Spider-Man PS4: The origin and story of every unlockable suit
There are a lot of interesting suits and gadgets in Insomniac’s breakout Spider-Man game but hidden around every smooth hem of spandex and nano-steel filament there’s a story of where and when Spider-Man was forced to strap on one of these new suits.
So, let’s dive into everything you need to know about the suits of Insomniac’s Spider-Man, all the references, the comic book tie-ins, and the secret suits from across New York.
Classic Suit (Amazing Fantasy # 15, 1962)
Power: Web Blossom – leap into the air and web everything in sight
Spider-Man’s classic suit is as timeless as you would expect, this version in particular feels like it’s meant to be a recreation of the basic spandex warrior garb, but Peter hints several times throughout the game that even his basic suit is equipped with insulation and HUD improvements to make survival more likely against a variety of foes.
Noir suit (Spider-Man Noir #1, 2009)
Power: Sound of Silence - Enemies no longer call for backup when alerted
The Noir Suit is a carryover from Earth-90214, which follows a Peter Parker raised during the Great Depression rather than modern day New York.
This variation of Peter Parker gets his powers from a spider hiding inside an ancient statue, after which he goes on a crusade against a pre-WWII crime empire controlled by Norman Osborn. His suit, which is a bit of a darker spin for Spider-Man, is created from his Uncle Ben’s WWI airmen uniform and is often also depicted with a dark trench coat and fedora to match the noir investigative aesthetic of the times.
This suit is particularly interesting to see make an appearance in Insomniac’s Spider-Man because it’s a hop, leap, and a jump from the Peter Parker of the modern age, who usually just incapacitates or otherwise knocks his enemy’s unconscious. The noir suit Peter Parker is known for using guns, killing, and in general doing whatever it takes to get the job done in a darker vigilante fashion.
Scarlet Spider suit (Web of Spider-Man #118, 1994)
Power: Holo Decoy – Spawns holograms that stun attacking enemies before decaying
The Scarlet Spider suit was originally worn by Ben Reilly, a clone of Peter Parker that both served as Spider-Man for a time and as various characters within the comic from the Scarlet Spider to the Jackal at one point in time. Currently, Ben Reilly has returned to his role as the Scarlet Spider and retains all the powers of Spider-Man but in a separate body.
There’s a lot of history between the Scarlet Spider (Ben Reilly) and Spider-Man (Peter Parker) but in a lot of ways they’re cut from the same gene pool. That said, Ben Reilly has struggled both with his sense of identity, the genetic instability of clone genes, and his many, many deaths over the years. The power the Scarlet Spider suit has in-game is a direct reference to the way Scarlet Spider has often decayed as his genetic structure breaks down upon death.
The version of the costume we see in the Spider-Man for the PS4 is noticeably similar to the Scarlet Spider’s original costume, which includes much more rudimentary web slingers and equipment along with a simple red spandex jumpsuit under a tattered blue Spidey sweatshirt.
Fun fact, Ben Reilly created his name by combining Uncle Ben with Aunt May’s maiden name.
Spider Armor – MK II Suit (Amazing Spider-Man #656, 2011)
Power: Bullet Proof – Blocks bullets using magnetically polarized armor plating
The Spider Armor MK II Suit is the second version of Spidey’s armor to roll out for when Spidey needs some extra durability to take on a particularly dangerous foe. In this case, the MK II suit was created to deal with Massacre, a murderer with shrapnel in his head that dulled his empathy and capacity for emotion.
Normally a gunslinger like Massacre would have been easy pickings for Spider-Man. Unfortunately, this was just after Spider-Man was forced to manually detonate a bomb that wipes out pre-cognitive abilities while fighting Alistair Smythe and Scorpion. In the resulting explosion Spider-Man lost his Spidey sense and had to fight crime for almost a year without it.
Enter Massacre, a man with zero empathy that loves, you guessed it, mass murder. Massacre shoots Spider-Man and nearly kills him in their first encounter, and without his Spidey Sense Peter realizes that he can no longer dodge bullets and other projectiles. So, in true Peter Parker fashion Spider-Man goes on to design the MK II suit using magnetically polarized plating to become effectively bulletproof.
With the MK II armor in hand, Spidey takes down Massacre and adds a new suit to his arsenal of equipment until his Spidey sense recovers.
Spider Armor – MK III Suit (Amazing Spider-Man #682, 2012)
Power: Titanium Alloy Plates – Reflects all bullets except sniper round back at shooters
As is often the case, Peter Parker often creates a new set of Spider Armor whenever he’s forced to fight overwhelming odds. The first set was created to combat the gun-toting New Enforcers when they originally attacked ESU and he needed extra armor to tank a few high-caliber rounds.
The MK III Spider Armor is built specifically with the Sinister Six in mind, combining a key piece of technology that Spider-Man used to defeat each member of the Sinister Six into the ultimate Spidey Suit for taking on a team of his toughest enemies.
This includes everything from a hearing device to detect Chameleon while he’s camouflaged to an enhanced chassis that lets him take direct hits from Rhino without exploding into pink Spidey-chunks. The suit also includes jet boosters and gauntlet web shooters that allow Spidey to fly and fire more powerful web blasts than normal.
The MK III suit makes its first appearance after the Sinister Six, led by Doctor Octopus, hatch a plot to heat the greenhouse gasses across the planet to speed up global warming. The Six reveal their plan to the whole world and demand a ransom in exchange for shutting the system down.
Hearing the news, Peter Parker uses the resources at Horizon Labs to create the MK III armor and assembles the Avengers to deliver a care package of heroes to the Sinister Six’s doorstep.
Spider Armor – MK IV Suit (Amazing Spider-Man Volume 4 #1, 2015)
Power: Defense Shield – Experimental magnetic weave creates a shield that absorbs all damage
The Mark IV Spider Armor is the culmination of all the Spider Armors to date with a pile of enhancements that are meant to turn Spider-Man into a lean, mean, crime stopping machine. Unlike the other Spider-Armors the MK IV was meant to completely replace Spider-Man’s basic suit and came with a host of quality of life features to make him a strong contender against almost every foe Spidey has ever faced.
The list of gadgets and gizmos is too long to list here but suffice to say that the MK IV armor is probably technologically the closest to what we have access to in Insomniac’s Spider-Man title at least in variety, with everything from nuanced hacking capabilities to gadgets that can shock and stun enemies. This also includes an enhanced web fluid that’s strong enough to stop blasts from Iron Man’s ion cannons.
The MK IV suit was created by Peter with all the resources made available to him by Parker Industries after reclaiming his body from Doctor Octopus. In turn, after becoming the Superior Octopus with the help of a Hydra controlled S.H.I.E.L.D., Doctor Octopus destroys the MK IV with a powerful EMP.
Secret War Suit (Secret Wars #8, 2004)
Power: Arms Race – Discharges an EMP to stun enemies and disable their weapons
Spider-Man’s secret war suit is mostly a cosmetic upgrade and only appears as part of Spider-Man’s participation in the operation Nick Fury initiates to take down Lucia Von Bardas’ Latverian empire. As far as we know, aside from the cosmetic changes the Secret Wars suit functions the same as Peter’s standard suit at the time.
This particular secret war (considering there have been multiple) focuses on the aftermath of a mission orchestrated by Nick Fury to remove Lucia Von Bardas from power in Dr. Doom’s country Latveria. Nick Fury had evidence that Von Bardas was funding the technology for various supervillains across who were terrorizing American citizens and felt that he had to act even if no one else would. The mission was specifically forbidden by the U.S. president at the time and didn’t go well, resulting in S.H.I.E.L.D wiping the memories of all those involved including Spidey’s.
Spidey was part of a group of heroes that included Wolverine, Black Widow, Captain America, Daredevil, Luke Cage, and S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Daisy Johnson that Fury recruited for the mission. In the Secret Wars comics Nick Fury and friends face direct retaliation from Von Bardas as a result of their actions and as events transpire the various heroes get flashes and pieces of the events previously wiped from their memories.
Stark Suit (Captain America: Civil War, 2016)
Power: Spider-Bro— Call in a Spider-Bro companion to attack enemies for a short period of time
The Stark suit is specifically the suit we see in Spider-Man: Homecoming and Captain America: Civil War, which as you would expect if you haven’t seen the films is made by Tony Stark for the young Spider-Man we see in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
It’s important to note that the Stark suit isn’t to be confused with the Iron Spider suit later in this list. Both are made by Stark, but one is only present in the MCU as part of Spider-Man Homecoming and Captain America: Civil War while the Iron Spider suit is present in the comics as well as the MCU as of Infinity War and the end of Homecoming.
Spidey’s Stark Suit is full of all sorts of Stark industries gadgetry including optional combat modes, an onboard A.I., and the Spider-Bro drone that can be deployed as the suit power in Insomniac’s Spider-Man.
Electrically Insulated Suit (Amazing Spider-Man #425, 1997)
Power: Electric Punch – Gauntlets temporarily electrocute enemies in melee
The Electrically Insulated suit is a direct reference to Spider-Man’s early battles with Electro wherein he was forced to develop a special suit that could actively resist Electro high voltage attacks. This appears to be a refined version compared to the original and includes a few bonus features for fun gameplay.
That said, in the comics this suit is pretty much used as a one-off piece of equipment and we never really see it again after Spidey’s battle with Electro. This is partly because Spidey later improves the insulation and integrates it into every one of his suits, which he actively references in game if you find the piece of Electro’s suit in one of his old backpacks spread across the city.
Spider-Punk Suit (Amazing Spider-Man Volume 3 #10, 2015)
Power: Rock Out – Blasts enemies with waves of righteous sound
This punk themed suit for Spider-Man almost makes you wonder if it’s a rock-and-roll original creation. In reality, it comes from an alternate universe and was the garb of one Hobart Brown from Earth-138.
Hobart was the leader of a rebel group called the Spider Army who led the charge to take down President Osborn’s (yes, we mean President Norman Osborn) oppressive regime. Hobart is famous for not only leading his ragtag group of rebels without a cause, but also for lighting up President Osborn’s army with 15,000 watts of punk rock fed from hundreds of amps. The vibrations destroyed Osborn’s military tech and allowed Spider-Man (Hobart) to swing in and bash Norman over the head with his guitar, killing him in the process and freeing America from a totalitarian leader.
Famously Hobart is quoted saying, “We don't have the power of the state. We don't have the authority on our side, the cops, or the media. What we have are angry hearts. Clenched fists. Love and rage... and 15,000 watts of punk rock, from an army of amps set to 11.”
Wrestler Suit (Ultimate Spider-Man #3, 2000)
Power: King of the Ring – Web throw enemies without webbing them
The Wrestler suit has seen more than a few iterations as Spider-Man has made his transition from print to film to print but the story behind the cobbled together outfit is always the same. A freshly transformed Peter Parker is looking for a way to take advantage of his new powers and notices a wrestling competition offering a cash prize for defeating (or just surviving in the ring) with a famous wrestler. At which point Spidey throws together a costume with the extra clothes he has around the house to create his persona which later becomes the basis for the color and style of his later costumes.
This particular version comes from the Ultimate Spider-Man arc where Spider-Man fights in the ring on multiple occasions for extra cash that he gives to Aunt May and Uncle Ben. These fights particularly serve as a chance for Spidey to test out his own particular style and is where he’s first referred to as the Amazing Spider-Man rather than just the Spider.
Fear Itself Suit (Fear Itself #7, 2011)
Power: Quad Damage – Temporarily deal massive damage
The Fear Itself suit is a direct nod to the Fear Itself arc, which features a massive group of heroes taking on The Serpent, an Asgardian villain that seeks to destroy earth and Asgard by spreading fear across the planet to feed his power.
The Fear Itself suit and the fancy gauntlets that go with it are the result of a series of weapons created by Tony Stark with the help of the Dwarves of Nidavellir. The gauntlets themselves are what change Spider-Man’s suit from it’s classic red and blue and presumably enhance Spider-Man’s strength and durability so that he can slug it out with the other villains and superheroes gifted with the power of the Asgardians.
Not a whole lot is known about the Fear Itself suit except that it was used by Spider-Man in the final climactic battle against the Serpent’s forces and then melted down by Tony Stark along with the other Asgardian weapons left over after the battle.
Stealth (“Big Time”) Suit (Amazing Spider-Man #650, 2011)
Power: Blur Projector – Create a stealth field that can obscure you from non-alerted enemies
The original Stealth Suit was created by Peter Parker to directly counter the Hobgoblin’s sonic scream attacks and as a result had the ability to create a field around it that would dampen light and sound. This made the suit effectively invisible and allowed him to concentrate the technology to completely cancel out the sonic effect from Hobgoblin’s scream.
The Stealth Suit later becomes Kaine’s (the first failed experiment to clone Peter Parker and longtime anti-hero) after he takes up the mantle of the Scarlet Spider.
The Stealth suit actually has several color modes that change the inner rings of lighting and can range from the green we see in Insomniac’s Spider-Man to an orangish red that is a closer match to the traditional Spidey coloring.
Spider-Man 2099 Black Suit (Spider-Man 2099 #1, 1992)
Power: Low Gravity – Decreases gravity while in the air
The Spider-Man 2099 Black suit actually belongs to Miguel O’Hara a variant of Spider-Man from Earth-928 in, as the name would suggest, 2099. Miguel gains his powers through a failed genetic experiment. Alchemax, the company he was working for at the time, attempted to first control him using one of their hallucinogenic drugs and later tried to kill him when he attempted to genetically cure his addiction, as a result of the sabotage Miguel is genetically spliced with a spider.
Miguel’s power are actually somewhat different than Peter Parkers. Although both possess super human speed, strength, and agility Miguel uses a set of retractable claws for combat and climbing walls and actually creates organic spider silk inside his body for web slinging.
Miguel’s suit is a much more brutal, but futuristic variant on the traditional suit and also features a set of gliders to allow him to simulate a kind of flight while web slinging.
Spider-Man 2099 White Suit (Spider-Man 2099 Volume 2 #12, 1992)
Power: Concussion Strike – Temporarily send enemies flying with every attack
The Spider-Man 2099 White suit is a variation created by Peter Parker after a series of events result in Miguel O’Hara arriving in modern day New York.
This version of Miguel O’Hara is actually not from the Earth-928 universe most fans were familiar with at the time, instead this O’Hara is a nearly identical copy from Earth-TRN588 who travels back in time in an attempt to correct several issues with the timeline that are currently unstable and that could result in his father fading from existence. Not wanting to share a similar fate, Miguel travels back in time and meets first Doctor Octopus in Peter Parker’s body and later the real Peter Parker after he regains control.
Peter Parker creates the 2099 White Suit with several improvement including enhanced glider webbing and jump thrusters to make flying and gliding a blurry line, as well as numerous other combat and sensory upgrades.
Iron Spider Suit (Amazing Spider-Man #529, 2006)
Power: Iron Arms – Spidey temporarily gets four extra metallic arms for combat
The Iron Spider suit has made appearances in both the comics and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, although the version we see in game is undoubtedly the MCU variant from the end of Spider-Man: Homecoming and Avengers: Infinity War.
The original Iron Spider Suit was a much simpler gold and red variant and was a gift from Tony Stark to Peter Parker just before Civil War kicked off. The suit also featured three additional arms rather than the four we see in the MCU variant. Ironically, these arms were poorly optimized for fighting and primarily served for mobility and utility actions, leaving Spidey’s hands free for duking it out with hero and supervillain alike.
The Iron Spider chapter in the comics came to a close when Spidey switched sides during Civil War and attempted to join Captain America and friends and leave Tony Stark in the dust. Instead, Tony activated a hidden protocol in the suit and used it to temporarily disable Spidey, but fortunately our webbed wonder saw it coming and activated an additional override to escape. Afterwards Peter Parker hung up the Iron Spider suit for good, but the additional arms would make their way into future suit designs orchestrated by Doctor Octopus in Peter’s body.
Spirit Spider (Incredible Hulks Annual #1, 2011)
Power: Spirit Fire – Ethereal energy temporarily burns enemies around Spider-Man
The Spirit Spider is the result of a series of events involving Earth-616 Spider-Man and the Amazing Spider Variant from Earth-11638. Earth-11638 is an alternate reality where Peter Parker receives all his usual powers but never has to deal with Ben Parker’s death.
Instead, Ben Parker guides and teaches Peter and encourages him to become the Amazing Spider, who later becomes a successful superhero, scientist, and the head of a powerful company. Unfortunately, in a misguided attempt to make himself more powerful to protect his own universe the Amazing Spider and the Uncle Ben from this reality develop technology to capture Spidey’s from alternate realities so that they the Amazing Spider can absorb their power.
At one point they steal Peter Parker from the Earth-616 universe and before our Spider-Man can be absorbed he shows the Amazing Spider the error of his ways causing him to sacrifice himself to save Earth-616 Spidey.
The Amazing Spider’s body survives but his soul is sent to hell until Bruce Banner, the sorcerer supreme of Earth-11638 gives him another chance at life. Bruce gives him spectral powers, and when he reawakens he goes full Ghost Rider as the newly minted Ghost Spider.
Vintage Comic Book Suit (Amazing Fantasy # 15, 1962)
Power: Quips – Insult your enemy’s pride
The Vintage Comic Book suit is a direct node at the original art style of the comics and matches both the design and the comic book aesthetic. It doesn’t have much more to it than that, but the cell-shading and distinct animation style look fantastic with Insomniac’s New York as a backdrop.
Last Stand Suit (Amazing Spider-Man #500, 2003)
Power: Unrelenting Fury – Enemies can’t block or interrupt Spidey’s attacks
The Last Stand suit is a direct reference to a possible future Spider-Man sees with the help of Madame Web.
This Spider-Man has gone down a much darker path, choosing to kill Kraven the Hunter to avenge the deaths of Kaine and Spider-Woman and ultimately choosing brutal violence and murder to achieve his goals. Our Spider-Man meets the Earth-312500 variant as a broken, older version of himself at his last stand at Aunt May’s grave. His costume is surprisingly reminiscent of Jason Todd’s a DC hero with a similar blood-stained past, and this includes a button up jacket, combat boots, and a lack of love for his spandex origins.
Soon after modern day Peter arrives, the NYPD confronts the Last Stand Spider-Man in the cemetery and when he refuses to cooperate they gun him down. It’s a dark possible future for Spider-Man that’s both terrifying and that helps Spider-Man understand the importance of the responsibility and power he has to protect rather than kill.
Homemade Suit (Spider-Man: Homecoming, 2017)
Power: None Associated
Although Spider-Man has had plenty of homemade suits in his time this variation is a direct reference to the one we see in the MCU that Peter Parker uses for crime fighting before Tony Stark gives him an upgrade.
Dark Suit (Spider-Man/Deadpool #8, 2016)
Power: None Associated
The Dark Suit feels like it’s actually a few comic book references all wrapped up in one neat little package.
The big one is that this suit originally appears when Deadpool takes a contract out on Peter Parker, kills him, then realizes he’s his main squeeze Spider-Man and travels to Purgatory to save him. Parker gets the Dark Suit look along the way, and the confrontation with Wade is noticeably dark even with quips from both sides.
That said, the fact that you get your hands on this suit from completing the Black Cat missions is no coincidence, because Spidey’s on again off again love interest once created a variation on the Venom suit for Spider (sans symbiote) because she thought the darker colors looked better on the webbed wonder.
Either way, it’s a great looking costume, and gives us hope that maybe Deadpool will replace Taskmaster in the next game.
These suits are original creations made by Insomniac or associated artists specifically for the game and although they don’t all have direct comic book tie-ins they’re still worth looking at.
Advanced Suit (Marvel’s Spider-Man, 2018)
Power: Battle Focus – Generate focus for a short period of time
This suit is made with the help of Doctor Octavius at the beginning of the game after he discovers Peter working on his damaged suit from the opening acts. It might not be from the comics, but it’s undoubtedly an impressive look at a modern Spider-Man with reinforced, almost skeletal enhancements for web slinging and combat.
Negative Suit (Marvel’s Spider-Man, 2018)
Power: Unleash a wave of Negative energy
The Negative suit is a direct reference to Mr. Negative, and although the suit itself doesn’t have many ties to the comics Mr. Negative definitely plays a big role in several story arcs.
For a bit of background, Mr. Negative in the comics was a member of a Chinese gang called the Snakeheads before he was attacked and kidnapped by a rival gang called the Maggia who packaged him up and delivered him to a chemist named Simon Marshall.
Before he was captured, Mr. Negative stole the alias Martin Li from a man he was smuggling into the country that died when their ship slammed into a New York. Under this alias, Simon Marshall experimented on Martin Li, Tyrone Johnson, and Tandy Bowen with a drug called D-Lite.
The experimentation reacted with the trio’s unique biological structure and caused all three to develop powers and abilities that draw on the Lightforce and Darkforce. Tyrone and Tandy became the vigilantes Cloak and Dagger, and Martin Li became Mr. Negative.
This transformation caused Martin Li’s personality to split, creating the kind-hearted Martin Li of the day, and the dark-hearted Mr. Negative of the night. This darker persona immediately began a crusade to take over the criminal underworld that created him, while Martin Li became the public face of many humanitarian projects and political campaigns.
Mr. Negative’s powers in the comics are largely similar to those we see in the PS4 version of Spider-Man and include everything from mind control and the ability to pass on portions of his power as well as the ability to directly channel energy into objects around him.
In the comics Mr. Negative also has the ability to heal those he touches similar to the way he can corrupt their minds. Mr. Negative quietly puts this ability to use healing the sick and destitute and at one point even cures Eddie Brock’s (Venom) cancer and allows Eddie to go on to become Anti-Venom. It’s entirely possible we’ll see this power play a role in a future Spider-Man game or DLC, but at this point it’s definitely taken a backseat to the main story.
Velocity Suit (Marvel’s Spider-Man, 2018)
Power: Blitz – Temporarily knock enemies down while sprinting
The Velocity suit is an original work created specifically for Insomniac’s Spider-Man by artist Adi Granov a famous face in the comic book industry that’s worked on everything from Iron man to the MCU variants of the Avengers.
Undies (Marvel’s Spider-Man, 2018)
Power: Equalizer – Everyone goes down in one hit, including you
Spider-Man has certainly been caught without a suit and in nothing but his underwear more times than any other superhero (aside from maybe Deadpool) and this suit is a hilarious homage to those events. This birthday suit even includes a reference to the running joke that Peter Parker only has three chest hairs, it’s the small details that matter.
You can only get this suit by one hundred percenting the story and every district in the city but it’s definitely worth it just for the looks you get on the subway.
ESU Suit (Marvel’s Spider-Man, 2018)
Power: None Associated
The ESU suit is a hidden suit that can only be found by finding all 100 secret photo locations. It doesn’t have much of a comic book tie-in but it’s a nice reference to Spidey’s time at the school.
Anti-Ock Suit (Marvel’s Spider-Man, 2018)
Power: Resupply – Refills gadgets when activated
Spoiler warning, this suit only appears at the very end of the game.
Now that that’s out of the way, the Anti-Ock suit is an original creation from Insomniac meant to directly counter Doctor Octavius’ highly weaponized arms. Not only is it presumably made from a similar material, it matches the darker aesthetic and gives Peter the ability to resupply his gadgets on the fly.
That said, it’s similar to the Superior Octopus suit that Doc Ock uses after he transfers his consciousness out of Peter Parker’s body in the comics. It’s also special because Doctor Octopus is one of the only comic book villains that Parker regularly faces off against that he doesn’t actively have a counter suit for. He occasionally makes a gadget or two to offset something new Octopus brings to the party, but he never specifically makes a suit built to counter Doc Ock’s ability. So this is a first for the canon across the board.