Monday, April 27, 2009

Logo Study -- The Atom And Hawkman

This is the second in our series of Hawkman Logo Studies, taking a look at the various logos which the Winged Wonder has been heralded on the covers of comics over the years.  The first installment can be found right here, and the series itself is inspired by Todd Klein's in-depth logo studies over on his blog.

In late 1968, after four years and 27 issues, DC pulled the plug on Volume 1 of Hawkman.  Instead of canning the feature altogether, Hawkman and Hawkgirl instead would shift over to fellow low-selling title The Atom, in an attempt to combine two lagging features into one better-selling package.  The experiment didn't succeed, and just seven issues later the combined title was cancelled.  

The logo designed for the title does not offer much argument against that fate, unfortunately.  The very nifty logo for The Atom is pretty close to it's previous look, including the oversized A.  The solid, blocky letters and the drop-shadow work nicely together, and give a sort of modernist, science-y feel which is appropriate to the Tiny Titan.  The Hawkman side of the equation, however, does not fare as well..

Gone are the subtle "wingtips" I talked about for the first logo, replaced with the similar block letters to Atom's logo.  A drop-shadow is added as well.  The first weird element which stands out to me is that the logo is no longer straight: there is a gentle slops to the top of the letters.  This slope, combined with the above-center bar on the H and the low bars on the As gives the logo a sort of hand-drawn look which I don't like.   The drop-shadow on the K is very ungainly, forming a big block behind the letter instead of following the angles like on the As and W.  Overall, the logo looks fairly amateurish and rushed, which isn't too surprising considering that this was a pretty last ditch effort by DC.

Not all is bad though: I for one really like the tagline above the logo.  "The Titan and The Fury" is a great phrase to describe the two heroes.  I like how "Titan" is presented in similar block letters (though italicized) to Atom's logo, while "Fury" is in more "primal," less formal letterings.  In fact, had Hawkman's logo been done in this sort of style, playing up the contrasts between the two characters, I think it would have worked better.  Of course, had the title been a combination of Atom and Hawkman's respective logos, that too would have demonstrated the contrasts and kept a recognizable logo for Hawkman.  But that's neither here nor there.

All told, this is not a very memorable logo, and it did not last a long time.  It served it's purpose for the short time it was in service, but little more.  Fortunately, DC would move away from this style in the future.  

Image: The Atom And Hawkman logo (from #41), 1969, Ira Schnap?


Diabolu Frank said...

It looks like they just slapped Atom's logo on Hawkman. Partnership foul!

Luke said...

Pretty much, yeah. Maybe I will play around in Paintshop and see if I can improve on it.