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Spider-Man's 10 Worst Costumes, Ranked

CBR 9/1/2022 Sage Ashford
© Provided by CBR

While his classic red-and-blue suit is one of the most iconic costumes of all time, Spider-Man has changed appearances dozens of times in Marvel Comics. Some of Spidey's alternate costumes, like the symbiote suit, were popular enough to remain a staple of the books for years, but most of the costume changes barely lasted an issue, with Peter Parker needing a specific outfit to help him deal with a specific foe or situation.

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While most of Spider-Man's costumes look amazing, they're not all perfect. Some of them range from mediocre, like his various Spider-Armors, to downright bad, like the hilariously ridiculous Bag-Man. Fortunately, Peter always returns to his classic red-and-blues sooner or later.

Iron Spider Overcomplicates A Perfect Suit

Not long after Spider-Man came back from the dead after his fight against Morlun, he was granted a new suit in the form of the Iron Spider Armor. The armor grants Peter additional protection and abilities, such as specially controlled metallic arms and the ability to glide through the air if needed.

Of course, Peter regrets wearing the suit at all after he switched sides during the Civil War storyline, ultimately ditching the armor in favor of his classic suit when he joined Captain America. The suit isn't the worst thing he's ever worn, but this suit belongs in Tony's wardrobe rather than Peter's. And the so-called "waldoes" attached to his back just look out of place.

The 1977 Amazing Spider-Man Wore A Low-Quality Suit

A live-action version of Spider-Man's classic suit was used during The Amazing Spider-Man 1977 television series, but it wasn't one of his best looks. Superhero suits prior to Tim Burton's Batman in 1989 were either stylish or functional, but never both.

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The Spidey suit, worn by actor Nicholas Hammond, looks more like a Halloween costume, especially with the massive web-shooters that shoot out literal ropes rather than thin, aesthetic webbing. The small eyes look off, and the gigantic belt messes up the sleekness of the classic design.

Bag-Man Was Only Meant To Be A Temporary Solution

After Peter Parker initially had the black symbiote costume pulled off of him, he needed to find a way home from the Baxter Building. With no costume, he had to accept his best friend Johnny Storm's offer of a spare uniform from the Fantastic Four.

With no way to conceal his identity, he tossed a brown paper bag over his head that strangely stayed on while web-swinging. He stopped some robbers on his way home, causing him to briefly confront news reporters before swinging off again. The Bag-Man outfit was never meant to be taken seriously, but intentions aside, Peter still looked ridiculous wearing it.

Captain Universe Spider-Man Merges Two Different Costumes

In Spectacular Spider-Man #158 by Gerry Conway, Sal Buscema, Mike Esposito and Bob Sharen, the Uni-Power imbues Spider-Man with the cosmic power of Captain Universe. Though he only has it for a few months, Spider-Man's improved powers allowed him to take on a number of villains that would've given him trouble otherwise.

Though he wears his normal costume for a time, eventually he's inspired to merge the Captain Universe outfit with his own. The resulting combination is a suit that doesn't look as good as either of the individual costumes. The cosmic designs were interesting, but the single patch of red on the mask looked awkward and contrasted with the rest of the design.

Spider-Armor Mark I Is Too Clunky To Be Useful

In Web of Spider-Man #100 by Terry Kavanagh, Alex Saviuk, Joe Rubinstein, and Bob Sharen, Peter introduced the first version of the Spider-Armor. At the time, New York was under attack by the Enforcers and Peter needed special armor to withstand their weaponry. The armor worked, but it made him slower and not nearly as agile, which works directly against what a Spider-Man costume should do.

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Nonetheless, the armor lasted until the end of the issue before being destroyed. While every hero has to wear armor eventually, the Mark I Spider-Armor loses his classic color scheme and looks too bulky to be useful.

Scarlet Spider-Man II Ruins A Classic Spider-Man Design

If there's a costume almost as good as the classic Spider-Man outfit, it's Ben Reily's Scarlet Spider. It's got the same iconic simplicity working for it that the classic costume does. When Ben was finally revived in the late 2010s, people were excited to see him suit back up in the classic Scarlet Spider outfit.

Unfortunately, they got a different suit instead, one that Ben Reilly stole from a Spider-Man cosplayer. The red and blue hues were off, and the suit looked more like a 90s redesign. Readers could also strangely see Ben smiling beneath the mask. Fortunately, fan outcry prompted the return of Ben's classic suit.

Secret War Spider-Man Mixes Too Many Colors

During the Secret War event, Nick Fury sent Spider-Man on a spy mission to Latveria. Spidey's classic suit was too bright and colorful. Instead, he was given a mostly-black suit to help him maintain stealth. The problem with this suit is it tries to blend too many Spider-Man elements.

It's mostly black, but it still maintains the web patterns around the arms, legs, and head which look weird against the black. If the goal was to avoid detection, an actual all-black suit would be more practical. Spidey's Secret War suit shouldn't have featured any red or blue accents at all. Despite the busy design and coloring, the suit reappeared in Marvel's Spider-Man game from Insomniac.

Spider-Man's Fantastic Four Uniform Strips Away His Individuality

In Fantastic Four vol. 6 #22 by Dan Slott, Paco Medina, and Sean Izaakse during the Empyre event, Spider-Man wears a brand-new costume to signify his close connection with the Fantastic Four. The costume maintains the look of a general Spider-Man suit, but the core is made of unstable molecules.

This predominantly blue color scheme doesn't work here, especially when the webbing has been removed from the costume. The costume also strips away Spider-Man's individuality, something that's always made him stand out from other heroes on various teams he's worked with. Spidey's Future Foundation suit was a much better Fantastic Four team-up suit than the one presented here.

Cyborg Spider-Man Showcases The Worst Costumes Of The 90s

Is there a more blatant example of a 90s costume than Cyborg Spider-Man? This suit is actually canon, introduced in Spider-Man #21 by Erik Larsen, Joe Rosas and Chris Eliopoulos. Spider-Man dealt with the Sinister Six when a bounty hunter shot at and nearly killed him.

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Spider-Man was taken to Care Labs, where engineers and scientists gave him a ton of cybernetic enhancements to make up for his injuries. Thankfully, these attachments only briefly stuck around, but they did help Spider-Man take out the Sinister Six. They're just hideous, and ruin the greatness of Spider-Man's classic suit, making him look more like Cable's apprentice.

The Electro-Proof Spider-Man Suit Is Protective But Ugly

In Amazing Spider-Man #425 by Tom DeFalco and Steve Skroce, Spider-Man donned a new outfit to battle Electro. Spidey had the help of the X-Men in this battle, but he needed even more protection. He created a suit that was insulated with rubber to help him deal with Electro's attacks.

Of course, the goal of the suit wasn't to look pretty, but this costume still lacked any sense of flair. It traded the bright red for a brownish-red color, and the pads on the arms and legs make the suit look bulky and unappealing. Fortunately, it's not one of his commonly used costumes. Having said that, fans often see this suit appear in Spidey video games like Shattered Dimensions or Marvel's Spider-Man.

NEXT: Spider-Man's 10 Most Impressive Costumes

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