#3042: Symbiote Spider-Man



“Spider-Man gets an all-new look when he finds a sleek black costume in a space shuttle wreck. Little does Spidey realize he’s joined himself to the predatory alien symbiote: Venom!”

In early 1984, after over 20 years of more or less just getting minor tweaks to the same basic design, Spider-Man debuted an all-new costume on the cover of Amazing Spider-Man #252.  This black and white number would get its own origin story in the pages of Secret Wars later that year, where it was revealed that the suit was actually an alien symbiote, bonded to Peter during his stay on Battleworld.  He wound up keeping the suit for about 6 months, before discovering its true nature and ditching it.  Not long after, though, he took to wearing a cloth replica of the design, and actually stuck with that for another four years, making it a fairly lengthy run with the suit.  As such, it’s become a staple for toy coverage, meaning it gets trotted back out every so often to keep things fresh.  We got a standard Black Costume Spider-Man Legends release back in 2017, with a re-release in 2019, but with a new standard Spidey body out there, it’s time for another go at the design, which I’m taking a look at today!


Symbiote Spider-Man is the second Spidey variant in the latest Spidey-themed Retro assortment of Marvel Legends.  Like the standard Retro Spidey before him, this guy looks the be the most-in-demand of this round of figures by quite a bit.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 36 points of articulation.  He’s only the second figure to be built on the body that was debuted with the first Retro Spidey, which is at once surprising, and also appropriate, I suppose.  It’s nice to see it crop up again after such a big deal was made about it.  In contrast to the last Symbiote Spidey, who was a total re-use of parts, this one actually gets an all-new head sculpt.  While I was willing to live with the re-used Scarlet Spider head on the last one, I must admit, I was very happy about the all-new sculpt here, and it’s such a nice sculpt.  It really matches well with my ideal version of the black costume mask.  Beyond that, it’s just re-using the previous body.  While I find myself drawn more to the slighter build of the Pizza Spidey body for a basic Spider-Man, it did perhaps mak the Symbiote design look a little scrawnier than he should have been.  The slightly bulked up body works really well with the design.  The figure’s paint is on the basic side, as is best with the Symbiote look.  No blue accents or anything to muck things up, and the application on the white is pretty sharp.  The eyes are notably a more glossy finish, which adds a nice bit of pop to the head.  Symbiote Spider-Man is packed with three different sets of hands, and can I just say how glad I am that all of the hands are back again?  It was a major nick against the last Retro Spidey was that he didn’t have the open gesture hands, so I’m really psyched that the whole spread is here this time.


Something about the Sandman Series Symbiote Spidey always just slightly missed the mark for me.  He was decent, but just not quite there.  Likewise, I kind of felt that way about the previous Retro Spidey.  So, this was a combo that I was iffy on, but it really, really works.  Legitimately the best version of this costume design, at the very least in Legends form, and certainly the best version I own.

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure to review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website.

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