One of the hallmarks of a good superhero costume design is the symbol. Over at DC, Superman and Batman have the most iconic costumes, and they proudly sport their signature symbol boldly on their chest. While most Marvel heroes are a little more subtle than good ol’ Supes and Bats, their symbols are still proudly emblazoned on their costumes. Culturally, these symbols are seen all over. There are countless backpacks, hoodies and every other variety of clothing ready for purchase with your favorite character’s symbol. However, not all symbols are created equal.
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Like with anything, there are good symbols and bad symbols. So, what makes a great superhero symbol? Well, a great symbol should give you an idea of the character, it should be clearly recognizable, and obviously, it should look great on a t-shirt. So, we at CBR have decided to give the official rankings of the very best Marvel superhero symbols. Some of the symbols on this list are world-renowned, while others are slowly but surely gaining notoriety. One thing is for sure, these are the symbols that define Marvel comics, and by proxy, define pop culture. Without further ado, let’s get down to the nitty gritty and officially rank the top 15 superhero symbols in the Marvel Universe.
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15/15 MS. MARVEL
Like many female superheroes to debut in comics, the character of Ms. Marvel got her start as just a female version of another popular character. In this case, it was Captain Marvel. Her costume, though definitely skimpier than her male counterpart, shared a lot of the same design of the original Captain Marvel’s iconic suit. However, eventually Carol Danvers donned her famous lightning bolt design, and the rest is history.
That lightning bolt also carried over when Kamala Khan took over the moniker. Since Khan’s introduction, the status of Ms. Marvel has risen. Now, that lightning bolt symbol has carried over to the mainstream, where casual fans are recognizing the Ms. Marvel signature bolt. Expect the popularity of the symbol to grow further after Kamala Khan’s popularity continues to rise. In 20 years, there’s a chance that the Ms. Marvel lightning bolt will have the shot at becoming one of the most recognizable in all of comics.
The truth is, before 2012, most people wouldn’t have known what the S.H.I.E.L.D. symbol looked like, and rightfully so. It wasn’t until Marvel’s The Avengers hit theaters, and shattered records, that most people took notice of the S.H.I.E.L.D. symbol. Over the years, the symbol has changed, as has the meaning of the acronym, but one thing has always remained – the eagle. Like any good government office, the eagle is front and center.
The S.H.I.E.L.D. symbol not only looks great, and immediately stands out, it also tells the reader or viewer what to expect. These guys are feds, notsome standard superheroes. These are government officials, and the logo looks ripped from modern Washington, DC. Honestly, if there was a branch of law enforcement that decided to use this logo today, no one would bat an eye.
13/15 IRON FIST
Fittingly, Iron Fist is an example of a superhero that gets overshadowed by a really cool symbol. The dragon logo that Danny Rand wears proudly is so iconic and neat, that it almost makes up for the fact that Danny Rand wears it. The coolness of the symbol, and the mythology behind it, is a big reason why everyone was hyped for the recent Netflix series. That is, until you realize it’s about Danny Rand and no symbol can cover the stench of inherent failure.
That being said, the symbol is iconic. There’s no other character around that could wear that symbol and get away with it. Mystical and foreign in nature, the curved dragon looks ripped from Asian martial arts history. Yet, unfortunately, some rich white kid gets to wear it in the Marvel Universe. Go figure.
12/15 BLACK WIDOW
With a name like Black Widow, it’s obvious which direction you would go with the symbol. However, it’s the way the symbol fits the character that puts it over the top. As an assassin, you’re not going to wear some flashy costume with a hugely elaborate symbol. It needs to be clean, simple and effective. Even if you don’t read comics, if you see the Black Widow symbol, you know immediately to not mess around with her.
The popularity of the symbol has taken off in recent years thanks to actress Scarlett Johansson and the MCU. Now, you have fans, who might not have ever read a comic, sport the symbol on clothing and other apparel thanks to the popularity of the character in film. As the MCU continues its dominance, and if the studioever gives us ourBlack Widow movie, then you can expect the symbol to jointhe other elite superhero symbols.
11/15 GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY
The Guardians of the Galaxy were an oft-forgotten team in the Marvel Universe before 2014’s unexpected hitfilm debuted and blew everyone’s mind. Now, three years and one sequel later, the Guardians symbol is instantly recognizable. With a collection of eclectic characters, it’s hard to give thislook any sort of cohesion, but with the Guardians patch, you immediately know who they are.
Popularity aside, it’s a really cool symbol. The star in the middle lets you know the Guardians are an otherworldly team, while the fire looks like… well, it looks like fire and fire is almost always awesome. Honestly, this is a logo that works so well that you could put this on a collared shirt and wear it every day, and people would probably compliment you.
10/15 IRON MAN
Iron Man has a very interesting “symbol.” Unlike Batman or Superman, where the symbol is very much superhero-y, and shown right on their chest, Iron Man doesn’t really have a big symbol. However, since his arc reactor is smack dab in the middle of his chest, it’s just chosen as his symbol by default. And you know what? It’s pretty awesome.
Iron Man is about a genius who, due to health issues, has to build a suit of armor to save his life. The arc reactor sums up the origin story perfectly. If you’ve seen the Iron Man films, or read his books, you know what the arc reactor means to the character. Plus, the look of the symbol gives off a technology vibe, which instantly tells you about what to expect with Iron Man. Overall, it might not be a classic-looking superhero symbol, but it’s definitely one of the best and most popular at Marvel.
You can’t really give The Avengers’ symbol points for creativity. Sure, in hindsight, it looks great and is insanely popular, but let’s be real, it’s just the letter “A.” But there’s something about that damn letter “A” that gets people excited and has become iconic in pop culture.
Now, all kidding aside, there are some design elements that separate the symbol from just a normal “A.” Thecircle surrounding itsasymmetrical design is also interesting, culminating in its center at the evocative arrow-tip point. Frankly, we’re not really sure what the arrow is for, but it sure does look neat. This list might have more creative symbols, but there’s no denying that the “A” is one of the most popular in all of pop culture.
Historically, none of the X-Men costumes are individuallythat recognizable. Most of Marvel’s mutants have changed looks throughout the years, and outside of the “X,” there’s not really much that stands out. Even a character like Wolverine, one of Marvel’s most popular, doesn’t truly have his own symbol. But Jean Grey, aka Phoenix, has a symbol and it’s great.
The Phoenix symbol could have been horrible. If you just Google search “phoenix,” you’ll end up with these horribly elaborate designs. But when Marvel created a symbol for itsown Phoenix, the publisherwent super simple and it works very well. So popular and recognizable is the symbol that it has lived on even after the multiple deaths of Jean Grey. We’ve seen multiple characters wear it, and we’ve seen all different types of color combinations. Through all of the changes, that symbol has become iconic.
Daredevil has gone through many costume changes throughout the years. Some are great, like the famous red suit, while others are horrible, as in the (at best)divisive‘90s armored suit. However, since early on, the one constant has been the double-“D” symbol.
Yes, we know that he used to have a single “D” on his chest, but once they added the second “D,” even though grammatically it doesn’t make sense, they never turned back. Much like the Avengers symbol, the double-“D” symbol is simple, yet effective. It’s the most Superman-ish of all the symbols on this list. While it may not make sense for the character to wear the double-“D” symbol on his chest, considering he’s a blind, ninja vigilante and all, it still looks undeniably badass.
Before everyone gets all upset, yes, Deadpool has a very cool symbol. The high ranking of the symbol is in no small part related to the characters incredible popularity. Deadpool’s now-famous symbol has risen to the level of popularity where people are wearing it on t-shirts and maybe haven’t seen his movie or read a comic. It’s just that popular. But let’s be real, it’s kinda weird.
Why would a superhero wear a stylized version of his own mask as his belt buckle? Well, because Deadpool, we guess. So sure, it'smore than a little silly, but that’s what makes it work. Deadpool is weirdby nature,so of course he would wear his mask as a belt buckle. However, before you get upset about our rating here, just go through your favorite superheroes and imagine them wearing a stylized version of their mask as their belt buckle. It’sjust something that not a lot of folks could pull off, and that's got to count for something!
5/15 FANTASTIC FOUR
As we climb the rankings, there’s one thing that starts to become apparent – simplicity is key. The best superhero symbols take the essence of the character(s) and boil it down to its base. So, if you have four characters with super powers, who always talk about the importance of family and being a team, you give them the number 4 as their symbol. That’s exactly what happened with the Fantastic Four.
What better way to design the symbol for the Fantastic Four, but to give them a numerical symbol to link them together?Unlike criticisms for Daredevil and Avengers, the 4 isn’t just an afterthought, it actuallysums up what it means to be part of the team. Honestly, this is so iconic, you could even publish a Marvel book called “The 4” and take out “Fantastic” and people would instantly know who you mean.
More than any other symbol on this list, the Punisher’s skull symbol is perhaps the most widely known to non-comic book fans. Take a look at cars driving by, people’s clothing and Army soldiers’ bags. You’ll see the skull. It’s simplya symbol that has not only transcended the character, but also the whole medium in general.
To top it off, the skull is a damn good symbol. The Punisher is all about killing, right? So, obviously, a skull would be the symbol of choice. It represents death and looks amazing on his chest. It’s almost perfect in its simplicity of design and evocative terror. The only drawback is how live-action adaptations tend to shy away from using the big white skull. Given Frank Castle’s backstory, he probably wouldn’t want to draw much attention to himself, But you know what? Thatskull rocks!
3/15 CAPTAIN AMERICA
Captain America’s shield is one of the most iconic superhero accessories in all of comics. Without the shield, Cap would just look silly. Sure, over the decades, the shield has changed designs quite a bit, but it’s the iconic circle that serves not only as his weapon of choice, but also his star-spangled calling card.
The shield is about as perfect a symbol as you can have in a superhero comic book. What makes it better than most othersis how he can actually throw it at people’s faces. Other than Batman, there’s no one in comics that can do that. Even someone as iconic as Superman can attempt it in one of his movies, but it just looks ridiculous. The design is also incredible. Clearly, the star and the red, white and blue color scheme sums up the character.
It seems like forever ago, but before Iron Man became a household name in 2008, the biggest franchise in all of Marvel Comics was the X-Men. To this day, the X-Men feature some of the most popular characters in all of comics. And when you think of the look of the X-Men, you think of the “X” symbol.
That“X” is iconic. It’s symmetrical,plain and simple, and there is no denying its unmistakable presence in pop culture. With the huge success of the X-Men film series, you can see tons of X-Men toys and accessories proudly sporting the “X.” Even when the costumes of the X-Men were drastically altered in the films, the symbol was still seen throughout. That just shows you how important the design is to the characters.
Could there be any other #1? When you think of the Marvel Universe, you think of Spider-Man. He’s the publisher'smost important character, and for decades, has been one of itsmost popular. In fact, theteen from Queens that gets bitten by a radioactive spider is one of the most recognized characters from all of fiction. Without a doubt, one of the reasons Peter Parker is so popular is the look of the character, which is fully embodied inthe famous spider symbol.
While the look of the spider has changed over the years, the black spider on the chest of Spider-Man is by far the most iconic symbol in all of Marvel Comics. It’s clean and simple, instantly recognizable, and has transcended comics to become one of the most popular symbols in the world. As something on par with Supes and Bats over at DC, there was never anydoubt thatonewould top our list.
Which Marvel superhero symbol is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!
When it comes to MCU fans, three iconic characters share first place with 78% of votes: Spider-Man, Iron Man and Thor. The Hulk and Captain America follow.
1. Steve Rogers (Captain America)
- Spider-Man (5,100,000 average monthly Google searches)
- Batman (3,400,000 average monthly Google searches)
- Superman (2,000,000 average monthly Google searches)
- Captain America (1,900,000 average monthly Google searches)
- Hulk (1,800,000 average monthly Google searches)
While the look of the spider has changed over the years, the black spider on the chest of Spider-Man is by far the most iconic symbol in all of Marvel Comics.
- 6/10 Spider-Man Brought His Sense Of Humor To The Avengers.
- 5/10 Wolverine Is A Cool Bad Boy.
- 4/10 Sam Wilson Became More Than He Ever Imagined He'd Be.
- 3/10 Steve Rogers May Not Seem Cool But He Has It In Spades.
- 2/10 Luke Cage Became An Avengers Leader.
- 1/10 Hawkeye Has Always Been The Coolest Avenger.
- The Hulk.
- Iron Man.
- Captain America. Spider-Man came out well in front of the other Avengers with his name being most searched in 67% of the countries researched.
Hulk has traditionally been seen as the strongest Avenger physically — and for good reason, though he's been subdued by both Iron Man and Thor. Then he got wrecked in the opening scene of "Infinity War" and we haven't seen him fight since.
- Arishem. One of the Celestials, Arishem the Judge is a being of such immense power that humans can only vaguely grasp what he's actually capable of.
- Eternity. ...
- Dormammu. ...
- He Who Remains. ...
- Thanos. ...
- Scarlet Witch. ...
- Captain Marvel. ...
- Thor. ...
- Doctor Doom. ...
- Kitty Pryde. ...
- Captain America. ...
- Thanos. ...
- The Thing. ...
- She-Hulk. ...
Created by Lee Falk (USA), the first superhero was The Phantom, who debuted in his own newspaper comic strip on 17 Feb 1936. It recounted the adventures of Kit Walker, who donned a mask and purple outfit to become The Phantom – aka “the ghost who walks”.
God (One Above All)
The One Above All is the ultimate source of life and creation and the architect/creator of the Multiverse and everything that exists. The One Above All has stated that its "only weapon is love", which was further stated by the Watcher.
The well-known Avengers logo with the “A,” aka the “Big A” symbol, was designed by Gaspar Saladino, a renowned Marvel letterer, and introduced in 1972. It became the starting point for the Avengers symbol featured in the Avengers movie series created by Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The original Timely Comics logo was a red-white-and-blue medieval European heater shield, and was designed by Publisher Martin Goodman. It looked like Captain America's first shield from his first comics, and it was one of the company's bestsellers.
- 8) She-Hulk. ...
- 7) The Hulk. ...
- 6) Valkyrie. (Marvel Entertainment) ...
- 5) Thor Odinson. (Marvel Entertainment) ...
- 4) Doctor Strange. (Marvel Entertainment) ...
- 3) Spider-Man. (Marvel Entertainment) ...
- 2) Captain Marvel. (Marvel Entertainment) ...
- 1) Scarlet Witch. (Marvel Entertainment)
Captain America served as the leader of the team for most of the iterations of the Avengers. While other characters took on the role of chairperson, Captain America was always there to lend his strategic advice in the field.
Cap is one of the few mortals able to not only lift Mjolnir but wield its full power, making him someone who can beat Thor. Assuming the reason for their battle is because Thor is possessed or tricked, Cap would be able to use Mjolnir against him.
Whether it is Bradley Cooper's outstanding voice acting, the little tree he adopted, or the ears, Rocket Raccoon has a lot of things no other Avenger in the MCU can quite match — including lots of beautiful Fan Art. The most handsome Avenger in the MCU.
No one in the MCU is smarter than Tony Stark. He created a genocidal A.I. that almost led to the end of the world, and then created another artificial intelligence — a more peaceful, level-headed one — to destroy it.
As this graphic indicates, Peter Parker's alter ego Spider-Man is America's favorite member of the Avengers group. The Incredible Hulk, the green skinned colossus with an anger management problem, ranks second.
While Scarlet Witch has been shown to be one of the most powerful beings in the Marvel Universe, her greatest weakness proves Spider-Man can beat her.
For unexplained reasons, Thor remains the only one able to lift the hammer in this universe despite Odin never shown enchanting it with the "worthy" spell. Mjolnir returns in Thor: Love and Thunder (2022) with Jane Foster wielding a reconstructed version of the hammer.
Wanda Maximoff, the Scarlet Witch, is known by many to be the most powerful character in the Marvel universe, but Thor could actually beat her in a fight, according to a theory. Throughout WandaVision and Doctor Strange 2, the Scarlet Witch shows off her impressive magical abilities.
Depending on what comic book line you're reading, he also goes by the name The Presence in DC. Nothing can ever beat The One Above All.
Thanos isn't a cosmic being; instead, he's just another mortal who's very hard to kill. Therefore, Korvac is someone who is stronger than Thanos and sits above him in the pecking order.
The Beyonder and the One-Above-All are godlike beings in the Marvel Universe, but one is definitely a more supreme being. Both the Beyonder and the One-Above All have a decent claim to being the strongest character in the Marvel Universe.
- 8 Doctor Octopus.
- 7 Apocalypse.
- 6 Thanos.
- 5 Dark Phoenix.
- 4 Loki.
- 3 Red Skull.
- 2 Magneto.
- 1 Doctor Doom.
The first supervillain ever to appear in Marvel Comics was Mole Man in Fantastic Four #1. Mole Man remains an iconic Marvel villain, mostly because he was the first.
(1938) History always points to "The Case of the Chemical Syndicate" from Detective Comics (Vol. 1) #27 (by Bill Finger and Bob Kane) as the premiere of DC's second superhero. What many don't know is another masked vigilante came to being seven issues before the Dark Knight.
Quicksilver, as his name implies, is really fast. His speed has been estimated well over 8500 miles per hour. To put that into perspective, even the fastest car in the world is only capable of achieving speeds of 301 miles per hour.
- Batman. It's difficult to think of any superhero who is loved more than Bruce Wayne's alter-ego. ...
- Superman. One of the most popular superheros today is still Superman. ...
- Spider-Man. ...
- Iron Man. ...
- Wolverine. ...
- Iron Man. ...
- Captain America. ...
- The Hulk.
|Rank||Superhero||% Share in Study|
- Elizabeth Olsen and Benedict Cumberbatch agreed that Chris Hemsworth is the most handsome MCU hero.
- They gushed about Hemsworth and called him "godly" in a new video for LADbible.
Not just the strongest in the Marvel universe, Captain Marvel is also labeled as the most beautiful superhero. The superhero with the real name of Carol Danvers is beautiful in the comic book, animation, and the movie. The actress that played Captain Marvel in MCU is Brie Larson.
It's a bird, it's a plane — it's Superman, earning the title of “America's favorite superhero,” according to new research. A survey of 2,000 Americans pinpointed respondents' favorite heroes, and Superman led the pack with 47 percent of the vote.
In Marvel Comics, Jesus is depicted as a reluctant man, feeling that his Father keeps asking more of him. Despite being the son of Elohim, Jesus has also been presented as a descendant of David, through Joseph (who is sometimes called "son of David").
A being of deadly reckoning, Gorr the God Butcher is hellbent on killing all the gods in the Universe.
In Ghost Riders: Heavens on Fire #6, Johnny Blaze states that since God created the Ghost Riders, only God can destroy them.
The design of his symbol is the Seal of the Vishanti, also called the “Window of the Worlds." For those who are unaware, the Vishanti are three benign, god-like, Principalities that exist in their own realm.
The emblem depicts a clenched fist, enclosed into a circular frame. There are two versions of the Hulk badge — with the fist placed vertically, and horizontally, pointing right. As for the color palette of the Hulk logo, it also features two variants — green fist on white background, or on a black one.
It's not a sword, it's the logo for SWORD, a counterpart to SHIELD, which in the comics, stands for Sentient World Observation and Response Department. But here, it's something a bit…
DC Comics was first released in 1934, making it five years older than Marvel. It was first published under National Allied Publications. It was changed to DC Comics much later in 1977, whose inspiration came from their popular series Detective Comics, which featured Batman.
The Marvel Superheroes (1966)
The first animated Marvel adaptation was an anthology series simply titled, "The Marvel Superheroes." The series starred five of Marvel's foremost heroes: Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, the Hulk, and Namor The Sub-Mariner.
The logo seemingly perfectly encapsulates Marvel Studios' love of effective marketing and fits as a proper celebration of the MCU's upcoming 10 year anniversary.
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Elon Reeve Musk is the CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX. As a businessman and engineer, he became acquainted with Tony Stark, Pepper Potts, and Deke Shaw.
Whose Show is This? Kevin Feige is the president of Marvel Studios and, since October 2019, Marvel's Chief Creative Officer.
Martin Goodman did indeed publish his first comic book in 1939 and it was called Marvel Comics, changed to Marvel Mystery Comics for its second issue. The book featured what would become two of the company's most iconic characters of the 1940s, the Human Torch and the Sub-Mariner.
Michael Giacchino has scored five MCU films, the most for any composer in the franchise, and composed the fanfare that has been used for the Marvel Studios production logo since 2016.
Iron Man Writer Says Elon Musk is Real-World Tony Stark Inspiration.
World's richest person and now the owner of Twitter, Elon Musk was spotted hanging out with another eccentric billionaire Tony Stark and his partner Pepper Potts. Yes, we're talking about Marvel's Iron Man franchise in which Musk made an appearance as himself.
He was last seen as Iron Man in Avengers: Endgame. Hollywood star Robert Downey Jr was once again asked about his possible return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe on the Joe Rogan podcast recently. However, the actor crushed his fans' dreams when he said that that is not likely to happen anytime soon.
In Infinity War, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) — accompanied by Groot and Rocket — travels to Nidavellir, where a new weapon is forged for him: an ax called Stormbreaker. The weapon comes courtesy of Eitri (Peter Dinklage), and it allows him to return to Earth just in time to help his friends in a battle in Wakanda.
Nonetheless, regardless of Captain Marvel's current power ranking, Feige has called her the "new face and leader of the Marvel Cinematic Universe." Captain Marvel only met the other Avengers in Avengers: Endgame, a film in which she had minimal screentime.
Hank Pym. A maverick biochemist who invented a serum that could do the impossible, Henry "Hank" Pym cemented his place among the greatest scientists who ever lived through his discovery of subatomic particles with size-altering properties which he refined into a chemical compound.
The first supervillain ever to appear in Marvel Comics was Mole Man in Fantastic Four #1. Mole Man remains an iconic Marvel villain, mostly because he was the first. However, as a villain, he brought little to the Marvel Universe.
Timely Comics, the precursor to Marvel Comics, was founded in 1939 by pulp magazine publisher Martin Goodman. In order to capitalize on the growing popularity of comic books, especially those starring superheroes, Goodman created Timely, which, after one other name change, became Marvel Comics in the early 1960s.
In the fight between Captain Marvel vs Superman, hand-to-hand combat is Superman's ultimate advantage, making him the winner. His punch is so powerful, and like Captain Marvel, he has the ability to levitate. Superman's incredible superpowers are limitless, thanks to the Earth's yellow sun and his DNA.
The logo seemingly perfectly encapsulates Marvel Studios' love of effective marketing and fits as a proper celebration of the MCU's upcoming 10 year anniversary.
In 1961 Lee and artist Jack Kirby created The Fantastic Four, about four astronauts who gain superpowers after a cosmic incident. The series made him and Atlas—now known as Marvel—major forces in the comics world.
You may have noticed that the Black Widow title carries a small, red hourglass-shaped symbol, which also appears in the film's promotional posters. The logo is not just a funky shape that Marvel came up with, but it's actually the same mark that the Black Widow spider carries on its abdomen.