Why The MCU Iron Spider Armor Doesn't Look Like The Comic

Though Peter Parker dons the Iron Spider armor in Avengers: Infinity War, the design is significantly different than the suit featured in the comics. Everything from the mask to the logo was changed, and the creative team behind Marvel Studios evidently had their reasons.

Alongside other notable design updates in Avengers: Infinity War - including Iron Man's Mark L suit and Captain America's new Nomad-inspired look - Iron Spider's armor stood out considerably. Marrying design elements from both Spider-Man and Iron Man (interestingly, the texture is exactly the same as Iron Man's Bleeding Edge armor, suggesting this suit is composed of the same kind of nanotechnology), it didn't just serve its functional purpose, but was regarded highly by fans. However, as well-received as it may have been, it still differed greatly from the comic book source material.

Related: Loki Survived Infinity War In One Of Marvel's Fake Avengers Scripts

Marvel's Avengers: Infinity War - The Art of the Movie is filled with numerous explanations regarding various decisions made during the production of Avengers: Infinity War. In regard to Iron Spider's look, it includes some interesting comments from Marvel Studios Head of Visual Development Ryan Meinerding, who explains why the studio deviated so significantly from the comic book design. Ultimately, he wanted to honor both the source material and the MCU version of Spider-Man simultaneously. He said:

"Using the Iron Spider as a reference from the comics, I was just trying to work in themes that I knew the Russo brothers would respond to. I knew they had always wanted a red-and-black Spider-Man suit in Civil War, so I was trying to find a way to turn the Iron Spider from the comics into that. The Iron Spider in the comics has gold, bulbous eyes, and I felt like I really wanted to hold on to the Romita eyes that we established in the previous suit design. So taking that red-and-black theme, incorporating some gold, and then trying to keep the same head design - specifically the eyes - was kind of why we landed where we did."

In part, Meinerding's choices seem to have been made simply because Spider-Man is so new to the MCU and, by extension, that some visual elements - most notably his  distinctive, flexing Romita eyes - are still fresh and original to audiences. Keeping them allowed the transition from Spider-Man's original suit into the Iron Spider armor to like feel less jarring and more like a natural evolution. The gold accents on the suit were added as a homage to the comics.

It seems there was also a significant debate about just how many "stingers" Spider-Man should have. In the comics, the Iron Spider had three extendable units (which Peter refers to as "Waldoes"). This was a rather odd choice, given that it essentially means Peter had seven limbs, not eight - as is typical for spiders. It wasn't until the Dan Slott run that this was changed, and Meinerding appears to have toyed with both designs. Ultimately, he settled on four limbs in the final design, and this turned out to be arguably the most aesthetically pleasing.

More: The Avengers Would Have Won Infinity War With Just One Different Decision

Source: Marvel's Avengers: Infinity War - The Art of the Movie

Key Release Dates
  • Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
  • Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019
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