Locks without fear – Matt Murdock’s fabulous hair

“While the rest of the species is descended from apes, redheads are descended from cats.”

– Mark Twain

I occasionally joke about how no Daredevil-related subject is too obscure for this blog. And this is certainly proof of that (long-time readers may recall that I’ve already devoted a post to Foggy’s facial hair and his tattoo!).

With Chris Samnee’s work in Daredevil #12 – where he juggled two time frames and two different hairstyles for Matt – I knew I had to do a post about Matt’s hair. When I think about it, it’s actually a little strange that I haven’t covered it already considering it’s such a trademark feature. It’s not only the character’s blindness that makes Daredevil unusual, there really are not that many red-headed heroes out there. I’ve seen more than one redheaded fan comment that this was something they appreciated growing up. My best friend is a gorgeous redhead, and I’ll be sure to read Daredevil to her strawberry blond son as soon as he’s old enough. πŸ™‚

So, for this post, we’re going to take a trip into the archives of Daredevil canon and check out Matt Murdock’s impressive head of hair!

Classic Colan

This is the classic, suave look I most associate with early Daredevil and Gene Colan’s long run on the book (the panel below is from Daredevil #29). Shorter on the sides and more length on top. Bright red and sexy!

Matt, sporting his classic Colan hair do, changes on a window ledge, from Daredevil #29

70’s hip

The seventies brought a new varied line-up of artists, such as Bob Brown who supplied the art below (from Daredevil #115, written by Steve Gerber). It also brought a slightly shaggier look and, depending on the colorist, a lighter tone to Matt’s hair.

Matt's hair, as drawn by Bob Brown, from Daredevil #115, written by Steve Gerber

Miller magic

Miller kept Matt’s hair on the long side, with noticeable bangs combed to the side. The color throughout his run was a medium orange. The panels below are from Daredevil #182.

Matt's hair during the Miller run, from Daredevil #182

Nearly blond

Some color artists have given Matt a very blond look with few traces of red. Below is an image from Daredevil #249, by Ann Nocenti with pencils by Rick Leonardi. Colors by Max Scheele.

Matt as almost-blond, by Rick Leonardi. From Daredevil #249, written by Ann Nocenti

Nice and short

By the mid-nineties, someone (Cary Nord, apparently) decided that it was time for a hair-cut and switched to something a little shorter, as seen below in Daredevil #360, by Karl Kesel and Cary Nord. It stays short for the rest of volume 1 and the first issues of volume 2, before temporarily growing back out for the Parts of a Hole arc.

Matt on the couch watching Law & Order, from Daredevil #360 by Karl Kesel and Cary Nord

Goatee? Why not!

While Foggy has been able to play around with his facial hair, Matt has only had any to speak of while he’s been on hiatus as Daredevil (such as during the King of Hell’s Kitchen arc), not counting the times he’s simply forgotten to shave. So, for a while he had an honest to goodness goatee. The image below is from Daredevil #56 (volume 2), by Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev.

Matt and Milla, from Daredevil #56 (volume 2), by Brian Bendis and Alex Maleev

“Hair cut? I’ve got a ninja cult to run!”

While Matt looks reasonably well-groomed in the below panel, from Daredevil #506 by Andy Diggle and Antony Johnston, with art by Marco Checchetto, there’s no denying that the longish shaggy do made its return in the Shadowland era.

Matt and Elektra, from Daredevil #506, by Diggle, Johnston and Checchetto

Not even trying anymore

Whether you liked the “Abe Lincoln” beard of Daredevil: Reborn or not, it sure gave Matt that look of not really caring. At all. Panel below from Daredevil: Reborn #1, by Andy Diggle and Davide Gianfelice.

Matt from Daredevil: Reborn #1, by Andy Diggle and Davide Gianfelice

Volume 3 goodness

Since the relaunch, Matt has definitely settled into a more relaxed look, which I guess goes well with his new attitude. From left to right, below is art by Marcos MartΓ­n, Paolo Rivera and Chris Samnee.

Matt's hair as seen in volume 3

Fashions may have changed, and Matt’s hair along with it, though we haven’t seen anything too extreme. Whether on the short or long side, it looks like the kind of low-maintenance swirl of coppery goodness that even a guy with no use for mirrors can trust to look half-decent no matter what. πŸ˜‰

Christine Hanefalk

Christine Hanefalk

Based in Stockholm, Sweden, Christine is a die-hard Daredevil fan who launched The Other Murdock Papers in 2007 to share her passion for Matt Murdock and his friends with other fans.

9 comments

  1. Isn’t Cyclops red-headed? And he wears red-tinted glasses to boot. He and Matt often appear very similar when in plain clothes (other than the fact that Scott doesn’t use a cane).

  2. I think Scott Summers has much darker hair, doesn’t he? Hard to tell though since he seems to spend most of his time wearing what looks like a black condom. πŸ˜‰

  3. Pretty sure Cyclops has brown hair, Professor White; what does the OHOTMU say?

  4. Yay, Matt’s hair! I’m a little ashamed to admit that I’ve actually found his changing hairstyles fascinating over the years, perhaps because I learned to draw (as much as I CAN draw) by copying Daredevil panels. I always thought Matt’s hairstyle was any given decade’s interpretation of how to avoid looking like a blind guy did the hero’s hair … even when the hero happens to be blind.

    But I’ve always wondered how he avoided getting “cowl hair” … especially when his ‘do has been more fluffy or spiky. Maybe that’s a previously undiscovered superpower.

  5. Hmm, the Marvel wiki says Scott has brown hair–OK, I stand corrected. The red glasses still throw me, though. πŸ˜‰

  6. Unless I’ve missed it here on the site Christine, you should do a review of Matt’s glasses over the years, maybe even a comparision with Scott Summer’s glasses. Both have had distinctive types of shades over the years.

    Yay! Matt is a Law & Order fan as well! πŸ˜€

  7. Hi, Christine – essential post!

    My favourite atypical Matt hairstyle is the practically bubble perm look he sports in DD113 (volume one) – I comment on it on my blog but you should check it out – it’s scrummy!

    PS Congrats on winning Eurovision the other night (I’m sure you were thrilled).

  8. Scott is infamous for looking like Matt during the famous X-Men cartoon series in the early ’90s, in which he did indeed have red hair. In the comics, though, Scott is at least SUPPOSED to have brown hair, with Jean Grey and her daughter, Rachel, being the only redheaded X-Men (that I can think of). Relatedly, the visual confusion between the two of them is the main reason that I dislike Matt in red sunglasses: it’s unnecessary, draws needless attention to the color red in relation to Matt (this was more an issue when Matt had a secret identity to protect), and is already the visual trademark of a wholly unrelated character.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.