ByDavid Latchman, writer at
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David Latchman

The final trailer for Captain America: Civil War came out to reveal Spider-Man. While close to the costume we all know and love, it appears to borrow aspects from some of the previous versions seen in the comics. The new costume is amazing, to say the least. The costume blends the old with the new by incorporating the low density, less-rectangular web design with smaller eyes, typical of Ditko — but also incorporating some designs seen in the newer costumes.

Art by Steve Ditko / Marvel
Art by Steve Ditko / Marvel

There have been many artists who have contributed to Spider-Man over the years, each lending his subtle interpretation of what the character should look like, with much of the variation coming in the form of eye size and web density.

Let us look to the past to see what design elements could have gone into this new version of our much-loved hero!

1. 1962 - Jack Kirby

According to co-creator, Steve Ditko, Jack Kirby was the first person to draw Spider-Man. The character was said to look like many of the pulp heroes that existed before: with goggles, a half-mask, and a web gun. Unfortunately, all of Kirby's original drawing are considered lost but this recently found (unverified) drawing (above) is believed to be what the character looked like.

2. 1962 - Steve Ditko

The person to introduce the Spider-Man we know and love was Steve Ditko. While there wasn't much to compare back then, Ditko's character had a "high-density," rounded web pattern, giving it a very "webby" look. The eye lenses were also relatively small and the front spider insignia was also very pronounced. The Civil War Spider-Man has a very "webby" design but the density of webbing is much lower.

3. 1966 - John Romita Sr.

Next in line is John Romita Sr., whose Spidey differs a little from Ditko's, in that there was a lower density of webs. The web loops were also more rectangular and not as "webby" as Ditko's. The front spider also had a more spider-like appearance. Here we can see some of the similarities with Civil War Spider-Man. The movie version has low density webbing but the webbing is more rounded than Romita.

4. 1988 - Todd McFarlane

Yes, there have been lots of other artists who have drawn Spider-Man, and I am not intentionally ignoring them, but the next artist of note is Todd McFarlane. McFarlane's character was very "webby" (very much like John Rominta Sr.) with a high density of web loops (like Steve Ditko). The eye lenses were HUGE in comparison, and very expressive. Previous artists have varied lens sizes to convey emotion to some degree, but it was really pronounced in McFarlane's character.

5. 1996 - Mark Bagley

Save for the black-and-white costume, Mark Bagley's design was a major one. This design came out of Clone Saga, where it was revealed that Peter Parker was a clone and the original, Ben Reilly, had returned to take his place among the living. Bagley removed the webs along the sides of the arms, and the boots were half-covered in webs. We see a bit of the "epaulet" triangular design incorporated in Civil War Spidey, while still retaining the webs down the arms.

6. 2016 - 'Captain America: Civil War'

If we take a close-up of the character, we can see that the new costume incorporates several elements of the classic and modern versions seen in the comics. The low density of webbing is reminiscent of Ditko, but is also very "webby," like Romita.

We also see that there are a series of shutters that allow Spidey to change the aperture of his lenses — this seems to work the same way a camera does. While there are webs that run along the length of his arms, it is broken just below the shoulder; a design similar to Bagley's. The front spider is smaller and less realistic, as seen in Ditko's incarnation.

Gone are the raised webbing and triangular eye lenses seen in the Tobey Maguire movies, as well as the more rectangular web design seen in the 2012 movie starring Andrew Garfield. While the look is not as "classic" looking as the 2014 movie, this new version combines both the classic and modern versions of the hero, which still makes this a very comics-centric re-imaging as far as design goes. Spider-Man looks like he will steal the show, and look good doing it.

What do you think of Spider-Man's suit?


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