Analyzing the new Spider-man costume from “Captain America: Civil War”
SPOILER ALERT: The big reveal from today’s new trailer for “Captain America: Civil War” was not just all of the action and dialogue from the movies plot, but was the surprise appearance of Spider-man at the very end. This is the first time that Spidey has appeared in any of the Disney/ Marvel Studios films since they snatched the rights away from Sony, and while the rumors were that he would be featured in the movie in some way, few believed we would see him this early on.
With the suit revealed, let’s take a look at what we have seen and try to figure out this new version of ole’ webhead.
Let’s tackle that grand entrance in the trailer before we dig too deep into the outfit. What we learned towards the end of that clip is that there will be a big battle between Team Cap and Team Iron Man at an airport runway. Why that location? We still don’t know, but what we do know is there all sorts of action that will happen there, one of which being the showdown between the rival factions.
“Alright,” Tony says, sans mask, “I’ve run out of patience. Underoos!” Suddenly, the familiar thwip of a web shooter is heard and the webs are seen, and the next thing you know, Spider-man is towering above everyone in his signature pose holding Cap’s shield like a boss. His first line, a deadpan “Hey everyone.” I have to say, seeing Spidey jump onto the scene and posing was spectacular, but hearing his voice… yikes. Played by Tom Holland, he is the youngest actor to portray Spider-man in all of the films thus far, and I am doing my best not to come into the movie with a bad feeling about his performance, but that one line was just so… eh.
Based on Spidey’s appearance and the look of all the characters when he shows up, this happens early in that fight scene. Where that battle fits into the whole movie however, is still uncertain. The trailer also shows us fights with Tony, Bucky, and Cap in some kind of concrete area near mountains, so my guess is that Spider-man shows up towards the end of the second act, and that battle will result in Cap surrendering and being captured – leading us to that other fight scene at the end of the movie. I also am guessing that based on the film offering more time with Spidey that we will not see in the trailers, but that could be wishful thinking.
The costume itself is an homage to several looks for Spidey. Seeing the pose, how the clothes pull on his skin, and the way the light hits him, I can’t help but see a resemblance to the paintings of Alex Ross. The lines on his webbing are thinner, and the costume is not dark like previous incarnations have been, making this a much more subdued look for him, which is a great idea since the last two film franchises overdid the suit in many ways.
Ross took his influence from many Spidey artists, one of which was Steve Ditko. It’s very clear to see that Ditko was also an influence on this film’s version of Spider-man, specifically in the eyes. The logo of the costume as well is also closer to Ditko’s, being smaller, although it also bears elements of how John Romita Sr. drew the logo when he took over the title.
With all of these references to classic comic design, it’s easy to look past the new additions to the outfit that they have added. Thankfully, the majority of the costume is the same design that we have loved for decades, but there are some new elements to it. A closer look at the waist of Spidey shows that he seems to be wearing some kind of belt outside of his underoos, which we can assume hold his spare web shooters and other gadgets that he has occasionally used (spidey tracers, that light in his belt buckle, etc).
Most importantly, and exciting to comic nerds everywhere, is that Spidey’s eyes actually move! If you listen closely, you will hear his eyes shutter closed, meaning there is some machine inside controlling them. Chances are, this costume was designed by Stark and not handmade by Peter, which alters his origin story greatly, but it adds some more realism in this high school kid learning how to sew tights. With his eyes being animated, this means we will get a very expressive Spidey for the first time in any of the movies, and that adds some hope to the kind of humor he will bring. It worked for Deadpool, it will certainly work for Spidey.
I don’t know about you, but I am still excited to see New York’s friendly neighborhood you-know-who, and seeing him in action this early on has made me even crazier to see this movie! This costume is easily the best we have in a Spider-man movie, keeping classic influences with a slightly modern take. Only ever so slightly, though, since how can you change perfection?