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Comic Theme Time Month – Worst Logo Change on a Long-Running Title

All December long, I will be doing daily installments of Comic Theme Time. Comic Theme Time is a twist on the idea of a “Top Five” list. Instead of me stating a topic and then listing my top five choices in that topic, I’m giving you the topic and letting you go wild with examples that you think fit the theme.

Today’s topic is “What do you think was the worst logo change on a long-running series?”

Read on to see what I’m looking for specifically, along with some examples to get you started…

Right from the get-go, the Fantastic Four had one of the all-time great logos…

So why, for nearly ONE HUNDRED issues, did they go with inferior logos?

Let’s hear what you think about long-running series and their logos!

Do you like Captain America with the American flag motif worked into the logo?

Or do you like the block letters (which is what the book began with back in 1941)?

Do you like the traditional logo Spider-Man used for years?

Or did you like the spider-like logo they used for a time in the 1990s?

55 Comments

The ASM logo change was a mess, they must have tried 3-5 variations during the Clone saga. Dreadful.

I remember a wave of terrible variations on the Superman visuals in the late 90′s (with Michael Turner covers IIRC so maybe early 00′s?)

I prefer the second FF logo than the one Marvel tried during the Maid / Ringo run…

As for Cap; IMO both logo work fine.

I can’t stand the new FLASH logo.

In header:
“Today’s topic is “What do you think was the most egregious example of Uatu the Watcher “I can’t interfere!”) interfering with events?””
Looks like You just pasted more than needed, Mr. Cronin!

Captain America is an example of both logos looking quite good. I honestly don’t think I could pick one over the other. As for the others, definitely prefer the first logo on them all.

Guy Gardner’s “Warrior” logo looks like the “Weekend Warrior” decal I see on the back of campers all the time. That was technically a name change for the title, though, so not sure it counts.

Transformers had a really classic block-letter logo. I don’t remember the exact issue, but with #51 they switched to this hideous 70s sci-fi knockoff logo that remained until the book was cancelled. That was licensor tampering, since the logo was switched on the actual toys.

On a related note, G.I. Joe got this bizarre logo change with #135 that lasted until #145, where the classic “stars & stripes” logo was shrunk down to a tiny size, the “A Real American Hero” was omitted, and the huge words “STARRING SNAKE EYES” was added in this absolutely hideous font. This wasn’t Hasbro’s doing, so far as I know, and I’m not sure it counts since the actual title part of the logo remained the same (only about 1/5 the original size).

Gah, I should proofread. I didn’t remember the issue that Transformers changed the logo, but looked it up and didn’t bother to change all the original text. So ignore the “I don’t remember the exact issue, but” part of the second paragraph.

The 1984 Baxter “New Teen Titans” series had three logo changes and a name change. The first “New Titans” logo was all right, but the second, which looked way too much like the original “New Mutants” logo, was hideous. After issue zero, they corrected that nicely.

I can’t speak for the others, but my guess would be that the Fantastic Four logo was changed because in the 70s, it wasn’t considered to be the retro-cool logo that it is now. It wasn’t old enough at the time to be retro. It just looked like a badly-dated 60s pop art fad, and it was the right thing to do at the time. It also fit in with the fairly rectangular design element that most of the Marvel titles at the time had with the reduced space for art, which made all the Marvel titles’s covers look similar.

Agreed on FF logo during Waid / Ringo run, also what about the FF logo during the Millar / Hitch run?

Classic ASM logo is by far the best ever of that series. Fantastic Four for some reason are stuck with the 70′s logo right now. I’m really surprised they didn’t go back to the original for #600. Why is 1975 so precious?

I don’t generally dislike one logo over another, as I find them all kind of interesting and nice for a change. I think the Avengers and Daredevil have had the most interesting variety of logos (although they always seem to go back to their most “popular” form…the Avengers 70′s logo and Daredevil’s Miller logo…)

I think the most head-scratching change of logo was the Hulk’s he had through the Mantlo run, which was pretty classic by that point, switching to that more blocky one at the start of Byrne’s run…it was quite a boring logo.

Batman similarly had a perfectly nice logo up until #400 that switched to a more-or-less similar yet kind of inferior one (again kind of blocky)…the one he had in Year One (although I guess the bat design did get a little snazzier).

I also loved Iron Man’s late 70′s/early 80′s one with the rivots, and don’t know why they changed it to something without the rivets. Come on! Nothing says “Iron Man” like rivets!

Okay, I guess I do like some logos over others.

I loved the 90s Spider-Man logo.

They really need to bring back the red,white,and blue Cap logo though. Everything since has been pretty bland.

You know what I loved? The Morrison-era New X-Men logo.

how about a logo change for the better? Get rid of the awful 60s Thor logo to the 80s one by having Beta Ray Bill destroy it

New Titans logo change is one I remember vividly, just post Titans Hunt. Loved the previous logo but then…that odd ball and block lettering. Ugh. Oddly the stories lost steam also…

The new Batman logo is pretty awful. I know it’s from the video games, might help to attract that audience, etc., but it’s still not good.

There was a time that the Iron Man logo was just blobby letters, instead of the previous metal looking one with nuts-and-bolts. Round about the 80s, I guess. Would need to double-check when exactly. That’s the worst logo I ever saw on a Marvel title.

I always hated that mid-1980s Avengers logo change, which happened during the Stern-Milgrom run. Luckily it didn’t last terribly long.

I still hate that jagged Spidey logo.

It makes me laugh whenever I see polls like this where they compare today’s designs with yesteryear’s, because people will always vote for whatever the status quo was when they were first introduced to comics. Nothing will ever beat that.

Nobody in their right mind should, in 2011, prefer the first Fantastic Four logo to ALL the ones they’ve used since. Nostalgia is the ONLY reason to prefer that mess. Ditto the original ASM logo with the scripted “the” followed by an uppercase sans serif font.

These logos worked back then because the standards were different back then. It’s like when people say “no one will ever draw better than guys like JRJr and Michelinie back in the 80′s… again, that’s nostalgia talking. We’ve seen what JRJr’s work looks like in today’s setting (on his recent Avengers run), next to other books drawn by guys like McNiven, Finch, Granov… I’m sorry, but it just doesn’t hold up. Everyone involved with the decision to give JRJr a modern-day book to draw let their nostalgia go too far.

As much as all of you like to complain about today’s comics, almost everything done today — on the technical side — is superior to what was offered to us in the 80′s. Whether it’s the logos, the artwork, the printing quality… you name it, all of it is better today on the technical side.

Now the writing, on the other hand…

@Boabie It was 200, the debut of the Silver Armor, where the Iron Man logo turned into a blobby mess. That was the first one to come to my mind, as well.

Second would be the logo for the Victor Gischler Adjectiveless X-Men book, though that’s just an aping of the original 60′s logo. It’s not so much a change as a regression, but that logo with the frayed edges on the X was just awful.

That’s absurd. The original Fantastic Four logo is a great logo, period. Todd Klein, who knows a whole lot more about logos than I do, gives a very interesting analysis of the logo over at his awesome blog here (Spoiler warning: He thinks the logo is great, as well).

i hate hateHATE that revamped Amazing Spider-Man logo. Actually, in a way, I like it, because if I’m flipping through back issues, it’s a quick red flag that tells me “don’t bother, this issue probably sucks”. What really bugged me was when it appeared 20 yrs too early on Eric Forman’s pillowcase on an episode of That 70′s Show.

The worst logo change was Web of Spider-Man and Spectacular Spider-Man in the late ’80s, when they were changed to look like the Amazing logo. It was much better when each book had its own distinct look.

We’ve seen what JRJr’s work looks like in today’s setting (on his recent Avengers run), next to other books drawn by guys like McNiven, Finch, Granov… I’m sorry, but it just doesn’t hold up.

Ha ha, you really had me going there for a little while, but you gave totally gave away the joke with this line.

Brian Cronin
December 4, 2011 at 12:21 pm

« That’s absurd. The original Fantastic Four logo is a great logo, period. Todd Klein, who knows a whole lot more about logos than I do, gives a very interesting analysis of the logo over at his awesome blog here (Spoiler warning: He thinks the logo is great, as well). »

So because this guy agrees with your opinion, mine is absurd? I’ve 15 years of graphic design and art direction experience, and I think it’s awful. And there’s nothing absurd about anyone’s opinion.

Careful, Brian. You’re usually better than this.

Cass
December 4, 2011 at 1:28 pm

« Ha ha, you really had me going there for a little while, but you gave totally gave away the joke with this line. »

So you enjoyed JRJr’s rendition of Iron Man’s new armor? Or anything else, for that matter?

Hey, more power to you. You’re exactly the fan Marvel is targeting… while cancelling books left and right.

That is even more absurd. I’m not saying you’re wrong for not liking it. You said that people only liked it for nostalgia. That is what I found absurd.

The 60s FF logo may have been fine for its time but it had gotten to be clunky, that’s why I prefer the Waid/Weiringo logo. At least it looked fresh.

Wouldn’t mind it if it were brought back.

The two 70s FF logos (the one above, and the one revived under Hickman) are generally fine with me; the latter was a bit of an improvement over the first one at the time, but I don’t hate the first one like some people do, probably because it was the one place when I first started reading the book. Nothing has ever been worse on an FF cover than the Waid/Weiringo era logo, though; that was just one of the crappiest things ever, no matter how much you might have liked the stuff inside.

One change that particularly annoyed me was actually not a full-logo-switch but a seemingly relatively minor change of detail to an otherwise left-in-place logo: at one point in the 80s, the classic 70s “Avengers” logo had the “the” moved from the arrow inside the “A” to a stupid little oval frame just before it (with the arrow still there, empty).
It especially annoyed me because it seemed so clear that the change had been made because some total idiot at Marvel had gotten a bee in his bonnet about how “confusing” it supposedly was, or, more annoyingly, how “illogical” they found it to have a word that’s supposed to be “first” appearing inside the first letter of the second word or whatever that they had to make the totally asinine decision to have this utterly lame-looking, disimproving change made.

The change of the original Firestorm logo to the tall and skinny typeset

The change of the current Legion logo

If you guys want some help, this link has a lot of examples:

http://kleinletters.com/Blog/?page_id=2709

The ASM logo change was a mess, they must have tried 3-5 variations during the Clone saga. Dreadful.

Are you sure? I only remember that single logo change during the Clone Saga.

So this is kind of on this topic, but I remember last year when invincible iron man #25 came out there was a variant by tetsuya aoki that had a brand new, sleek, invincible iron man title design, that I thought was going to be the new title design. Then with issue 26 it was right back to the same old design, which I thought was too bad because I liked that new design.

I think a worse logo change occurred in the early 2000′s on “Incredible Hulk” during the Bruce Jones run. After using the classic brick logo almost continuously for years, the logo was switched to an unreadable mess.

I’m not digging the current plain green logo on the current series of “Incredible Hulk” either, but that illegible thing from the Jones era is, by far, the worst.

Also, the Spider-Man logos that immediately followed the end of “The Clone Saga” war pretty unappealing as well.

I’ve 15 years of graphic design and art direction experience, and I think it’s awful. And there’s nothing absurd about anyone’s opinion.

You’ve decided that your graphic design experience entitles you to tell dozens of total strangers they don’t know why they like what they like. You seem to believe that graphic design principles are both ironclad and universal, and applicable to sequential art storytelling despite the fact that most grpahic design work doesn’t even touch on narratology.

You live in a world where millions of people make flyers with Comics Sans and mix typefaces to the horror of a tiny, loudmouthed minority font snobs like yourself and yet presume that you can diagnose and correct comics’ failure to reach mass audiences.

Having invoked your 15 years of experience as the qualification to treat yourself as an authority — and I imagine you broke out the hand lotion for that little bit of self-indulgence — you then dismiss out of hand a lengthy, studied opinion by Todd Klein, someone with over 25 years of comics-specific graphic design and production experience. You can’t even remain consistent in your appeals to authority.

Opinions can indeed be absurd, and your absurdly stupid opinion is a wonderful proof of that. That you’ve additionally expressed in in so condescending a fashion, oblivious to the unearned arrogance that radiates from your every sentence, is proof that absurd opinions tend to emanate from equally absurd people.

I have to confess that I like the Spidey logo, it reminds me of the cartoon I grew up watching in the 90s. Objectively, the old Spidey logo is better, but I’ll always be partial to the 90s one.

I think the original Fantastic Four logo is the best one. And its nothing to do with nostalgia, I wasn’t even born, then, my first issue was like 220 something. Now I’ll concede its a “nostalgiac-looking” logo, clearly rooted in the 60′s; that’s what makes it work. I don’t really get invoking one’s resume to justify the superiority of one’s opinion. We’re talking about frikkin’ comic book logos here, this ain’t solving world hunger..

Cap’n America is a toss up for me

Spider-man 90′s logo, please, that looks like a bad hair metal band logo out of a 1980′s middle schooler’s sketchbook

Ritchard, The G.I.Joe logo change was in conjunction with Snake Eyes and Scarlett getting Liefeld-ized costumes and a general attempt to re-invent the book and keep it relevant post Cold War when the sales were sagging badly.

im guessing if you showed logos using the old FF font to people who had never seen a comic book before in their lives they’d probably think it was dumb.

i vote for the nostalgia talking. until someone shows me an objective market test that proves otherwise anyway.

Maybe not the worst, but I hated when the logo for Excalibur was changed after issue 50. The logo with the sword through it stood out and looked great while the second one was generic.

@Jon Yeager: “So because this guy agrees with your opinion, mine is absurd? I’ve 15 years of graphic design and art direction experience, and I think it’s awful. And there’s nothing absurd about anyone’s opinion.”

*Please* tell me you realize who “this guy” is and why his opinion may be important.

Not saying that Todd Klein’s opinion invalidates yours, but it does give credence to the fact that people can be “in their right mind” and like those older logos.

Why should we conduct an objective market test when you’ve already conducted one with the imaginary version of the general public that lives in your head?

Look, the FF logo is a bit eccentric, but this bizarre trend of people trying to tell people who honestly like it that they’re somehow not allowed to, or that it’s all just nostalgia, is getting really tiresome. Especially since you’re using some of the most ludicrously inane arguments imaginable in the process.

I’d have to go with some of the newly designed “New 52″ logos that DC trotted out. Especially Wonder Woman, Justice League and Flash. Some of the new logos are okay(Action Comics, Blackhawks, Nightwing), but too many of them have this rubber-stamped or spray-paint-on-stencil look that doesn’t quite play for me. Collectively its like they’re all saying, “Ooh, look how edgy we are!”

I have a similar problem with the new X-Men logo. Me, I liked the classic 3-D logo. It was distinctive, it stood out. Now, it’s nothing really special.

Omar: You da man.

Jon Yeager: Told.

I don’t think that the Fantastic Four logo is ever truly gone or forgotten. First, it was brought back for a good portion of the 80s and can be seen on the cover of Byrne’s run. Second, iirc, it was most recently seen on the #600 variant.

Let me start off on a positive note, with my FAVORITE logo changes over the years.

1. New Mutants v1 #25 —> #26: The original logo was meant to echo the Uncanny X-Men design, allowing it to feel as if they’re the next generation. However, it wasn’t distinct enough. With #26, they put up a new, thin serif logo that pretty much screamed “academia”. Appropriate given the fact it was a book about (mutant) students.

2. Incredible Hulk v1 #108 —> #110: The original was basically a chunky block of type with an colored drop shadow. Marvel spiced things up at #110 by texturing that type and making it look as if it were made of stone. Much more unique and appropriate for the character. In a word, “strong.” Sadly, that change would only last a few issues and would be replaced by a skewed version of the more bland version. The stone logo wouldn’t reappear until #340, early into PAD & McFarlane’s run.

3. X-Factor v1 #9 —> #10: In a situation that’s almost the opposite of the New Mutant one, X-Factor’s logo went went thin and swooshy to blocky and chunky. Unlike New Mutants, this 3D effect actually worked much better. Instead of the block fading back to a skew, it popped out toward the viewer. Far more dynamic and pretty fitting since Walt Simonson was beginning his equally dynamic and classic run. This logo lasted for about 100 issues and was replaced by something far more mediocre, which was okay since the book was pretty much winding down.

4. Thor v1 #337 —> #338: Simonson on the list again. Before issue #104, Journey into Mystery barely had Thor’s name on the cover. By itself, that JiM logo had this beautiful torn paper logo with the drop shadow. When Thor’s name took center stage in #104, the logo still rocked with that paper look. Something happened though. By issue #126, the JiM header was dropped and the book became “The Mighty Thor”. Without “Journey into Mystery” in the title, the torn paper didn’t look so great.. JiM was a pulp fiction type of book and that cheesy tear worked perfectly. When the book became about a god, the torn paper seemed decidely less majestic.

Sadly, nobody figured this out until #337. Simonson literally had Beta Ray Bill smash through the old logo so that, by #338, it was replaced by a beveled font with a vaguely old English looking type. Beautiful and classic. Best logo for the title. It’d last until #433, in the “extreme” 90s, when Eric Masterson replaced the original Odinson.

5. Daredevil v1 #165 —> #166: There was nothing particularly wrong with the #165 logo. It had the important “The Man Without Fear” tagline and eliminated the superfluous “Here comes…” of the original logo. However, the type itself was pretty boring and static. #166 essentially got rid of the drop shadow and arced the type. You could almost imagine Matt flipping through the air now.

6. Uncanny X-Men v1 #49 —> #50: The original logo used that torn paper look from Journey into Mystery. It never really fit. The book never had this pulp feel to it. These people were the future, the next stage in human evolution. #50 was the first time the book had that classic skewed 3D block of text. For the time, it did look quite futuristic. They added the words “The Uncanny” up top as of issue #114 and the rest is history.

AND NOW FOR THE BAD….

1. Uncanny X-Men #353, #384, #394, & #475: Marvel, what were you smoking? Let’s start with #353. This logo lasted only 2 issues. Thank god. It was essentially a repurposed X-Men Unlimited logo and it just looked bad with “Uncanny” strapped to the top. #384 was a basic flat san serif text with a drop shadow. Boring. #394 emphasized the X even more, started a streak of experimental logo tests. Some were outlined. Some had gradients. All were boring. #475 took the classic Uncanny logo, which had returned in a form for a while, and stripped it of the 3D block treatment. It might have allowed for more cover art space, but it really destroyed what was so classic about the original logo.

2. Daredevil v1 #44: OMG. That’s all I have to say. Marvel got really lazy with this one. They put the word “Daredevil” on two line and hyphenated it. Punctuating this disaster was the fact that the font looked more appropriate for the 70s Ghost Rider. Thankfully, this monstrosity was put down after 4 issues.

3. New Mutants v3: Oh, yeah. All of it. The book itself is great. Don’t get me wrong. However, in trying to recapture that same old school feeling in the logo, they somehow dropped the ball. The original logo used what appears to be the same type as the v1 series. Unfortunately, by dropping “The” from the title and putting the remaining words on the same line, the logo looks awkward. Again, it was probably to save space for cover art, but that version didn’t work. For a short time, the book went to a normal san serif line of text. Boring and non-descript. With Fear Itself, give or take, the returned to a thin serif font, but not quite the same one as the original. Something about it looked… off.

Now, with Regenesis, the logo gets redesigned again. “New” and “Mutants” occupy different lines again, as with the original series. However, it’s now a bolded san serif font with the W and M mirroring one another. As if to more closely tie the book to the X-Men proper, they’ve also dropped a big honkin’ X behind the name. Very awkward. Again, the book is a great read. I just wish somebody would restore the original vol 1 logo.

4. Web of Spider-Man #1 —> #36: The original “Web of” design” was fantastic. The Spider-Man portion of the logo was a bit uninspired, borrowing the X-Men’s 3D block look. However, the words “Web of” were actually drawn in “Charlotte’s Web” style for a very spider-ish look to the logo. I guess that Marvel must’ve had a problem with the web text showing up from issue to issue so they changed it to regular text as of #36. To muddy up matters even more. The two lines of text were drawn as concentric arcs in the corner. It was actually pretty boring. They’d spice it up every now and then by putting a web pattern in the background, but it was never consistent from issue to issue.

5. Avengers #256, #300, #380, #391, & #397: Go ahead and stare at the logos for Avengers #1 an #96 for a moment. Things of beauty, aren’t they? The early design has this swanky 60s look to it that fit perfectly on the shelves alongside Fantastic Four. Simple, but crafty. The #96 logo is the one we all know and love. It’s the one with the arrow shooting through the capital A.

Got them in your mind now? Good. Go look at #256. Okay, in its own right, it’s a classic 80s logo. Not wholly unappealing. However, looking at how the A connects to the S and bookends the word, there’s something broken looking. If you stare at it too long, the word doesn’t look whole. Pretty weird. Not a horrible logo, but certainly a failed attempt at being edgy. Skip ahead to #300. Same logo as #96? Think again, smiley. Notice how the arrow through the A is missing? Who’d have thought that something so small was so integral to the structural integrity? Without the arrow, the logo looks boring.

Skip ahead even further to #380. Ah, the 90s. How I hated you. The #380 logo was full of sharp edges and outlines outlining outlines. It was 90s excess at its best. The logo would’ve fit happily on a heavy metal CD cover. Ugly and overdesigned. My Avengers logo hate list goes on. You’d think that they couldn’t make it any uglier, but they did. Look at at #391 and #397. You’ll certainly want to take Marvel’s designers of the 90s behind the shed, cut yourself a switch, and teach them a lesson that they’ll never forget. Take the point and outliney #380 logo and BEND it. Yeah. Not helping. It’s like treating herpes with a shot of hepatitis. #397 takes the cake though. Instead of bending it down, they bend it out toward the viewer’s eye and give it some of the ugliest computer coloring of the day. As if that poor herp/hep victim didn’t have it bad enough. Now Marvel done gave it logo cancer.

Thankfully, the classic Avengers logo returned to normal, WITH arrow, when somebody brave hero slew the 1990s. More or less around the time Geoff Johns took over in 2002.

Off the top of my head, those are the best and word Marvel logo “upgrades” over the years.

@ John Yeager

“As much as all of you like to complain about today’s comics, almost everything done today — on the technical side — is superior to what was offered to us in the 80?s. Whether it’s the logos, the artwork, the printing quality… you name it, all of it is better today on the technical side.”

I was just recently reading “Astonishing Tales: Ka-Zar Lord of the Hidden Jungle” # 11 from way back in 1972 and was just thinking to myself how amazing Gil Kane’s art was in the comic. His knowledge of anatomy, his backgrounds, and his ability to put all that together in a series of simple, sequential panels on a page, to tell a story was amazing. The balance between Kane using his art to tell a story, and not allowing himself to overshadow the story by getting “arty” and showing off was incredible. A true master. Sure, the colour printing was dated, and the storyline/ dialogue was somewhat dated and simplistic too, but it was still and damn good read (and it took me a good 15 minutes too). It only cost me $1.50!!

I’m reading a lot of DC new 52 titles and a few Marvel ones. I love the art in most of them. But none of them can hold a candle to what I recently saw Kane do in a comic (and not even a relatively popular one too) almost 40 years ago. That’s not nostalgia – that’s just commonsense. Even a guy with 15 years in graphic design could see that.

Very true Jamie.

Advantages of 80s comic art…..

- More earthbound. Character looked heroic, but anatomically believable and not steroid filled. Teen girls looked like awkward teen girls instead of shorter, but no less busty, versions of the other adult women. Clothes didn’t necessarily cling to every crack in your body. In accordance with Marvel’s primary philosophy, they looked like characters who might exist in the world right outside your window. Granted, they were still outlandish, but they, as characters, were far more grounded in (relative) realism than DC’s wacky stuff of the day.

- Artists actually knew a thing about technique and the actual art of cartooning. No cheating with the computer to search for pr0n stars to trace. No computerized coloring to cover up your weak cross-hatching skills. No fancy scanners or 3D programs to create your scenic mattes. You either knew how to draw or you didn’t. Ever notice how few modern artists know how to draw more than 2 or 3 facial expressions or how some even recycle a single face for every character? I’m not saying that today’s artists suck, but cartooning and life drawing has become a lost art on some of these artists.

- A smaller color palette and cheaper paper translates into very cleaner looking design. Unless you’re Captain Ultra, your designs weren’t so overloaded with color or detail. That’s why Spider-Man and Green Goblin are so classic. With today’s high fidelity paper and computer coloring, you can cram in more detail and more than the 64 shades of RYBK that they had in the 80s. However, that can sometimes overload and over complicate your panels. Worse yet, it could make your design look cool, but totally impossible to replicate by succeeding artists. Sometimes, simpler is better. Sometimes, having practical limitations is actually a good thing.

- Comic art hadn’t yet become as homogenized as it has today. You could tell the difference between Byrne, Blevins, Simonson, Blevins, Sienkiewicz, and McLeod. There was more visual experimentation. Not saying that there isn’t any today, but how many manga or Alex Ross wannabes clog up the racks? The 80s artists were artists’ artists. They’re not guys who got lucky by having their art seen on Deviantart.

Disadvantages of 80s comic art….

- Colors got muddy and ran together too often because of the cheap paper.

- A lack of computer coloring made it hard to draw detailed crowds, which is part of the reason why silhouetted crowds were done many times.

- Like the music and fashion of the era, design was sometimes too experimental. How many costumes did Wasp or Kitty have? How many times in a single decade did a title end up changing its logo?

- Maybe a little too in love with the pop culture of the time – to the point of dating itself quite a bit. Big hair. Leg warmers. Walkmans. Shirts hanging off the shoulder. I get that the artists wanted to be contemporary and feel like they’re in touch with the readers, but it got a little carried away. Especially in the late 80s. This fad crazed design made some of the tales a little less timeless, visually speaking. I’d say that 1987 was the turning point – and excellent lead in to the excessive 90s.

- More grounded anatomy made it a little harder to create visually scary villains. Ever notice how NOT scary or intimidating Apocalypse looked in X-Factor #6? Simonson’s harder edged look 18 issues later made him creepier looking, but still not quite imposing and menacing. This is a case where the exaggerated anatomy of an Ed McGuiness could’ve really helped.

ANYWAY…. There’s a case for and against 80s comic art. I think that 90s is the worst and that 00/10s could still be more reality grounded, but I don’t necessarily love one more than the other. I do think that some modern artists could benefit from losing their computers and taking cartooning and life drawing classes though.

Okay. At 3am its late and I’m misspelling everything. Said Blevins twice too. =)

JLA classic shield (and tweaks) all worked for me. Still looks good today.

The Legion logo that debuted with Superboy’s return to the book (1981) replaced an okay logo that had debuted when he left. Got to say both were big improvements on previous logos. The Baxter book logo was another strong step. But hated the 5YG logo. And haven’t loved any as much since. Except the Legionnaires in golden age logo. Sublime work.

I wasn’t crazy about the new Uncanny X-Men logo they released around the time the first movie came out.

My favorite TMNT title style is the original block letters (and IDW seems to agree as the logo they’re using is very similar). Somewhere in the #40′s they changed it to something a bit more stylized (and vaguely reminiscent of the cartoon logo) that didn’t do it for me; they kept it through vol 2.

Per the thread: Guys, pretty much any time anyone says “You’re just insulting me for having a different opinion than yours,” he is trolling. Giving him a well-thought-out multiparagraph response explaining what’s wrong with his argument point-by-point is not a victory for you, it’s a victory for him.

The absolute worst logo change was Cable 13. It was so bad it changed back by the next issue.
Transformers 51 was ropey too but we can blame that on Mattel.

@omar – i’m not saying that no one can like the old FF logo, or that theyre wrong if they do. I LIKE the old FF logo. i just think its probably due to nostalgia than anything else. and thats fine. i like a ton of stuff mostly just from nostalgia. so what?

but thats why if i were going to make a judgement on whether ot not the old FF logo is objectively good, im not going to trust my biased opinion any more than i would trust someone who reads this blog or works in comics.

and maybe im wrong. maybe people think that logo rocks. if anyone knows if any objective market testing done on the logo, i’d love to see it. but if it IS the best FF logo, one that people unfamiliar with the franchise would objectively love, why wasnt it used for the movies?

” but if it IS the best FF logo, one that people unfamiliar with the franchise would objectively love, why wasnt it used for the movies?”

There are people working for the movie studios who get paid a lot of money because they’re “experts” in marketing movies, and the main thing that they try to do is ANYTHING to make it look as if they’re mandatory to the process. (the funny thing is, of course, that the marketing departments have more power in the studios now than they ever did — and yet, somehow, their “expertise” doesn’t translate to more popular movies.)

Some of the short-lived changes seem like obvious missteps. When I first read Daredevil 44, I was much more puzzled by the logo change, since it didn’t seem to match the right tone for the comic. The earlier logo implied a dashing adventure. I’m not sure what this one implied, except that it was pretty blocky.

Ideally, the changes should feel right as the tone of the book changes. While I like the original FF logo, it made sense to change it as the book sorted out exactly what sort of stories it would and would not have.
The ASM logo is an excellent one. I’m glad that they changed the layout slightly between the first and second issues, but have kept it pretty much the same for a long time. The late 90s change didn’t seem right, but in retrospect, I think I understand why they did it. They wanted to up the edginess of the character, and it seemed like an easy way to communicate that.

There are some logos that I’ve never felt were quite right – Spider-Man 2099 for one. The way that the year felt tacked on didn’t flow nicely.

Never liked the 90s Spider-Man logo. It’s well-done, but it never fit Spidey’s character to me.

but if it IS the best FF logo, one that people unfamiliar with the franchise would objectively love, why wasnt it used for the movies?

Other than the Christopher Reeve Superman flicks, I can’t think of any comic-book logo that’s actually been used for the movie version (and even that was a silver variant). Were there others?

[...] treated as an exception to the rule, or tarred with the same brush. Consider the incredibly bland Fantastic Four logo from the 1970s. The original logo looks just fine now, but at the time, it would have looked [...]

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