A sub-trope of the Zorro Mark and often seen in works featuring a Super Hero, this trope occurs when a character recreates his or her Iconic Logo or Chest Insignia using fire. Often, this is in concert with a Dynamic Entry. The Big Bad believes the hero is dead, only to see a flame spreading in the distance, eventually creating the hero's emblem just before he flies through the window. Sometimes, it is actually used at the end of a Climactic Battle where the hero sets the fire to reveal he is victorious. There are other variations but the effect is the same.
The reason for this is mostly Rule of Cool. Seeing the hero's emblem rising up in flames looks really exciting. This causes some Fridge Logic, however when the viewers wonder how and why the hero set the fire beforehand, to say nothing of the potential public safety hazard.
- Fantastic Four:
- Johnny Storm a.k.a. The Human Torch frequently creates the Fantastic Four's emblem as a summons to the rest of the team when trouble arises.
- Before that, in the very early issues of the comic, Reed Richards used to have a gun that he would shoot into the sky, creating a large, flaming "4" to summon the rest of the team.
Susan: "Reed's signal! It means come a-running, no matter what!"
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows: How the chapter "Return to New York" ends. When the Turtles return to the Krang-occupied New York and reunite with the Hamato Clan, Kasumi, and Splinter, they, at Mikey's suggestion, set a turtle shell-shaped fire on top of the Channel 6 building to let everyone know they, and the city's hope of beating Krang, have returned. The writer confirms that the scene was inspired by the The Dark Knight Rises example below.
- In The Punisher (2004), after the title character kills an entire mob family, he purposefully sets off a chain of bombs around a parking lot that creates his skull emblem.
- Eric Draven of The Crow did this when he killed T-Bird, one of the leaders of Top Dollar's gang and the third target of his Roaring Rampage of Revenge, using explosives and gasoline to turn T-Bird's own car into a bomb. When the car explodes, a trail of flames spread across the pier in a pattern created by Draven's accelerant, creating the crow emblem. This is an interesting case in that the character did not really have an emblem in-universe. The emblem was used in marketing and the film's logo.
- In The Mask of Zorro, when the second Zorro sets off on his mission, the first Zorro (Anthony Hopkins) sets a fire along a hillside that creates the famous Zorro "Z" as a sign to the Big Bad that he has returned. That scene compromised half of the movie's advertising campaign. The other half was Antonio Banderas cutting Catherine Zeta-Jones' top off.
- In Daredevil, the title hero apparently drew his famous "DD" emblem in gasoline and let it set at a crime scene, knowing that someone would flick a cigarette on the ground and set it off. Pretty impressive, given that he's blind.
- The Nostalgia Critic had a field day pointing out how this is not the most obvious or safest calling card, even pointing out that when it's impossible to notice the gasoline on the floor, a subway rider waiting for a train while smoking would be in for a bad day if they dropped their joint.
- Mocked on Robot Chicken, where Daredevil visits the site hours earlier just so he can meticulously set up his "flaming Ds" with gasoline, however a homeless man points out that the gas will simply evaporate, so Daredevil settles on Sterno instead.
- In The Dark Knight Rises, when Batman returns to Gotham, he sets a bat-shaped fire on top of a bridge to let everyone know he has returned.
- While it never occurs in the film, the poster for The Dark Knight has a bat-symbol engulfed in flames on the side of a building. Unlike most examples, its probably referencing the destruction brought by the Joker.
- The Title Sequence of the film adaptation of V for Vendetta does this. V also forms his logo in fireworks explosions twice in the film, near the beginning and at the end.
- This Atomic Think Tank post gives a Mutants & Masterminds description of the Fantastic Four signal flare (see above under comics), and says they've been adapted for use by the Avengers and X-Men. It also adds that some heroes have discovered you can deactivate the ignition and point the chemicals at the ground or a wall, then dramatically light it later, as in the scene from the Daredevil movie.
- In the Animated Film for Lego Batman, The Joker does this with his face using Technicolor Science chemicals (green and purple, which is also his own color scheme) as a Calling Card. this is later revealed to be a Foreshadowing, as Batman uses the same exact chemicals on the whole city to draw Joker's face in order to call The Justice League for help.
- Deconstructed in The Venture Bros.. While heading to Gargantua-2 using a rocket he stole from the Venture compound, the Monarch uses the rocket and some kerosene to leave a flaming version of his logo before he and 21 head off into space, with the flames coming from the logo eventually spreading and causing the entire compound to be burnt down.