Created by Tony Stark to supplement Spider-Man's powers and abilities, the Spider-Man Armored Fighting Suit Version 1.1 was dubbed "The Iron Spider" costume and was known for it's startling change of red and gold as well as a trio of retractable mechanical arms. Although extremely useful, Spider-Man also discovered several unsettling things about the Iron Spider uniform, such as the fact that it allowed Stark to secretly monitor him as well as analyze his powers and later even create countermeasures for them.
Spider-Man subsequently abandoned the Iron Spider after he switched sides during "The Civil War". The design was reused to costume the Scarlet Spiders, a group of clones secretly created by the Initiative.
After Peter Parker gained his additional powers from "The Other", industrialist Tony Stark created a new costume for Peter to use as Spider-Man. After using the Iron Spider costume to stop a couple of criminals, Tony offered it for Peter's use as his "second in command" and when Stark was called into Washington to take discuss the proposed Super-Human Registration Act, Peter was invited along to serve as his bodyguard and aide. The suit came in handy when Stark was attacked by the Titanium Man and Spider-Man had to fight him.
During the Civil War, Spider-Man continued to use the Iron Spider costume while fighting in Iron Man's Pro-Registration side. But when Spider-Man saw the conditions in the Negative Zone prison, where superheroes that won't register were to be incarcerated permanently, Peter had a change of heart and left Iron Man.
After Spider-Man publicly stated that he is no longer supporting the SHRA, Iron Man had a manhunt assembled to track him down. After being saved by Punisher from Jester and Jack O'Lantern, and taken to the Secret Avengers' headquarters, Spider-Man got rid of the Iron Spider costume and went back to his classic red and blue costume that he wore when he publicly came out as Peter Parker.
The Iron Spider costume was seen again, only this time they are being worn by the Red Team aka the Scarlet Spiders, who first appeared apprehending the latest incarnation of the Sinister Syndicate. They are later revealed to be clones of the deceased Initiative member, MVP. They are being trained by the new drill Sargent, Taskmaster on the same moves executed by Spider-Man. When KIA went on a rampage at Camp Hammond, Van got killed and after he was stopped, they joined Justice's Counter-Force. They returned again to stop the rogue cybernetic clone of Thor, Ragnarok. When he was stopped, Micheal was killed, leaving Patrick the sole user of the costume.
When a new "hero", Regent, was able to capture both Iron Man and Spider-Man for his collection, Mary Jane picks up one of the Iron Spider suits. MJ flew off to save both heroes from Regent, with Spider-Man able to get free, followed by Iron Man. Regent rips the waldoes of the armor, and before he could finish both armored heroes, Spider-Man was able to come back with all the released heroes that Regent captured, depowering him. After using the Iron Spider costume, Mary Jane vowed to not use the suit again and not be a heroine.
When Tony Stark first made the costume, it's initial function is that it gives Spider-Man short range flight through mesh webbing under his arms, resistance from small caliber bullets thanks to his heat-resistant kevlar
microfiber, built-in fire, police and emergency scanners, visual amplifications such as infrared and ultraviolet, carbon filter in the mouth to prevent inhalation of airborne toxins, and short-range GPS microwave communication system, all of which are controlled in the computerized control system in the titanium chest piece in the costume.
Tony again updated the costume before they headed to Washington. He upgraded the fabric of the costume to be a liquid nano-fiber that can more or less disappear when not needed and can appear again when Peter wants it to by just thinking about it, he also adjusted the fabric to change colors into other past costumes that Peter wore in the past like the classic red and blue or the black costume and because of this, the fabric is able to blend into its surrounding for the purpose of camouflage.
Also, Tony added three spider-legs or "waldoes" that can pick things up with small claws that works as pseudo fingers and they also have cameras that can be display images in the costume's eyepiece. The waldoes are all hidden in the costume's golden circle part in the back and can be deployed simply by mental command. Although Iron Man has stated that it cannot be used in battle, Spider-Man used the waldoes to break the Titanium Man's sensors in his helmet to render him blind and striking Captain America during the Civil War.
Iron Man also installed a secret override within the Iron Spider in case Spider-Man switched sides, which he did when he saw the inhumane treatment of those superheroes that does not comply with the Super-Human Registration Act.
But Spider-Man knew about this and he disabled the override on his own. The costume also feed Iron Man with subliminal information about the mechanics of Spider-Man's spider-sense so that he can develop his own danger sense, but this is proven to be ineffective when Vision was able to slip behind him, disabling his armor for Captain America to beat him down. Iron Man can also send out an electrical directive to the Iron Spider that will trigger the spider sense without any impending danger, thus distracting Spider-Man.
The Iron Spider costume of the Scarlet Spiders are very much the same as its predecessor, with the only difference is that it the Red Team's costume has four waldoes instead of Spider-Man's three. To compensate for Spider-Man's organic spinnerets, the Iron Spider costume that the Scarlet Spiders wore has mechanical web shooters that Spider-Man currently use and replicated his wall-crawling abilities.
Appearance from other media
The Iron Spider armor is featured in the Ultimate Spider-Man episode "Flight of the Iron Spider." In the show, the armor is developed for Peter Parker after Tony Stark becomes impressed with the youth's performance. Spider-Man uses the suit to enhance his crime-fighting abilities, but soon takes to showboating with it, which alienates his teammates, Nova, Power Man, White Tiger, and Iron Fist. After Iron Man's suit is hijacked by the Living Laser, Spider-Man uses the Iron Spider suit to defeat the villain and free Tony. At the close of the episode, Nick Fury decides to confiscate the Iron Spider suit until Peter can prove himself responsible enough to wear it again. Spider-Man dons the suit once more in the episode "Venom Bomb," where he uses it to fight off an army of Symbiotes.
The suit finally returns in the Season 3 episode "The Next Iron Spider," where Peter brings the Iron Spider armor to Midtown High as part of a fundraiser. When Taskmaster tried to steal it, he was confronted by Spider-Man, Nova and Power Man but they were defeated until Amadeus Cho, a classmate of Peter's, put on the armor and forced the villain to retreat. Amadeus boasted that he can use the armor to become a better hero than Spider-Man and ran off with the armor. Spider-Man gave chase and tried to talk Amadeus to give up the armor, but they were interrupted by a returning Taskmaster and in the subsequent fight, Taskmaster put a virus inside the armor and remotely controlled the Iron Spider to fight Spider-Man. When Amadeus was able to regain control, Taskmaster activates the self-destruct sequence until Spider-Man and Amadeus defuse it and destroyed the virus. The episode ends with Cho becoming the new Iron Spider and being recruited as part of a S.H.I.E.L.D. training program for teenage superheroes: The last appearance of the armor was when Amadeus, Agent Venom, Ka-Zar and Zabu (the New Warriors) was pitted against Spider-Man's old team for a training exercise. They were all attacked by a returning Taskmaster with his own team, the Thunderbolts consisting of Vulture, Cloak and Dagger. The armor was subsequently destroyed by the Goblin.
A new version of the armor that is a fusion with the Hulkbuster was made by SHIELD scientist Curt Connors to stop the fight between the Rhino and the Hulk.
The Iron Spider suit in the show differs slightly from its comic counterpart, as it incorporates Iron Man's trademark repulsor technology. This allows the suit to not only fly, but also fire powerful energy blasts from its palms.
Marvel Ultimate Alliance
The Iron Spider Costume made it's first appearance outside of comics in the video game Marvel Ultimate Alliance as Spider-Man's last costume to be unlocked although the costume does not feature the waldoes.
Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2
In the sequel to the hit video game of Marvel Ultimate Alliance, Spider-Man's alternate costume was also the Stark Armor. In this version it actually featured the waldoes unlike in the first game. To unlock the alternate costume you had to choose the Pro-Registration side and defeat a certain number of enemies.
Spider-Man: Web of Shadows
In the Wii version of the game, the Iron Spider is available as an alternative costume.
Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions
The Iron Spider costume is available as an alternative costume when playing as Spider-Man 2099. It can be obtained by either pre-ordering the game at Amazon.com, entering a cheat code, or completing all challenges.
- Sideshow Collectibles released an Iron Spider statue as well as a mini-bust.
- Hasbro released a figure of Amadeus Cho as Iron Spider for the Web Warriors line.
- Hasbro released a figure of Amadeus Cho as Iron Spider for the Titan Heroes line.