Be warned, if you haven't watched all of Marvel's Daredevil Season 1 quite yet, there will be some SPOILERS below. Just hours before Marvel's Daredevil debuted on Netflix, Marvel released the first photo of Daredevil's red costume for all to see. The costume didn't actually appear until the season finale episode, with Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) starting out the series by wearing just a plain black mask to obscure his face from Hell's Kitchen's criminals. Today, Marvel's Joe Quesada and artist Ryan Meinerding shed new light on the process of coming up with this costume, and when to debut it. Joe Quesada revealed they thought it was important to hold off on debuting the red costume too early, because they thought it might turn viewers off, while adding that they needed a logical reason about how the costume was made.
"The starting point is always story. We had to come up with a logical reason as to how someone with Matt Murdock's means and ability to actually make a costume could make that dramatic of a leap from the vigilante costume to the super hero [suit]. Once that logic was in play, which was the Melvin Potter of it all, we had to build to that point. I think if we had gone to that red costume too soon, it would have caused a lot of viewers to bump on the material, because it was so grounded in the real world."
The character Melvin Potter whom Joe Quesada refers to, played by Matt Gerald, is a mechanic who actually helps Matt Murdock build the suit. Ryan Meindering added that they were going for a realistic feel when crafting the costume.
"The tone that was really communicated was the sense of realism that they were going for. I think the way that [manifested itself in] the costume was through the armor and making it feel a little bit more padded than you traditionally think of Daredevil being. When we do these designs, there's a concept of grounded and a concept of reality. The grounded nature that they brought to the vigilante costume was the simplicity and effectiveness, because you're trying to conceal your identity but also [have to be] mobile enough to fight. When you do a super hero costume in that world, it's hard to be as real as you need to be, because you're making it heightened. So you try and find the touchstones for that with armoring pieces that you would want armored, like your shins and your forearms for blocking and hitting as well as having things be riveted on. The overall layout of that costume is really that it's meant to look like a Kevlar vest with stuff underneath it. That's what we were going for."
Joe Quesada also commented on the iconic Daredevil horns, praising Ryan Meindering for his work on that aspect of the costume.
"The horns are iconic, and we had to be careful as to how we handled them. I think what Ryan did is absolutely spectacular, when you really look at the structure of the helmet and the horns, because those can be done in a way where they actually look silly. He created an architectural design, an angular design for the horns, that just feels natural to the cowl."
As for the cowl, Ryan Meindering revealed that was one of the trickiest aspects to perfect on the costume.
"One of the most interesting things about Daredevil, that I hadn't fully appreciated before I started working on the character, is that I think that head is one of the most difficult heads to design for a live action context," confesses Meinerding. "Because if you have a mask like Captain America's, it's difficult in it's own ways, but you still have the actor's eyes coming through. So you get performance, you get a sense of who they are, of their expression, of what they're doing. [As a result] the bottom half of the face matches the top half, in terms of expression. With Daredevil, because half of his face has to be covered and has its own expression and the actor's face is going to be doing something else, it's actually a very difficult challenge to come up with something up top that's not going to bump with something down below."
Marvel has also released new concept art of the iconic red costume, which will be seen much more when Marvel's Daredevil returns for Season 2 on Netflix next spring. Fans still have three more Marvel Netflix shows to look forward to, Marvel's A.K.A. Jessica Jones, Marvel's Luke Cage and Marvel's Iron Fist, with all four characters returning for The Defenders miniseries, although Netflix hasn't announced when the rest of these shows will officially debut. While we wait for those details, take a look at the red Daredevil costume photos below.