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Amazing Spider-Man #33 Panel Showdown

So, there’s been a lot of discussion over which panel is the “iconic” one in Amazing Spider-Man #33.

Is it the one where Spider-Man is in the midst of lifting the machinery or is it the one where Spider-Man finally succeeds in lifting the machinery (sorry people who think that some random other panel from the issue should be it – these are the two choices).

So I’m letting you folks decide which one makes the list (or, if you think both deserve it, then fair enough, but I figure it’s an either or thing, really)!

(Click to enlarge the panels)


I’m going with both of them. At the risk of sounding like I take comics rather more seriously than I actually do, the various panels in ASM #33 are almost like the different stations of the cross. Spidey being crushed under the weight of the machine and Spidey finally breaking free are both iconic in their own right.

We all know the part everyone remembers is the way the water drips down across that bolt at the top of the first panel ;)

#2. Easy.

Not only does it have him lifting the rubble, but read the caption. You get how difficult it was WITH the action in 1 panel. I don’t think you need ‘em both – just the money shot! :D

I think #1 because it better reflects the weight of the object. Panel #2 looks like it could just be a big desk or something.

I’m bugged that Spidey’s center of gravity is so off in the second panel, as well as the fact that he’s not engaging his legs and securing a firm base on the floor. So the pose doesn’t sell the action for me the way the first panel does.

Ian, Spider-Man’s main power is that he sticks to walls. Ergo it would imply his feet is equally capable of sticking to the floor…

I chose #1 if only because it’s the panel I’ve seen referenced/repeated the most often, which is enough for me to say it’s more iconic.

2 for sure, since the point is he does lift it. while not pictured i always liked the panel where he is trapped and remembers the people who are counting on him, shown with floating yellow heads

#1 for me. When you were describing the story, before I looked at the pictures, that was the image I had.

#1, for the same reason Chad N. mentioned

Maybe I’m thinking too much, but while Panel 2 is more cathartic, the name of the game is most iconic, so I’m going with Chad and saying Panel 1 because it’s the one that’s been referenced so many times. Come to think of it, the cover for this issue is probably even more iconic than either of these, but that probably doesn’t count as a panel.

#1. Spider-Man’s whole story is about struggle. #1 exemplifies what a challenge lifting it is.

I have never read this story, but I knew panel one from so many references I’ve seen or read about over the years. I don’t think I’d ever seen the lifting panel before this list.

So I’ll say no. 1 is the more famous image and thus more iconic.

I guess I am in the minority, but I went with number two. Part of the reason for me is that the panel isn’t just the culmination of this legendary sequence, but in a lot of ways it’s the culmination of the whole Lee/Ditko run on ASM. It’s really interesting to look at Ditko’s art in this panel, because it’s so… Romita-esque. You know, it’s when Spider-man finally looks like a serous, capital-S “SUPERHERO” especially compared to how Ditko has drawn him and Peter Parker in the issues leading up to this sequence. So I vote #2.

#1, because I always think of that stupid pipe that conveniently kept Spidey from crawling out. It’s not as visible in #2.

Also, they always manage to do great parodies of this scene. I immediately thought of Spider-Ham #1, the short Spider-Monkey story, some issue of Radioactive Man from Bongo, and that episode of Batman Beyond with the ertsaz Fantastic Four.

It was hard to decide, but I went with panel 2. I even think that panel 1 is a more powerful illustration, but the second one is the one that I think of when I remember that story.

btw, wouldn’t this be a really cool moment to recreate in one of the movies?

#1, it’s got the pep talk and is definitely more iconic in my mind.

If he was so tired he shouldn’t have been talking out loud to himself.

Tom, my objection isn’t that Spidey’s feet won’t stick to the floor in panel #2, but that the way he is posed in that panel, his muscular strength isn’t directed efficiently and that his center of gravity is such that he appears to be about to fall flat on his back with the machinery on top of him. Yes, he has superpowers, but the posture isn’t one of Ditko’s better renderings of superheroic physicality. He’s just not posed correctly given what the panel is supposed to present.

#1 is so much better, both compositionally, as well as a representation of the (super)human body struggling against the forces of gravity– it portrays exactly what it is supposed to.

Omar Karindu, with the power of SUPER-hypocrisy!

August 17, 2009 at 4:40 pm

Part of why panel 1 may get more votes — I voted for it, in the interests of full disclosure — is that it’s also the shot used for the issue’s cover. That means it’s doubly burned into most people’s memories.

#1, easy.

I’ve seen that panel in a few places; I don’t recall actually seeing the next one. I believe Dave Campbell of Dave’s Long Box featured this issue at some point and thought panel #1 was awesome. And Dave is never wrong!! (And yes, this is the second time I’ve referenced Dave Campbell to give a panel “icon cred.”

Incidentally, what really makes panel #1 for me is the water pouring on Spidey’s head. His predicament is really highlighted by that last little indignity.

I’m going with both of them. At the risk of sounding like I take comics rather more seriously than I actually do,

Hush. You can never take :Lee/Ditko Spider-Man comics too seriously. They are the best superhero comics ever created.

I agree with go fish. my favorite part of panel 1 is the “last straw” of the water running down his face. I can’t picture them now, but I bet alot of those homage/parodies you guys have mentioned have that bit of detail. definitely panel 1


Heck, I’d be happy with 70 panels from this issue, and nothin’ else. :)

This is tough, but I chose #2, much for the same reasons as Scott Harris. It is the moment, the climax of the entire issue and Master Planner arc. As stunningly well executed as the preceding panel is it sits in the shadow of the instant when Spidey finally succeeds in the mental and physical breakthough the whole classic story arc was leading toward, Number 2 is the panel I most remember as defining the image of Spider-Man as the super-hero that could. Not the strongest or the most powerful in the MU, but just maybe the one with greatest will. Panel #2 is the proof.

#1–that’s the one I always remember

It’s a though choiche, but I finally went with #2 because it features less talky monologue by Lee, never so out of place.

1-dont remember the second one.

#1. it helps that it mirrors the issue’s cover.

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