The Secret History of Marvel’s Spider-Man Suits, As Told By Insomniac Artists

16 0
The Secret History of Marvel’s Spider-Man Suits, As Told By Insomniac Artists

Insomniac Games details the comic book references and inspirations behind the game’s massive collection of in-game suits.

Ahoy there, Marvel’s Spider-Man fans. One thing that’s been clear to all of us at Insomniac Games over the last year is how much you love having a lot of suits to choose from. Whether it’s experiencing the story in a new set of threads or checking out each suit from all the angles in Photo Mode, your response each time we’ve added new suits to the game has been nothing short of phenomenal!

We have made a special video showing off (almost all!) of the suits in the game:

As part of the one-year anniversary of the game, we wanted to give you some more details about each of the suits and how they were made. The character art team at Insomniac Games took the time to give their thoughts on each of the amazing suits in Marvel’s Spider-Man!

Advanced Suit

First Appearance: Marvel’s Spider-Man, PlayStation 4 (2018)
Leroy Chen, Senior Character Artist: The Advanced Suit was designed following our “form follows function” philosophy, with each material intended to represent different levels of flexibility and protection. The addition of the white carbon fiber makes this a striking and unique Spider-Man design.

Classic Suit / Classic Suit Damaged

First Appearance: Amazing Fantasy #15 (1962)
Gavin Goulden Lead Character Artist: This is the suit most casual and hardcore Spidey fans will remember. Paying homage to Steve Ditko, and the suit’s first appearance in Amazing Fantasy 15, we wanted to stay true to the original design while updating elements to fit in our world. A more lightweight material was used with less padding while adding construction elements like seam work and fabric weaving that help ground the suit into our realistic setting.

Scarlet Spider Suit

First Appearance: Web of Spider-Man #118 (1994)
Gavin Goulden: As a child of the 90s, this suit is the one I remember from my childhood while reading Spider-Man (other than the Classic Suit, of course.) The team did a great job at updating the materials of this suit and bringing the design into the future. We referenced athletic gear for inspiration on how to break up the main suit with paneling, split toe parkour shoes to make the feet unique and functional, and ballistic fabric to be used for the additional gear at the wrists and ankles. The contrast in this suit is great and the material definition is even greater – I think life-long fans like myself now have a definitive, updated Scarlet Spider.

Spider-Armor MK1 Suit

First Appearance: Web of Spider-Man #100 (1993)
Marco Villalpando, Character Artist: I had a ton of fun working on the ol’ trusty Spider-Armor. It was especially challenging to design this heavily armored suit so that it had room to allow Spidey to pull off his high-flying acrobatics while also retaining the recognizable aesthetic that fans have come to know and love.

Spider-Armor MK2 Suit

First Appearance: Amazing Spider-Man #656 (1999)
Gavin Goulden: Otherwise known as the Bulletproof Suit, we wanted to follow this theme with material choices within its design. Rather than the more bulky MK1, we went sleeker and used flexible tactile fabrics, metallic mesh inserts that function like a type of chainmail and Kevlar. We also wanted to reimagine the whole-body spider emblems by creating a segmented version that would allow it to bend with the suit underneath.

Spider-Armor MK3 Suit

First Appearance: Amazing Spider-Man #682 (1999)
Dustin Brown, Character Artist: The MK3, otherwise known as the “Ends of Earth” Suit. The paneling on this suit in the comics, while stylistically awesome, is often rendered inconsistently and as simplified abstractions, so there was a lot of room for us to design it more specifically and nail things down so they look good from all angles. For material definitions, we looked at a lot of ballistic composites such as hard neoprene tactical body armor and the hard molded plastics of motocross armor. The MK3 suit features the Tritanium Alloy Plates Suit Power, which reflects bullets back at assailants.

Spider Armor MKIV Suit

First Appearance: Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 4 #1 (2015)
Gavin Goulden: The MKIV is a more recent suit from the comics that fully utilizes the future technology of Parker Industries. We used a more reflective material and rounded out armor panels for the webbing to help give this a more sleek design over the other armor types.

Wrestler Suit

First Appearance: Ultimate Spider-Man #3 (2000)
Marco Villalpando: This was the result of combining visual elements of Peter’s first outfits from across the entire run of comics and the addition of a little Lucha Libre influence from my upbringing. It also presented a great opportunity to include the classic web-shooters from the pages of Amazing Fantasy 15.

Spider-Punk Suit

First Appearance: Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 3 #10 (2014)
Gavin Goulden: Made popular in the Spider-Verse story line, we wanted to show what the Punk design could look like in our game. Referencing common elements of the punk movement – and even current fashion trends of that genre – we used worn denim, chrome spikes, and more DIY elements in the fabric itself.

Spirit Spider Suit

First Appearance: Amazing Spider-Man Annual #38 (2011)
Gavin Goulden: The Spirit Spider Suit is another deep cut from the comics made for the hardcore Spider-Man fan. It combines the look of Spidey and Ghost Rider to make a very unique looking suit – exposing the skull and surrounding it with blue flames while giving an organic treatment to how the suit is rendered, with a unique formation to the spider logos as well as adding scarring and folds to the suit which give it a supernatural feeling.

Electrically Insulated Suit

First Appearance: Amazing Spider-Man #425 (1997)
Jayson Fitch, Character Artist: For the Electrically Insulated Suit, I asked myself what kind of suit a modern Peter Parker would develop to insulate himself against Electro’s attacks, while simultaneously nodding to the suit in The Amazing Spider-Man #425. I combined the large eyes and red, quilted rubber from the late 90’s design with elements of Electro’s new armor across the abdomen, some carbon fiber surfacing to protect his shins and upper arms, and 90’s anime-inspired nodes and piping.

Dark Suit

First Appearance: Spider-Man/Deadpool #8 (2016)
Gavin Goulden: A rare suit seen in the Spider-Man/Deadpool series, I love how the red spider pops from the suit itself and the materials read like a modern-day tactical outfit. When the suits are typically illustrated as a solid color, we like to embellish upon that to give more information to the players – pulling in real world reference is a way of answering the question “How would Pete have access to this?” and helps inform our material treatment in a more realistic way.

Stark Suit

First Appearance: Marvel Studios’ Captain America: Civil War (2016)
Gavin Goulden: The Insomniac Character Team absolutely killed it on recreating this suit from the MCU for our game. Made completely from the ground up using reference from Marvel Studios’ Spider-Man: Homecoming, we matched the same level of fidelity through using various tiling detail textures and using our advanced shaders to get a great balance of material contrast that really makes it pop.

Homemade Suit

First Appearance: Marvel Studios’ Captain America: Civil War (2016)
Dustin Brown: While the more slick Spider-Man suits are always cool, there’s something about the suits that look cobbled together by a kid that make us happy. They did such a great job designing and rendering this suit in Marvel Studios’ Spider-Man: Homecoming, all we had to do was try to make to it look as good in our game.

Iron Spider Suit

First Appearance: Marvel Studios’ Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
Gavin Goulden: As seen in Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Infinity War, this suit brings in more complex Stark armor with nanotechnology plates that form web-like patterns over Peter Parker. We were able to use what you see in the films as an inspiration and matched the material treatment you see on the big screen. We also chose to give this suit the Iron Spider arms fans love as a suit ability, which makes this suit very unique and helps break the silhouette in a memorable way.

Fear Itself Suit

First Appearance: Fear Itself #7 (2010)
Gavin Goulden: This is the Asgardian Suit given to Peter in a more low profile storyline – you can see the reference to our Asgardian friends by the usage of our scaled armor, lightning-like blue energy used throughout the suit, and the claw bracers made out of technology from another world. It was really cool to pull in these different references and give a suit option that is a bit more fantastical.

Iron Spider Armor

First Appearance: Amazing Spider-Man #529 (2006)
Gavin Goulden: Easily a fan favorite, this is a suit from the comics that we gave a new pass on for adding extra details while staying true to the source material. Not only did we want to expand on the basic color blocking from the books to add more texture and material definition, but we also wanted to incorporate elements of an Iron Man design (based on the suit’s origins) to help tell that story. Blue energy ports, gold and red metals, and plated armor help bring this awesome suit into our world in a realistic way.

Last Stand Suit

First Appearance: Amazing Spider-Man #500 (2003)
Marco Villalpando: The source material showcased this older, darker, and grizzled Peter, so figuring out how to interpret that into this well-worn set of street clothes was a lot of fun. This was also my first character that I got to see running around in the game, so seeing that brought a happy tear to my eye


First Appearance: Marvel’s Spider-Man, PlayStation 4 (2018)
Gavin Goulden: This is a reference to the various times Pete has been caught with his pants down and is also our take on the debate of what he wears under the suit. This suit is great as it makes you question what was really going on during the Scorpion sequence, gives more weight to that mission wrapping up, and references our opening scene with Pete wearing the same Underoos.

ESU Suit

First Appearance: Marvel’s Spider-Man, PlayStation 4 (2018)
Gavin Goulden: Throughout the costume we use our advanced clothing shaders, and clothing simulations to give a realistic wardrobe while paired with a classic Spider-Man mask. This suit is great because it helps reinforce the collision of Pete and Spidey’s worlds, as if Pete was in a hurry to do hero work and hastily put on the mask to cover his identity.

Noir Suit

First Appearance: Spider-Man: Noir #1 (2008)
Jayson Fitch: I wanted to emphasize the roots of the Noir suit as Uncle Ben’s flight suit from the First World War by drawing reference from real WW1 air force gear and adding some Spidey influence. This includes taller lace-up boots, riding pants with the rank stitched into the side of the leg, and a flight helmet with goggles stitched in.

Secret War Suit

First Appearance: Secret Wars #8 (2004)
Gavin Goulden: This suit is great as it is another deep cut that only hardcore fans will recognize, only having one appearance in the comics. I like the design as it stands out from the others and gives us the chance to pull in color combinations that are pretty unique – not many suits use this shade of blue, and inverted the suit and web colors like Secret War does – and the suit spandex material in contrast to the harder plastic cuts really makes this stand out in our lineup.

Stealth (“Big Time”) Suit

First Appearance: Amazing Spider-Man #650 (1999)
Gavin Goulden: We referenced a lot of real world materials to have this neon suit fit into our world – materials like ballistic nylon, tactical gear, and hard plastics helped make this suit believable. We also used various tiled details to give material contrast, like nylon weaving versus a more octagonal padded rubber, to help give a typically all black suit more depth and believability when swinging around our realistic world.

2099 Black Suit

First Appearance: Amazing Spider-Man #365 (1992)
Leroy Chen: The rationale here is to give the classic 2099 design a futuristic touch without going too overly sci-fi, therefore subtle touches like the dark carbon fiber were added to try to accomplish that goal. Through emphasizing the musculature of the body, the design further sets out to distinguish its look from a regular fabric-based suit.

2099 White Suit

First Appearance: Spider-Man 2099 Vol. 3 #1 (2015)
Leroy Chen: Even though both were set in the same timeline, the 2099 White Suit design was updated with contrasting the 2099 Black Suit in mind. By introducing different angularities, clean lines, and sharp cuts, the suit has an overall high sci-fi feel to it.

Vintage Comic Book Suit

First Appearance: Marvel’s Spider-Man, PlayStation 4 (2018)
J Tuason, Shader Technical Artist: Working on a shader that emulated vintage comics was definitely a huge challenge. I’ve always loved games that try to emulate 2D art styles and it was exciting having the opportunity to tackle a comic shader for such an iconic character. I’m really proud of our work on the suit and it was flattering seeing how many people thought that the suit was photoshopped into screenshots.

Negative Suit

First Appearance: Spider-Man #90 (1998)
Gavin Goulden: J Tuason did a great job here at creating the inverse of our Advanced Suit. Essentially, we wanted to do more than simply desaturating the suit and J had the idea to bring in more movement within the shader, implying that Negative Energy was coursing through the suit itself, giving it another level of detail.

Velocity Suit

First Appearance: Marvel’s Spider-Man, PlayStation 4 (2018)
Leroy Chen: This suit was originally designed by legendary Marvel artist and illustrator Adi Granov, who’s known for his Iron Man illustrations. Some angular cuts were added to define the form of the suit and help to introduce a bit of an Iron Man flare to the look. But, the overall goal during the construction of the suit was to stay as true as possible to the original concept.

Resilient Suit

First Appearance: Marvel’s Spider-Man, PlayStation 4 (2018)
Leroy Chen: Designed by famed Marvel artist Gabriele Dell’Otto, this is also a suit that featured a white spider. One interesting aspect here is that the eyes on the suit do not change shapes. This is to pay homage to Dell’Otto’s signature intense Spider-Man expression.

Spider-UK Suit

First Appearance: Edge of Spider-Verse #2 (2014)
Dustin Brown: Poor Billy Braddock, you died unceremoniously in Spider-Geddon. Untimely demise aside, we wanted to do our web slinger from across the pond justice. He is perhaps known best for having a big Union Jack emblazoned across his chest instead of a traditional spider emblem and for wearing a glowing Spider-Talisman on his wrist. Some of this suit’s design elements were converted to hard armor, including the Union Jack’s white trim and the red spider on his back. The shoes are completely original to Insomniac’s version of Spider-UK; his legs are solid blue and adding a shock of red on the feet helped balance it out.

Scarlet Spider II Suit

First Appearance: Scarlet Spider #1 (2012)
Marco Villalpando: Henrique absolutely killed it with his modern interpretation of the classic
Scarlet Spider suit, so I wanted to make sure this suit retained some of the same visual landmarks while distinguishing it with a more aggressive design.

Into the Spider-Verse Suit

First Appearance: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)
Colton Orr, Associate Character Artist: When it came to the Into the Spider-Verse suit, it was important to match the unique art direction of the blockbuster film. One of the challenges of working on this suit was making sure the stylized materials would look at home in our realistic game environment. J Tuason did a fantastic job of recreating the film shader in our game engine.

J Tuason: Even from the first trailer, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse blew me away as an incredible visual feat. It has such a unique voice and pays homage to comics while still understanding its strengths as an animated feature. Getting to work on the shader for the game was incredibly exciting but also very challenging; I think we came pretty close to making it look like the movie even while rendering in real-time.

Spider-Clan Suit

First Appearance: Marvel Mangaverse: Spider-Man #1 (2002)
J Tuason: As someone who grew up inspired by the manga-comic fusion styles of the mid-2000’s, I feel like working on this shader was a solid throwback.

Dustin Brown: While every suit is unique, the Mangaverse Spider-Clan suit breaks the mold on some technical fronts. It was a fun visual design challenge to reference Spider-Clan comic artist Scottie Young’s proportions and shapes while making them work on the much more naturalistic animation rig for our hero. Maintaining that fun, dynamic, highly stylized look was paramount for this suit.

Webbed Suit

First Appearance: Spider-Man (2002 film)
Marco Villalpando: I have so many memories of watching the movies and playing the PlayStation 2 game when I was a kid, so getting to make this was a huge deal for me. Getting the webbing layout for this suit was probably the biggest challenge, especially considering that it’s all geometry rather than texture.

Cyborg Spider-Man Suit

First Appearance: Spider-Man: Revenge of the Sinister Six (1992)
Colton Orr: The Cyborg Suit was inspired by a heavily damaged Spider-Man from Revenge of the Sinister Six: Part Four. I had a blast creating the hard surface elements of the suit and adding a modern twist to the 1990s aesthetic.

Aaron Aikman Armor

First Appearance: Edge of Spider-Verse #3 (2014)
Leroy Chen: The original Aikman suit has a very unique design. The main approach for the updating pass was to try to keep the look while referencing real life motorcycle design elements and working them into grounding the tech and the feel of the suit.

Bombastic Bag-Man Suit

First Appearance: Amazing Spider-Man #258 (1984)
Gavin Goulden: We wanted to update this classic design to better fit into our world. Originally, the suit is a loaner from the Fantastic Four who, at the time, have looser fitting clothing and a more old school approach to how the clothing would fit on the heroes underneath. But, what would this look like in our world? Upgraded materials follow the function of the suit – protective materials on the outside and more flexible materials at points of articulation. Of course, though, you need to keep the paper bag – it hides Pete’s identity since the Fantastic Four don’t wear masks – our twist is to add the eye holes but also bring in the outline of drawn eyes to still have it feel like Spider-Man.

Future Foundation Suit

First Appearance: FF #1 (2011)
Dustin Brown: The comic version of this suit has a lot of fans, including many Insomniacs. We focused on keeping the design clean and true to the comics, while introducing subtle evidence of construction, such as panel seams, that help ground it in our world. These eye lenses were inspired by certain panels in the comics, where they appear to have a swirling sheen to them

Upgraded Suit

First Appearance: Marvel Studios’ Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)
Gavin Goulden: Much like the Stark Suit, this was a great collaboration between Insomniac, Sony Interactive Entertainment, and Marvel to bring this suit into our game. Using our own custom detail patterns, we were able to perfectly capture the look from the suit in the movie without a loss of information.

Stealth Suit

First Appearance: Marvel Studios’ Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)
Jayson Fitch: It was an honor to bring the Stealth Suit to Marvel’s Spider-Man—I really wanted the armor to feel like it would protect Peter from any number of attacks while still being flexible with padded cloth and armor attached with straps. The material response was the most important aspect to me, creating contrast between nylon and hex weave cloth while staying true to the MCU source.

Anti-Ock Suit

First Appearance: Marvel’s Spider-Man, PlayStation 4 (2018)
Dustin Brown: Spoiler Alert! This is the final story-related suit in the game, and we knew it needed to work hand-in-hand with the narrative. Spider-Man’s been taking damage throughout the game. When he gets his butt kicked badly by Doc Ock and learns that his mentor is the ring leader of the Sinister Six, he’s both physically and emotionally battered. The Anti-Ock suit is what happens when MJ reminds him to stop thinking like Spider-Man and start thinking like Peter Parker. He’s the one person who helped Octavius build his arms, so he’s in the unique position to use Doc Ock’s technology against him by building a Spider-Man suit capable of being the perfect foil to his old mentor. The suit is equipped with external armor plating made of the same stuff Otto used to protect his arms. It also has an internal flexible metal cage mesh and is lined with Kevlar. The Anti-Ock suit features the Resupply Suit Power, which continuously refills your current gadget’s shots, which comes in mighty handy when you’re facing off against the likes of Otto Octavius!

If you made it this far, thanks for reading!

Comments are closed.


    Loading More Comments

    Please enter your date of birth.

    Date of birth fields