web stats

CSBG Archive

The Top 70 Most Iconic Panels in Marvel History – Day 13

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 choices. 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! And click here for the master list of all the panels posted so far!

Silver Surfer (Vol. 1) #1…

Captain America Comics #1…

Marvel Two-in-One Annual #2….


Gotta love that full pager by John Buscema!

Definitely the surfer one…from a purely artisitic standpoint it may be the best one yet. Also, is it just me or are there a disproportionate number of Cap panels? I just went through the archive and 8 out of 37 feature Cap prominantly – that’s over 20%. Maybe it’s just cause I’ve never really been a Cap fan, but doesn’t that seem like a bit much?

#1 – Buscema + Kirby Dots = perfrection
#2 – it’s an iconiic moment, but not sure that panel has the drama of the others
#3 – my favorite panel from my first comic

I’m also hoping we’ll see the “he’s gone” panel from Death of Captain Marvel GN sometime soon

Buscema is the best. I think there could be 70 iconic Buscema panels alone…

They’re all nice enough panels, but I’m not sure any of these will make my list.

Great choices! I love that one of Thanos. For the longest time that was the final image of that great villian.

But Thanos keeps coming back! Which just goes to show you, you should never take Thanos for granite.

i have to go with the first pannel for seeing the silver surfer being told to rise before galactus is unique and shows the force of nature galactus is

@oogabooga: That pun, sadly, made me laugh

I am digging on Panel #1. Panel #3 is a great moment that I’ve heard about a bunch of times, but never actually seen before (that annual is the only issue of Two-In-One I don’t have, frustratingly)

Good thing Cap was a super-soldier, not a spy.

“What in–?”
(Roughly translated: “You little grunt, what do you think you’re doing, walking into this huge, well-lit and empty tent, where I’m changing into my secret costume?!”)

Wow. I had never seen the first panel before, but it’s perfect: exquisitely illustrated, memorable, and captures THE Surfer’s character-defining moment. Definitely my choice form this bunch

Buscema + Sinnott = the winner. With all the advances in coloring, etc. I sure would like to see what his work would look like today.

It´s very hard to choose one panel. I´ll admit I have a soft spot foe the Marvel Two In One by Starlin. I read that story when I was a kid (many years after it was originally published, ha!) and it surely was one ofe the greatest adventures. You could almost feel as alienated as Spider-Man, the average out-of-place guy who wanted to get the hell out of there but couldn´t (he was some millions of miles away from Earth). the only option he had was to pretend to be as powerful as Adam Warlock, Thor and Thanos and give his best. As it turns out, in the end Spidey doesn´t go unnoticed. That Starlin guy is plain fantastic.

1 baby!

@IronMaiden: “Buscema + Sinnott = the winner. With all the advances in coloring, etc. I sure would like to see what his work would look like today”

I don’t know about that, the advances in coloring statement I mean. The way most comics seem to be colored today consists of saturations of muddy, dark colors. Sure, the color in this panel is incredibly bright and rich, and too many may look old fashioned, but damn if it doesn’t showcase Buscema’s pencils and Sinnotts inks so well!

i love all things starlin, but panel 1 has to be the pick

Quick question about the Surfer panel: What edition of the story was the image scanned from? I’m sure that is not the original coloring, but they did a great job on it. Is it from the omnibus?

The Buscema Surfer is a lovely piece of art depicting a momentous pivitol event, but what makes it truly iconic is how it perfectly captures in a single panel Jack Kirby getting the shaft by Stan Lee, certainly a central event (THE central event?) in the history of Marvel Comics.
The famous story is that Kirby was drawing a Surfer origin arc for Fantastic Four, showing how Galactus had created him as a new life form out of pure energy, who slowly leaned empathy for other life forms. Lee said no, that there was going to be a Silver Surfer solo book with an origin story, and Jack wouldn’t get to do it. Stan Lee apparently loved the character and took control. He dreamed up the whole Norrin Radd story line, where a noble alien everyman forgoes a mortal existance and the love of his life to save his planet, and then then ends up sitting around on our alien planet moaning how much life hurts.
It was a complete negation of the creator’s creation,
I’ve always felt a bit sorry for John Buscema. The fact that he got the assignment shows how highly Stan Lee esteemed him, and who can blame him for taking the work? He had some truly breathtaking moments in this run (I wish covers counted so you could use SS #4, and hope you’ll have a panel of him with Mephisto), but part of me deeply resents this whole title and everything that was done in it.

Just take a moment, True Believers, to imagine Jack Kirby set loose in 1968 or so, with Buscema and/or Romita taking over the FF and Thor, and Kirby given a chance to write and draw his own Surfer solo book and perhaps the Inhumans. Within a few issues, would the Surfer have encountered Orion and Darkseid?

So definitely, panel#1, iconic in many ways.


August 14, 2009 at 9:38 pm

I’m going with panel #1

As much as I LOVE kirby (he is my all time favorite comic artist) I think Buscema did some of his absolute best work on the Surfer series. I have a hard time thinking Kirby could have topped it. I’ll take Kirby working on any of his own creations any day, except this one. The Surfer might have encountered Darkseid or the New Gods, since they were very much on his mind at this time, but I’m glad he saved them for DC. I think DC benefited from them far more than Marvel ever would have. Beside we have the 2nd rate Darkseid in panel #3 anyway.

@Mizike, I feel the same way about the X-Men as you seem to feel about Cap. I guess it’s all a matter of perspective.

#1 with a cosmic bullet. it’s not even close.

@fourthworlder: Sorry, but I can’t feel the hate. The Lee/Buscema run on Surfer is a classic, and Norrin Radd is one of the best things Stan’s ever come up with. The history of Marvel comics would be much poorer without him.

#1 for sure!

oh, and Thanks for the insight Fourthworlder. I bemoan the injustices that Kirby dealt with and wish things had been different. That said, i still like the sleek way Buscema drew the surfer more than any other version.

@ironMaiden I also disagree. I think that modern coloring, for the most part, compensates for a lack of strong pen& ink skills. You don’t need textured colors when you have skilled artists that can show depth, shading ect.. with detailed art.

I knew there was a Silver Surfer panel that belonged on this list but I couldn’t quite picture it in my mind. But yup, that no. 1 panel is the one.

Still happy to see some Thanos/Jim Starlin representation, though.

…although I still think for Thanos panels, the omnipotent Cosmic Cube one is the more iconic. But this one’s nice, too.

Leave a Comment



Review Copies

Comics Should Be Good accepts review copies. Anything sent to us will (for better or for worse) end up reviewed on the blog. See where to send the review copies.

Browse the Archives