When Andrew Garfield’s first picture as Spider-Man was revealed, webheads around the world were agog at what has become one of the most, if not the most, controversial of Peter’s many movie costumes over the years. The long spider-logo, the rubbery, basketball-esque texture, the balance between red and blue. But I can’t help but love it — and Spider-Man Remastered’s latest release is making me love it even more.
Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered — a graphical overhaul of the 2018 PS4 game first made for the launch of the Playstation 5 in 2020 — hit PC last week, bringing the Playstation-exclusive and a whole web of fancy visual bells and whistles to computers for the first time. The Amazing suit was added to the game, alongside others, with the Remastered release, giving the title almost every contemporary Spider-Man movie suit (and many more beyond that). And although it’s been a few years since I last swung through Insomniac’s virtual NYC, getting the chance to do it on PC this past week has let me re-visit Peter’s most controversial movie design and appreciate it much more than I ever did on screen.
This is, in part, because the Amazing suit feels much more suited to the Peter of Marvel’s Spider-Man in a way than it does the inexperienced teen Garfield played in the movie. Peter’s a smart kid in Webb’s film, but the suit always felt too slick and too fancy for something a poor whiz kid could construct in secret out of scraps and materials ordered online. The older, more experienced Peter of the game feels much more at home constructing something like it, sliding just as neatly into the narrative of its story as its own home grown ‘advanced’ Spider-Suit does.
But it also helps that Spider-Man Remastered is just a very pretty game, and the chance to get up close with its costumes in its wonderful photo-mode makes it even easier to goggle at the craft and detail in the Amazing suit’s design. While some of the game’s more visually out-there suits like the faux-vintage comic book effect suit or, on the cinematic side of things, Peter B. Parker’s Into the Spider-Verse costume shine by just how much they embrace standing out visually on a more broad level — changing the way Peter moves, looks, and interacts with the environment — the Amazing suit shines in the moments when you stop, pause, and appreciate all its details up close. The way light highlights the little hexagonal texturing all over, that just fades away from view looking at it from the distance. All the little details like the padding on the hands and feet, or the reflective lenses in the mask. Hell, even the mere chance to actually see the suit in broad daylight more often, in stark contrast to the dark nights it’s often seen in in the movie.
I’ve already frequently spoken in the past about how Marvel’s Spider-Man turned me into an addled, J. Jonah Jameson-esque editor yelling about wanting Pictures, Pictures of Spider-Man, but the Amazing suit has had me stopping and pausing the game to enter photo mode almost as much as I have been actually playing Remastered itself, always finding a new angle or a new trick of the light that highlights the things I never got to appreciate in the suit’s design back when Amazing Spider-Man hit theatres.
It’s fitting that a game like Marvel’s Spider-Man — a celebration of just what makes Peter Parker work as a hero, a loving celebration of Spider-Man’s history and legacy — gave me a chance to re-examine one of Peter’s most maligned movie looks in a new light. After all, such a loving celebration of a character with as broad a visual history as Spider-Man should be able to highlight the things that make each of those visual changes work, no matter how maligned they might have been at the time. Letting the Amazing suit sit alongside some of Spider-Man’s most iconic looks across TV, films, and comics and shine in the way it never did on screen was worth all the years of waiting for its moment in the spider-spotlight again.