As someone who was reading comics back in 1984, the response to Spider-Man’s new costume seemed to be mostly hostile: There were letter-column complaints of it being changed just to make the uniform easier to draw (which, given the complexity of the red/blue webbed suit, aren’t without evidence) and the regular Amazing Spider-Man artist Ron Frenz didn’t give it the same visual punch that creator Mike Zeck did in ‘Secret Wars.’  The battle between red or black went back and forth in those early days, to the point where sometimes it seemed like they were using one or the other at random.  That said, I’m a fan of the black uniform, so long as it doesn’t come with the post-Civil War grimdark Spider-Man attitude, leading to today’s Venomous query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) likes how it sounds like we’re about to play a game of roulette, which makes me feel like Danny Ocean, asking: Spider-Man: Red Or Black?


About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. I vote for the Red and Blue!

    It has stood the test of time and changing trends exceptionally well and almost entirely unchanged, only suffering minor tweaks here and there. (Armpit cobwebs or no cobwebs for example.) It endures. From a design standpoint it walks an exceptionally difficult line to walk. It is bold enough to standout while not being ostentatious and still simple enough to effect timelessness.

    You can even argue that the colors send messages of their own. that Spider-Man is there to help.

    The black costume is also very good, but almost too simple and the color scheme is at odds with Spider-Man’s optimistic, sardonic personality. Matthew said it himself that the costume often comes with ‘grimdark’. That’s probably because black is usually considered a more intimidating color. And what do I mean by being almost too simplistic? It should be obvious. It’s all black with a white spider symbol on the torso. Any hero could look pretty decent wearing an all-black uniform with their personal coat of arms on their chest.

  2. The black suit is actually my favorite Spidey suit, but at the same time I find it hard to imagine Spidey without the red and blue (or occasionally red and black as some artists rendered at different times, not to be confused with the Superior Spider-Man suit). So I’m leaning toward the black suit, but still in the middle.

  3. Love the black suit, but my all-time favorite costume…nostalgia…is the red Ben Reilly w/hoodie Scarlet Spider suit. It’s red so it counts.

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