Logo Study: AMALGAM COMICS Part 4

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All images © DC Comics, Inc. and Marvel Characters, Inc.

The Marvel Amalgam titles from 1997 are the focus of the final part of my logo study, beginning with this one, combining DC’s CHALLENGERS OF THE UNKNOWN with Marvel’s FANTASTIC FOUR.

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I submitted two versions to Marvel for their consideration. The one above combined the original logos from each team:

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The first Challengers logo by Ira Schnapp…

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…and the FF logo by Sol Brodsky and Artie Simek.

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The other submission featured the most recent Challs logo, designed by me…

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…and an FF logo I created for Marvel’s licensing department in 1994:

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As you can see, they chose the second design. I liked them both, but the one used had a more modern and serious feel, which is what they seemed to want. Stylistically it also blended better, and the fade-away telescoping effect helped tie it together. That was a computer effect I was partial to at the time, created in a program called KPT Vector Effects, which I’d still be using if it hadn’t been discontinued before the move to Mac’s OS X platform. Some of the effects can be imitated in newer versions of Adobe Illustrator, but not that one, and none of them as easily. Wish someone would bring it back.

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1996’s mash-up of X-MEN and DOOM PATROL made a second appearance in this title, for which only the top line was added to the logo, and not by me. Looks like Comicraft, who also did the cover lettering, I think.

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Next is this title combining IRON MAN and GREEN LANTERN. I again submitted two designs. Here’s the first:

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It was based on the Iron Man logo by Ken Lopez…

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…but without the rivets and telescoping, and putting the Green Lantern symbol in the O. I followed a similar plan with the second version:

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This combined the Iron Man logo I had designed for Jim Lee’s WildStorm run…

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…with the original Ira Schnapp silver age Green Lantern logo:

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As you can see in the note and additions to the sketch, Marvel wanted the flaming outline, too. The letterforms of LANTERN are similar to the Schnapp ones, but squared-off and beveled to match the ones on IRON.

I’m not sure why, but I don’t really like the way this logo turned out. If I were given another chance, I think I would remove the rivets and slant the whole thing, or tilt it or something. Right now it just kind of sits there.

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This team combining Magneto and the Metal Men made a return visit with a rearranged title. Once again it was way too long, forcing Marvel to compress the logo (especially the top line) vertically in a way that’s not very attractive. Here’s the way it looked when I sent it in:

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I liked the thin line running through the heavy borders of MAGNETO. I think Marvel made it a little thicker so it showed up better. The logo as printed is okay, but could have been much better if only the title were shorter.

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But if you want to see a REALLY too-long title, how about this one, combining my previous SPIDER-BOY logo from 1996 (itself mixing Superman and Spider-Man) with Marvel’s TEAM UP title, DC’s LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES…

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…Marvel’s GALACTIC GUARDIANS…

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…and their 2099 titles, using some lettering I did for that (just the 2099 part), as seen here:

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Do you get the feeling they were trying to cram in every possible team and group that hadn’t been covered yet? Yikes.

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Thankfully, saner heads prevailed before the title hit the cover, and the second section was placed below, as if it were cover lettering, allowing the first part room to grow at the top. I’m still liking that Spider-Boy logo here, doesn’t matter what else you put around it, it works quite well (he said modestly.)

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The final Amalgam title was this one, combining Marvel’s THOR with Jack Kirby’s NEW GODS, published by DC. A good idea, as the concepts were both created visually by Kirby, and had a similar cosmic approach. For the logo I combined the THOR logo I had created for Marvel…

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…with the original NEW GODS one:

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It’s a long title again, but works pretty well despite that. The funny thing is, I’ve never been happy with the final look of that THOR logo, and I see now it’s the way it gets wider at the bottom that bothers me. I think when I did it originally I showed it in several configurations, and that’s the one they chose, but seeing THORION again without that spread, the letterforms work much better to my eye.

It was fun while it lasted, and provided me with a good amount of work and income, but no further Amalgam titles were produced after these. I guess they’re artifacts of their time, a time when Marvel and DC were able to work together and have fun with their pantheons. Maybe more will come again someday.

More chapters and other logo studies on my LOGO LINKS page.

5 thoughts on “Logo Study: AMALGAM COMICS Part 4

  1. patrick foster

    Boy, I miss Vector Effects, too. Great report on the logos.. have you considered assessing the Tangent line? I still cling to my copies; the graphic design of the books was exceptionally slick. I remember being blown away the first time I saw them, and I’m still impressed by the work, even though its a little too trendy-dated now.

  2. Todd Post author

    The Tangent line was, I believe, entirely designed by Rian Hughes. I might look at it someday, but only with Rian’s cooperation, and really, he’d be a better person to do it himself.

  3. Isaac B2

    Wow, that’s *your* work? Awesome! I’ve never seen some of these, other than covers… been trying to get my hands on Iron Lantern for some time. Nice work here, Todd — glad I stumbled on to your site!

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