Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions and the origins of its alternate costumes

Scarlet Spider

First appeared: Web of  Spider-Man #118

The Clone Saga is probably the worst thing that ever happened to Spider-Man. In an attempt to update Spidey’s world, his long missing clone returned to New York under the name Ben Reilly, and he wasn’t leaving any time soon. Ben wasn’t going to let Peter have all the web-swinging fun now that he was back in NYC. So Mr. Reilly dyed his old costume red, got some ankle pouches, ripped the sleeves off a hoodie and viola: the Scarlet Spider is born!

Above: How Ben quickly pieced together his new costume

Out of all the things that happened during the Clone Saga, I think the Scarlet Spider is the most salvageable. Some may mock the hoodie, but I think it’s the second best alternate Spidey costume, only bested by the Symbiote suit. Plus, Ben added new tools, like impact webbing and poisoned stingers, the first such improvement to the Spider-arsenal in decades. Sadly, once Ben started his brief run as Spider-Man, the Scarlet Spider died, and within a year Ben was dead too. But I still love to see the outfit make a comeback in special situations like this one.

Iron Spider

First appeared: Amazing Spider-Man #529

In the lead-up to the status quo changer Civil War, Spider-Man joined the Avengers and became real good pals with Tony Stark, aka Iron Man. After Peter died a little bit (he got better), Tony felt Pete needed something better than a cloth costume, and started making an Iron Spider outfit. Peter soon had a shiny new gear full of inventive tricks, which only made Pete feel more in debt to Stark, who would later convince Peter to unmask in front of the whole world.

Above: Just because he's bulletproof, doesn't mean that isn't painful

But back to the costume. It not only enhanced Spidey’s strength and speed, but it also allowed him to glide, not unlike the 2099 Spider-Man that this costume replaces in Shattered Dimensions. The Iron Spider suit also made him bulletproof, not that Peter had gotten bad at dodging bullets all of a sudden. And Shattered Dimensions cuts Spidey’s three new robotic arms, which is greatly appreciated, as they were completely idiotic. Three robo-arms plus two arms plus two legs equals seven appendages, one short of how many a spider has. To quote the Thing, “it makes it look like you can’t count.” Anyway, once Peter turned on Tony during the Civil War, he quickly went back to his classic colors and didn’t look back.


First appeared: Web of Spider-Man #100

To Spider-fans in the ‘90s, Web of Spider-Man was always the least important of his four monthly comics. Nothing that happened in Web really mattered, but as it rolled around to its 100th issue, something had to happen in this landmark comic, especially to go with the fancy foil cover. And so for one issue only Peter sported some glossy armor to take on a dangerous team of villains. And even though he made it in seemingly a matter of hours, it looks pretty well designed.

Above: Love the design on the knuckles

Above: And almost as fast as he got it, the armor is gone

It only let Spidey get hit a little harder and make a nice entrance. After punching the bad guys for a little while, soon they got the advantage and froze/melted the armor, trapping him inside. It forced Spidey to break out of his new duds, destroying it in the process, never to be seen again. It did get turned into an action figure, but other than that, Shattered Dimensions is the first time this suit has been used since its gimmicky inception.

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  • ballplayer27 - September 5, 2010 12:02 p.m.

    Okay, I love me some onomatopoeia, but "ZANSH" is not the sound of anything. Also, what the hell is up with the new recaptchas? Fractions with random punctuation? Usually I only recaptcha sexual innuendos, but this is some BS: cresti 1933/34," And it has the nerve to tell me me type the two "words". Only one of those even had a chance at being a "word"
  • elpurplemonkey - September 4, 2010 7:21 a.m.

    Great article Hank. Spidey is my favorite superhero also, and I'm really looking forward to Shattered Dimensions. Kind of unrelated but, as I kid I watched the 90's animated series and had my mind blown (in a bad way) when I saw that Scarlet Spider comic. I didn't know anything about comics and that literally only had like 30 single issues of unrelated and obscure comics. One such issue was the one where Peter Parker dies and Ben takes over. I then assumed Peter Parker was really dead, like, forever. I later (years later) learned that comics aren't set in stone and there are different series and whatnot. But damn, that Scarlet Spider issue really fucked my head up with regards to my concept of Spider-Man (great outfit though.)
  • Leyviur - September 4, 2010 5:27 a.m.

    The Spider Armor was used in the 90s Spider Man animated series. It was worn by an alternate reality Spider Man who had use his powers to gain fame and fortune and ended up being arrogant and self-involved as a result.
  • aJAWSOMEocelot - September 3, 2010 8:38 p.m.

    Great article, Hank, awesome to see somebody else with so much love for spidey! D-Double thumbs-up!
  • Wolverine08 - September 3, 2010 3:44 p.m.

    It's also nice to see that Stan 'the man' Lee is doing voice overs to this , just like the PS1 game, my favourite Marvel video game. It's also a relief to hear that it isn't free roam like *puke* Spiderman 3 game...ewww. hopefully this'll wipe away those sad times.
  • GR_HenryGilbert - September 3, 2010 2:11 p.m.

    @jmcgrotty Yes that series started as simply Spider-Man, but with issue 75, which ended the Clone Saga and made Peter the only Spidey once more, they changed it. They made it Peter Parker, Spider-Man to make the point that Peter is the ONLY Spidey again, and it remained that way until the series' end.
  • philipshaw - September 3, 2010 11:51 a.m.

    Great article but I'm going to wait for reviews to see if the game is worth getting, for me it could go either way
  • SausageLozenge - September 3, 2010 11:07 a.m.

    @ WebSwinger LOL me too.
  • jmcgrotty - September 3, 2010 8:59 a.m.

    The comic that Negative Zone Spider-Man debuted in was called "Spider-man," not "Peter Parker, Spider-Man" even though the cover of the issue does actually say Peter Parker on it.
  • JachAnen - September 3, 2010 8:01 a.m.

    I watched Spider-Man on TV in the 90's, and Spider-Armor is in the last episode along with other Peter Parker's from other dimensions, One with Octo's arms and Spider-Armor is a Tony Stark version of Spider-Man, as everyone knows his secret identity, he's a billionaire, he's built a Spider-Man robot which is giant and his suit is advanced, especially love the lasers he got on top of his hands. Feel like there is more mentions plus the one with Spider-Armor in the show is awesome and not a gimmick.
  • garfunkling - September 3, 2010 6:58 a.m.

    Now i know i'm probably the minority here but i liked the 2099 spiderman. All the other 2099 series were crap but i thought that villain that evolved to spidermans attacks was a worthy foe.
  • Spocksjock - September 3, 2010 5:14 a.m.

    Was not the Spider Armor used in the 90's animated TV show? Like the last episode of it. I think so, I really loved that episode, where they had to fight Spider-Carnage.
  • spideralex90 - September 3, 2010 4:37 a.m.

    Cosmic Suit is the best of this bunch i think, but i'm going with Noir or 2099 as my favorite overall.
  • NeoKef - September 3, 2010 3:57 a.m.

    Up until now, I barely had an interest in this game. But after seeing those costumes and remember playing them in the PS1 games, I may buy this game day one.
  • darkvare - September 3, 2010 3:10 a.m.

    ha you forgot when the spider armor appeared on the tv series when madame web joined a lot of spider mans from different universes
  • Skruff - September 3, 2010 1:44 a.m.

    I think One More Day was a far bigger travesty to Spider-Man than the Clone Saga was.
  • hardcore_gamer1990 - September 3, 2010 1:07 a.m.

    Spider-armour was a pickup in the PS1 neversoft game... And The Scarlet Spider, Captain Universe, the Symbiote, and others were used as alternative costumes, in that and it's sequel. The Amazing Bagman shoouold have been in...
  • Psylockerules - September 2, 2010 11:46 p.m.

    *sigh* why cant this much effort be put into a good x-men game :(
  • GearsofRabies - September 2, 2010 11:24 p.m.

    Henry, what's so bad about the clone series? I'm sort of a casual Spidey fan I haven't read many of the books. Could you enlighten me?
  • GR_HenryGilbert - September 2, 2010 11:06 p.m.

    @PKozyra64 Yes, in the '90s animated series, that is what rich Peter Parker wore, but it never happened in the comics.

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