Spider-Man’s red and blue costume is one of the most iconic superhero suits of all-time. The thick black spiderwebs that crisscross the vibrant colors make it instantly recognizable, and like many of the most brilliant comic creations, it’s credited to Steve Ditko. In the recent animated movie
In 1962, Marvel introduced a character who would define their catalog and mission statement for decades, Peter Parker. The nerdy teen who gets bitten by a radioactive spider was widely relatable and stood out from the super strong alpha males of the time, and it also helped that he had an instantly iconic suit. But over the years there’s been much made of the fact that there was another Spider Man (note that missing hyphen) almost a decade before the one Marvel introduced, which could’ve either intentionally or subconsciously been utilized in creating Peter Parker’s beloved super-suit.
Ben Cooper Costumes is well known for making many of the classic kids’ Halloween outfits that children in North America grow up with, and in 1954 they released a costume called Spider Man. It was a yellow jumpsuit with black legs and arms, and a similarly colored mask covered with thick black spiderwebs. When you see it, it’s clear how similar the two versions of Spider(-)Man are. The mystery deepens after Marvel trademarked Spider-Man in 1962 and Ben Cooper stopped making their version of the costume. Though they quickly began to make an official Marvel red and blue Spidey-costume based on, at the time, a virtually unknown character, it would soon become their biggest selling costume ever.
The history of Spider-Man’s creation is muddy as it is, since the comic book production process at the time was rushed and rarely documented. We know that Jack Kirby designed a version of the costume that bears some similarities to the finished suit, though all we definitively have is the finished costume by Steve Ditko, which appeared in
The filmmakers behind
As Ben Cooper went bankrupt in 1991 and was bought out, and the creators of Spider-Man are now both dead, the true origin of Spider-Man’s costume shall remain another bit of comic book mythology which will have to live on through fan speculation and will likely never be solved one way or another. But it’s easy to see the massive similarities between the two costumes, and the fact that the