We’re ONE DAY away from the release of the 3rd season of Daredevil on Netflix. The flagship show of the “Defenders-verse” has got many a fan waiting on bated breath for October 19th to see if all of their questions will be answered. One question that doesn’t need answering is what’s up with his suit. If you watch The Defenders series, you already know that his costume was ripped to shreds when a building came down on his head. But with Daredevil back on the streets, he’s also back in black, a.k.a. his Season 1 attire. As Charlie Cox has said in multiple interviews leading up to this season, “There’s a reason for that.” (Aside from the practical one I mentioned earlier, the aforementioned building falling on his head.)
The black street clothes are more fitting with the tone of this season, which examines Matt’s need to be Daredevil. But there is some rocky history in the comics with the Man Without Fear donning darker clothing. While Matt was dressed all in black for the majority of one of the greatest Daredevil stories of all time, he also has in some of the worst. This week, we take a look back at the many times that Daredevil has gone from red to black and how that worked out for him.
The Man Without Fear Outfit
Released in 1994, The Man Without Fear miniseries stands to date as one of the greatest Daredevil stories ever told! Frank Miller and John Romita Jr. bring us a masterful retelling of Matt Murdock’s origin. The reason for the black costume in this story is that he’s not Daredevil yet. He’s just a guy trying to figure shit out….much like in Season 1 and the upcoming Season 3. With a rich look into Matt’s character and motivations, this is one of the defining text of not just the Netflix series, but also the comic book for the past 20+ years.
Verdict: The Black Costume works for Matt here.
The Early 90s Costume
Ah, the early 90s. Some of worst costume designs come from this era. Whether is was the decision to have Thor just walk around in jeans and no shirt, or Azrael to have that gaudy looking bat-armour, there are so many mistakes. Daredevil is another sad fashion victim of the times. In an attempt to make the character look more EXTREME (or as they would spell it in the 90s – XTREME!), Matt was refurbished with a new costume complete with spikes and body armour. The suit didn’t last too long. For Daredevil fans, it wasn’t gone soon enough. Like most of the comic stories during the the 90s, the suit is mostly forgotten. However, many people believe that it was the inspiration for the suit at the end of Daredevil Season 1. Thankfully, that design didn’t stick around too long either.
Verdict: Being Back in Black did not work for Daredevil this time. Only a blind man would be caught dead in that.
SHADOWLAND (LEADING THE HAND)
Arguably the worst Daredevil story of ALL TIME, Shadowland was an event book in 2010 where Daredevil attempted to make himself the king of Hell’s Kitchen, kill a bunch of superheroes and raise some very bad people from the dead. If you’ve never read this story, you’re probably very confused. “Isn’t Daredevil a good guy?” you’re probably asking. What you need to know is that at this time, Daredevil was the leader of The Hand and possessed by a Demon. Matt Murdock took leadership of the ninja clan a year before in an attempt to reform them. The plan backfired and DD left himself wide open to be taken advantage of. During this time, he had a large number of the NYPD locked up in the sewers, so it was up to a rag tag group of street level heroes to take him down. He was eventually beaten and separated from that pesky demon, thank God. But not before we had to endure this mind-numbing story. Thanks a lot, Andy Diggle.
Verdict: Going Back in Black was a total misfire here. I still have nightmares about how bad this is.
THE 2016 UNIFORM
Charles Soule is currently wrapping up his run on the Daredevil title. He began writing the comic back in 2016 with a brand new #1 issue. Just prior to the relaunch, Mark Waid had Murdock living in San Fransisco with his identity being known to the world. Soule brought DD back to basics, returning him to New York and putting the genie back in the bottle in regards to his civilian persona. Matt would also take on a protege named Blindspot, who he would train in same style Stick trained him. While the series had a rocky beginning, it would eventually find its footing. Matt also popped up in The Defenders title sporting his black duds. Eventually, Daredevil would return to the red costume as he always does.
Verdict: Going Back in Black worked out in the end. Charles Soule’s run on the character will go down as one of Daredevil’s best.
So there you have it. Sometimes going back in black is a good thing….and sometimes it’s a VERY bad thing. We’ll find out tomorrow if being back in black works out for Matt Murdock this time around. The 3rd Season of Marvel’s Daredevil begins streaming on Netflix on October 19th.
If you’re gonna geek out, GEEK HARD!