would put this as their number one Spider-Man suit. What’s not to love? The solid black with a white spider and hand accents looked fantastic on the page. With the suit came a change in maturity as well, and it would culminate with a showdown with Venom.

Comic fans know the story: Spider-Man is one of many heroes the Beyonder dragged across time and space to fight a collection of villains. There on Battleworld, Spider-Man was given his first major costume redesign. After his classic uniform was in tatters, he used a machine that let him imagine a new suit. What came out was a sentient black costume that responded to Peter Parker’s thoughts and emotions.

Not only did the suit look amazing, but it gave Spider-Man some upgrades. For one, he no longer needed to build, repair, and refill his web shooters; the suit created the webbing for him. It also gave him a massive boost of strength, putting him in league with the heavy hitters of the Marvel-616. Of course, the drawback was that the symbiote was trying to permanently bond as well as control him. 

Even after he ditched the symbiote, which would bond to Eddie Brock and form Venom, the editorial staff left Spider-Man with a black and white suit for years. It culminated in the return to the iconic red and blue at the tail end of Amazing Spider-Man #300.

1. Classic red and blue

As the grand finale of Spider-Man: No Way Home showcases, there’s just no beating the old red and blue Spidey suit. So far in the MCU, the Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man has sported a variety of costumes, all of which were similar but not identical to his classic look. After the events of NWH, Peter is left to make his own costume. When he swung out of the apartment in his bright blue and red suit, fans across the world cheered. It takes the character back to his roots as a hero completely on his own. No billionaire benefactors with high-tech suits. No Avengers or Nick Fury to guide him. The classic suit symbolizes a return to a traditional version of the character.

When artist Steve Ditko originally designed the costume, it was red and black. By Spider-Man’s second appearance in Amazing Spider-Man #1, the colors had been altered to the iconic red and blue. Though the costume may have changed many times over the decades, it always returns to the classic suit, and fans wouldn’t want it any other way.