Despite accidentally leaking just hours before the launch, Daredevil’s iconic red suit proved among the more hotly-anticipated aspects of Marvel’s first Netflix series. Its finale debut was met with somewhat less enthusiasm, though now Marvel has revealed new concept art and an in-depth analysis of designer Ryan Meinerding’s take on the famed costume.

Speaking with Marvel, Ryan Meinerding echoed sentiments from Marvel boss Joe Quesada that Charlie Cox’s Daredevil suit needed to feel grounded in the street-level world, having some appropriately padded and armored sections. It it took the in-universe introduction of Melvin Potter to justify Matt Murdock gaining access to such a meticulously-crafted costume, something Quesada also saw reflected in the costume’s rivets:

One of my favorite parts of the costume is that if you look very, very closely at some of the way the armature is attached to the costume, you can actually see rivets. There was something about that particular element that I told Ryan, we should lean into that a little bit because that is so quintessentially New York and how the city itself is constructed. And Melvin Potter, being who a guy who’s working on engines [and] a bunch of different things, rivets seem like something he would use.

Ryan also did some great stuff with respect to the placement of blacks against the red, the way that the darker portions of the mask are constructed to really give the full feeling of when comic artists draw that mask and rim light it in red while leaving the center portions black.

In addition to placing Daredevil’s billy clubs on the left side to preserve the character’s silhouette (both Cox and his stunt-double Chris Brewster are actually right-handed), Meinerding spoke to difficulties creating the mask and cowl:

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. 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.

Time will tell if anything about Daredevil’s look evolves in time for Season 2 in 2016 (still need that classic “DD” somewhere), but did Marvel’s Netflix iteration of the red suit live up to the hype? Does Meinerding’s justification change anything about our initial reception?

Get a closer look at Netflix’s Daredevil costume in the concept art below, and stay tuned for the latest from Marvel’s Defenders!

Marvel / Ryan Meinerding

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