The Symbiote Costume, also known as the Black Spider-man Suit, is one of the most significant alterations to Spider-Man’s costume. It first appears in The Amazing Spider-Man #252 and Marvel Team-up #141, released concurrently in May 1984. The black costume stemmed from an idea submitted by a then 22-year-old fan named Randy Schueller in 1982, after Marvel had asked its readers for ideas for new Spider-Man stories. “I was thinking, ‘This is a guy who is swinging around at night wearing a bright red-and-blue costume.’ That’s where the black suit came from.” Schueller’s idea was purchased by Jim Shooter for the sum of $220. Shooter also asked Schueller’s help in possibly writing a script for Spider-Man’s new look.
Here’s the copy of the letter Randy received from Shooter almost 25 years ago, in August of 1982.