Matt Murdock returns to his black suit look in Daredevil season 3, but it's not the same costume that he wore back in season 1. Fans no doubt recall Matt's ninja attire from the TV series' first season - an outfit that offered plenty of mobility and allowed Matt to move swiftly in the shadows without being detected, but also left him recklessly vulnerable to being seriously injured by any common criminal armed with a gun, a knife, or any remotely dangerous object, really.
Fortunately, by the end of Daredevil season 1, Matt had gotten his trademark red - and, more importantly, padded with armor - costume and has been using that suit to fight crime ever since. While his proper Daredevil outfit should still be usable when season 3 picks up, Matt will be ditching it for some time in favor of his old-fashioned black ninja look instead. The reason? Among other things, he's trying to keep a low profile, now that most everyone he knows thinks he was killed during the events of last year's The Defenders miniseries.
Screen Rant got to visit the Daredevil season 3 set earlier this year and interview costume designer Elisabeth Vastola (who also worked on Jessica Jones season 2) about Matt's new black suit. Here is what she had to say about its design and both how and why it differs from its season 1 counterpart:
We took a note from the first season look, but we definitely moved away from it. … It’s a little more tactile, it’s a little more rough around the edges. The first season mask for him was really just a piece of fabric that was tied around the back of his head, and it was very clean and sort of simple. The idea behind his mask for this season is basically thinking about what he has at his fingertips. The situation he finds himself in, he’s in a place where the only thing available to him is black and white fabric. We decided to use something for him that had a little more of a texture to it and the concept behind it is sort of a harkening to like a blind justice feel and also referencing this bandaged feel, this infirmed feel for Matt Murdock because I think it has everything to do with his mental state for the season. It’s a little more introspective, I think it’s a little more intimate of a look, it’s way less flashy and it gets down to the bare minimum of what he needs for himself.
The Defenders ended with the reveal that Matt had not only managed to survive the collapse of Midland Circle (The Hand's NYC headquarters) in the final episode, but had awoken to find himself in a nunnery and under the care of the mysterious Sister Maggie. According to Vastola, Matt's new black suit design is further based on the idea that he fashioned it from the same material that Sister Maggie and her fellow nuns and priests wear:
[In season 3] he’s living in this crypt and he’s living with nuns and priests so the material we’re using for him is the material we use for the vestments for the nuns and the priests. … I really like this idea that it feels ripped and torn and this very visceral and violent action to give him what he needs in order to go out into the world. And because he is, for lack of a better word, on the down low this season and way less flashy and way more in the shadows, we went completely to black, we went back to that because it makes the most sense.
Since Matt isn't even physically capable of being Daredevil again when season 3 starts, it's perhaps fitting that his costume reflects his back-to-basics approach to resuming his vigilante duties. Similarly, with Matt clearly struggling to decide when to tell his loved ones that he's still alive at the beginning of the season, he has all the more reason to avoid wearing anything that will draw unnecessary attention to the fact that The Devil of Hell's Kitchen is back in action. All the same, Matt might want to think about donning his old red outfit again soon - seeing as Wilson Fisk is getting out of prison this season and he's hungry for revenge.
Marvel's Daredevil season 3 begins streaming Friday, October 19 on Netflix.