Despite its dubious origin, Spider-Man’s black costume has proven to be a fan-favorite. The suit officially debuted in 1984’s Amazing Spider-Man #252, and was explained a few months later in Secret Wars #8. Although created by a fan who sold the design to Marvel Editor-in-Chief Jim Shooter in 1982, the suit became canon when Shooter and new partners Mattel wanted to sell two versions of their Spider-Man action figure. This crass beginning opened new storytelling possibilities for Spider-Man, with the suit being featured in legendary stories such as “Kraven’s Last Hunt” and in Venom, one Spidey’s best antagonists. More importantly, the black suit made possible the emo Peter sequence from Spider-Man 3, which we all know is good cinema.
Given the suit’s importance, it shouldn’t be a surprise that filmmakers would want to include it in big-screen Spider-Man stories. Not only did the symbiote suit play a major part in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3, but the MCU gestured toward the get-up with Peter’s “Night Monkey” variant in Spider-Man: Far From Home. But for Miles Morales in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, the black suit gets a more streamlined update.
Thanks to twitter user @furlow71, we get our first look at merchandise for Across the Spider-Verse, including a shot of Miles in a remix of Peter Parker’s most famous back-up duds. The promo art shows Miles in a familiar web-slinging pose, wearing on his chest a variation on the spray-painted Spidey logo he created in Into the Spider-Verse. But where that logo was bright-red, one of many scarlet highlights to pop against the largely black costume, here it is a subtle grey. That color also appears in the form of lining across Miles’s arms and legs, giving the suit an athletic appearance. Combined with the lack of web texturing on the costume, this black and white look has a sleek feel, not unlike Peter’s black suit or an inverted version of his Future Foundation outfit.
With the leaks, we also get a look at Miles’s classic suit, which was introduced in a rousing scene towards the climax of Into the Spider-Verse. In two of the leaked images, Miles appears to be wearing a version of his classic look with a blue base instead of black. However, this might be just a case of coloring techniques used in comics for decades, which used blue highlights to add texture to black objects. Whatever the reason, these images suggest a costume that effectively blends Peter and Miles’s looks.
The images also give us a peek at a returning hero and what seems to be the movie’s primary antagonist. Gwen Stacy aka Spider-Gwen aka Ghost Spider was one of the clear standouts in a movie filled with cool Spider-People. The merchandising art shows Gwen alongside Miles, indicating that she’ll be more than a cameo in the sequel. Miguel O’Hara, better known as Spider-Man 2099, was just a fun cameo in Into the Spider-Verse, but here he’ll be an unlikely enemy for Across the Spider-Verse. What little we can see of the suit largely matches his comics look, albeit with exaggerated blades on his forearms.
Will these costumes match the popularity of their comic book forerunners? It’s hard to tell for sure, but given the success of Into the Spider-Verse, I’d say they have great potential.