One of the least surprising things out of SDCC 2022 was the She-Hulk: Attorney at Law trailer, with the show set to debut in less than a month. However, a pleasant surprise for fans—on top of the 18-episode Daredevil: Born Again announcement—is that we get a glimpse of the Man Without Fear, but in a new yellow costume. What some folks may not realize is that instead of an eyeless black mask, this red and yellow suit is actually Daredevil’s original look.
The very first live-action Daredevil, Rex Smith, had an all-black costume and eyeless mask in 1989’s The Trial of the Incredible Hulk. A few years later, Frank Miller adapted that look into the 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.
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. 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.
From the brief few seconds, we’ve seen of the costume in action, it looks like a blend of the “tactical gear” sensibility and the Netflix version of the suit. 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 shot makes the suit look much more red than yellow. Likely, this is all the Daredevil they show until the episode is live on Disney+, so we’ll have to wait and see. Whatever his costume ends up looking like, this is likely not the last stop on Matt Murdock’s super-sartorial journey.
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 in a suit that combines the practical coolness of his black costume and the style of his super-suit. With 18 episodes in the “first” season, there will be plenty of time for Daredevil to experiment with different looks.
Whether the Daredevil series is considered canon or not is an open question. They may quickly establish it isn’t, especially since the focus of Phase 4 and 5 is the multiverse. They may also just pick it up where things left off, which 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-and-red 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 debuting August 17, 2022 on Disney+.