Trends in fashion and style change constantly, but for heroes, outfits usually stay the same. While they do vary based on the styles of comic book artists, the gist of their signature look or colors always remains. Occasionally though, heroes evolve, making improvements on their costumes or changing them to represent new ideals or personalities. This trope of the comic book world is practiced by one of Marvel’s greatest heroes, Daredevil, a man without fear and a man with a sizable closet. How sizable? Well, let’s take a look at the many costumes in Daredevil’s closet.
Before the classic crimson costume made its way into all our hearts, Daredevil commenced his crime-fighting career in yellow and brown.
The above images by different artists represents the original Daredevil design from 1964’s Daredevil #1 by creators Stan Lee and Bill Everett. However, there is a bit of a conspiracy suggesting that Jack Kirby may have designed the basic image of Daredevil’s original costume, which was later modified by fellow artist, Everett. Either way, in Jeph Loeb’s Daredevil: Yellow, readers discover, after almost forty years, that his original costume was made from his father’s boxing robe, warping the reader’s opinions of the yellow costume. While some people find the yellow costume ridiculous, it is hard to deny its existence with that added bit of information from Loeb. Personally, I have always liked the yellow costume and wish it had been around longer. There is just something inherently terrifying about a man who looks like a badass in yellow. Sure, everyone can look badass in black, gray, or red. But yellow? It takes a certain type to pull that off like Daredevil, Wolverine, the Reverse Flash, and Luke Cage.
2. Unfortunately, Daredevil became famous for his entirely red costume, accented by black shadows.
Appearing in Daredevil #7, the red costume quickly became Daredevil’s signature look. The solid color solidified Daredevil’s rise to stardom as he became one of Marvel’s most popular characters. However, the color was not the only change. On the chest, Daredevil’s costume was adorned with the now iconic “DD,” as opposed to the single, larger “D” from before. The horns also became more defined, adding more focus to the “devil” part of the name. Aesthetically, the costume is perfect in its simplicity, making it memorable and pleasing to look at as Matthew Murdock flies across rooftops.
3. Being a hero is dangerous, so it’s nice to have armor to soften up some of those punches.
During the “Fall from Grace” storyline, starting in Daredevil #319 by D.G. Chichester and Scott McDaniel, Daredevil wore an armored costume which he kept until Daredevil #344. While the costume was not loved by fans, black did look nice on Daredevil, allowing him to embrace a darker side of himself. With the added protection he felt almost invincible, especially with his billy clubs attached to his forearms. Thankfully though, at least for the fans who HATED the suit, it was torn apart and Daredevil went back to his signature red costume.
4. Then there is that costume DD wore when he went all spy movie on us…
So… uh… In the late 90’s writer, Scott Lobdell, was like, “Hey! Guys! Let’s do a spy movie storyline like North by Northwest and Total Recall combined but with Daredevil!” In this short storyline titled “Flying Blind,” Daredevil wakes up in France after having his memories reprogrammed by S.H.I.E.L.D. specialists, thinking he is a man named Laurent Levasseur. From there, he goes on to solve a crime and fight a French Kingpin. Somehow it got approved, and to be honest, it was not all bad. It was just so absurd and strange that it managed to keep the readers’ attention. Either way, we’ll probably never have to see this abomination of a costume again.
5. Back in Black
Red may be Daredevil’s favorite color, but black must be his second (or the favorite of Shadowland writer, Andy Diggle). While this large crossover event for the street-level heroes of New York dramatically changed parts of the Marvel Comics universe, fans were split; some praised Diggle’s work while others seemed to despise it. But no matter what camp you’re in, when you’re a hero possessed by the Beast – the demon leader of the Hand – you have to look demonically badass, which is exactly how Daredevil looked throughout the event, consumed by darkness both spiritually and physically.
6. Strangest for Last?
Personally, I do not even want to mention this costume, but like it or not, it happened. Last year, Mark Waid and Chris Samnee gave Daredevil a suit, and not a super suit, a suit-suit. Apparently, Matthew Murdock decided he needed a change of costume to go with his new home in San Francisco, and since he revealed his secret identity, he decided to go classy but tacky in Daredevil #14.
Overall, Daredevil has been a victim of some pretty great and pretty awful costumes over the years, but what hero hasn’t? Even in some of the alternate universes and “What if?” stories, Daredevil has gotten more than a few tickets from the Fashion Police. Recently though, in the “All New, All Different” Marvel Universe, Daredevil has been rocking the Shadowland costume or one that is strikingly similar to it. So, for now, this is the man without fear.
Let us know if we missed any of your favorite or least favorite Daredevil looks from other comics or alternate realities!