Dedicated to the definitive superhero non-team.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Reading Red

As many comic book readers have already observed, superheroes tend to wear primary colors while villains tend to wear secondary colors.

Dr. Strange, Valkyrie, Nighthawk, and Hellcat are among the heroes who follow this pattern, as each of their costumes happens to consist largely of red, yellow, or blue. Red Guardian also follows suit, although her color scheme was decidedly patriotic rather than incidental.

Plenty of villains, of course, have draped themselves in primary colors as well. Dr. Strange once assumed the diabolical identity of the Red Rajah when a mystical presence seized control of his body and sought control over all human consciousness (Defenders #44-46). On a superficial level, the red costume was a nod to a ruby metaphysically tied to the Red Raja persona. Yet when Red Guardian stood against the Red Rajah, the color red came to represent the underlying struggle between individual freedom and social control.

This is the first in a series of posts examining the topic of color symbolism among the Defenders.

This panel comes from Defenders #45.

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