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Comic Book Color Palettes

Behind the colors:

A Closer Look At Comic Book



Color Palettes

By: Colourlovers.com



Comic book characters are traditionally colorful, but those who pay special attention will note that it's not all random palettes. In fact, there's a science to how colors are used in your favorite comic, and, while it may seem like a small thing, the inks used DRASTICALLY AFFECT YOUR EXPERIENCE as a reader.



HEROES VS. VILLAINS The most traditional color scheme is BLACK VS. WHITE, with the darker colors usually symbolizing evil. However, over time, this has evolved to include more colors, and some comic artists actually play on our expectations to turn villains into unlikely heroes.



COMMON COLOR SCHEMES FOR GOOD GUYS COMMON COLOR SCHEMES FOR BAD GUYS



WHITE BLACK

Often represents a Messiah-type hero The most common bad guy color,

used for villains

BLUE

The ultimate hero BLOOD RED

Used for crazy villain

BRIGHT RED

Also used for the ultimate hero PURPLE

Associated with poison and also

GREEN used by Japanese comic books

Usually best for heroes who are

closer to nature DARK BLUE

Frequently foudn with blue-blood

BROWN evil characters

Commonly used for retired heroes and

and those close to nature UNNATURAL GREEN

Glowing or bright green is often

PINK used for radioactive characters

Sometimes used for female heroes and other evil folks



GRAY SILVER

The wise old guru or mentor The arrogant, rich bad guy is

frequently found in silver

GOLD

Often for the guy who shows the hero

up by being incredible at everything



YELLOW

Frequently used for the weaker hero or

sidekick, or for the tech-savvy kid in the

group



BLACK

The reluctant hero can be found dressed in

black most times





NETURAL CHARACTERS These tend to be in black and white

in similar amounts, or they may be in

ORANGE, PURPLE, AND GRAY.



KEEP IN MIND THAT THESE COLORS ARE NOT

SOLID AND MAY CHANGE, DEPENDING ON THE

ARTISTIC IDEALS FOR EACH COMIC.







WHO'S WHO BY THE COLORS Most classic comic book characters are fairly

STANDARD in their colors, with HEROES being

dressed in PRIMARY COLORS and VILLAINS in

SECONDARY COLORS. Many of these

characters use MORE THAN ONE COLOR, but

this can give more insight into their

personalities and hero type. Need proof?



RED AND BLUE

Are the colors for

WONDER WOMAN, SPIDERMAN, SUPERMAN AND CAPTAIN AMERICA



BLUE AND YELLOW

Were used for the

X-MEN.



RED AND YELLOW

Were used for the

IRON MAN AND DAREDEVIL, who later switched just to plain red



GREEN AND PURPLE

Notable exceptions to the primary colors rule include

GREEN HORNET (GREEN) AND THE CULT (GREEN AND PURPLE).

However, these were NOT 100% heroes and often showed

dark sides to their characters.



GREEN, PURPLE, AND ORANGE

BAD GUYS tend to be secondary colors, such as

GREEN AND PURPLE, with some ORANGE from

time to time.





DC AND MARVEL: SETTING THE STAGE FOR COMIC PALETTES

The two most common comic book

publishers back in the day were DC AND

MARVEL, and they were the ones to really

SET THE COLOR SCHEMES for future comics.

Today, these publishers are still some of

the BIGGEST NAMES on the market.





DC MARVEL

COMICS



Tended to have DARKER Tended to have BRIGHTER

COLORS on covers. COLORS on the cover.



Inside, the books TEND TO BE Today offers a HIGH-CONTRACT

BRIGHTER overall than Marvel. LOOK with lots of dark colors.





HERE IS A LOOK AT THE DISTRIBUTION OF COLORS USED BY

DC MARVEL

Gold 2.6% Silver 2.6%

Purple 2.6% Brown 2.6%

White 7.9% White 5.3%

Yellow 13.2% Purple 7.9%

Green 15.8% Green 7.9%

Blue 15.8% Black 13.2%

Red 18.4% Yellow 15.8%

Black 23.7% Blue 21%

Red 23.7%



BOTH use darker scene coloring to indicate an OMINOUS VIBE.





CHANGING COLORS

Some comic book characters have

CHANGED THEIR COLORS over the

years, but they almost always stick

with the SAME THEMES as shown above.





BATMAN

Original Colors Changed to

Blue Black in 1990

Black

Grey

& Yellow



DAREDEVIL

Original Colors Changed to

Red Only red in 1965

& Yellow



INVISIBLE WOMAN

Original Colors Changed to

Blue Blue

& White & Black



SPIDERMAN

Original Colors Changed to

Red Black in 1984

& Blue (as Venom), then

back to red and blue



IRONMAN

Original Colors Changed to

Iron Red

& Yellow

in 2006



WONDER WOMAN

Original Colors Changed to

Red White

White (1960), back to

Yellow original colors

& Blue (1972)





YOU'LL FIND THAT EVERY COMIC PUBLISHER

HAS ITS OWN STYLE OF DRAWING AND

COLORING, BUT THEY STILL FOLLOW THE

COLOR RULES IN GENERAL.

Comic Book Color Palettes

shared by Ariela on Sep 18, 2011 in Entertainment

Comic Book Color Palettes

shared by Ariela on Sep 18, 2011 in Entertainment

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Behind the colors: a closer look at comic book color palettes and their meanings for heroes and villains. Includes color analysis, superhero examples and changes in comic books over history.
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