The History Of Spider-Man’s Black Symbiote Costume

[Credit: Symbiote Spider-Man #1 –Marvel Entertainment]

One of the best-known Spider-Man comic book storylines is the saga of his black symbiote suit, which temporarily turned Peter Parker into an arrogant teen. While Sony is off doing their own thing with their “Venom-verse,” it’s very doubtful that we’ll see it in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With that out of the way, let’s delve in to see how this suit came to be:

The Suit First Debuted In ‘The Amazing Spider-Man #252’

[Credit: The Amazing Spider-Man #252 – Marvel Entertainment]

With the tagline “the rumors are true,” this comic was the first time that we saw the suit in action. Back in 1982, Spidey fan Randy Schueller submitted the idea of the black suit to Marvel after they ran a competition for new ideas. Marvel’s Jim Shooter bought the concept for $220 (over $500 today), and it was then modified as a Venom symbiote by Mike Zeck.

How Did Spider-Man First Encounter The Suit?

[Credit: Marvel Superheroes: Secret Wars #8 –Marvel Entertainment]

After Spider-Man’s red and blue suit was damaged in 1984’s Secret Wars, he tried to fix it — but the black suit attached to him, covering his body and giving him the classic giant white spider on his chest.

For a period of time after the events of Secret Wars, Spider-Man refused to switch back to his original costume, using the black suit to fight crime. Since the symbiote empowers the natural abilities of its host, it began to take control of Peter’s subconscious mind; he’d unknowingly go out at night to fight street crime.

*Bonus* Spider-Man Wasn’t The First To Don The Suit

[Credit: Deadpool’s Secret: Secret Wars –Marvel Entertainment]

While many believe Spider-Man was the first wearer of the black suit, it was revealed in 2015’s Deadpool’s Secret: Secret Wars that Deadpool was its first wearer — shortly after being responsible for releasing it. The suit found Spider-Man to be its next host.

What Are The Suit’s Weaknesses/Strengths?

[Credit: Spider-Man: Back In Black – Marvel Entertainment]

While the symbiote needs its host to survive, it intensifies their natural abilities, giving the wearer extraordinary powers. Some of the main strengths of the suit include:

  • Superhuman strength, speed, and agility
  • Can expand to any size as long as it’s attached to its host, while it can also reach inside small areas such as wire cables
  • The ability to camouflage itself by using the assumed color or texture of the area surrounding it
  • The ability to shape-shift

While the symbiote has many strengths, there are plenty of weaknesses, such as:

  • Intense sound or sonic waves
  • Open fires
  • High-voltage electricity
  • Hunger for the wearer’s feelings

Where Have We Seen The Symbiote Costume Onscreen?

[Credit: Spider-Man (1994) – Marvel Entertainment]

When the suit originally debuted in 1984, there was a significant backlash towards it. However, since then, fans have grown to love the suit and there have been some interesting comic storylines and animated television versions of the black suit Spidey, such as its appearance in the 1994 Spider-Man animated series and Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3 — both of which depict Peter rejecting the symbiote, which then joins with rival photographer Eddie Brock to become Venom. Its recent appearance was 2018’s “Venom,” which featured a Spidey-less universe which prominently focused on Tom Hardy’s Eddie Brock – which overperformed at the box office, bringing home over $855 million.

What do you think about the symbiote suit? Are we better off seeing it in Sony’s “Venom-verse,” or would you have rather seen it in the MCU? Sound off below!

Credit: Boxoffice Mojo, Gizmodo, Marvel


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