As far as costumes go, Spider-man nailed his look from day one. Sure, its been tweaked and modified over the years, but the core look has remained the same: A tight-fitting piece of spandex decked out in a red and blue colour scheme that was at least 2/3 as patriotic as Captain America’s costume. It’s a design which has been kept largely in check across five big budget movies, various animated TV series and numerous video games.
Now, that look is getting an update in Captain America: Civil War, as Spider-Man enters the battle on the side of Team Iron Man. Let’s take a closer look at that costume that actor Tom Holland is probably sweating buckets underneath. Here’s a high-res version of the costume from last night’s trailer, click to embiggen:
And now onto the details! First up, the texture and webs:
Every Spider-Man costume has been more than just basic spandex. The Sam Raimi directed films got the ball rolling with a subtle honeycomb texture, while the recent Marc Webb films had two distinct looks. Amazing Spider-Man in 2012 had a more porous texture with raised honeycomb patterns on it:
While Amazing Spider-Man 2 dialled back the overt texture design for a more classic look that was more in line with the suit worn by Tobey Maguire:
It’s an interesting look, that appears to be very much a silkscreened effort at first. And this is actually far more believable, as the Spider-Man cosplay community uses this exact technique to create their own costumes on a budget. The lack of raised webs is an interesting move. Every Spider-Man costume before Civil War has featured raised webs in some form, creating a more three-dimensional wallcrawler that must have been pure hell for special effects departments to animate.
In fact, it’s not just regular webs. They’re the opposite, indented into the costume in some reverse-manner. It’s an interesting move, that looks seamless at first glance.
Next up, the lenses!
That’s pure Steve Ditko right there. If you look back to Spider-Man’s earliest appearances, his lenses were smaller, more squinty. Over the years, artists like Todd MacFarlane and Mark Bagley would create a wider-eyed Spider-Man, that would become the defacto look for the webhead for decades to come.
The Sam Raimi trilogy would use largely the same lenses, a go-between of the squinty and wide-eyed looks:
While the first Amazing Spidey film would have a very definite Steve Ditko-inspired look when it arrived:
The sequel however, went full Mark Bagley with the lenses:
Here’s where all of the previous five films were the same however: The lenses were static peeping props, unable to move or emote any reactions from Spidey. The new lenses however, can. He may only be in the trailer for two seconds, but Tom Holland’s Spidey is clearly looking through lenses which have their own auto-focus, tying into earlier rumours about his costume having some sort of aperture that constantly adjusts itself.
Magic! The weirdest tweak for me however, is the central spider logo. Take a look at the one on the latest costume:
That’s a much smaller, and stylised symbol, especially when compared to the Maguire costume:
And the two suits worn by Garfield:
An idea that also extends to the back symbol, which is now far more compact as opposed to the daddy-long-legged icon sported by Maguire and Garfield:
Lastly, there’s also a very cool belt that has web fluid canisters stored alongside it:
Overall, a very cool and subtle costume, when examined more closely. I’d love to see more of it in action, but only when Captain America: Civil War is actually out. ‘Nuff said.
Last Updated: March 11, 2016