Spider-Man's Powers and Equipment

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See Spider-Man Marvel Comics

Fan art by by fanboy1171
Fan art by by fanboy1171



Spider-Man's powers, abilities, and equipment are used by Marvel Comics superhero Spider-Man in tandem to combat his many foes. He receives most of his powers when he is bitten by a radioactive common house spider. (Amazing Fantasy #15) He uses his technical skill to develop equipment and weapons to complement his powers, and wears a number of costumes, many of which have special properties.

In 2004 and 2005, he mutates further and gains even more spider-like abilities. 2008's One More Day story arc puts Spider-man back to older standards including the use of web shooters one more vs the organic shooters made famous in the movies.

Original Powers

When Peter Parker was bitten by a lethally irradiated spider, radioactive mutagenic enzymes in the spider's venom quickly caused numerous body-wide changes. Immediately after the bite, he was granted his original powers: primarily superhuman strength, reflexes, and equilibrium; the ability to cling tenaciously to most surfaces; and a subconscious precognitive sense of danger, which he called a "spider-sense."

Several biologists on the History Channel’s Spider-Man Tech stated the effect of a radioactive spider bite (if any) would not be nearly enough to cause a mutation in a human body. However, they said the use of "genetically engineered" spiders from the live-action movie was more plausible. Instead of radioactive venom, the bite would have to carry a powerful retro virus that would spread through the body by taking over neighboring cells and actually becoming ingrained in the person’s DNA. They illustrated this by showing the results of an experiment where glow genes from deep sea Jelly fish were introduced into the embryos of lab mice. The resulting mice were born with the glow gene as a part of their own DNA and glowed light green whenever a fluorescent light was shined on them.

Enhanced Physiology

Spider-Man's overall metabolic efficiency has been greatly increased, and the composition of his skeleton, connective tissues, muscles, and nervous system have all been enhanced. Spider-Man is capable of healing injuries faster and more extensively than ordinary humans, though it is considerably inferior to the healing abilities of individuals such as Wolverine or The Hulk. However, Spider-Man is capable of healing from injuries as severe as broken bones within a matter of hours. During a battle with a villain called the Masked Marauder, Spider-Man is rendered completely blind. However, during a visit to an eye specialist, it is revealed that Spider-Man is already healing only after mere hours of being blasted. After about 2 days Spider-Man's eyes are healed to perfection and his 20/20 vision is restored, although they are sensitive for about a day after, shown when Carrion flashed a bright light in his face, but after his eyes are totally healed. During the recent unmasking of Spider-Man in "Civil War," he is ambushed by the Rhino and is injured. However, he heals completely by the end of the issue without medical attention. He even mentions to Aunt May that 'he knows he has always been a fast healer, but lately it seems even more so.' Also when Spider-Man is heavily beaten and drugged, suffering multiple fractures and blood loss by the Jack O' Lantern and Jester in "Civil War," he is almost completely healed in the next issue. Like many superhuman powers, the effectiveness of Spider-Man's abilities varies based on the author and the needs of the story.

His accelerated metabolism increases his tolerance to drugs, meaning a larger dose is needed to cause the usual effect, and he can recover from the effects rapidly. During an encounter with the bee-based villain Swarm, Spider-Man is incapacitated by thousands of bee stings, but fully recovers in less than 24 hours. His resistance to other toxins varies, but is typically significantly higher than normal. However, Spider-Man has normal human tolerance to the effects of alcoholic beverages and is rarely shown drinking, since it affects his balance, reflexes and coordination. In one battle with the Hobgoblin, he nearly loses his life after unknowingly consuming spiked punch at a party. Although he is still affected by disease and infection, his recovery time is typically shorter than that of an ordinary human. Spider-Man's unique physiology even allows him to recover from the effects of vampirism

Several accounts depict Spider-Man as able to hold his breath for eight minutes or more.

After getting his powers, he soon discovered that he no longer needed glasses and his vision was actually more acute without them. His eyesight has since been 20/20.

Spider-Man is still vulnerable to disease, and has fallen ill due to flu many times [6], which affects the reliability of his powers. He also has a certain susceptibility towards ethyl chloride, which is a commonly used pesticide against insects and arachnids. This chemical was used frequently as a weapon in the Spider-Slayer robots.


Spider-Man is capable of crawling on walls and ceilings. He has conscious control over this ability, and it is simple and instinctive for him to use—he first uses it in Amazing Fantasy #15 before realizing he has the ability. Originally, Spider-Man is able to stick to surfaces using his hands and feet, but later he is shown to be able to cling with his back. The strength of attraction between himself and the surface he is clinging to is considerable, with an upper limit of several tons per finger. If Spider-Man does not willingly detach, but is pulled off by force, the surface usually breaks still attached to his body. However, it has been shown that a significant shock can cause him to lose control of his power and fall off a surface. If a surface is too slippery, he has problems sticking to it. He can also use his clinging ability to lift or hold objects; for instance, he can catch a thrown ball simply by touching it with one fingertip. Spider-Man is also able to jump against the walls and he can also sprint against a wall which helps him climb surfaces a lot faster.

The ability works through thin layers of cloth, such as the fabric of his costume, but not through materials such as the soles of shoes. When Peter Parker needs to crawl without changing into the costume, he removes his shoes first.

Spider-Man's wall-crawling ability has increased with time, most notably after 2005's "Spider-Man: The Other" story arc. As a result of further mutation, nearly every part of his body has gained or increased in attraction to other surfaces, and he can stick people or objects on his back, or keep his mask firmly fixed to his face (previously used to prevent undesirable mask removal) protecting his secret identity.

Spider-Man's wall crawling abilities have been explained in several ways. The most notable explanations include:

A panel of biologists and physicists on the History Channel’s Spider-Man Tech suggested the barbed-hair on his fingertips (from the movie) could have the same effect as the miniature scopulae hairs on the ends of a spider’s feet. Spiders are able to climb up seemingly impossibly surfaces like glass because the scopulae interact with the glass’s atoms causing a form of atomic static cling via the Van der Waals force.

Bio-electricity. Spider-Girl's similar power is referred to by Reed Richards as "bio-magnetism," but her ability is somewhat different.

Enemies able to cancel wall-crawling ability

Electro had a revelation during a battle about Spider-Man's clinging ability and can disrupt this power somehow, claiming that it was based on some sort of electromagnetic bonding. It is ineffective after the events of "The Other". Many enemies, such as Stilt-Man have used lubricants to prevent Spider-Man from sticking. The villain, Paste Pot Pete used a type of grease to cancel out Spider-Man's wallcrawling. Many enemies have ripped Spider-Man from a surface using strength but usually after the wall breaks from the strain, not from his powers failing, and pieces of the wall can still be seen clinging to his fingers and toes.

Superhuman Strength

Spider-Man's strength varies widely due to artistic license, but is significantly higher than that of a peak-condition Olympic athlete and well into the superhuman range of strength. Early in his career, Spider-Man was frequently said to have the proportional strength of a spider. However, due to events of "The Other" story arc, his current level of strength has been shown to be much greater. He has been shown to lift and throw objects such as a semi truck with ease.[13]. When in combat, Spider-Man must pull his punches unless fighting someone of similar or greater durability and power. Otherwise, his punches would kill a normal person.

Spider-Man's bodily tissue is a great deal more durable and resistant to some types of injury than a normal human. However, Spider-Man is far from invulnerable. While his body is tougher than an ordinary human, he can still be injured in ways comparable to an ordinary human. For example, Spider-Man can be injured by bullets or knives composed of conventional material and from impacts of sufficient force. However, if injured, his accelerated metabolism is capable of repairing itself many times faster than an ordinary human is capable of. A doctor has told Spider-Man that it would be impossible for a normal man to survive the punishment that he has endured.

Spider-Man can leap several stories vertically or the width of a city street. He can run at superhuman speed for short sprints, fast enough at least to outrun a car, but prefers using his weblines to travel.

Spider-reflexes and Agility

Spider-Man's agility and reflexes are far superior to those of an ordinary human, even those that represent the peak of human conditoning such as Captain America. In combination with his spider-sense, the speed of his reflexes allows him to dodge almost any attack, or even gunfire, if he is far enough away[18]. Due to the events of "The Other," his reflexes have been increased further, responding directly to his spider-sense and instinct that can result in him lashing out at negligible threats [19].

Spider-Man has the ability to maintain his equilibrium on any surface that he can stick to. For example, he can balance on one finger on a high wire [20], or stand upright on a wall, parallel to the ground. Additionally, he is able to flex his body like a contortionist, assuming postures that would be impossible or harmful for most normal humans. His tendons and connective tissues are at least twice as elastic as the average human being's. This ability is often demonstrated by the unusual poses Spider-Man would assume while webslinging or dodging enemy attacks. Also, as an outcome of his spider-reflexes, Peter has developed his own fighting style.


Spider-Man's "spider-sense" manifests in a tingling feeling at the base of his skull, alerting him to personal danger in proportion to the severity of that danger. It appears to be a simultaneous, seemingly clairvoyant response to a wide variety of phenomena. Though the exact mechanism of this ability is unknown, his original spider-sense clearly has at least two aspects in addition to sensing potential or immediate danger:

A psychological awareness of his surroundings, similar to the radar-sense of Daredevil. When he is temporarily blinded[21], Spider-Man learns to emulate this ability and navigate without his eyesight. Even under normal conditions, his spider-sense helps him navigate darkened rooms, instinctively avoiding obstacles or hazards, or potentially noisy or unstable floorboards, walls or ceilings that may betray his presence. In one comic, he is shown sensing how many fingers Mary Jane is holding up. An ability to detect certain radio frequencies. Spider-Man's technical skill is such that he has designed spider-tracers that broadcast a signal detectable by his spider-sense.

Using his spider-sense to time his enhanced reflexes, Spider-Man can casually dodge attacks up to and including automatic-weapons fire, provided there is sufficient distance. His spider-sense is sufficiently well-linked to his reflexes, even before "The Other" storyline, that a threat can trigger them even when Spider-Man is asleep or stunned, as in Amazing Spider-Man #141, where a narcotic gas released by foe Mysterio caused him to lose his balance and fall from a building. Though barely conscious, a combination of spider-sense and reflex caused his arm to seize a fire-escape ladder, saving his life.

When Spider-Man swings across a city on his weblines, his spider-sense guides his aim, allowing him to travel at high speeds hundreds of feet above street level with minimal concentration, confident his weblines will find secure anchor points.

Spider-Man's spider-sense is directional and can guide him to or away from hidden weapons and enemies. Sudden and extreme threats (such as the Beyonder observing Earth before the first Secret Wars or the predatory Morlun) can cause his spider-sense to react with painful intensity.

Spider-Man can also sense and dodge attacks directed randomly or by a computer. His spider-sense has helped him preserve his secret identity since it alerts him to observers or camera when changing into or out of his costume, though this has been rendered superfluous by his voluntary unmasking in the Civil War storyline. The spider-sense doesn't react to those whom Peter does not deem a threat, such as Aunt May.

Spider-Man can choose to ignore his spider-sense, and distraction or fatigue diminish its effectiveness.

After the "Disassembled" and "The Other" storylines, Spider-Man gains the ability to feel vibrations and currents in the air or in his web lines, much like a real spider. He also develops a psychic connection to insects, spiders, and other arthropods (see below). The spider-sense also allows Spidey to determine the source of the incoming attack, which gives him an advantage against enemies who are all over the place like Spot.

Enemies immune to the spider-sense

When deprived of his spider-sense, Spider-Man becomes vulnerable to surveillance and attack and traveling by web-line requires most of his concentration.

The Green Goblin developed a gas that can temporarily deaden the spider-sense[22]. This same gas was later enhanced and used by Roderick Kingsley, in his guise as the villain Hobgoblin[23]. Venom is undetectable to Spider-Man's spider-sense, due to the symbiote having been mentally linked to him. His descendant symbiotes, including Carnage and Toxin[26], have inherited this trait.

In Secret Wars issue #8, Spider-Man first comes in contact with the symbiote. His spider-sense goes off but is quickly dampened as the symbiote flowed over Spider-Man's body and established the mental link that allowed it to generate webbing and respond to Spider-Man's thoughts. However, a clone of Spider-Man, Ben Reilly was able to use his spider-sense to anticipate the attacks of Venom. This may be related to the fact that the clone was created prior to Peter's bond with the symbiote.

Mysterio has developed a gas that can neutralize the sense. The clones Kaine, Ben Reilly and Spidercide were also undetectable, and he is undetectable to their spider-senses as well. As they share the same DNA, their spider-senses recognize the others as "self." Kraven the Hunter once used a jungle scent that dulled Spider-Man's spider-sense. The Jackal once succeeded in attacking Spider-Man from behind, without triggering his spider-sense. The Jackal explained it to be due to him always being Peter Parker's (Spider-Man's alter ego) friend, meaning that the spider-sense wouldn't regard him as a threat/enemy. The Jackal then took off his mask, revealing himself to be Dr. Miles Warren, one of Peter Parker's teachers (inapplicable, contrary to modern continuity). Iron Man has created a device that can send false spider-sense signals. He has also incorporated the device into his armor to grant him his own version of the Spider-Sense. However, this mechanism is apparently imperfect since Iron Man was unable to detect the presence of Vision. Certain Skrull agents are immune to the sense. Spider-Man was unable to sense anything unusual about the agent posing as Elektra. This agent was also able to avoid detection by Wolverine's heightened sense of smell or Doctor Strange's mystical abilities.


In the Spider-Man films, the spider-sense is explained as reflexes "so fast it borders on precognition", often signified with a special sound (like a bell ringing once very slowly) and bullet time photography. In the first Spider-Man film, the first time his spider-sense triggers, he seems to become aware of every potential danger in his surroundings, even those that pose no real threat, such as a fly or a paper spitball. In the Spider-Man 2 novelization (ISBN 2-265-07939-1), the spider-sense is described as a general slowing-down of his perception of time (e.g. one second would feel like a minute). In Spider-Man 3, the spider-sense is never shown going off in Spider-Man's head with its special sound like in the previous two movies. Peter is shown using the spider sense only once in the film, to dodge a pumpkin bomb thrown at him by Harry.

Further mutations

On several occasions, Spider-Man takes on more spider-like forms—at the extreme even transforming into a gigantic spider.

When Peter tried to rid himself of his spider powers by using a formula[29], it backfires: he grows four extra arms instead, which extend from his sides. With help from Dr. Curt Connors, and a blood sample from Morbius, he is able to return to normal.

At one point, he is transformed by the Savage Land Mutates into a monstrous, predatory form that comes to be called "Man-Spider." In this form, his normal human consciousness is submerged, and he attacks like an animal. However, his conscience is able, barely, to stop him from killing. He is transformed into Man-Spider several other times.

In the Avengers Disassembled crossover event, Spider-Man encounters an enemy called the Queen, a woman capable of controlling insects. She triggers another transformation in him: first, he grows extra eyes and hair covering his body; second, he changes into a Man-Spider-like form (however, with his human mind still intact); and finally he transforms into a giant spider. In that form, he seems to die, but instead emerges in human form, but with enhanced powers. (See below.)

Other transformations included the vicious Spider-Lizard which occurred when Spider-Man tried to cure Dr. Connors from the Lizard persona by using a portable Enervator. The machine made Peter absorb radioactive feedback and transferred the reptilian metamorphosis to him and granting him bulletproof skin, a powerful tail and reptilian fangs and claws. There was also the Spider-Hulk mutation which granted the web-swinger the powers and the easy temper of the green goliath by transferring energy from the Hulk ( which was kept in a Bio-Kinetic Energy Absorber made from a scientist trying to steal the Hulk's powers) to the web-swinger, when the last one accidentally touched the device.

Peter was not the only one who suffered transferred mutations while wearing the Spider-Man costume. Ben Reilly was transformed into the Spider-Carnage when he was up against the powerful entity, because he had to bind with the alien in order to prevent its rampage.

Powers after "Disassembled" and "The Other"

In addition to his original powers, Spider-Man gains the following abilities after he fights the Queen in "Disassembled"[31], and also after apparently dying at the hands of Morlun and being reborn ("Spider-Man: The Other," 2005). It is apparent that his powers gained from "The Other" are only available because a voice inside him says that he is "embracing the Other".

Arthropod communication

After Disassembled, Spider-Man can mentally communicate with arthropods (at least insects and spiders), though he does not seem to be capable of controlling them like Ant-Man. He can sense their presence, or glance at any spider and instantly know what kind it is[32]. It is possible that this is an extension of his spider-sense. Spider-Man used this mental capacity to communicate with all of the Queen's followers, humans with an "insect gene," and learned how to deactivate a bomb[33].

Organic webbing

In "Disassembled," Spider-Man develops the ability to shoot organic webbing from his wrists (after he recovered from being changed into a spider), and he stopped using his Web-Shooters which was a great advantage for him because it allowed him to stop being dependent on web cartridges which allowed him limited shots. Once, while fighting Iron Man, Spider-Man supposedly "let loose", allowing his webbing to shoot out unrestrained. After he had stopped, he had generated enough webbing to completely encase Iron Man, and nearly fill the alley they were fighting in with webbing.

Night vision

After "The Other," Spider-Man develops night vision, allowing him to see in the dark[34].

Eyes, teeth, and stingers

Overcome by rage in "The Other," Spider-Man's spider side overruled his human qualities. His eyes turn glowing red, and he develops fanged teeth, night vision, and sharp stingers,[35]. The stingers are within his arms, protruding from his wrists. They are coated in a venom that inflicts temporary paralysis. Spider-Man cannot consciously control these stingers yet, so they are only triggered in overwhelming situations.

Spider mutation and cocoon

During "Disassembled," Spider-Man mutates into a giant spider, and then emerges from the spider's body with a new ability to communicate with arthropods and organic webbing.

In "The Other," Spider-Man seemingly dies and molts his dead body. He creates a cocoon, and emerges with all his bodily damage healed: lost teeth, broken bones, his lost eye (which Morlun had torn out and eaten), scars, and even lost tonsils. In the words of Tony Stark, Peter's "odometer's been reset." Since some species of spiders shed their skin once in a lifetime, this may be a one-time occurrence.


Spider-Man's web-shooters are perhaps his most distinguishing trait, after his costume. Peter had reasoned that a spider, (even a human one), needed a web. Since the radioactive spider-bite did not initially grant him the power to spin webs, he had instead found a way to produce them artificially. The wrist-mounted devices fire an adhesive "webbing" (see below) through a threaded adjustable nozzle. The trigger rests high in the palm and requires a double tap from the middle two fingers to activate, eliminating the chance of accidental discharge when forming a fist. To accomplish this his hands are often in a distinctive hand position when he fires them (resembling the sign for "I love you" in American Sign Language or the horned hand heavy-metal gesture) In order to fire the webbing, Spider-Man's fingers must hit the sensor precisely, which enables him to ball his fingers into a fist.

Spider-Man must steadily replenish his webbing supply, reloading his web-shooters with small cartridges of web fluid, which is stored under high pressure. In early stories, he carries his extra supplies in a utility belt worn under his costume . Later on, he equips the web-shooters with a bracelet-like carousel that automatically rotates a new cartridge into position as he empties them. When in use, a steel nipple in the carousel pierces the seal of the cartridge, and allows the fluid to travel through an air-tight channel toward the nozzle. Pressing down on the palm-trigger of the web-shooter causes the valve in the nozzle to open wider, expelling the fluid out. Releasing the trigger causes the valves to close, cutting off the web-line or fluid. If Spider-Man creates any variation to his normal web formula that's too strong for the pinch valves to sever, he might end up being tangled up or tied to the object he attached his web to. This has happened on more than one occasion. His web-shooters require constant maintenance and on more than one occasion suffer jams or malfunctions.

The triggers on each web-shooter require tremendous pressure to fire them (in most cases, Spider-Man's enhanced strength), and the average human cannot activate the trigger without the use of a hammer or similar object, although in many cases, normal human strength is sufficient enough to activate them for the purposes of plot development.

Occasionally, the web-shooters are modified to expel other liquids.

After he develops organic webbing, Spider-Man gives the web-shooters to his wife Mary Jane as a Valentine's Day present, after having them changed into bracelets, and weakening the pressure required, so that she can use the bracelets for self-defense.

Ben Reilly, as the Scarlet Spider and later as Spider-Man, uses modified web-shooters that can fire fast-acting sedative "stinger" darts, and "impact webbing," balls of webbing that explode on impact and envelop the target. The impact webbing and stingers are activated by certain wrist movements, rather than using a double-tap on a palm trigger. They use larger web cartridges than Peter's web-shooters and worn on the outside of his costume. Spider-Girl, Peter's alternate future daughter, uses modified versions of Ben's web-shooters.

Spider-Man films

Instead of having mechanical webshooters in the live-action Spider-Man movie, Spider-Man developed biological webshooters in his forearms; this was explained by the producers' desire to make Peter Parker more realistic, as it was believed that, if he could create a substance that official government scientists couldn't create, it would distance himself from the average person. One biologist on the History Channel’s Spider-Man Tech suggested that it would be more plausible for Spider-Man to shoot webbing from the Submandibular gland beneath the tongue instead of from his forearms.


Spider-Man uses small electronic "spider-tracers" of his own design that allow him to track objects or individuals. These little devices are attuned to his spider-sense frequency, so that Spider-Man will be able to know whether or not he is in the proximity of the tracer. Typically, Spider-Man plants one on a departing enemy, or throws one to adhere to an escaping enemy, then follows the target to their hideout for later attack. Spider-Man sometimes also uses a launching device in his web-shooters for better range and accuracy.

A tracer's outer casing is shaped like a spider, with legs for aerodynamic flight. The tracers are small enough to remain unnoticed, in general, but sometimes a target finds a tracer and destroys it.

In early stories, Spider-Man uses a small electronic receiver to follow the signals of his tracers, but eventually he modifies the tracers to emit a signal he can follow with his spider-sense. According to what he once said to Hank Pym (who noted that Peter may actually be smarter than him if he was able to design this at fifteen when Pym spent years developing similar technology for his helmet), he is able to sense the tracer within a 100-yard radius. The receiver, however, offers better range. Spider-Man is unable to sense a tracer that had been taken out of Manhattan at one point. The receiver, however, allows him to follow it to the town of Scarsdale, New York, some 20 miles away. It is not yet established if the changes to his spider-sense documented in "The Other" storyline have affected Spider-Man's ability to sense the tracers.

In several stories, enemies use the tracers to lure him into a trap. Enemies with sufficient technical knowledge can reprogram the tracers into overloading his spider-sense, making it hard for him to tell the difference between real danger and the tracer[50]. Or they just attune it to his sixth sense and they can simply put to a target of their own, just like Tracer did in "The Other"

His clone Ben Reilly can also pick up the signal from Peter's tracers. Ben also developed a modified version of the original tracer into a simpler 'Micro-Dot' form. Like Peter's, these devices can be fired from Ben's web-shooters and can adhere to most surfaces. They fly like miniature Frisbees.

Following her rescue from an obsessed kidnapper, Mary Jane Watson wears an amplified version of a spider-tracer in a necklace pendant. It carries a boosted signal so Spider-Man can follow it over a longer distance.

Utility belt and spider-signal

Spider-Man keeps his regular field equipment in a utility belt that can carry extra web fluid cartridges, spider-tracers, and his camera. The belt can hold up to 30 cartridges each one being pressured to 300 psi. The belt's buckle contains a small but powerful light, which is filtered through a lens decorated with a stylized likeness of Spider-Man's mask. This spider-signal is mostly limited to intimidating weak-nerved criminals and acting as a wide-beam flashlight. It is sometimes used to call for help, as well.


Peter Parker gains employment as a freelance (and sometimes staff) photographer through most of his teen and young adult years. He sells pictures of himself in action as Spider-Man, takes any assignments offered, or, sometimes, uses his powers to help him photograph special events where normal press access is limited or denied, for the New York newspaper The Daily Bugle.

His first camera, originally his father's, has an extended rear metal plate that allows him to use his web to secure it to a wall or other fixed object without interfering with its functions. Typically, Spider-Man positions the camera before intervening in a crime or emergence. Spider-Man gradually improves on the camera's simple timer, including adding a motion sensor that triggered the camera whenever he, as Spider-Man, moved in front of it. He has updated and replaced the camera (they are occasionally destroyed during battles) as necessary over the years.

Partly due to the stinginess of Bugle editor/publisher J. Jonah Jameson, Parker never earns much money as a freelancer. The Bugle, legal owner of his submitted work, eventually publishes a book of his photographic images (Webs) which helps improve his finances. He wins a Pulitzer Prize for his picture of the Sentry, but the Sentry's earlier adventures and their consequences are later wiped from human memory, probably including this award. Parker does, however, win other photography awards over the years.

Peter Parker publicly reveals his secret identity during the Civil War crossover. The Bugle staff (particularly Jameson), are shocked to learn that Parker had been selling them photographs of himself for years and is taking legal action for the fraud, although due to the actions of the Scarlet Spiders, Peter Parker's identity as Spider-Man was heavily questioned. In addition, the events of 'One More Day' has retconned anyone knowing Peter Parker's identity as Spider-Man, thus restoring the status quo of the early Spider-Man comics.


Spider Mobile debuted in Amazing Spider-Man #130.
Spider Mobile debuted in Amazing Spider-Man #130.

Corona Motors approaches Spider-Man through the advertising agency Carter & Lombardo, offering him use of a new nonpolluting motor they had invented and wished to promote, to be installed in a "Spider-Mobile" of his design. Initially reluctant but tempted by the promised endorsement fees, Spider-Man enlists the aid of Johnny Storm, aka the Human Torch, in creating the vehicle; a heavily customized dune buggy with web-launchers and a spider-signal. It debuted in The Amazing Spider-Man #130. It proves useful for a time but is quickly wrecked (Spider-Man having not yet learned to drive). The Tinkerer (with support from the Kingpin), salvages and modifies it further to allow it to drive itself and drive up walls, and he uses it against Spider-Man, who barely manages to disable it. Spider-Man returns the heavily-damaged vehicle to Carter & Lombardo, suspending it with webbing outside the window of their 14th-story offices . Spider-Man, who had never been enthused by the project, looks back on the entire affair with some regret, repeatedly calling the Spider-Mobile "hokey".

Most recently, the Spider-Mobile made a brief cameo appearance, and an appearance in the flashback series Spider-Man and Human Torch.


Original costume

Although the details change somewhat over the years, Spider-Man's costume, with a few notable exceptions, remains fairly consistent. The standard is a form-fitting spandex bodysuit, which from the waist down is blue, except for mid-calf boots with a black web pattern on a red background. From the waist up, the fabric is a red-and-black web pattern, except for his back, sides, and insides of his upper arms, which are blue. There is a large red spider outline on his back, and a smaller black spider emblem on his chest. The back spider has changed over the years, featuring a spider with a bit smaller feet in the past. The mask has white one-way mirror type lenses rimmed with black. (The white portions of the mask's eyes sometimes "squint" when Peter has his eyes partly shut. Whether this is his mask actually changing in response to his eyelids moving, or artistic license, is not clear.) In addition to covering his entire head, thereby leaving no distinguishing features, the mask also muffles his voice, making it unrecognizable. The boots are composed of a thin material that allows Spider-Man's adhering ability to work through the soles of his feet. The boots, mask, and gloves can be folded up and stored inside a pocket while the remainder of his costume can be worn under his civilian clothes.

This standard costume varies in the details depending on the artist: he is sometimes depicted with "underarm webbing" connecting his arms to his torso; the eyes of his mask vary from barely larger than human eyes to extremely large; the blue portions of his costume vary from light blue to black (the usual standard is dark blue); and the density of the web design varies.

His costume completely conceals its wearer, revealing no clues as to identity, even skin or eye color; a physical allusion to the psychological questions of identity and alienation which made the comic unique when it was created.

Black costume

One of the most significant alterations to Spider-Man's costume takes place during the Secret Wars crossover event, in which Spider-Man begins to wear a black costume. After ruining his red and blue one in battle in Battleworld, the Hulk introduced Spider-man to a machine that worked by thinking what kind of suit, weapon or equipment someone needs. When Spider-Man thought of a new costume, the machine gave him a black sphere. When he touched it, Spider-Man found himself covered in a new black costume. The costume first appears in Amazing Spider-Man #252 (May 1984), several months before its origin is revealed in Secret Wars #8. This costume has large white widow emblem on the chest and back and white organic web-shooters on the backs of the hands. The costume also augments Spider-Man's strength and agility, and even seems to give him new powers like the use of the suit itself by projecting tentacles to hit enemies or to grapple from walls. Upon discovering that the costume is actually an alien symbiote, Spider-Man rejects the creature by using high frequency sonics, and he wears a non-living version of the costume for a while. Unknown to him, the alien was able to copy his abilities and not just augmenting them. The alien learned the chemical composing of Spider-Man's webbing, the frequency in which his spider-sense is attuned ( which allowed Venom to dampen Spider-Man's sixth sense) and could also copy his ability to stick to walls. Because of all these reasons, Venom's powers are similar to Spider-Man's. Peter then creates a non-living costume similar to the symbiote, but he stops wearing this costume, however, when Mary Jane is viciously attacked by Venom, the symbiote's new incarnation. Since then, Peter only uses the black costume on occasions when stealth is required. He has also burned the cloth version, but it returned in the Back in Black storyline, which was made when the Tinkerer's "Smart Stealth Cloth" "bonded" with his suit in similar fashion to the symbiote. The suit allows him to sneak up on the Tinkerer and creates its own organic webs. Also, having copied all of Spider-Man's abilities, the alien also sprang to action without Peter in the night to fight crime, which explains why Peter felt exhausted in the morning by wearing the suit, even though he was asleep all night.

In an interview released by Marvel editor-in-chief Joe Quesada (via newsarama) & Spider-Man editor Axel Alonso (CBR.com) stated that Spider-Man will be going back to his classic "Black" costume immediately after Civil War ends (Amazing Spider-Man #539 - February 2007). Marvel's February solicits confirm this, featuring Spider-Man returning to his black costume across all of his titles.. In Sensational Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #35, the Black Costume is first shown with underarm webbing like the original costume

A variation on the black costume is featured in the film Spider-Man 3, only it resembles Spider-Man's actual red & blue costume with a black colouring and a slightly altered spider symbol, both on his chest and back. The same costume is also worn by Venom, with the added details of Venom's signature teeth and a more muscular appearance.

The game Marvel: Ultimate Alliance features Spider-Man's black costume or "Symbiote" as the second unlockable costume.

The black costume stemmed from an idea submitted by a fan named Randy Schueller. The idea was purchased for the sum of $220. Randy Schueller spelled out his involvement with the black costume and Marvel in an article at Comic Book Resources.

Stark Armor (Iron Spider)

After Spider-Man's newer powers developed in "The Other", Tony Stark (Iron Man) developed a new suit for Peter, which he began wearing in The Amazing Spider-Man #529. Nicknamed the "Iron Spider" costume, it is red and gold: according to Marvel Editor-In-Chief Joe Quesada, "Stark's design, Stark's color!" The suit was designed by Quesada, based on a sketch by Chris Bachalo.[56] The suit's appearance has had a mixed reception from fans.

Supported by a system similar to that of Stark's classic Iron Man design, it features many gadgets, including three mechanical spider-arms, or "waldoes," that can be used to see around corners (via cameras in the tips) and to manipulate objects indirectly. Stark describes them as too delicate to use in combat, yet Spider-Man shortly afterward uses them to smash through the sensors in Titanium Man's helmet. Later on during the Civil War storyline, he uses them, (reluctantly), during his fight with Captain America.

Other features include short-distance gliding capability, limited bulletproofing, built-in fire/police/emergency scanner, audio/visual amplification (including infrared and ultraviolet), cloaking device, carbon filters to keep out airborne toxins, and a short-range GPS microwave communication system. It grants the ability to breathe under water, and can morph into different shapes due to its "'smart' liquid metal" form. It can also "more or less disappear" when not needed. The new costume is able to look like other styles of costumes Spider-Man has worn over the years or turn into his street clothes. Part of the costume can detach itself from Spider-Man to cover an object too dangerous to touch, such as a radioactive asteroid. All these features are controlled by a computer system in the chest piece. The suit responds to mental control (The Amazing Spider-Man #530).

The armor also has a secret override that can be activated by Iron Man in case of emergencies or if Spider-Man ever switches sides, (which he does in Civil War #5). However, unknown to Stark, Peter was already aware of the safety measure and had bypassed it with his own override, Password Surprise. Perhaps most sinister, Stark discovered a way to give his own Iron Man armor a "spider-sense" based on Peter's, and the ability to give Spider-Man's sense red herrings.

Peter wore this suit as Spider-Man's official costume until writer J. Michael Straczynski chose to revert to the older costume. It was used symbolically to show Peter's divided loyalties during the current Civil War event at Marvel Comics, promotional images showing him with the Iron Spider costume alongside the pro-registration heroes and in his classic costume on the anti-registration side.

In Civil War #6, Spider-Man is in his classic costume, but he apparently put this costume away since he returned to his black outfit in early 2007, as seen in Civil War #7.

The Stark armor costume has been duplicated and is currently used by three clones created out of the deceased MVP's genetic material in the Initiative who identify themselves as "Red Team". War Machine labels them Scarlet Spiders. It is unknown what new powers the team possesses, but they have been shown to be using some of the built-in powers such as the cloaking device, communications, and waldoes which the original costume possessed (Avengers: The Initiative #3). One change, is that there are now four waldoes, as opposed to three. These suits have the original's morphing ability (Avengers: The Initiative #7), as well as web-shooters (also seen in #7) and wall-crawling capability (Avengers: The Initiative Annual #1).

Marvel: Ultimate Alliance features the "Iron Spidey" costume as Spider-Man's final costume, however, it does not feature the waldoes.

Final costume?

In Amazing Spider-Man #500, Peter has a mystical experience where he simultaneously experiences the beginning and end of his career as Spider-Man. This costume he wears in his final battle is utilitarian, consisting solely of a reversible jacket, mask and gloves. In Amazing Spider-Man #502, Peter receives the design for this exact costume from Leo Zelinsky, The Super-Hero Tailor.


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