Background: This incarnation of Marvel was founded in 1996, when Marvel signed an agreement with 20th Century Fox to bring some of their properties to the big screen. Marvel would eventually license their properties to other studios, such as Warner Bros./New Line Cinema (for Blade), Universal Studios (forIncredible Hulk), 20th Century Fox (for X-Men, Daredevil, Elektra, and Fantastic Four), Paramount Pictures (for Iron Man and The Avengers), Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures Entertainment (for Spider-Man and Ghost Rider), and the mini-major studio Lionsgate Films (for The Punisher) for films and TV. On August 31, 2009, The Walt Disney Company acquired Marvel; the transaction was finalized on December 31. However, due to grandfathered contracts, Columbia & Fox still retain their Spider-Man, X-Men and Fantastic Four film licenses; the rest reverted back to Disney. Ironically, Disney has the rights to the Marvel Productions library due to their acquisition of Fox Family Worldwide eight years before the purchase.
1st Logo (May 3rd, 2002-)
Nicknames: "The Zoom Out Flipbook of Marvel's Action Comics"
Logo: On a red-filtered background, we see a series of Marvel comic book panels flipping downward second by second like a flipbook. "MARVEL", now in its current logo type, zooms out, fading in as a black outline. As the panels fade into a simple red gradient background, the "MARVEL" logo fades into a solid white color. As the background is finished, "MARVEL" continues to zoom away as the logo fades out.
Trivia: This logo was made by Prologue Studios & Imaginary Forces.
- Sometimes this logo is customized for whichever Marvel character(s) is/are shown, such as Hulk, Fantastic Four, and The Punisher (a la Hanna-Barbera's All-Stars logo). In addition, again depending on whichever character(s) are shown, the background is sometimes a different color other than red (i.e., on Hulk, the background is green, and on the Fantastic Four movies, the background is blue).
- A short/sped-up version of this logo was seen at the end of Spider Man: The New Animated Series.
- Starting with Iron Man in 2008, the logo was given an "enhanced" look, and more animation was added: A line draws itself underneath the logo, which then splits into another line and the word "STUDIOS" spreads out. The line and the word lower them below the original line.
- There is a warp-speed version on Iron Man: Armored Adventures.
- There is also a variant for Marvel Knights Animation on a black background.
- Starting with Marvel's The Avengers, "MARVEL" is enclosed in a white rectangle. This was also seen on The Amazing Spider-Man, Iron Man 3, and early episodes of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
- A closing variant was introduced at the end of Marvel's The Avengers, which has the logo zoomed in and completely still.
- An in-credit variant is seen at the end of all 20th Century Fox-distributed Marvel films.
FX/SFX: The pages flipping downward, the forming and zooming of the Marvel logo.
Music/Sounds: None, the movie's opening theme, the end-title theme from any show, or the sound of pages flipping.
Availability: Common. It's seen on all Marvel-based movies, TV shows, and video games from 2002 onward, beginning with the first film in the original Spider-Man film series. After the next logo's introduction, the only Marvel films still using this logo are those that remain outside of Disney/Marvel Studios' control: the pre-Homecoming Spider-Man movies, still controlled by Columbia, and the X-Men and Fantastic Four movies, still controlled by 20th Century Fox.
Scare Factor: None. It's a favorite of many.
2nd Logo (October 22, 2013-May 2016)
Nicknames: "The Letters"
- Opening: Same concept as the previous logo. Red-filtered Marvel comic book panels are still flipping downward, only this time, it zooms out to reveal white shapes. The comic panels fade into white and the shapes are flipped 180 degrees upward to reveal the white shapes are the letters of "MARVEL" in its current logotype. The letters are in CGI, inside a white rectangle, and the word "STUDIOS" appears below in silver.
- Closing: Just a still shot of the completed logo.
Variants: A shortened version, without the word "STUDIOS", appears on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
FX/SFX: The pages flipping downward, the zooming, and the CGI letters.
Music/Sounds: A dramatic fanfare composed by Brian Tyler.
Availability: Rare. Appears on Marvel Studios movies of the time (from Thor: The Dark World to Captain America: Civil War) and TV shows.
Scare Factor: None.
3rd Logo (July 2016 -)
Nicknames: "Marvel's Iconic Comics, Heroes and Movies"
- Opening: We start out with the first seconds of the previous logo, as the camera starts zooming back. Then, they fade into bits of script from Marvel movies accompanied by characters from them (in order: Iron Man, Hulk, Black Panther, Black Widow, Ant-Man, Star-Lord (From Guardians of the Galaxy), Thor, and Captain America), culminating with a shot of Captain America throwing his shield. This fades into footage of the past Marvel Studios films (From Iron Man to Captain America: Civil War) being projected onto what is revealed after a camera fly-by to be the word "MARVEL" in its iconic logotype, now carved in a silver rectangle. As the camera zooms out, the footage and background fade into solid red and two lines next to "MARVEL" expand outward to reveal "STUDIOS".
- Closing: Just a still shot of the completed logo, but everything is white instead of silver.
- At the beginning of Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2, one side of the inner text shows a shot from Doctor Strange before fading to Iron Man. Also, it fades to black at the end.
- On Spider-Man: Homecoming, on one side of the inner text the shot of Spider-Man from Captain America: Civil War is seen before fading to Iron Man.
- On Thor: Ragnarok, the logo burns up into the opening scene when it is complete.
Anniversary Variant: At the beginning of Avengers: Infinity War and Ant-Man and the Wasp, the logo animates as usual, but the background fades to black. The "IO" in "STUDIOS" wipes to red while the "I" turns into a "1" (also red), making it "STUD10S". The "10" represents the 10th anniversaries of both of the first MCU films, Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk.
FX/SFX: All CGI with footage from the past movies from the MCU.
- Opening: A dramatic fanfare, composed by Michael Giacchino.
- Closing: None.
- On the Homecoming variant, a reorchestration of the theme from the 1960s Spider-Man TV show by Giacchino is heard.
- On Avengers: Infinity War, the opening dialogue is used.
Availability: Current. The logo officially premiered at Marvel Studios' San Diego Comic-Con 2016 panel (it was later released online on the official Marvel Studios Twitter feed), and it's first appearance in a movie was on Doctor Strange (2016). Also seen on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Spider-Man: Homecoming (on which only the opening version appears), Thor: Ragranok, and Black Panther, and will continue to appear on future Marvel projects.
Scare Factor: None.