Monday, March 17, 2014

Rob's Room: Spiderman's Black Costume Creation

I had never heard that a fan named Randy Schueller came up with the idea of Spiderman's Black Costume (though slightly different)…   I'm curious if anyone has any further details.  Read his full letter at this CBR Link.  Here are some highlights:
Back in the early 80s, Marvel ran a competition for aspiring writers and artists. Being a life long Spidey fan with delusions of comic grandeur, I took a stab at a story idea.
I thought it would be cool if Spidey needed to upgrade his powers and his look, so I came up with this idea that Reed Richards had made a new costume for Spidey using the same unstable molecules that the FF costumes are made of. The unstable molecules would flow into Peter’s pores and allow him to cling to walls better. I think my original idea was to increase his sticking power by 25% or something like that.  
For some lame reason, I had the Wasp involved since she was the resident fashion plate of the Marvel universe at the time. Remember when Jan would show up in every other issue of the Avengers sporting a cool new costume? I loved when they did that! So to me it made sense to have her design the new spider suit when she was over at the Baxter Building for cocktails or something. Anyway, I saw the new suit as a stealth version of the original costume – jet black so he could blend in with the shadows. At best, all you could see of him was the blood red spider emblem, emblazoned on his chest. (Yeah, in my design the spider was red, not white. I also gave him underarm webbing like in the original Ditko design.)  […] 

A few months after submitting the story I received a letter from Jim Shooter saying he liked the idea and wanted to buy it for $220. I was thrilled! But the best part – they offered me a chance to write the story. 
Since Marvel paid me for the story, I have no real gripe, but I do feel bad that they didn’t give me any kind of acknowledgment in the comics. You know, something like, “costume concept by Randy Schueller” or “Thanks to Randy Schueller for inspiration,” or “Randy Schueller, you Spidey fan-boy stud, you rock!” But no, I got nothin’! That’s my one disappointment in this whole story. 
I'm in the process of collecting a whole slew of Black Costume images… so be prepared for an Image Blitz in the near future!  In the meantime (if accurate), thanks to Randy Schueller for the initial idea!

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