Earlier this month, Spider-Man debuted in the latest major Captain America: Civil War trailer with a new costume (with a high-resolution photo now available) – but what do the artists who draw him in comic books think? Newsarama spoke with the series artists for Amazing Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2099, as well as someone whom Marvel Comics’ has tapped frequently to redesign heroes, Captain Marvel’s Kris Anka.
“I really dig it!” Giuseppe Camuncoli told Newsarama. “It's very classic yet very modern at the same time. The mask is just perfect, and I love the arm section, which is fragmented, this is pretty cool. Also, it's totally in line with the costume design that's been done so far in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and more specifically in the Avengers movies.”
Camuncoli, who has been drawing Spider-Man regularly for Marvel since 2011, is critical of a few elements of the movie costume, but says that it excels in the most important aspect for him as a fan.
“The size of the spider on the chest is kind of small but it's growing on me with every new look,” says the artist. “Maybe the belt and the black line on the boots are not exactly my cup of tea, but in the end this is a tremendous outfit. It looks like Spidey, it feels like Spidey which is the most important thing to me as a fan.”
Spider-Man 2099 artist Will Sliney seized on the new design, drawing a version of it just minutes after the trailer debuted.
“I really like the design. The way the webs work can be tricky to draw at times, but every line on this costume seems to have a connecting point… well, from what I can see any ways,” said Sliney. “My favorite part though are the John Romita eyes. That’s just great. A lovely homage to a lovely person.”
What Sliney is referring to of course is the shrinking eyes – a common trope in comic books, but something live-action versions of the wall-crawler had never attempted until this 2016 movie.
“Those are so cool! It's crazy to think that no one had ever thought about doing this before, actually, but when I saw the trailer I cheered,” said Camuncoli. “Not only it's a great scene, and a terrific entrance, but I wasn't expecting the eyes thing, and it had a huge impact. It's a small thing, but as someone said – ‘God is in the detail.’ As a comic book artist, and as a fan of this 'gimmick,' I use it frequently, as it's one of the few things that allows you to play with the emotions and expressions under the mask. And I always thought that this is one of those things that you can only do in comics, or that only works in comics. And this proved me wrong. To me, this gets the MCU Spidey even closer to his comic book counterpart's essence. Well done!”
Although Kris Anka hasn’t drawn a complete Spider-Man issue to date, Marvel has used him frequently to redesign major heroes from Spider-Woman to X-Force. For his part, the artist is reserving his full judgment until he can see more of the costume, but according to his gut it’s good.
“At first glance, I really like it,” Anka told Newsarama. “I mean, we've only seen one shot so it’s kind of hard to make a complete judgment on it, but in terms of gut feelings I like it. The big problem with Spider-man's design is it's undeniably classic so it becomes really hard to divert away from it without the risk of completely going in another direction.”
Anka points out how with the previous Spider-Man movie franchise, Amazing Spider-Man diverged significantly from the comic book costume before returning somewhat with the sequel. Not so, for Tom Holland’s Spider-Man.
“This design seems to really strike a nice balance of keeping all the classic iconic elements but adding just enough flare to the costume to add some more visual complexity for the screen,” said the Captain Marvel artist. “The black parts are a really nice touch to break up the red. I think this design will end up being a whole lot of fun to draw because it involves a lot of problem solving to depict at various angles and that’s always fun.”
Although the designers of the new movie costume weren’t available to talk to for this piece, Newsarama did speak with someone who has created hundreds of Spider-Man outfits – and is already taking orders for ones based on this new movie design: cosplay designer Ryan Jenkyns of Frontier Costuming. Jenkins has created over 100 different Spider-Man costumes for cosplayers, with one even appearing in Marvel's recent "Cosplay covers" variants to Amazing Spider-Man.
When asked re-making this design for cosplay, the costumer said the outfit has some challenges.
“At the moment I'd say the main set-back is the lack of high-resolution reference material. We've seen all of two seconds of footage so far, and it doesn't give us the best opportunity to really admire all the work that went into creating the original suit,” Jenkyns told Newsarama. “On the other hand, it's a very traditional, figure-hugging costume, so the bulk of it could definitely be done using the dye-sublimation printing process I'm familiar with (and is commonly used by many Spidey cosplayers). The only things that I'd say would need to be done differently would be the eye pieces, belt clips, and possibly the web spinners. Those are pieces I'd say would work best as urethane rubber parts molded from 3D-printed pieces.”
Marvel Comics haven't announced any plans to incorporate the design into the comic books, but the movie costume design will become more prominent as Captain America: Civil War and tie-in merchandise is released.