He slings webs. He casually waves from skyscraper windows. He does whatever a spider can, and he's ready to swing into your living room.
The teasers may have gotten your Spidey senses tingling, but the accidental DNA experiment catching villains in his web since 1962 is now as close as possible to coming to life in your living room in the form of Sideshow's Legendary Scale™ figure —arguably their most jaw-dropping reveal of San Diego Comic-Con.
"Legendary Scale™ is a big statement," project manager Kellam Cunningham told SYFY WIRE about their newest take on Spider-Man in an exclusive interview. "Any pop culture icon that gets the Legendary Scale™ treatment deserves the level of attention, detail, and love that we've been able to give to this character."
Cunningham and his team of creative masterminds were inspired by the iconic red and blue costume that often ends up on the front page of the Daily Bugle when anxious reporters glimpse your friendly neighborhood you-know-who hunting bad guys.
"We utilized elements that could help take his story from 2D into a three-dimensional, physical world," Cunningham said.
Meaning, that unmistakable red and blue Spandex has been reproduced as a completely tailored Spidey Suit, almost as if the team were outfitting Peter Parker himself. The statue's arachnid eyes will even be interchangeable. Go from the classic squinting eyes, which make him look as if he's suspicious of Dr. Octopus or the Green Goblin lurking in a back alley somewhere, to the more open expression when he's just chilling on a rooftop 40 stories above New York City.
This is obviously an enormous leap from that questionable thing he made himself after his suit was taken hostage by Tony Stark.
"It all starts with a concept — and for a statue of this magnitude, we want to make sure that the pose is telling the right story," explained Cunningham of the complex process that went into bringing Spidey to life. "This statue required quite a few pose studies (both in 2D and in 3D) and gesture drawings before we selected the position we were after. We then drafted a refined full-color design, which became our blueprint or target to aim for when creating the statue."
Marvel's mutant superhero emerged from a sculpt done entirely by hand. When he was finally in the right pose to take to the next level, the team began tailoring the costume as if it were for a human. Meta-human, anyway.
Multiple teams and in-house departments joined forces to create the ultimate Spidey suit, from draft shading to lighting effects to that raised web print and eight-legged logos. The tech design for this suit is so advanced that you'll think webs are going to shoot out of those gloved hands at any moment.
"This is certainly one of the most complex costumed endeavors Sideshow has ever done," Cunningham said. "Even down to the tips of his fingers, this is a complete Spidey suit!"
Sideshow is always thrilled to collaborate with Marvel on incredibly detailed mixed-media figures so lifelike they may or may not jump out at you behind your back. While Marvel was involved in the web of this project, giving approvals and feedback, the Sideshow team was really the superpower behind the execution. Special powers were obviously required here.
You need Spidey senses to be that meticulous at tailoring fabric with multiple print effects to a really specific pose. Imagine merging the DNA of silicone-based inks, dyes, digital print designs, and various shades of (mostly) red and blue, going through multiple phases of dying, printing, and cutting, then folding and stretching the fabric over a figure positioned like anything but your average mannequin. It took no less than 20 different patterns to fit Spidey. Stretch, alignment, and fit are anything but routine when you're working with a spider crouch.
"We went through several rounds of test prints and fittings to really get this monster of a suit dialed in. Getting the raised webbing and shading effects properly aligned with our model was a challenge," said Cunningham. "This may seem like an easy feat at first glance, but when you look closely and see the suit in the flesh you'll notice that there is a maze of lines and a puzzle of layered artwork that must align with the musculature of the statue."
Why did Spidey end up in that pose if it was obviously going to take that much more effort to make his suit appear like the second skin it is? Cunningham and his team felt it would have an equally dramatic effect whether he's staring at you from above or looking you in the face at eye level, almost as if he's your personal silent guardian. Sideshow's art director is a hardcore Venom fan who loves the idea of Spider-Man staring down the symbiote, but Cunningham just visualizes him "looking out over the city that he loves, protecting his people from the villains of the world."
So it's just supposed to be a normal day in NYC for him, if you consider scaling buildings and tracking criminal scum normal, but say the supervillains had a day off.
Sideshow had previously done a mind-blowing Joker infested with easter eggs, and of course you have to wonder if there are any creeping around on Spidey. Cunningham wants to keep that a secret, but he did hint at something being there if you really zoom in with your spider-vision.
"I hope people love this piece as much as we do and appreciate the hard work and efforts that go into such a monumental task," said Cunningham. "I can't wait to see the reactions at Comic-Con! It's always a blast to get to work with these characters and explore them in new and exciting ways, and I think we really pushed the envelope on this piece."
Spidey will be officially unveiled at SDCC 2018. If you want to put him on patrol at your place, guard this link with your life.