As the role of Tom Holland’s Peter Parker started to solidify in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, fans quickly understood that it would only be a matter of time before a version of the Iron Spider costume from the comics made it to the big screen. Not only did the character’s entrance into the franchise coincide with an adaptation of the same arc where the special armor first appeared, but from moment one a close relationship was created between Peter and Tony Stark – the creator of the suit.
After it was briefly teased at the end of Jon Watts’ Spider-Man: Homecoming, the Iron Spider costume finally made its real debut in Joe and Anthony Russo’s Avengers: Infinity War (as seen above), but what you may not know is that development of the blockbuster almost saw the design look much more faithful to the original comic book look:
Ryan Meinerding is the Head of Visual Development at Marvel Studios – the group that designs the look of the costumed characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe – and he routinely posts concept art that shows us versions of our favorite films via social media that we never got to see in theaters. Recently he posted the above piece of the Iron Spider suit on Instagram, and comic book readers will immediately recognize that it’s almost identical to the armor that Iron Man created for Spider-Man during the massive 2005 crossover event Civil War.
For reference, here is the costume as it was drawn by Michael Turner for a variant cover of Civil War #3:
If I’m being perfectly honest, with all due respect to the creators of the costume – J. Michael Straczynski and Ron Garney – and Ryan Meinerding’s opinion, I never really loved the original Iron Spider design, and the look that we ultimately see adapted in Avengers: Infinity War makes more sense for the context in which its portrayed. The prominence of red and gold in the comics was meant to illustrate Tony Stark’s control over Peter Parker, as the billionaire was using the teenage hero as a propaganda tool supporting Superhero Registration during Civil War. It made sense that the costume would prominently feature feature the colors associated with Iron Man instead of Spider-Man.
That isn’t the case in Avengers: Infinity War, though. While it’s still true that it’s a suit designed by Tony Stark, Peter is operating as an independent hero when he hitches a ride to Thanos’ home planet in the blockbuster, so it’s much more fitting that he is in his normal red and blue colors.
Do you disagree? Do you think it would have been better to see this concept art version of Spider-Man in the finished film? Hit the comments section below with your thoughts, and stay tuned for a whole lot more Marvel news and behind-the-scenes updates as we get deeper into 2020.