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The Top 70 Most Iconic Panels in Marvel History – Day 3

Okay, in case you didn’t see the introduction, the concept is that each day up to and including the 24th of August, I’ll be posting three iconic panels from Marvel Comics’ 70-year history (panels meaning any single enclosed drawing, including single page splashes). On the 24th, you folks will get a chance to pick your Top 10 out of the 70, I’ll tabulate the votes and I’ll debut the Top 70 Most Iconic Panels in Marvel Comics History on August 31st. In the meantime, feel free to e-mail me (cronb01@aol.com) with suggestions for panels for me to use!

Here’s the next three panels!

Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #33….

Fantastic Four (Vol. 1) #1….

X-Men (Vol. 1) #132…


What about Punisher hanging the guy off the rooftop in the first issue of Welcome Back, Frank?

Wow. Looks like all the major suggestions are already on the list! Very good choices.

Here’s one that hasn’t been picked yet:

From Marvel Graphic Novel no. 5, X-men, “God Loves, Man Kills”,

the panel with the dead boy hanging from the swing set with “Mutie” painted across his chest.

Does Miracleman count yet?

Tom Fitzpatrick

August 3, 2009 at 12:43 pm

I don’t think Miracleman counts for two reasons: 1) all issues were published by Eclipse Comics and 2) Marvel have yet to do anything with “Marvel”man.

I believe that this blog is only Marvel iconic images. Maybe another time there will be others.

Put me down for the Wolverine panel.

Hmm–I have three strong candidates–including #1 for my top 10 out of three days so far.

It may be a tough choice for top 10.

I think that’s the wrong panel for ASM #133, Brian. The better choice would have been Spidey under the jail-like rubble…a lot more iconic imo.

Well, there is the bit where Marvelman is killed by the Fury during Moore’s Captain Britain run…

Do the comics published under the Epic imprint count? Because that would open up a lot of candidates out of Groo and Elfquest…

When I think of iconic Wolverine panels from the old Byrne/Claremont issues the one that comes to mind oddly enough is a panel that doesn’t show Wolverine. It’s from the X-Men issue where they’re in the Savage Land and the panel shows Storm (and I think Nightcrawler & Colossus) reacting to Wolverine killing some unnamed henchmen.

i would go with the wolverine panel for wolverine rising from the sewers and saying now its my turn shows how someone is going to be hurting plus it being from one of the greatest xmen stories ever

This is a cool idea. Are there any iconic hulk moments that spring to mind? I like the first appearance of the ‘unified’ hulk in #377. How about silver surfer? Are there any great Kirby panels from FF#48-50? Or from his first series? Or any Ron Lim Silver Surfer panels from the second series, against Thanos maybe?

Speaking of Thanos, are there any iconic panels from Infinity Gauntlet? The cover to Infinity Gauntlet #4 with Thanos saying Come and Get Me is iconic to me… but that’s a cover.

There has got to be some iconic Captain America moments and Nick Fury moments out there also that I can’t think of…

Another panel from God Loves, Man Kills- Logan threatening the stooge with the middle claw with the other two frame his face.

The wolverine one is the best of this bunch.

My other vote is from Astonishing X-Men when Cyclops releases a s-load of laser bear in that aliens face and then telepathically says “to me my x-men”. It’s new-ish but its iconic to me.

Captain America versus Baron Blood.

In one of the Great Moments In Comic History (or whatever it’s called) on this site, the scene where Captain America defies Thanos is given the spotlight.
I’m sure that could be boiled down to one panel.

How about where Peter Parker tells the Beyonder how to poop?

(Well, it’s iconic to me.)

Easily one of my favorite panels: from Busiek and Perez’s “Ultron Unlimited”, where the Avengers burst in on Ultron and Thor says the most bad-ass thing ever.

“Ultron, we would have WORDS with thee.”


@ Madmonkey

There’s a great panel with Cap staring down Thanos, like Hogan and Andre at WrestleMania III.

Isn’t there one from ASM 33 that looks more like the cover? One with a word balloon about not letting Aunt May down? That’s the one I think of.

Vincent Paul Bartilucci

August 3, 2009 at 4:34 pm

In case it hasn’t been mentioned yet: The Vision weeping from The Avengers #57

Yes that is the wrong panel from ASM #33. That shows him triumphant. The iconic panel is the one where he starts his struggle under the rubble.

And second the android crying. The simplest and most iconic image of Marvel’s history, by Buscema and Thomas? The outsider gaining acceptance. Its the only thing that many of us Marvelites have ever wanted.

Despite what I may think of the character, the panel where Venom is seen clearly for the first time (final panel of ASM #299 maybe?) is a pretty iconic Spider-Man panel.

I’m willing to split the baby and give y’all the panel BEFORE Spider-Man gets it fully lifted – you get all the stuff about him realizing that he needs the strength of will to pull it off, but you also get a more active shot, which is what I want (especially as the iconic aspect of this panel is him actually LIFTING the thing – THAT’S what’s been homaged for 30 years – Spider-Man lifting “impossibly” heavy things).

Obviously, in a bit where the SEQUENCE is the key, though choosing a single panel is tough, but this is the panel we’re going with for Amazing Spider-Man #33.

That Wolverine panel is obviously the best of the three, ’cause you know some people are gonna get sliced.


The study probably should include a lot of “origin” moments. Thor picking up Mjolnir. The Gamma Bomb explosion. The Human Torch “discovering” Namor. Things like that.

The (first) death of Phoenix, of course.

The death of Gwen Stacy and possibly Capt. Stacy.

Ant-Man inside the Vision?

Rick Jones ending the Kree-Skrull war.

Reed and Sue’s wedding.

Thing crushes Doom’s gauntlets?

I personally like the moment in THOR when Captain America lifts Mjolnir, but I don’t think it’s famous enough. That’s a problem with several of the previous suggestions. People don’t realize how quickly you’ll get to 70 without delving into semi-famous moments. We’re talking about 2-3 moments for most Marvel titles up to 5-7 for the flagship titles (SPIDER-MAN, FF, AVENGERS, X-MEN).

In other words, Brian’s study probably won’t reach the 3rd most popular moment in titles like SECRET WARS or “God Loves, Man Kills.” I’m just saying.

A good test for iconic moments is whether you can describe them in a few words–like four or five–and everyone knows what you mean. Spidey lifts the machinery. The FF clasp hands. Wolverine in the sewer. If you can’t describe a moment that simply, it probably doesn’t belong in the top 70.

What about iconic moments where characters say or do something they’re famous for? E.g, “It’s clobberin’ time!” or “Avengers assemble!” or “Hulk smash!” These have happened so often that there may not be ONE iconic panel.

If you find the first instances of these moments, they may not seem that impressive. Perhaps the catchphrase or whatever didn’t catch on till the third or fourth time. Perhaps the fifth or tenth instance most resembles the moment we remember.

P.S. An NCAA-style bracket for THIS project would be a lot of fun.

How about that semisplash page of Thor flying off the Shield helicarrier from Thor #337? Not moment defining but truly iconic.

Honestly, I considered it, Rob, but I ended up deciding against it over concerns about…

A. Seeding (I have no idea how I would seed the moments)


B. The actual moments (I prefer it this way where I can make sure there’s at least a vague consensus over all the 70 moments BEFORE I ask people to rank them).

By the way, on an additional point, I think you’re totally right, Rob, that for a list like this it WILL fill up pretty quickly just using super-famous moments (in addition, just how many of these panels are going to be taken up by Spider-Man moments – it’s going to be a lot of Spider-Man panels).

@jazzbo: I agree with you about Venom and the last panel of ASm #299

I think it’s good to get input for the top 70 (although 64 would be much better for a bracket). If you did brackets, I don’t think it would hurt if you composed them at random. With one exception: It appears you’re starting with a rough top 10. Just distribute the top 10 or 20 (by your estimate) in different brackets and make sure they’re not facing each other in the first or second round. E.g., no Spidey captures crook vs. FF hand clasp or “Face it, Tiger” vs. Cap thawed from ice right away. Do the rest at random.

Anything from the Marvel UK Death’s Head series (v1), please? Pretty please?

The FF on Doom’s time platform?

The FF entering the Negative Zone?

Full-page splash of Doom brooding on the throne?

Silver Surfer soliloquizing about human nobility?

First appearance of the Watcher?

First “fastball special”?

X-Men in Magneto’s “nanny trap”?

Scott and Jean kissing on the mesa?

Thunderbird’s death?

Ororo getting a pie in the face?

Not convinced any of these deserve to be on the list….

Peter bit by the spider.

Norman Osborn unmasking Peter?

Green Goblin’s death?

First Hobgoblin appearance?

Peter and MJ’s marriage?

No doubt many of the 70 iconic moments will be in the Year of Cool Comic Book Moments. Maybe they’ll all be.

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