In the 90s, Daredevil was savagely beaten by Silver Sable and the Wild Pack, which caused him to abandon his iconic red look for something new.
Daredevil was never inclined to change his costume often. After giving up his original yellow suit Daredevil # 7 by Stan Lee, Wally Wood, and Artie Simek, Daredevil was rarely seen in anything other than his iconic red. That all changed when Matt Murdock’s favorite costume was torn to shreds during the “Fall From Grace” story arc.
The story of “Fall From Grace” by DG Chichester and Scott McDaniel depicts Daredevil running against a plethora of enemies to locate a viral weapon. While hunting for the “About Face” virus and a telepath, Daredevil crossed paths with Silver Sable and his savage pack. Daredevil’s iconic red suit had been torn apart during a fight with Crippler, so he made some adjustments. His costume was still recoverable after the fight and he modified it to look like a karate outfit, much like Ryu wears in the street fighter series of video games. This look would prove to be short lived as Matt was once again ambushed by Silver Sable.
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Daredevil’s costume took additional damage from Sable before the two came to a deal and stopped fighting. Matt came home with his tattered suit. Realizing he was facing a truly deadly competition, Daredevil saw no choice but to step up his look, literally in 1993. Daredevil # 321. Matt replaced the red with a sleek new black and added extra armor to the shoulders, legs and wrists. He kept the red in the costume as an accent and made the eyes red to give it a more fearful look. The new costume was intended to take Daredevil from the hero of the neighborhood to the big leagues.
Daredevil faced several villains during his short time in the armored suit, including Venom, Hellspawn, and the Snakeroot. Daredevil would continue to wear his armored suit for 20 issues after “Fall From Grace”. He fought System Crash with Captain America and Iron Fist, fought against Hydra, and even teamed up with Kingpin while wearing this new costume. Ultimately, Matt’s impending identity crisis saw the end of his new look, with one of his characters ripping the costume to shreds.
The ’90s were filled with memorable new costume changes for many comic book superheroes. Many of these new looks also incorporated an armored look similar to that adopted by Daredevil. Captain America started wearing an armored suit in Captain America #438 by Mike Gruenwald and Dave Hoover, just like Batman during the events of “Knightfall”.
While Daredevil’s armored appearances have been incredibly rare since Daredevil #345, there’s another one of his costumes that seems to take inspiration from Matt’s’ 90s look. Matt Murdock’s Shadowland costume plays with different aspects of his armored suit but gives him a much more elegant look which suits the fearless man better. He brought back the black look and the wrist ties, but left all the armor protection and red accents. Without ever gaining popularity for its iconic red design, this costume matches Daredevil’s personality better than the Armored Suit.
In recent issues, Matt Murdock has traded in his red suit for a new prison suit while Elektra plays Daredevil for the time being. If Matt leaves prison and continues to be the protector of Hell’s Kitchen, he may need a new look. Daredevil is now a convicted murderer and the citizens of Hell’s Kitchen can associate his iconic costume with this gruesome act. He may need to get back into an old costume or create something new to inspire change in the neighborhood he loves so much.
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