web stats

CSBG Archive

The Top 70 Most Iconic Panels in Marvel History – Day 15

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!

Avengers #93…

X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills Graphic Novel…

Uncanny X-Men #268….


Panel 2 is the one that always comes to my mind when anyone mentions Good Loves Man Kills. Hard to think of a single panel which sums up the whole ethos of the X-books over the past 34 years better than that.

Umm… are there more Captain America panels?

Because there have been kind of a lot.

Doug M.

Panel #1 definitely – dunno how anyone could argue against it.

I think the Jim Lee Captain America is more “Awesome!” than iconic.

Panel 2 would be my choice, simply because, once again, its a great panel that sums up one of the biggest factors about the X-men.

Neal Adams wins just because his artwork in that panel is amazing.

I always laughed at bad posture Nightcrawler in that panel.

And Jim Lee is part of the problem with the industry. He is Rob Liefeld with the crazy body distortion turned down a few notches. Man, I can’t stand the look of that crap. The artist-creator movement of Liefeld and his ilk turned comics into crappy action porn for mindless retards who didn’t want to bother with reading a real story. Can’t stand it one single bit.

As someone who actually likes Jim Lee (out of all the original Image group, he’s the only one I think still holds up over time), I don;t think Panel three is iconic in any way, shape, or form. Panel two, definitely.

Umm… are there more Captain America panels?

Because there have been kind of a lot.


Cap IS pretty darn iconic (just like there will likely be more Spider-Man panels, as well – he’s also prone to iconic panels).

In fairness, Cap and Namor are probably the only two characters who are going to contribute any panels from pre-1961. Any maybe not even Namor.

#1 by a landslide. That’s simultaneously iconic AND gorgeous.

And #3 isn’t iconic at all.

Omar Karindu, with the power of SUPER-hypocrisy!

August 16, 2009 at 7:18 am

Surely the Namor-Human Torch battle splash pages might yield some, being the first time two hroes — and especially two Marvel heroes — spent their time fighting each other. (Well, okay, Namor wasn’t really a “hero” even at the time so much as a villain who recoiled from the consequences of some of his own actions on occasion.)

Still plenty of panels to go, Omar. ;)

And as for the Cap panel, come on, people, that splash was a big deal – we’re talking posters, cardboard cutouts for stores – it was nearly as ubiquitous as McFarlane’s Spider-Man #1 cover image! Or that one drawing of Wolverine by Art Adams (that I don’t believe was from inside a comic, or else it’d be on the list, too!).

Hell, six years after the issue came out, Marvel was still using it for their licensed products!

Panel one.

Here’s the aforementioned Art Adams’ drawing, which I’m pretty darn certain was drawn FOR licensing purposes and was not attached to any actual comic book.

Perhaps someone suggested this before, but after you’ve finished the 70 most iconic panels; how about one day (or perhaps two) of the most infamously iconic panels? Those images that are so bad that they cause fandom to single them out as the most egregious things to might it into the medium. (The picture of Captain America with the over-inflated chest springs to mind – but I’ll leave it up to you)

Great idea.

@Doug M.

Glad I’m not the only one feeling a bit of Captain America overload. Of course Cap would feature prominently in a list like (along with Spidey and the X-men) this but lately it’s feeling a bit like the list is being stacked in his favour; you have to go back 6 posts before you hit one that doesn’t have a Cap panel…

The second would be my choice. AS one poster asked for more Cap, I have no doubt there’ll be more Neal Adams.

And while not iconic, the panel I most remember from X-Men #268 is when Jubilee is looking at Natasha and Betsy, and then frowning while looking down her own top. Poor kid.



I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Cap lying dead on the courthouse steps will be one of the panels.

That wolverine image wasnt taken from one of the annuals Art did? The one where they visit the savage land? or the x babies one? which had some sick costumes for the new mutants at the time. I always wished they had used those again. cannonball had the dope purple joint.

My vote goes to the Journey to the Center of the Android panel. Even though when it came out I was thinking OK, but let’s get back to the Kree-Skrull War!

My vote is for the panel that says “Marvel Comics” the loudest. Sort of one aspect of the Marvel style in a single drawing.

That disqualifies Panel #3. Jim Lee has a wide-ranging legacy, but I think most informed fans would call that panel “Image Style”. That means it cannot be emblematic of the “Marvel Style” pretty much by definition.

Panel #1 is the best drawing. However, it does seem specific to Marvel, since you have less powerful characters using very specific powers to help a more powerful character. As a plus, it is a premise lift from a then popular movie. However, those are all things that show up at DC as well, just less frequently and in a different form.

That leaves Panel #2 almost by default. It certainly is a uniquely Marvel panel. It really did define the X-Men and by extension Marvel for a long time.

I remember getting issue 268 in the mail and being blown away just by the cover (I am sure I’d have a different reaction to it now, but I was 11). Uncanny X-Men hadn’t been exciting in quite some time and Teen Cap and the Bloodstone Hunt weren’t exactly in the upper echelon of Cap material.

I am probably a lone voice, but I think number 3 is pretty iconic. I remember that image being seared in my brain as distinctly cap and trying constantly to recreate it with my toy biz Cap.

It, to me, represents some of the more exciting Marvel material to come out of the 90’s.

I don’t know why everyone’s ripping on that Jim Lee splash. It’s a gorgeous, kickass shot.

My vote would definitely go for #1, if I could read what they were saying, but in lieu of that I think I’d go with #2 as well.

I don’t know if any of these actually count as iconic. I have a lot of books about comics history,s ome specific to Marvel, and I’ve never seen any of these reprinted in any of them. In fact, I’m ignorant of the Cap one and the Vision one, and I don’t think that scene from God Loves, Man Kills is all that “iconic”.

have to go with pannel two for it sums up what the xmen goals are about and seeing some one so full of hate like stryker in that pannel over a whole group is still relevent today.

If you do offer “worst panels,” then I have to toss out the panel from Uncanny X-Men 1 (the original) where Magneto’s speech balloon covers his entire head and torso, just leaving his pelvis and legs showing.


Could that Art Adams Wolverine picture be from the X-Men: Heroes for Hope cover? I’m just thinking from memory but that’s what it reminds me of. I can’t make out the date by Adams’s signature but I believe that special issue was from 1985.

And nice to see a panel from that OTHER Adams guy show up on the list, too!

The Jim Lee panel is a fine looking piece of art, but I think iconic has to mean more than that. I don’t think that panel really qualifies. It doesn’t really represent anything significant in terms of Marvel-related story, character, or history. It’s just a nice example of how ell Jim Lee could draw.

Brian, it might be interesting at some point to take a look at how the knowledge of the fan base shifts from one generation to the next. As an older reader, seeing some comments by people who don’t recognize panels that we’re legendary when I started reading (like panel 1 from today) is boggling. However, I know that back when I started reading, there were older fans who were shocked at what my generation didn’t know about their favorite comics. I would be curious to see a discussion of how this sort of thing happens — how some comics, panels and covers stay iconic while others fade form the fan consciousness.

Just an idea. Every day I see comments from people who don’t think your selections are iconic while I’ve maybe only disagreed with 4 or 5 overall; but maybe it’s just part of the process of what happens when new fans come into the field and bring with them their own ideas of what is important. Heck, someone at Marvel thought it was a good idea to do an Inferno tribute story recently and that was one of the crappiest storylines in Marvel history, so obviously as people’s frame of reference changes so too does their taste.

God, did I love that Jim Lee Cap image as a kid. I got a Jim Lee posterbook for Christmas one year, and that one was on my door for a loooong time. (One of my first hunting-through-back-issue-bin escapades was tracking down that issue.)

And yeah – Cap’s an easy character to do iconic images. Just off the top of my head, I can think of at least two from the first Waid-Garney run that should end up on this list (and I’ll betcha Cronin’s got them in mind, too).

Oddly enough, considering how great Brubaker’s run has been, and how much I love the consistency of Epting/Perkins/et al, there haven’t been a whole lot of iconic images. Maybe Bucky’s splash-page in his Cap costume. That was a proud moment.

Number two. From the best X book made until New X-Men

I’m loving all these. I got into comics fairly recently – 2001 – so this history is actually all new for me. That said, I would love some more recent ones. Maybe you can’t do “iconic” so much with new comics based on their very nature, but I agree wholeheartedly with “no more mutants,” and I think Skrullectra and the New Avengers/70s Avengers are both recent examples.

Also: far. more. Daredevil.

That is all.

Dunno how iconic it is — I only vaguely remember it — but damn, that Neal Adams image is amazing.

#2 is iconic as all get out. Never seen the Jim Lee thing, but I’ve blocked out most of that decade.

I’ve never seen that Avengers picture before. I’m amazed at how good it is. I love the ’70s realistic art, but it’s not usually of this quality. Those fine lines on the Vision’s face are really sharp and clear. I haven’t really seen that before in other pictures this old, but most of the old books I’ve read haven’t aged well. (I mean that literally– colours have faded, ink has smeared, there are fingerprints and water-damage, &c.)

Nah – none of these are iconic to me

The panel from god loves man kills, its sums everything up and is powerful.

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