That outfit may even be cooler than — gasp! — DD’s red threads.
UPDATED 5/18/22: The late Bill Everett was born 105 years ago! Perfect time to re-present this piece from 2017! Dig it. — Dan
Bill Everett’s one of those artists who wasn’t exactly a comics titan but whose precise contributions have an enduring legacy of their own.
Everett, who was born May 18, 1917 — that’s an even 100 years ago — created the Sub-Mariner and co-created Daredevil with Stan Lee. But it’s the latter who’s on my mind. See, Everett’s Daredevil is intriguing not for who he became but for who he was at the beginning.
Everett’s Daredevil wasn’t the scarlet-clad rooftop acrobat that’s become a Marvel mainstay in comics and TV. Instead, his Daredevil wore red, brown/black — and bright yellow. (It’s not 100 percent clear who came up with the look, either. It seems to be Everett but Jack Kirby had input. You should check out Kirby expert Mark Evanier’s blog for an excellent account of how that first issue came together.)
In any event, that original “yellow suit” is to this day derided variously as silly, ugly or completely out of line with a guy calling himself a “devil.” Or all three.
Wally Wood played artistic tailor and gave Hell’s Kitchen’s great defender his signature style in Issue #7. Now, no knock on what’s a classic costume, but I actually really dig the first one — perhaps even more than the second.
I mean sure it’s kinda hokey and it’s not something that you’d think an urban avenger would wear while wielding a billy club. But it looks cool. And that’s half the battle when you’re a superhero, right?
Maybe I’m a sucker for costumes that are predominantly yellow. After all, I do think Kid Flash is one of the great designs of all time. (He’s on our list of 13 Greatest Superhero Designs, which you can check out here).
Sometimes you can’t even analyze why you dig something. Either something’s aesthetically pleasing to you or it’s not. And on this, Bill Everett’s birthday, I gotta say that when it comes to the original Silver Age Daredevil, I don’t know if that costume’s art — but I know what I like.
— 13 SPLASH PAGES: A BILL EVERETT Birthday Celebration. Click here.
— 13 COVERS: Celebrating DAREDEVIL in the Silver Age. Click here.