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CSBG Archive

The Top 70 Most Iconic Panels in Marvel History – Day 16

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!

Amazing Spider-Man #121….

Daredevil #228….

The Mighty Thor #362…


kind of hard to pick just one for all three are cool. but would have to go with number one spider man holding the body of the woman he loves and yelling that the green goblin got a big hurting coming. shows tragedy can even hit a hero

No 1 could compete with the ‘snap’ panel for being the definitive ‘death of Gwen Stacey; moment. It’s aguably more shocking given the angle of her head from her shoulder.

God, I love that DD one. But isn’t the Gwen Stacy one one of the most iconic panels ever? Do we HAVE to pick?

You don’t vote until the 24th, Kev, and then you get to pick TEN out of the 70 choices, so you can put both panels on your list, if you’d like!

Ah, the “snap” is much more iconic than the first panel here I’d say. No. 2, however, is classic.

35 years later and I still fight back the tears.

And usually lose.

“…the answer is always the same…”

“…he stood alone at Gjallerbru….and that is enough.”

That panel from Thor #362 could well be my favorite panel ever, from my favorite comic ever.

And if there’s ever an “Iconic Passages” competition for writing, this should be nominated for that, too.

I like # 1 for the writing in the bottom left corner

“Monster Madness! It’s a gas–for lad or lass!”

What does that even really mean?

That’s why the “snap” is also on the list, Stefan!

I like # 1 for the writing in the bottom left corner

“Monster Madness! It’s a gas–for lad or lass!”

What does that even really mean?

Although really I should have cropped that part out it was just too funny not to leave in! :)

In any event, it makes sense – it’s saying that Monster Madness is a fun book for guys AND girls.

Panel #1 pretty much defined how I see comics for my entire life.

Damn, I still get choked up every time I see that Skurge panel. One of most memorable moments of a lifetime of comic-reading, in my book. But all three of these are terrific.

Number 1, no doubt.

I wonder though, had that story been told in 2009, in the world where Marvel & DC don’t want kids to read their comics, would Spidey had still called the man who killed his girlfriend a creep or something more harsh?

Would that panel of MJ standing in the door way saying “Face it tiger. You just hit the jackpot.” be worthy of this list?

Yeah, how’s that “killing Norman Osborn” thing goin’, Spidey? (JUSTICE!!!)

Would that panel of MJ standing in the door way saying “Face it tiger. You just hit the jackpot.” be worthy of this list?

Odds are good (you should check the master list, DJ ;) ).

I have to go with #1, as much as I really really want to say #2. That is a HUGE moment.

Gwen Stacy, Shmen Stacy. It’s all about Skurge.

The Skurge moment is a classic, but that panel is missing the denouement of the narration: “…he stood alone at Gjallerbru….and that is enough.” I think that last line is critical to the moment (it’s definitely how the whole thing is typically referenced), and so the panel fails to capture the whole moment. Which is fine in context – sequential art should draw moments across multiple panels – but as an iconic panel (singular) , it’s a bit weak.

The Gwen Stacy moment is of course the most iconic of the three panels. It is one of the most famous scenes from one of the most famous issues in mainstream comics. But man, do I love that Daredevil panel. Such a great moment. I don’t know how well it really stands alone though; I imagine my appreciation for Born Again as a whole influences my view of that panel.

Skurge! The best panel in the best sequence in the best issue of the best run in Marvel Comics history.

Skurge. No doubt. I drew this over and over again when I was a kid.

Simonson might trump Miller as the best writer/artist ever. I love that panel. And pretty much every other panel he ever drew (but especially the one where Loki and Thor shout “FATHER” together after Odin seemingly dies fighting Surtur — definitely deserves a spot on this list).

I don’t recognise that Thor picture at all. I’m not even aware of what story it might have been from. (Clearly, from the other comments on here, it has something to do with ‘Skurge’, but I can’t recall ever hearing of a ‘Skurge’ before.)

I vote for the Daredevil one, because it’s the only one I recognize.

The Spidey one is completely overshadowed by the related “snap” panel

All wonderful panels, but in terms of iconography? It’s not even a competition. #1

I can’t see that Simonson Thor failing to make my top ten. One of the issues that made me a lifelong comics fan. The Executioner is given more depth in a few panels than in all his previous appearances combined.

Vincent Paul Bartilucci

August 17, 2009 at 4:31 pm

#2 is easily one of my top ten favorite panels ever. And as a representation of Simonson’s run on Thor, it’s perfect.

Iconic? Not sure. But it’s damn cool!

Jason Baur makes a good point…it’s the last series of panels with Skurge fading into oblivion that really moved lil’ Go Fish. But still, it’s the art that’s iconic. That image of Skurge madly swinging his M16 against ceaseless waves of the undead is a classic, pure and simple. If you ran the panel without the words, I doubt too many comic fans would fail to recognize the story or what the panel signifies. That, to me, is iconic.

I didn’t think the DD panel should’ve been featured in the first place, and as for Gwen Stacy, I still think the panel of her neck snapping is the more iconic. Or at least it’s arguable, and there shouldn’t be doubt which panel in a story is the more iconic.

All three great images, but #1 is the only one I’d call even close to ionic (and it still comes up short behind the image of her neck snapping). There are a slew of images in the Born Again run I’d take before #2. As much as I loved Simonson’s Thor, I don’t think #3 makes the cut.

another vote for Gwen Stacy “snap” panel.

I’ve seen the “snap” panel loads of times, but I’ve never seen the top one here so it’s not iconic to me.

Born Again is great, but I couldn’t call that particular panel iconic.

Cool panel form Simonson, but again, not iconic for me.

Number 1 for soooooooooo many reasons:
1. The history of the panel.
2. The maturation of Spider-Man
3. The maturation of comics
4. The maturation of comic readers
5. This was was the first death of a major character in the Marvel universe….NOBODY died in the DC universe back then, the only other major deaths in the Marvel universe up until then was (Sue Storm’s father, Junior Juniper – I won’t tell you who that is or which issue, and Capt. Stacy, Gwen’s father)….
The other two are important but this was a landmark…the SNIP panel punches you in the gut, the final panel confirms the loss and the grief….and for the first time…
6. You actually FEEL the rage Spidey is experiencing to the point of a murderous bloodthirsty passion…you don’t even need to see his face, it’s all in the mask….
A final note, and I have carped on this before…this panel is so strong that even Marvel doesn’t have the gall, temerity, Chutzpah, call it what you wish, to bring her back to life through some of the most stupid methods that they’ve brought other characters back….Bucky Barnes included and Brubacker is one of our finest writers currently.
She’s dead in that panel…and Marvel made that declaration….
Everything else since then is just blather….everything.

Don’t you wish that Gwen Stacy panel didn’t have the “Monster madness! It’s a gas — for lad or lass!” blurb across the bottom? Who wrote those blurbs, and how they should cringe whenever they look back at that period of Marvel books. Even when i was twelve I realized how tacky those adverts were and how they cheapened every page they were on.

It’s a great panel, as is Skurge, but they both pale before the breathtaking understatement of the single most iconic Kingpin/DD moment.

I agree with Roman that the Loki/Thor “father!” shout should be included. But, great as that Thor run was, The Mutt really seriously overrates it, imo.

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