What does Spider-Man’s Black Suit do? Symbiote Spider-Man powers explained

Christopher Baggett
Spider-Man's black suit throughout history

Spider-Man’s black costume is going to get a whole new lease on life in the upcoming Marvel’s Spider-Man 2. The origins are still a mystery, but this version of the suit may have some tie to Norman Osborn and Oscorp. 

The original suit debuted in the pages of 1984’s Secret Wars. In that story, Spider-Man accidentally releases an alien, which he believes is a costume. 

The suit would eventually become the notorious Venom. Over the years, as the symbiote evolved (and its origins were retconned), it would develop a host of new abilities. However, the powers it originally had when Spider-Man possessed the suit were remarkably simple. 

Spider-Man’s Black Suit & powers explained

Whether you’re catching up on comic lore or want to learn more ahead of Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, here’s everything Spider-Man’s black suit could do

Spider-Man's black costume responds to his thoughts
The black costume responded to Spider-Man’s thoughts in more ways than one.

Mental response

The most interesting aspect of the suit to begin with was its ability to respond to commands. Spider-Man’s black costume could accomplish a number of tasks just by thinking about it.

This ranged from tasks as simple as firing a web to as complex as becoming his clothing. 

It could also react to Peter’s wishes when he wasn’t wearing the suit. In one instance, it sensed he wanted to go out as Spider-Man and put itself on him just as he was waking up. 

Spider-Man's black suit shapeshifts
Thanks to its shapeshifting abilities, Peter’s black costume could disguise itself as civilian clothes.


Spider-Man’s black costume could also change its shape. This manifests in its original appearance; it is, after all, an alien lifeform changing its appearance to resemble a costume.

The suit could use this to camouflage itself, too, shifting into Peter’s street clothes. However, it could also use this against Peter, shifting itself to resemble his red-and-blue costume when it tried to rebond to him. 

For the most part, with Peter, the symbiote would just resemble something vaguely human-shaped. This ability would later grow more extreme with other hosts, as the symbiote would change its size and shape regularly. 

Spider-Man's black suit generates webbing
Spider-Man’s black costume could generate its own webbing (and make a svelte summer look).

Webbing generation

Spider-Man’s biggest problem over the years has been running out of webbing in the middle of a fight. That was ratcheted up to 11 when Spidey was stranded with other heroes on Battleworld in Secret Wars, where his web shooters were used for parts to fix Iron Man’s armor. 

The symbiote costume sensed that need, though. Spider-Man’s black costume was able to replicate his webshooters, creating tools that fired at his mental command. 

In a practical sense, the webshooters also never ran out. Realistically, though, they were being created by the symbiote expending a part of itself, and using them too much could weaken the suit. 

Spider-Man's black suit possesses him while he sleeps
Even while he slept, the black suit could control Peter, believing it was helping him.


One of the more worrying things Spider-Man’s black costume could do was assume direct control of Peter’s body. It’s ultimately somewhat harmless, as the symbiote does this largely because of its overwhelming desire to bond with him. 

The suit would take control of Peter as he slept and would swing around the city, going about the regular Spider-Man duties. The symbiote would exert some control over Peter to keep him asleep, so he was never really aware. 

Ultimately, the symbiote stops because it still exhausts Peter and becomes harmful to him. However, some later stories have proposed that Peter had a wealth of adventures during this period that he was unaware of. 

We’ve got a ton of pre-release coverage for Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, so if you need something to tide you over until October 20, we’ve got you covered.

Marvel’s Spider-Man 2: All confirmed suits for Peter Parker & Miles Morales | Spider-Man 2 story: When does the game take place? | Venom in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 | Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 editions | Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 platforms | Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 switch characters in open world | Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 gameplay trailer | Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 Release date

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About The Author

Christopher Baggett started writing about comics on the Internet when he was 14 years old. Since then, he's written professionally for a host of sites, including ComicsBeat, Comic Book Resources, and The HomeWorld. He's most knowledgable about the legacy heroes of the '80s and '90s that he grew up with and believes Wally West is the best Flash - and he'll fight anyone over it. For tips, news, press and more, contact Christopher at christopher.baggett@dexerto.com