In the older Spider-man comics (although it pops again every now and then) he is almost always drawn with webbing in his arm pits as part of his costume.

Spidey's weird arm pits

Have these things been given any function in Spidey canon?

  • 4
    Perhaps he's part flying squirrel?
    – Izkata
    Jul 28, 2012 at 3:55
  • Obviously they're heat sinks, to help keep his pits cool and odor free.
    – Paul
    Jun 8, 2017 at 22:18

2 Answers 2


The Spider-Man costume was created by seminal Spider-Man artist Steve Ditko. The webbing under Spider-Man's arms had no particular purpose, other than ornamentation. Unlike Spider Woman's underarm webbing which actually helped her fly, Spidey's webbing was just for visual effect.

From Amazing Fantasy #15, origin of Spiderman story, 1962

The webs were something Ditko liked and continued to do on and off for years. They were drawn so large, for a time they looked like wings and even other artists questioned if they could have another purpose.

When John Romita started drawing Spider-Man after Ditko left he drew the webbing smaller and smaller and eventually left them off, altogether. If you have never had the pleasure of reading Amazing Fantasy #15, first tale of Spider-Man, no fears True Believer, you can read it here.

Amazing Spider-Man #1, 1964

When the Amazing Spider-Man #1 came out they included a list of things Spider-Man was able to create with his webbing. This included creating a parachute!

Uses of webbing

  • 5
    Awesome answer. I laughed out loud at the skis. I really really want to see those used in a good story.
    – Kyle Jones
    Jul 28, 2012 at 4:28
  • 2
    Back when Spider-Man wasn't a life or death struggle EVERY issue, almost all of these were used at one time or another. It is a sad thing that so much of what made comics fun (at least for me as a kid) is gone. We have all angst comics, all angst, all the time... Jul 28, 2012 at 4:30
  • 1
    Seems like they just ran out of ideas after A Barrier. Skis, a raft and a ball...
    – Daft
    Aug 16, 2015 at 21:41
  • 2
    @KyleJones - This one's for you...
    – Valorum
    Aug 16, 2015 at 21:47
  • 3
    @Richard LOL. I wonder where he got the fuel for the motor. Wait... he built a motor out of webbing?
    – Kyle Jones
    Aug 16, 2015 at 22:38

I previously answered a question similar to this as to whether Spidey has ever used the under arm webbing for gliding. Most of the same answers apply here: in most cases in the comic, the under arm webs are there as a purely stylistic choice for more dramatic affect; they are simply too small to be used for "Gliding" purposes, as they are. However, they have been used for gliding in some instances.

A more specific answer to This question, however, was undertaken by Scott Nisewander at Nerdsync; I think you will find it very helpful and interesting.:

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