Icon was created in 2004 as an imprint of Marvel Comics to allow their exclusively signed writers and illustrators to publish creator-owned material. The first two titles were Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming’s superhero detective series Powers and David Mack’s Kabuki, both moving from Image Comics. Powers, beginning it’s second volume, was a very successful move on the creators’ part, building on the success of Bendis’ work at Marvel on such titles as Daredevil and Ultimate Spider-Man. In 2005 Icon gained it’s third title with J. Michael Straczynski’s Dream Police, followed shortly thereafter by Straczynski’s limited series The Book of Lost Souls.
Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips joined Icon in 2006 with the modern noir Criminal. A similarly themed series by Brubaker and Phillips followed in 2008, but with a superpower twist, Incognito.
Perhaps the most famous series to date, Kick-Ass, began the same year from Mark Millar and John Romita, Jr. The successful series was adapted into a movie in 2010, directed by Matthew Vaughn and staring Aaron Johnson, Nicolas Cage, and Chloë Moretz.
Writer Matt Fraction and artists Gabriel Bá and Fábio Moon brought their Image title Casanova under the Icon banner as well, reprinting earlier issues (volume one) and continuing on into volume two. Bendis joined with frequent collaborator, artist Alex Maleev, and produced Scarlet in 2010. The same year Millar began the ultra violent series Nemesis (with Steve McNiven) and Superior (with Leinil Francis Yu). Both titles used classic, iconic archetypes as the central character, but with a definite Millar twist.
- The Book of Lost Souls – by writer J. Michael Straczynski
- Brilliant – by writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Mark Bagley
- Casanova – by writer Matt Fraction and artists Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon
- Criminal – by writer Ed Brubaker and artist Sean Philips
- Dream Logic – by writer-artist David Mack
- Dream Police – by writer J. Michael Straczynski
- Empress - by writer Mark Millar and artist Stuart Immonen
- Galactic Bounty Hunters – by writer Lisa Kirby and artist Mike Thibodeaux
- Incognito – by writer Ed Brubaker and artist Sean Philips
- Kabuki – by writer-artist David Mack
- Kick-Ass – by writer Mark Millar and artist John Romita, Jr.
- Men of Wrath - by writer Jason Aaron and artist Ron Garney
- Nemesis – by writer Mark Millar and artist Steve McNiven
- Powers – by writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Michael Avon Oeming
- Scarlet – by writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Alex Maleev
- The Secret Service – by writer Mark Millar and artist Dave Gibbons
- Supercrooks – by writer Mark Millar and artist Leinil Francis Yu
- Superior – by writer Mark Millar and artist Leinil Francis Yu
- Takio – by writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Michael Avon Oeming
- The United States of Murder Inc. by writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Michael Avon Oeming