The most anticipated moment on She-Hulk: Attorney at Law was the arrival of everyone’s favorite blind lawyer with a healthy dose of Catholic guilt. However, a pleasant surprise for fans—on top of the 18-episode Daredevil: Born Again announcement at SDCC 2022—is a new yellow costume for the Man Without Fear. What some surprised folks may not realize is that instead of an eyeless black mask and sweats, this red and yellow suit is actually Daredevil’s original look.
The very first live-action Daredevil, Rex Smith, also had an all-black costume and eyeless mask in 1989’s The Trial of the Incredible Hulk. It makes sense, it’s an easy costume to do on a budget. Even the
Netflix Disney+ series went back to that look in the third season of the show. Rather than Smith’s sleek made-for-TV costume design, the series adapted Frank Miller’s Man Without Fear costume that Charlie Cox’s Matt Murdock wears for the majority of Daredevil episodes. It’s often considered the hero’s “original” costume. Yet, his original costume in the comic book series co-created by Stan Lee and Bill Everett didn’t look anything like that, instead looking more like the yellow costume Matt picked up from the Drip Broker.
Daredevil’s Yellow Costume Came from His Father’s Boxing Gear, but It was a Retcon
In Daredevil #1, published in April 1964, Bill Everett designed the costume using mostly yellow instead of the expected “devil” red. The red parts of the costume most often appeared black in the comic itself. There is a “D” in the center of the chest, which eventually becomes the two “D” logo fans know. (Also, young Matt Murdock made it out of “old shirts” taken from a trunk.) The early Daredevil issues went through many creative teams, sometimes by the month, until the classic red costume debuted in Issue #7 in November.
Frank Miller’s touch on the character quietly erased the yellow-suit chapter, however, subsequent artists have brought it back from time to time. Eventually, the “old shirts” became his father’s robe and tights worn in the ring. Given Marvel Studios’ commitment to taking characters to their comic book roots, it makes sense they would call back to this look, if only briefly. For comfort and budgetary reasons, it also makes sense that “Daredevil” would prefer to wear the regular black clothes and mask as his costume. Still, Marvel Studios likes putting their heroes into flamboyant getups, and the yellow and red number is the most flamboyant in Daredevil’s past.
The new costume blends the “tactical gear” sensibility found on the Netflix version of the suit with more deliberately stylistic flourishes. In fact, just like the original comic drawings of the red-and-yellow suit, the new costume may look different depending on the lighting. The close-up shots make the suit look more red than yellow. Perhaps the biggest reveal about Daredevil’s future comes during the scene in which he talks to Jen Walters. He tells her that Lucas made him “a couple of new suits.” The original red and yellow Daredevil costume may work for Hollywood, USA, but what about the dark alleys of Hell’s Kitchen? This is likely not the last stop on Matt Murdock’s super-sartorial journey.
The Yellow Suit Daredevil is Bright and Fun, but Born Again Could Get Darker (Literally)
In the “Shadowland” run in the Daredevil comics, the hero was given a black suit with red accents. The Daredevil costume seen in the Spider-Man: Freshman Year cartoon first look at SDCC 2022 is also mostly black with red accents. By the time we see Matt Murdock in his own show again, he may end up with more than one outfit. The black-and-red costume could be designed to combine the cool practicality of his black costume and the stylistic flair of a proper Marvel super-suit. With 18 episodes in What Kevin Feige described as “the first” season, there will be plenty of time for Daredevil to wear all kinds of cool new costumes.
Whether the Daredevil series is considered canon or not is still an open question. They may establish it isn’t, especially since the focus of Phase 4 and 5 is the multiverse. They also just pick up the story where things left off. It wouldn’t really conflict with anything the Marvel Cinematic Universe has going on. Either way, Daredevil is in the proper MCU right now, and they’ve taken him back to his yellow costume roots for his debut in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law.
See Daredevil, the Abomination, the Hulk, and other MCU familiar faces in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, now streaming on Disney+.