Features
Superheroes & insignias


Date Posted: 06 May 2011

They say that clothes make a man, but for superheroes, the skin-tight spandex garment they wear as uniforms might not mean as much if they do not have a significant insignia or logo that serves as a trademark which represents their identity as vigilantes. With the upcoming superheroes month starting in May with "Thor", let's take a look at the first half of our top pick for most memorable superheroes insignia and symbols ever exist in this realm or another.


36. The Tick
Anyone who was born in the 70s & 80s would be familiar with this animated series and a well-known comic. The Tick was born from the creative brains of a cartoonist named Ben Edlund. The Tick's symbol is blatantly direct – a tick. Some of his super abilities include nigh-invulnerability, superhuman strength, "drama power," oxygen independency. It even spawned a live-action television series with Patrick Warburton ("Hoodwinked") as the lead role.

35. ThunderCats
A 1985 cartoon series which chronicles the adventures of a team of cat-like humanoid aliens from Planet Thundera. Consisted of Lion-O, Cheetara, Panthro, Tygra, WilyKit and WilyKat, and Snarf, the "Thundercats" engage in countless battles against a mummified sorcerer named Mumm-Ra. This animated series also has its very own comics by Marvel Comics, Marvel US and a sourcebook by DC Comics.

34. Freakazoid!
An American television series created by Steven Spielberg, Bruce Timm and Paul Dini during the animation renaissance between the late 1980s and early 1990s. Freakazoid, who is the superhero alter ego of a geeky sixteen-year-old high-schooler, gained his abilities from a computer bug (becoming absorbed into his computer and instantly gaining all the information on the Internet). His super powers include enhanced strength and endurance, extraordinary speed, agility, and negligible amounts of sanity.

33. Danger Mouse
Danger Mouse is a one-eyed English mouse who works as a superhero/secret service a.k.a British Intelligence. A loose parody of spy fiction in particular, James Bond, the action mouse has an insignia of his initials patched on his chest. Besides adapted into a comic series, this 1981 animation series also has a few video games titles under its belt.

32. X-Men
The famous group of super mutants from Marvel has had several different adaptations that spanned over an almost five decades. X-Men started out on the blanks of 1963's comic pages before being adapted to three different animated series, four films and a few video games as well as novels. The symbol X, significant to the team's initials has been improvised from the plastic-like symbol in the 1990s animation series to the metal-isque logo as featured in the motion picture adaptations.

31. Zorro
Old Spanish's equivalent to Batman's caped crusading hero uses the trademark Z, his initial no doubt, as his symbol. He is sly and swift like a fox, just like his name (For those who does not know, 'Zorro' is actually 'Fox' in Spanish) suggests. Spawning a few television series with Guy Williams as the title character in the 1950s and quite a handful of film adaptations with two of them featuring Latino actor Antonio Banderas as the new generation Zorro, the masked vigilante has become a literature icon that ranges from every mediums possible. His trademark is to leave an imprint of the letter 'Z' slashed onto his opponent's shirt to made a statement of his presence.

30. Æon Flux
This avant-garde MTV super heroine represents her insignia with a one-eyed logo in a pyramid. This might or might not be hinting at a rather deep Freemason conspiracy with the chosen logo but even the film adaptation, starring Charlize Theron as the titular character still goes with the same insignia for the skilled assassin. Set in a dystopian world, Flux is an underground rebel determined to save her world and its humanity. Or what was left of it.

29. Captain Planet
A famous superhero created to promote awareness towards the environment, Captain Planet is summoned by the combined powers of five ring-bearers, also known as Planeteers, who were personally chosen by Mother Earth Gaia. Consisting of Kwame from Africa, Wheeler from North America, Linka from Soviet Union, Gi from Asia and Ma-Ti from South America, the five youths will be able to call upon Captain Planet when situations that they could not solve occur in the environment. Captain Planet's symbol is defined by none other than the globe itself.

28. Danny Phantom
After accidentally activating his parents' supernatural portal called the Ghost Zone, Danny Fenton got his DNA infused with ectoplasm turning him into a half-human, half-ghost entity that has super powers ranging from flight abilities, invisibility, to other powers such as ghost ray, ghostly wail and Cryokinesis. Just like most superheroes, his symbol is represented with his own initials, DP, as in his ghost alter-ego Danny Phantom.

27. The Phantom
Just like the shadows in the night, The Phantom is started after the death of the father to a British Sailor named Christopher Walker who swore to fight evil. From the creative brains of cartoonist Lee Falk, The Phantom is a legacy that is passed down from generations to generations. The Phantom however, does not have supernatural powers of any kind, but relies on his strength, intellect and fearsome reputation of being an immortal ghost to defeat his opponents. His insignia, which can be seen from the emblem on his belt, is of a triangle with a skull.

26. V For Vendetta
V is a masked anarchist, written by Alan Moore, who works to destroy the totalitarian government and well-versed in the arts of explosives, subterfuge and computer hacking. With a trademark Guy Fawkes mask always on his face to cover his real identity, V is the only survivor of an experiment in which four dozen prisoners were given injections of a compound called "Batch 5." The compound caused vast cellular anomalies that eventually killed all of the subjects except V, who developed advanced strength, reflexes, endurance and pain tolerance. His symbol is often represented with a 'V' in a circle.

25. Watchmen
Another one of Alan Moore's works, Watchmen is a group of (anti-)heroes akin to DC's Justice League and Marvel's The Avengers. The series depicts an alternate history where superheroes emerged in the 1940s and 1960s, helping the United States to win the Vietnam War. Consisting of five main heroes; Ozymandias, Silk Spectre II, Nite Owl, Doctor Manhattan and Rorschach, the Watchmen tries to go to the root of a conspiracy trying to take costumed adventurers. Their symbol although undeniably cute – of a yellow round smiley – gets a darker nuance with a splat of blood on it.

24. Keluang Man2
Keluang Man is a comical Malaysian superhero who is based on a bat fruit, a silly but loveable approach towards Malaysia's very own Batman with an almost similar costume design. It is one of the most enjoyed television shows by the Malaysian household in 1999 and the years after until its production stopped in 2002 due to an unknown reason. Keluang Man's alter-ego is actually a mental patient named Borhan in Tumpoi (Tampoi), Johore who has to fight for justice during the night due to the tight security at the hospital. His insignia is a hot pink triangle mask design that he wears proudly on his chest.

23. Cicakman
The first life-action Malaysian comical superhero created by homegrown artistic talents which is entirely based on a very famous household reptile; gecko. A total zero at the beginning of the story, Cicakman had only been a loser lab technician who receives extraordinary powers of a gecko after he accidentally drank a coffee which is contaminated by a virus-infected gecko. His insignia is clear-cut and direct; of a gecko what else.

22. Spawn
Spawn, whose real persona is Albert Francis 'Al' Simmons, is a comic book superhero created by Todd McFarlane. His story begins when he was murdered during a mission and sent to hell, where he made a pact with the devil Malebolgia to serve him as a hellspawn if he is allowed to see his wife Wanda for one last time. After finding out that his wife had moved on in five years after his death (the time in hell moves slower than earth), Al decides to utilise his magical powers to take down street gangs and organised crime rings. Spawn's powers include superhuman strength, speed, durability and endurance, immortality (obviously), flight, magical abilities, teleportation, shape-shifting, regenerative healing factor and many more. He even wears a living symbiotic costume capable of evolving according to his will.

21. Marvelman
Marvelman is a 1954 comic book superhero whose abilities include superhuman strength, speed and stamina, flight, invulnerability, force fields, concussive energy blasts. Originally named as Captain Marvel but re-changed due to a lawsuit by DC Comics due to similarities with the DC superhero, Marvelman is 'born' when a young reported named Micky Moran encounters an astrophysicist who gives Marvelman his superpowers based on atomic energy. His symbol is of the initials of his superhero name, in a red-colour circle.

20. The Green Hornet
The Green Hornet started out as a normal masked vigilante in comic books and radio shows in 1936. From there, the Hornet gets his very own television series with the legendary Bruce Lee playing Kato, the Hornet's faithful side-kick before being followed by few movie adaptations between 1994 until 2011. The Green Hornet might only be a mere mortal with no special powers but just like the less good-looking version of Bruce Wayne/Batman, Green Hornet/Britt Reid is a master detective and martial artist with high-level intelligence. His insignia is no doubt represented by a green-coloured Hornet.

19. HellBoy
Hellboy is a demon who is brought down to earth as an infant by Nazi occultists and he was raised by a human scientist who taught him about humanity. His powers include superhuman strength, accelerated healing factor, extended life span and an invulnerable Right Hand of Doom due to his unearthly origins. Hellboy fights for the BPRD which also stands for Bureau For Paranormal Research And Defense and his symbol is presented by BPRD's symbol, a hand holding a medieval sword with a little triangle.

18. Venom
The anti-hero of the Spiderman universe, Venom becomes the Spidey's on-and-off arch nemesis throughout the entire series. Between all four hosts, perhaps the most significant one would be the Symbiote's second human host, Eddie Brock, who is actually the first host to use the name 'Venom'. Venom grants its host all the super powers from its first ever host; Spiderman and it greatly enhances the physical attributes of its host. Limited shape-shifting is also included that would be a level above of Spidey's sensitive senses as it is undetectable. Venom's logo can be identified by an elongated spider with a pair of elongated chelicerae and it uses a black-and-white colour scheme.
Writer: Anne Jamaludin




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