The Undeniable, Daffy Greatness of BEN COOPER’S SPIDER-MAN

But the mask was perfect!

UPDATED 10/31/23: Happy Halloween! Get your Spidey outfit on! This groovy one is a “reprint” from 2020, but it remains a fave! Inspect your candy, kids! — Dan

If you pressed me hard enough for an answer when I was a kid, I would probably have said that Spider-Man was my second-favorite superhero.

Batman was far and away my favorite (still is, obviously), but I had a healthy love for the web-slinger that endures to this today.

The funny thing, though, is that with all the opportunities to dress up like Spidey for Halloween, I never took it and to this day I wish I had.

Batman and Spider-Man meet — in a fashion — in Rutland, Vermont. From 1971’s Batman #237, by Denny O’Neil, Neal Adams and Dick Giordano.

From the time I was maybe 5 or 6, I was Batman almost every year until maybe middle school when I chose to be a baseball player or a Rutgers football player. By high school, dressing up was more about irony than earnestness. (Though even at 16, I still went for the cape and dressed like Superman to impress a girl I knew. Much to my eternal surprise, it worked.)

But I never took the opportunity to be Spider-Man – which is really weird because I always envied the kids who did.

And it’s not like I didn’t have my chances. One of Ben Cooper’s most popular Halloween outfits was its off-model model and I even remember gazing at it on the shelves of the local store.

The bizarrely decorated jumpsuit really didn’t bug me much because it came with such a great mask.

Naturally, I would have loved a comics-accurate costume but it seemed to me that it would be too difficult to pull together: no skin showing, all that webbing. Plus, how would I see out of the white eyes?

Kids (and adults) today have so many more options than we had. I mean, I would have begged for something like this:

My Mom was handy with the sewing machine so you’d think I would have hectored her to custom-make a Spider-Man costume but maybe it just came down to the fact that most of the time I wanted to be Batman anyway.

Still, the great thing about being a 21st century man-child is that you can still grab a Ben Cooper Spider-Man costume off of eBay for a decent price.

Naturally, it doesn’t come close to fitting — not that I would try — but having it on my shelf is little nod to correcting a minor childhood misstep.

And I still love that mask!


— The Greatest BATMAN Costume a Kid Could Have. Click here.

— What If 13 Superheroes Wore BEN COOPER Costumes Instead? Click here.

NOTE: This first ran in Oct. 2020 in slightly altered form.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. Anyone else notice that the off model Batman logo on the Rutland cosplayer is now more or less the official one?

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  2. I love the fact that Alex Ross, in Earth X, modeled the “Spiders-Man” after the ben cooper mask… He even made him shiny!

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  3. Over the course of my trick or treating years, I wore the Ben Cooper Batman, Superman, Captain America and Spider-Man costumes, for certain. The strange amount of yellow and the fuzzy tarantula on the Spider-Man costume always annoyed me, even as a very young kid (I was a stickler for conformity to the source material even then). But man, that mask was AWESOME.

    Sorry you missed out, Dan, but congrats on the recent ebay purchase! Love that particular box with all that wonderful art! Infantino, Anderson, Swan, Ditko and more!

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  4. I did dress up as Spidey at least once. As a kid, all the yellow and the furry tarantula did bother me a bit, but yeah, that mask was BOSS. And of course VERY Ditko!

    I picked up a boxed Ben Cooper Spider-Man costume in the Spidey-only box with the HUGE Ditko image (same as the one on your box). I love it, and I have it on display behind my Mego Marvel figures!

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  5. As a childhood Spider-Man fanatic I’m surprised that I only dressed as him once. I didn’t have the entire Ben Cooper costume, just the mask. I wore that 1970s Spider-Man sweatshirt (you’ve seen it in ads from that era) and just an old pair of blue pants.

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  6. A Ben Cooper Spider-man costume was my first Halloween costume, and it was the only store-bought costume I ever had. But even as a first-grader, I was bothered by the off-model look. The yellow, the realistic rather than stylistic spider emblem, the molded face with nose and mouth. I would have killed for the Spider-man costumes kids have access to these days.

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