The Best Superheroes’ Logos
Every superhero knows the importance of an iconic logo. Instantly recognizable, this symbol can be used as a calling card for the police to find at the scene of another solved crime, shone in the sky as a way of making contact, projected from a utility belt on unsuspecting criminals in order to strike fear, or simply to help shift boxes and boxes of merchandise if there happens to be a movie out. Whatever the usage — and there are many — that logo needs to be bold, striking and cool enough for a fan to wear on a T-shirt. But what should a crime fighter choose as his symbol? Some prefer an illustration of their powers, others an animal with which they feel a particular affinity. When all else fails, some simply take the first letter of their name and try to come up with a colorful way of presenting it. Like certain heroes, if you get yours right, your logo might become one of the most recognized in the world. This may seem strange, as there are companies that pay thousands of dollars for graphic design agencies to come up with amazing international logos just for them; how come superheroes are able to design these iconic logos themselves? Perhaps logo design is a skill passed over in the accident that grants them their other superpowers (along with sewing to help make those costumes, of course). But if those companies should find themselves feeling jealous, perhaps they should take their cue from these 10 iconic superhero logos.
When Daredevil first appeared in comics, his character featured a single “D” on his chest. A couple of issues in, the artists at Marvel must have realized something, because from then on, the character wore two overlapping D’s instead.
He may be the sidekick of the great Dark Knight, but Robin has had things a bit tough. Not only did Batman initially make him dress up in bright colors while he got to lurk about in the shadows, he made him parade around without pants on and gave him an inferior logo – a yellow “R” on a black circle – while he got the cool bat emblem. It may be recognizable, but does it look good stuck on the side of a vehicle or shone in the sky? Not really.
Make no mistake, this is not the Flash’s logo. Scrawny lightning bolt set on a red background? Think again. This is a chunky, macho thunder clap. Whenever young Billy Batson shouts the magic word “Shazam,” the thunder appears and transforms him into the legendary Captain Marvel: Earth’s mightiest mortal. To think, at one stage back in the 1940s, Captain Marvel’s adventures actually outsold Superman’s. In those days, perhaps this symbol would have figured higher than the “S” in our list.
There is a reason the Punisher settled on a large white skull as the chest logo on his black Kevlar body armor: He wanted to give the armed criminals he was up against something to aim at. It also sent a message about the cold face of death these wrongdoers were now forced to look upon. Marvel’s gun-toting vigilante has been around since the 1970s and is still going strong with an ever-increasing body count. Looks like the skull was a good choice.
Currently the Fantastic Four are no more in comics, since the four became three with the recent death of the Human Torch (it’s comics – he’ll be back at some stage). But when they were at their full roster, three of them wore the “4” symbol from the second issue of their comic book. Confused? Well, in the first issue, the team wore regular civilian dress, and it’s hard to find room for a symbol on the one member of your team that parades around in just a pair of blue trunks.
There are many Green Lanterns patrolling the universe, all of them bearing this recognizable symbol. And with the movie out this summer, it is sure to be even more so. Probably the most literal of all the superhero logos, this could easily be used in a game of Dingbats – you don’t see Batman or Spider-Man with a matchstick figure next to the logo on their chests, for example.
It’s sometimes wondered why the Flash would actually have bothered coming up with a logo. Surely he moves so fast that no one would actually be able to see it. Maybe simplicity is the key: criminals can at least catch a quick glimpse, and a simple lightning strike through a white circle is the way to go here. An “F” would probably take too long to read, and by that stage, the criminals wouldn’t know who had apprehended them.
What exactly was Peter Parker’s thought process when designing his Spidey costume? “Yeah, I’ll put a spider symbol in the middle, set in a giant web pattern that covers the rest of my body…” He probably regretted that decision when he was still sewing the webbing on at 3 a.m. five days later. Still, at least the spider idea was a good one, and it has remained a constant feature every time Spider-Man has changed his costume. Surprisingly, the webbing has not been on all of them.
Back in 1989, upon the release of the Tim Burton Batman film, this logo was printed on everything from baseball caps to erasers. Batman is probably the most fashion-conscious of the superheroes when it comes to logos, sometimes having it with the yellow oval, sometimes without. But whichever he chooses, the bat symbol looks good on everything from cars to gadgets, and when shone in the sky by Commissioner Gordon, it’s a message to all criminals to be on their guard.
The shield logo on Superman’s chest has certainly evolved since its first appearance back in 1938 — then just a simple squiggle “S” inside a yellow triangle. These days it is one of the world’s most recognizable symbols. But is it really an “S”? The symbol hails from the planet Krypton and is the crest of Superman’s family home, so the fact that it looks like an Earth “S” must be a coincidence.