Why Are Matt Murdock's Glasses Red? 'Daredevil' Has Gone Through Some Eyewear Transformations


Every comic book character has their thing — that tiny identifying characteristic that comes to define their look. Clark Kent has that curl in the front of his hair. Professor X has that bald head. And Matt Murdock of Daredevil has round, red glasses. (At least Charlie Cox's Daredevil on Netflix does.) These don't always have a deeper significance — it's just part of the character design — but sometimes they do. There's no reason that Superman needs to have that little cowlick, for example, while Professor X's hair is definitely tied to the use of his powers. So, what about Murdock? Is there a reason why Daredevil's glasses are red?

There's no doubt that the glasses are significant. "The glasses were Matt Murdock’s most important accessory," costume designer Stephanie Maslansky told Fashionista. "It had to be correct for this current, modern date and it also had to pay homage to what was familiar to fans throughout. I think that Matt tried on...I want to say close to 100 pairs of glasses to figure out which one should work. People had a lot to say about them, including Charlie."

But why are they red? The answer is... because fans liked red glasses (and comic artists, too).

The red lenses were not a part of Daredevil's origins. Over the years, Matt Murdock's glasses have varied wildly in design, from aviators to wayfarers to no glasses at all. If you're interested in the evolution of Daredevil's eyewear, The Other Murdock Papers has a detailed rundown of the way different comic artists and the different takes they've had on Murdock's shades. The piece goes through nearly a dozen different styles of glasses.

The red lenses popped into the comics around 2003, starting with comic artist Alex Maleev. Why then? Like many things, we can blame Ben Affleck. His Daredevil movie was released around then, and it was Affleck's Matt Murdock that first sported the red glasses. People liked it, I guess, and the style ported itself over to the comic books. And, while the movie Murdock introduced the red shades, he wore red Ray-Ban style glasses. It was Maleev who started drawing them in the round style, giving us the Daredevil sunglasses we know today, as shown by The Other Murdock Papers.

That's it. There's nothing about the color red that figures into the execution of his superpowers. His shades aren't like Cyclops' from the X-Men, keeping laser eyes safely tucked away. The red lenses just fit the mood of the show.

The good news is that, if you're a fan of the red shades, you can buy them for yourself on Amazon. If Daredevil doesn't really need a reason to wear round, red sunglasses, neither do you.

Images: Patrick Harbron/Netflix; Giphy