At the end of Spider-Man: Homecoming, viewers are introduced to a brand new Spider-Man suit, something that makes the comic book fans in the audience perk up. So what is this suit, exactly? Why is it significant?
Warning: Spoilers for Spider-Man: Homecoming lie ahead.
It seems that this new suit is the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s version of what’s known in the comics as the Iron Spider armor. It was introduced back in 2006 with The Amazing Spider-Man #529. Just like in the movie, Tony Stark develops this suit for Peter Parker after being impressed with him and his abilities. However, unlike in Homecoming, Peter Parker actually uses the suit for a while in the comics.
It’s a bit different in the film, but here’s what the armor looked like in the Marvel comic books:
Just like an Iron Man suit, the Iron Spider armor comes decked out with some pretty nifty features, all of which are controlled by a chest piece. It has three mechanical arms that use cameras to see around corners, and they can also be used like actual arms, with grippers that function like fingers. The arms remain stored in the back of the suit, but they can be activated at any time, at which point they quickly expand. Tony Stark discourages Peter from using these in combat, but of course he does so anyway when he fights Captain America in Civil War.
The suit also has built in infrared and ultraviolet technology, as well as a cloaking device, GPS, and the ability to pick up local police and fire department scanners. It’s also bulletproof to some degree and allows Spider-Man to glide and to breathe underwater. In terms of the look, the costume can change designs, therefore taking on the form of a more classic Spider-Man suit. It can also morph into regular clothes.
Interestingly, in the comics, the suit has a secret override function that can be activated by Tony Stark at any time. This was to be used if Spider-Man shifts allegiances, as he does in the Civil War storyline, although by the time Tony tried to use the override, Peter Parker had already figured out the technology and had bypassed the system.
Obviously, the Iron Spider suit has never been depicted in live action before because this is the first time Iron Man and Spider-Man have existed in the same cinematic universe. However, it has been depicted on television in the cartoon series Ultimate Spider-Man. It also has appeared in video games like Marvel Ultimate Alliance and Lego Marvel Super Heroes.
In Spider-Man: Homecoming, the main purpose of the Iron Spider suit is to tempt Peter Parker with something incredibly awesome so it means that much more when he turns it down. However, this is also likely set up for Avengers: Infinity War, during which Parker will probably use the Iron Spider armor in the battle against Thanos.