The Amazing Spider-Man 2 suit makes me irrationally happy

I never liked the Spider-Man suit in the Sam Raimi movies. I never said anything about it at the time, because in the grand scheme of things, it didn’t really matter. It was GOOD ENOUGH. The design was more or less the same as the source material, which it easily might not have been. Alex Ross, the all-around talented comic book artist, had done some concept designs for the movie to tweak the costume, and I’d gotten a look at them somehow or other.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 suit makes me irrationally happy

I remember hating this when I was younger. Looking at it again now, I don’t really know why it angered me as much as it did. I can identify stuff that bothers me about it now—the eyes are too small, there’s far too much of one color (black) in the design (i.e., the same thing that’s wrong with Superman’s suit since DC took off his pants), and there’s this vibe of over-seriousness about it, wringing out everything that’s silly and fun about Spider-Man, and losing the point of him entirely. But like I said, that’s me looking at it now. Younger Me wouldn’t have put that much thought into it. Younger Me didn’t put that much thought into anything. I think I must have hated it solely because it looked different from the comic and was therefore an abomination. I’m glad I’m not that big of an asshole anymore.

Anyway.

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The main reason I didn’t say anything at the time, though, was because I think I’d been desensitized to what I didn’t like about it a long time ago. From the very first time I watched Tim Burton’s Batman, actually.

That Batman suit is iconic, and proved that a man running around in giant bat ears didn’t have to look as silly in real life as you probably thought it would. Or had previously, come to think of it. I love it. None of that stopped it from looking like a massive, impractical lump of molded rubber. You couldn’t look at it and suspend your disbelief. It was a movie costume, and that was it.

Deep down, I wanted fabric. I wanted spandex, specifically. But from Batman onward, I’d realized that was never what I was going to get. I mean, yes, the Christopher Reeve Superman movies had a fabric suit, but I first saw those after Batman, so the damage had already been done. And anyway, by this point Tim Burton had already jumped on and off another Superman movie, and this was the direction they were going in with the costume for that.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 suit makes me irrationally happy

Not to mention, this is the Superman suit we got just last year.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 suit makes me irrationally happy

And following this tangent to its logical conclusion, I’m aware the suit in Superman Returns is a lot closer to what I wanted, but… look at the “S” on that thing. It manages somehow to look really cheap and like it cost hundreds.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 suit makes me irrationally happy

I do this a lot, by the way. I like tangents. Don’t worry, I always end up back on the right walkway. You’ll get used to it. Or you won’t.

So, when the first Spider-Man finally came out, I got the suit I expected. I was satisfied enough, but it still bothered me. It just looked too rubbery, plastic-y, shiny. I couldn’t even pull off the mind tricks I did with Batman. At least Bruce Wayne’s rich. I could believe he’d be able to afford that sort of stuff. Peter Parker is a down-on-his-luck teenager. How the bloody hell can he afford that kind of detailing?

But in my still-continuing-to-this-day attempts to not be Comic Book Guy, I didn’t say anything. Two other films came and went, nothing changed, and I told myself that was that.

Then clips and trailers for the upcoming Amazing Spider-Man 2 started dropping, and I continued to play it cool, when on the inside I was crying tears of pure joy.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 suit makes me irrationally happy

It’s perfect. There’s no other way I can put it. The first thing I noticed was the eyes. I like my Spider-Man suit to have big eyes. It’s a personal thing; I grew up during the eras of Todd McFarlane and Erik Larsen and especially Mark Bagley. The new movie suit is definitely taking inspiration from those depictions, and they got my favorite bit just right.

The best clip of the suit out there doesn’t even really give you a good look at it. The camera’s behind Spider-Man, leaping towards some form of danger. His arms are spread back. And the costume… creases. It creases. Around his shoulders. Like proper human clothes do. That was what I wanted. That was all I wanted, I realized. I was so happy. I was SO HAPPY. Moved to elation by a crease around a man’s shoulders. It takes all sorts.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 suit makes me irrationally happy

I’d felt like this one time before, watching the second Lord of the Rings movie, the first time I got a good look at Gollum. From about the age of six or seven, I’d had an image of what he’d look like. I’m not saying anything profound here, thousands of people did. I do wonder how many of them had the same reaction I did, though. Because when he came on screen, I was like, “That’s it. That’s Gollum.” Everything I ever saw in my head was there. Down to the smallest detail. Even the voice. It was like I’d filled in a survey and won some sort of blind draw.

I told myself at the time I should remember how good that feeling was, because it’d probably be a long time before the next time I experienced it. Honestly, I wasn’t confident I’d ever get there again, so yeah, bonus points.

It’s weird. This isn’t really that big a deal. Like I said at the beginning, the Raimi suit was good enough. And the things I’m happy about now are the kind of small, anally retentive bollocks that make me roll my eyes when other Geek Culture people go on and on about them. I tut and say things like, “Fucking cliché,” under my breath. And here I’ve written a thousand words about shoulder creases, eyehole sizes, the figurative (and literal) laminated evolution of Superman’s movie appearance, and the infinite variations of a Tolkien character. Starting how I mean to go on, then.

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  • Gallen_Dugall

    and yet in spite of the continual improvement to costuming in super hero movies the script still slaps us with The Amazing Spider Douche-Brah as a protagonist

    • CAFR

      See, I liked ASM1, so I don’t have that issue to be honest.

    • The Horror Guru

      Pretty much.

    • I read that. What about him makes for a douche-brah? At what point in the movie does he put too much Axe Body spray on his overly tight pop-collared pink polo shirt? When does he skip leg day at the gym to get his swoll-on?

      Is it just because he has fluffy hair?

  • The Horror Guru

    They definitely put together a much better costume this time around, I’ll give them that. Though I actually hate the wrinkles, and prefer the look of the Raimi films but ‘eh. Such a minor nit pick in the grand sceheme of things, really. He looks like Spider-man, and that’s all I care about.

  • Alexa

    Besides the eyes, I see no real difference between this new suit and Raimi’s suit. Also I’m sorry but I would totally take baby face, emo dancing, Tobey Mcguire Spiderman over hoody wearing,unpleasant, rambling, Andrew Garfield Spiderman, b/c while McGuire’s Spiderman was not perfect he never said anything equivalent to that stupid line about promises at the end of ASM. Seriously screw that shit, and b/c of that I really hated that movie. At first I just thought it boring and generic, but when that line came up I just gave into the hate. And I try not to get that mad at a movie, but it pissed me off that much :P

    Also both the suit in Superman Returns and MoS are both ugly, just for various different reasons.

    • Cristiona

      Red boots vs black boots?

      • Alexa

        Red boots all the way…But that doesn’t mean I like MoS more, just that they got that one detail right.

  • jbwarner86

    I never had an issue with the hard suits in the Batman movies. I mean, they’re supposed to be armor. It makes a lot more sense than spandex would. (I draw the line at Bat-nipples, though. I think Batman Returns had the best costume ’cause it didn’t look like a torso-shaped Jello mold.)

    I hadn’t given as much thought to Spidey’s movie costume, but you raise a good point – it does make sense for it to look kinda cheap because a high schooler made it. Nice detail, I gotta admit.

  • StevePotter

    Seeing another post by Liam Barrett makes ME irrationally happy.

  • Nessus

    I have no problems with fabric or other sheet materials (as opposed to sculpted and molded). Sometimes they do look really great if they’re done well (the X-Men: First Class outfits looked great, and one of the few good ideas in Fantastic Four IMO was using a wetsuit looking material for the costumes). I just can’t “get” the appeal of spandex specifically. It’s just such an amazingly cheap, flimsy looking material. Spandex costumes don’t look “real”: they look like cosplay.

    …Which actually is totally appropriate in Spider Man’s case, since it’s a costume hand-made by a high-schooler. But for someone like Batman, Superman, the Fantastic Four, Dr. Strange, or any other hero who has either vast fortunes, fantastic super science, or literal magic supplying their kit, it just looks incongruously ghetto. Like a “Batmobile” made out of a Honda Civic with fiberglass fenders and a black spray job.

    The fixation on spandex actually seems really unimaginative to me. Like there’s apparently legions of comic book fans out there who literally cannot imagine a skin tight material real or fictional other than the stuff the bike shorts at Wall-Mart are made of.

  • Thomas Stockel

    Welcome back, Liam!

  • Endorenna

    I personally disliked the Raimi movies because of other plot and character reasons, not the suit, and I don’t really care that much about this suit except that it’s a nice touch by the designers.
    However…just reading someone being so exuberant about it has made me happy, so thanks for improving my night. ^_^

    • CAFR

      I thought it was okay. I liked it better than the Raimi suit, but yeah, something still seemed a bit off about it to me.

  • Skinr

    Out of curiosity, what did you think of the suit from the first Amazing Spider-Man?

    Personally, it reminded me a whole heck of a lot from the suit from Spider-Man Unlimited (yellow lenses, odd color placement, etc). I am happy with this new suit, though; even if I don’t see the movie, I might grab one or two of the action figures.

  • Darren Snakeman

    More realistic suit, eh? I though am more concerned about the design. But yes, it’s hard to change Spidey’s basic design, even after years of many versions.