Poll Position: A picture is worth …

Our poll position this week is graphical in nature, since this is, after all, a site that deals with the visuals of the genre:

Discussion after the jump!

A super-hero's logo says a lot about them. It gives them instant recognition, sets the tone for the kind of character they want to be, and in general can induce either terror, admiration, or outright laughter. With that in mind, let's review some of the classics.

  • Batman Beyond: A great take on one of the all-time great logos. I love the introduction of the read to the usual black and yellow palette, hinting at blood and mayhem. The straighter lines and harsher angles also give this treatment a lot more movement and dynamism, which fit the younger, sleeker, more acrobatic version of The Batman perfectly. An excelleng blend of design and character development.
  • Batman: An absolute classic. Simple, blunt, direct, and -- most importantly -- it looks good projected onto clouds. While the basic black bat without the yellow target is, I think, the best iteration of the design, I grew up with the spotlight and the whole thing looks unfinished to me without it.
  • Flash: I have always loved Flash's logo. Let's face it, lightning bolts are cool. They can even make powder-blue football uniforms look decent! I also like how lightning featured in Barry Allen's origin, besides the obvious connotations of speed. I also really like how the bolt pierces the background circle, breaking the confines of the logo space. He cannot be stopped, he cannot even be contained! Somewhere, Keith Olberman and Dan Patrick are having a copyright-infringed heart attack right about now.
  • Green Lantern: It's green, and it's a lantern. Get it? What it lacks in subtlety it makes up for in nice, simple, clean lines. The classic explanation of the colors also resonates with me -- green for life, black for space, white for the light of hope. Good stuff.
  • Punisher: Speaking of a lack of subtlety, you certainly can't fault The Punisher for leaving you wondering what he's all about. Death, skulls, black and white, long fangs, this one is as unambiguous as it gets.
  • Spider-Man: This is the movie remake version of the classic Spidey logo, and I really like it. The increased leg length and angularity up the creepiness factor quite a bit. It looks good in black and white, and is suited to his costume without being too flashy.
  • Superman: Arguably the most recognizable logo in history. The strong red and yellow color scheme perfectly fit the character -- bold, decisive, strong, bright. The diamond shape enclosing the red "S" also speaks of toughness and strength within structure. The bold sweeping letter shapes blending into the diamond border are stylish and cool, as well.
  • Thundercats: A childhood weakness of mine, I always thought this logo was cool. I like the black and red and the way it reminds me of sports logos. Perhaps, like Daisy Duke shorts, this was better left in childhood memories...
  • Transformers: See "Cats, Thunder", immediately preceding this entry.
  • Wonder Woman: Someone needs to alert Wonder Man that it is, in fact, possible to nest the initials of your name without looking like a total tool. This isn't the strongest logo out there, but felt it was important to point out that even cliches don't have to suck.

Superman or Batman are the clear favorites, I think, in a national cultural sense. They're the most popular and recognizable characters, with very strong logos, so it makes sense that they would resonate with people. But for me, I'd probably have to go with either Green Lantern or Flash. Both logos are strong and reflect well on their owners. I ultimately decided on Flash, though, because lightning!

Which would you choose, and why? Are there things you like and dislike about each? Sound off!

13 Responses to Poll Position: A picture is worth …

  1. I also chose El Flasho (with El Lanterno Greeno coming in a close second). I think the Flash’s logo has a bit more power and dynamism to it than the others. The colours compliment each other nicely, the lightning piercing the circle gives you a sense of the speed the Flash possesses.

    GL’s logo has a nice iconic quality that represents a corps nicely without being hokey or a badge. Plus, I like green.

    As a side note, I own a Flash logo t-shirt that is the pride of my wardrobe, right next to my GL logo t-shirt. My Fantastic Four logo shirt languishes at the bottom of the t-shirt drawer these days.

  2. I chose the Thundercats, because ultimately it brought back a lot of childhood memories for me. Although, if the Decepticon logo was up there, it may have been a different story. And while I can’t really think of any artistic reasons why I voted like this, I’ll give my rankings for the ten logos.

    1. Thundercats
    2. Transformers
    3. Punisher
    4. Batman Beyond
    5. Spider-Man
    6. Flash
    7. Green Lantern
    8. Batman
    9. Superman
    10. Wonder Woman

  3. Old school all the way. Batman first then Superman.

  4. Huh, now that I think about it… does DC have more logos stamped to the chests and cloaks and capes of their heroes than Marvel?

    I mean, if I think back to the Avengers, what exactly they have for a logo? Captain America — shield or ‘A’ on his forehead, which one? The X-Men (and their spin-offs)?

  5. Of the ones listed, I have to go with Batman Beyond. I like the newer variation of the classic logo without the circle or yellow, I also like the symbiote spider logo.

    @Skiriki: I noticed the lack of capes especially when I played through Marvel UA 2. They use the term “capes” to refer to superheroes…but how many capes are there in the marvel universe? I thought that was funny. Also, don’t the Xmen have the circle with the x and red background?

  6. Yes the X-Men have the circle with an X. Marvel does have capes but they are not as noticeable as DC’s. Plus most of the newer versions of their characters are cape less.

  7. Thundercats was a tv show so corny it made my teeth hurt, but that logo is great.

  8. You know, this Thundercats logo makes me think of the dinosaur logo in the Jurassic Park movie (and tie-in videogames). I remember thinking those were cool.

    My favorite log is not on this page, but it’s the Kindom Come black/red Superman Logo. It’s simple (3-4 lines max to draw it), mixing edginess and nostalgia. Another win by Alex Ross

  9. I’m at a loss over how Superman’s emblem, the most recognizable logo in comics history, is behind the Punisher.

    Now, if you’ll excuse me I’m going to rebound from this tragedy, not into a pint of Ben and Jerry’s “Cherry Garcia”, but into a tear-stained fan-fic where Frank Castle is brought to swift justice by the Man of Steel.

    😉

  10. William A. Peterson

    Punisher, of course, hands down…
    Though, it might be interesting to pair them off, alphabetically, and do it FNF-style…

    Joshua, Supes is by far the oldest, most famous, and most Heroic one of the bunch, but we’re judging the logo, not the Character!
    You don’t NEED to know anything about Frank to be worried when you see his logo…

  11. Remember in the nineties when the X-men, the Avengers, and the Fantastic Four all had those leather look team jackets? That had a team logo on the shoulder like a unit patch? That they wore over their normal spandex onesies? I laughed for a month and a half, then cried for a while.
    The patches, by the way, were simple block letters (X, A, and a 4) for those who were expecting maybe a real logo of some sort. I think someone in the Marvel offices read an issue of JLA and realized that all the big DC characters had an easily trademarked logo to slap on merchandise, and got royalties envy.
    For branding, you can’t beat Superman’s shield. As a stand alone design, however, I really like that one here for Spiderman.

  12. this poll really reminds me of the fact that i seem to be one of the youngest regular visitors to this site (at least, i think i am), because the batman beyond logo is actually the one that makes me the most nostalgic, because i watched the show all the time when i was a kid. i think it was actually my first real exposure to superheroes in general and batman in particular. nostalgia aside though, I’d have to pick the traditional batman logo because it’s so simple and direct, which is the way i think a good logo should be

  13. “i seem to be one of the youngest regular visitors to this site (at least, i think i am)”…”when i was a kid”

    When you were? I AM a kid 😀

    I went with the Punisher. Not at all a DC fan, and Spider-Man’s logo doesn’t really appeal to me…