Just as the world they’re created from evolves, so to do superheroes. Their evolution however tends to rely heavily on the world that surrounds their creator and what is expected of them from year to year and decade to decade. What worked over fifty years ago wouldn’t exactly work today, but it did lay the groundwork for what was to come. Strangely though it seems like things have kind of come full circle since if you’ll remember correctly Spider-man’s very first incarnation according to his origin story was the simple costume that Peter Parker made himself. In the original release of the young web-slinging hero he didn’t even sport his customary colors, he settled for a simple set of street clothes and a mask that covered his entire head.
At the very least this original costume has been kept around in different movies and in the comics when Spider-man is shown to be first starting out. Of course most evolutionary charts don’t show the absolute bare bones that anything starts out as, so we’ll go into Spider-man’s evolution from the inception of his first actual suit.
There’s no surviving pictures left of the prototype that was the beginning of Spider-man, as much of this has been lost. What is known is that originally Spider-man was going to have web-shooting guns and a half-style mask like Captain America. That would have been a much different look.
During the sixties though Spidey rocked what is dubbed his original costume. The web-shooting guns were scrapped and the web-shooters were added instead, and the addition of wing-like webs were brought in to complete the look. by the mid to late 60’s though the coloring had changed and the web wings were gone.
As of the early to late 1980’s the outfit got a complete recondition and went completely black to bring in the idea of the symbiote. The eyes got bigger and once the black suit was gone the eyes were lowered and the web wings came back.
The 1990’s saw a partial return to the bargain basement look in the Scarlet Spider, but it went right back to the Sensational look that was a modern take on the classic costume. From there it just started going up and down with the designs.
As of the 2000’s the outfit has run the gamut from classic look to the Superior look and then on back to a look that incorporates glowing eyes, emblem, and web wings that have made a return somehow. At this point it’s almost as though the creators and artists can’t decide what they want Spider-man to look like and are adding everything while taking things away incrementally in order to find the look they really want.
At this point mentioning the evolution of the movie costumes is kind of a mess and doesn’t even warrant much of a look aside from saying that it’s been the classic look right up until the latest movie, Homecoming. This actually sees Peter Parker going back to the homemade costume when Tony Stark takes away the upgraded version.
Spidey’s been through a lot of different looks, and none of this even covers the Spider-man 2099 version.
Trust me, you’re not missing much.