So yeah: Avengers is the new X-Men, so it makes sense that Marvel would want a new batch of Avengers-related titles on the stands, so here we have the Marvel NOW! books from Captain America, Hulk, Iron Man and Thor.

First up, is Rick Remender and John Romita, Jr.’s Captain America. The logo here’s a mish-mash of the condensed letterforms of the Captain America: The First Avenger logotype in “AMERICA”; the blockier type for “CAPTAIN” looks a little like a thinned-out version of the Captain America: The Winter Soldier logotype; and the striping is reminiscent of the "classic" Cap logo. But instead of looking as nice as any one of those, we get this wonky-looking Franken-mess that looks like something you’d see on a Slurpee cup in 1983 before Marvel saw it and stepped in and supplied them with a legitimate logo. There’s no customization to any of the letterforms here, which wouldn’t be a huge problem if the font choice wasn’t so all-around poor, with the “C”s and “A”s smooshing together, an ugly “R” in “AMERICA”, and some weird spacing between the “P” and “T”. With both of those movie logos I linked to, there’s plenty to crib from, but this seems so flat and dull and hastily-composed that I’m just flummoxed. The only thing going for it is the kitschy red, white and blue color scheme, and even that manages to come across as trite here.

Next up is Mark Waid and Leinil Yu’s Indestructible Hulk, a logo that just makes me wanna barf so hard you guys. First off, where in the hell are the Marvel designers getting their fonts from? These are the weirdest typefaces I have ever seen. Why is the x-height on the “HULK” font so high? Why is it this tall, kind of bold condensed font and not something more squat and muscly and tough? This is the most generic thing I have ever seen. It looks like it was put together by someone who had never really heard of the Hulk and they just ran it through whatever that rocky surface/dirty leather Photoshop effect and were like, “Okay, whatever.” And then, two days later, went back and slapped that “#1” on there, too because the greens don’t match at all. Like, I just … I … what the hell am I even looking at? This is a character that was the runaway star of the summer’s biggest movie and this is what you’re going out there to attract new readers with? Guh. I’m just … I can’t go on, I’ll go on.

Next we have Kieron Gillen and Greg “Google Image Search” Land’s Iron Man. Again: generic-looking composition, Photoshop effect, but this still manages to come out better than Captain America or that embarrassing Hulk logo. Still loads of wasted opportunity, though and nowhere in the vicinity of a successful execution. I don’t understand why, when they have very successful major motion pictures that “normal people” recognize, they’re not leaning more heavily on those designs for their inspiration. Or maybe they are and this is just how close they can get to replicating them and that is depressing.

Finally, we have the Thor: God of Thunder logo for the Jason Aaron/Esad Ribic relaunch, which does the smart thing and latches onto a logo that works and just updates it/runs it through a Photoshop filter. In this case, it’s the logo first debuted a few issues into Walt Simonson’s legendary run that they added a brushed metallic texture onto as well as a few gradients. The “GOD OF THUNDER” font is a little goofy and that drop shadow/stroke isn’t helping it read any easier, but, you know, whatever.

Next up, we’ll look at the Li’l Avengers books: Avengers Arena and Young Avengers. In the meantime, call your mother. She worries about you.

DESIGN AND/OR COMICS.


Curated by Dylan Todd.

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