If there is anyone who can speak to the aesthetics of comics, it is surely me, comic book art expert! For the purposes of organization, I have divided this list into two categories—the first is Spider-Man Peter Parker edition specifically. Or those who are genetically the same (that means clones for you uninitiated.) The second is the Spider-related characters, your Spider Women, Girls, and future Spider-Men and so on.
Spider-Man (Peter Parker and those genetically related) Costumes
18.) Baghead- Don’t fool yourself. It’s just nostalgia that makes you think this is a good look. It is, in fact, objectively not good. Goofy, perhaps. Funny, maybe. Aesthetically, no good.
17.) The current raised symbol- Just not different enough, in my opinion. The changes made don’t enhance the design or offer a different enough alternative interpretation.
16.) The Mighty- Electric blue is not a good look for Superman and now we know the same goes for Spidey.
15.) Spider-Armor (First)- Bulky and visibly heavy, I have a nostalgic affection for the Spider-Armor but it isn’t great.
14.) The Spider-Man of the Future- Featured in just one flash forward story, it’s an interesting enough reinterpretation of the Spider-Man costume. I don’t dislike, I don’t love it.
13.) The Negative Zone Costume- I like the black and white but am unmoved by the fact that it offers no other difference from the classic look.
12.) The Ends of The Earth Armor- We are back to bulky again, but at least it is a little more streamlined and gives Spider-Man more of a sense of motion than the silver jobber from years earlier.
11.) Scarlet Spider II- A little too simple to place higher on the list, but I like it. It fits with Kaine, aka the guilty clone, his personality and his desire for an uncomplicated life.
10.) Cosmic- It’s almost too busy to work. Almost. But then, wouldn’t you know it, it pulls it off.
9.) Ben Reilly- I go back and forth on the blue stripes on the arms. It feels a little too much to me, but the external web shooters are a good look.
8.) Superior Spider-Man- The black for blue and the use of the “legs” nicely incorporate the guise (Spider-Man) with the man in charge of the body (Otto Octavius aka Doctor Octopus).
7.) Iron Spider- Actually, in my opinion, a very cool look. It scores a little low just because not every artist seemed to be able to confidently render it.
6.) Scarlet Spider I- The colors/ the exposed web shooters. And, yes, the blue hoody. It’s all pretty great.
5.) Stealth Suit (red)-Loses by a nose because the red flattens the suit rather than gives it more depth.
4.) Stealth Suit (green)- Spider-Man meets Tron. The green really makes the costume and the design of the spider pop, making it all very eye catching.
4.) Massacre Armor- Very different in color and general design, even the eyes are different, small, curved slivers on his helmet. Different yet entirely recognizable as Spider-Man nonetheless. And unlike the rest of the armor on the list, the only design that seems sleek enough to fit with Spidey’s dominant abilities.
3.) The Future Foundation- Love the design of the symbol and how its legs work through the rest of the costume. I really like ratio of black to white and it can shift to negative as well.
2.) The Black Suit- Simple. Clean. If it came first, I’d probably love this one. But it didn’t. So it doesn’t come in first on my list either.
1.) Classic- For my purposes, I lump webbed and non-webbed in this category. Why? Because I do what I want. Remember that.
Anyway, we call it classic for a reason, don’t we? The other costumes on this list, many of them are cool. None of them are perfect. This one is.
14.) Spider-Man 2211- What a dumb looking costume. I know that’s not exactly trenchant, but…it’s just so dopey looking.
13.) Spider-Woman (Mattie)- It’s...not great, you know? Unrelated to her costume, but I never talk about Mattie so let me say here: she got a raw deal.
12.) Spider-Woman (Jessica)- There are people that love this costume, I am not one of them. I think there’s just too much yellow for me.
11.) Spider-Girl (Mayday)- It’s just Ben Reilly’s costume, really. I like it but it doesn’t offer me anything different.
10.) Arana- I actually think this one is a lot of fun but it’s just not much of costume, you know? It’s more of a look than a costume.
9.) Arachne- I don’t know…I just like Julia better in the more directly black costume inspired suit. This stylized spider and a lot less white does not work as well for me with her.
8.) 2099 Current- It looks great on covers, it loses something on interiors and in motion. Good, but not great.
7.) Spider-Girl (Anya)- Remember how I didn’t love this on Carpenter? I like it better on Corazon. It just works better with her size and lines. And perhaps because I never saw here in the more classic version I saw Carpenter in. I am open that possibility.
6.) Silk- So different than any other suit on this list and it still works. It “feels” like a Spider character design without sacrificing the unique design.
5.) Spider-Woman (Julia)-“My” Spider-Woman, if you will. The black costume is great already and the use of more dominant whites on Julia’s interpretation makes it pop just that much more.
5.) Spider-Gwen- Like Silk, such a different interpretation yet so recognizable as Spider-related. Love the use of color a bit more here though, especially that blue.
4.) Steel Spider- I love Steel Spider. LOVE! No apologies. Love the color scheme, the spider, the way the “legs” look, even the mask. LOVE.
3.) Spider-Woman (Jessica with jacket)- Great reinterpretation of her color scheme with a more modern take. So very much better than the original.
2.) 2099 Classic- The Spider-Man color scheme but darker. The shredded web underarms. The claws and spines. The Spider-Man symbol interpreted as skull. It’s a wonderful take on the design that nicely recalls all the classic Spidey elements without repeating a note.
1.) Ultimate Spider-Man (Miles)- Great use of the red highlights on black. Exactly the kind of suit you’d wear to honor your predecessor as you remained ambivalent of your worthiness of said mantel.