Spider-Man’s New Costume Comes with a Price

Spider-Man has always had a weird relationship with money, and a contentious relationship with his [...]

Spider-Man has always had a weird relationship with money, and a contentious relationship with his editor, J. Jonah Jameson. Both of those things are now coming to the forefront as a new costume, provided to him by his employer, sees the web-slinger taking feedback from Jameson (as well as people on the internet) in real time as he fights villains with tiny cameras built into his costume to make "being" Spider-man an interactive, VR experience for the audience. Along with feedback, there's also certain responsibilities: Spidey has to allow sponsors and audience members to determine how he talks, jokes, and even fights.

The new costume debuted in The Amazing Spider-Man #61, in stores now. And the whole thing feels a bit like early Booster Gold, who struggled to balance the needs of his superhero responsibilities with the things he had to do as CEO of Booster Gold International, the company that managed his endorsements and investments. Of course, Booster would later have to deal with conflicts between those priorities, both in his solo series and in Justice League International, where he would become part of the corporate-backed superhero team The Conglomerate, a move he would later regret and distance himself from.

"It was Peter Parker's first inclination as well," Booster Gold creator Dan Jurgens recently told me for an upcoming collection of interviews. "'Gee, I'll go be a wrestler, and I'll make money, and I'll use my powers that way.' With Booster, it was more bent toward the celebrity aspect of it, which was, 'I can make money at this just the same way as any pro athlete or celebrity does. I'll play for the good guys, but I'm going to enjoy the benefits that this can offer.'"

It feels like this new suit isn't long for this world. Heck, he's back in his traditional blue and red threads on the cover of May's issue, although it's also possible that's just a question of art that was created before the design for the new suit was finalized.

The issue is a bit of an aside as compared to the dark-ish, deadly, and long-form storytelling that has been going on in the last little while of Nick Spencer's Spidey stories, and with art by Patrick Gleason it has a little of that kinetic, Jonathan Kent-style energy to it.

The Amazing Spider-Man #61 is available now at comic shops or online via sites like ComiXology.