Upside Down Spider-Man Logo? Chris Samnee Explains!

You might remember a few weeks back, I picked Ultimate Spider-Man #155 as the pick of the week, mainly due to the great artwork of Chris Samnee. One of you fine iFanbase folks pointed out in the comments that there appeared to be a glaring error in the artwork, that Samnee had drawn the spider logo on Spider-Man's chest upside down!  These things happen I thought, and we dismissed it pretty quickly while discussing on the podcast that week. 

For those curious, I've put together a comparison so you could see what we're talking about in the image to the right.  On the left side, we have Spider-Man drawn by David LaFuente, who like all Spider artists before him, drew the spider-logo with the spider facing up.  On the right side, we have Spider-Man drawn by Chris Samnee, and you'll not the spider faces downward.

So I just chalked it up to a mistake, but then, in reaction to the podcast discussion, Mr. Samnee made a comment on Twitter that got me curious about thie spider-logo:
 

Wait a minute! The upside down spider was intentional? And so the story continues, while at C2E2, I cornered Mr. Samnee to get the scoop, which after he told me, I thought it was too good not to share with you all.  And so, I present to you the shortest interview about the smallest detail in a comic book ever:

iFanboy: So Chris Samnee, you said the upside down spider logo in Ultimate Spider-Man #155 was intentional.  Explain yourself!

Chris SamneeYes, the upturned spider emblem on Spider-Man's costume was intentional on my part.

In wasn't specifically noted in the script from Brian (Bendis) to have it that way (although I did show him and my editors all of my character designs before I started work in the pages) but my reasons for tweaking it were twofold.

First, I wanted a visual shortcut to separate Ultimate Spider-Man from the Spider-Man we all know and love in the 616 universe or the Marvel Adventures line or what have you. Sure, a lot of folks draw Ultimate Spidey with slightly different eyes on his mask, and Ultimate Spidey's frame is much slighted than his adult counterpart, but I wanted something a bit more obvious to differentiate the two… at least for my take on him.

Second, when my wife and I moved to Portland it was in the heat of a huge spider infestation in the city. It seemed like they were EVERYWHERE!! I got really wrapped up in watching them build their webs around the house and noticed that, when the web was done, their heads actually point downward as they wait for their prey to become insnared in the webbing.

With the "Death of Spider-Man" arc officially kicking off the issue right after mine I wanted the spider emblem itself to look as if it were on guard, even if Peter Parker himself wasn't. Just as a very subtle hint that something was not quite right in this issue where everything seemed to be going so well for him.

Also, he was only in costume for, like, four pages and I didn't expect anybody would notice. 

 

 

So there you have it true believers! The 6 people out there who were curious as to why the spider logo was upside, explained!

We here at iFanboy strive to deliver the truth in comics and get you behind the scenes so you can see what really goes on in the creators heads.  We hope you enjoyed this little bit of investigative journalism.

 

Comments

  1. Now when I look at that image I get a shiver down my spine/chest in anticipation of the spider attacking, the webbing goes right from it’s abdomon up the centre of his throat, and that’s all I see now…. creepy.

    Yet nothing on the standard image :/ 

  2. lol. That’s really cool

  3. Not a huge Spidey fan, but damn it that makes so much sense now I wonder if that’s not the way it should have always been.

  4. lol when he said it was intentional i was worried that the upside down spidey logo was a way to hint that the whole issue was a dream sequence or something. Especially since it’s one of the happiest Ultimate Spidey stories and kinda makes peter’s life good again

  5. Wow, that’s awesome.  I noticed it too, but I had the same “eh, it happens” reaction.  Very cool to know it didn’t *just* happen!

  6. I love this attention to detail. The way everything in the story contributes to the theme. Organic Unity at its best. 

  7. Don’t know if this is the best place to discuss, but I follow USM in trades and I don’t understand if I will also have to buy Ultimate New Ultimate Avenging Ultimate Avengers too in order to follow whatever this Death of Spider-Man story is. I don’t buy any other Ultimate books (and indeed am having a hard job working out which is which post-Ultimatum anyway). I don’t suppose anyone can shed light on that?

    Speaking of the right place to discuss, I was under the impression ifanboy had a forum but I haven’t been able to find one? 

  8. @Ron, with reporting skills like these considered yourself hired for the Daily Bugle!

    We’re expecting an opening in the news photography division…in about 5 more issues.

  9. If it’s possible, I now have even more respect for Mr. Samnee
     

  10. I dunno if it works (maybe it’s just a case of me being so used to the spider right-side-up), but I love that Samnee was trying to make USM more distinctive. I hope Bagley and the others run with that idea.

  11. @boosebaster I have only been reading Ultimate Spiderman and hasn’t really crossed over.  I did miss the last issue of USM because my store got a short order for some reason.

  12. Huge explanation to just say he drew it the wrong way.

  13. @TheNextChampion  can you read? he just said it was INTENTIONAL

  14. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Play nice now, people.