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The Top 70 Most Iconic Panels in Marvel History – Day 17

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!

X-Men (Vol. 1) #101…

Daredevil #227…

Amazing Spider-Man #122….


I am a lifelong amazing spider-man fan, but I only had the Marvel Tales reprint of ASM #122 which I don’t believe featured this panel. I didn’t even know it existed until Brian pointed it out in an earlier blog somewhere. So, for me, it is hard to call Panel 3 iconic. Especially when there are so many other iconic Spider-Man panels.

Panel 2 is awesome. I love that panel. “You shouldn’t have signed it.” Incredible.

Panel 1 is cool. I’m just not into X-Men.

Could we please get a Hulk panel? I mean, seriously, just the gamma bomb scene? That’s it for the Hulk? How about holding up a mountain? Or if not that one, how about the splash at the end of #377? There has got to be something. Hulk is an iconic character, no?

the third panel, is one of the three top Mj scences, along with face it tiger, and the identiy reveal, which involves one of the best uses of the spidey half face

The spidey image to me isn’t as powerful when the rest of it isn’t shown. Anyone not familiar with that scene wouldn’t no that peter was yelling at MJ. And seeing MJ open the door then pause with her standing there debating whether to leave or not makes that finally panel what it is.

As much as I’d love to see more Hulk panels, I think the mountain scene is more notable for the cover than any page in that book.

For MJ, has “Face it, Tiger…” made it yet? THAT would be the panel.

I just checked Secret Wars #4, it seems the most iconic image of Hulk holding up the mountain is actually the cover of that issue, and I’m not sure if that counts as a “panel”. The actual panels inside the comic book where Hulk holds up the mountain are far less impressive.

However, I’d say the splash page in Secret Wars #12 where Thor’s hammer crashes through the wall of Doom’s lair is pretty iconic (literally, as we don’t see the actual heroes in that scene, merely the hammer as an icon that represents them). I think that should be on the list.

I got nothing against the Hulk, but the guy just really doesn’t have many iconic panels.

Nor does Iron Man.

If you folks can think of a really good one for either of them, please, let me know – I’d love to feature either one of them (well, Hulk has already appeared once).

That Phoenix panel is awesome, pure Cockrum magic.!

Panel 3 is a favourite of mine, though I think it works best in context, not on its own.

Iron Man and Hulk are on one of my favourite covers, Iron Man #132, but I realize that’s not a panel.

I don’t now if it’s iconic, but Hulk 181 where he’s thinking Wolverine is a friend because he just beat the Wendigo, and there’s the moment where they look at each other, and then Wolverine attacks him.

That’s probably more than one panel…




August 18, 2009 at 10:49 am

I’m torn on whether to vote for those panels which are actually more iconic (to me) as covers rather than as interiors. X-Men #101 is a good case in point: That image to me is much more iconic from the cover rather than the panel. Secret Wars #4 (ie., Hulk holding up the mountain) may be another good example of this since the image I’m remembering is probably more associated with the cover than with any interior.

The Amazing Spider-Man #33 sequence comes close as well, although cogent arguments can be made that Spidey actually lifting the machinery off of him is iconic in a way that’s different from the ASM #33 cover image.

i have to go with the x-men pannel for one it was the start of jean changing iinto something more power full and adding to her name of phonix. though also loved the daredevil panel of Matt figuring out its the kingpin behind the thing .from born again. but have to go with the xmen pannel

There’s got to be some strong Iron Man panel at the end of “Demon in a Bottle”, right? I’m thinking something with Tony and Jarvis. I haven’t read those in years, though, and my memory sucks.

The COVER to Demon in a Bottle is iconic, Dan.

And a reader made the best suggestion I’ve heard so far, regarding Iron Man, when he suggested the opening splash of Demon in a Bottle where Iron Man is holding his helmet in his hand (while drunk), Hamlet-style.

If that was the first usage of Iron Man holding his helmet in his hand, Hamlet-style, then I guess I can see it – but I don’t think it is, and while it is a very cool page, I don’t think it is a page many people remember (and certainly not a page that anyone has ever homaged since then).

I have to go with #1. An iconic character setting up iconic storylines remembered fondly years after their first publication. I would almost make my final vote for this one, but there are so many, that it would be wrong to rush to judgment on this.

I’m wracking my brain for Iron Man and Hulk panels, because they both deserve representation so much (especially Hulk).

My suggestion was going to be the Hamlet pose for Iron Man. The other one that stands out in my mind is Iron Man blasting an ambassador through the chest after Justin Hammer sets off his repulsor blast remotely (in the “Power of Iron Man” storyarc. But that may be more shocking and memorable than iconic (especially as Shellhead looks like a bit of a chump).

There’s gotta be some Sal Buscema Hulk panel that pops somewhere. I don’t have issue 300 handy, but that was a great issue that has, among other things, Hulk catching Iron Fist’s iron fist, and another of him taking on Thor brandishing an adamantium statue of himself.

Speaking of Iron Fist, there’s a panel late in the Claremont/Byrne run where the panel crumbles away, as a result of Misty and Iron Fist breaking up. It’s more innovative than iconic, but there must be some other creative panel shapes that would be worthy of this list (from Neal Adams or Bill Sienkiewicz, who’s just gotta make this list somewhere!).

One more suggestion: The Thing in Everlast boxing gear, heading into the ring, in Marvel Two-in-One no. 7. Classic stuff!

Thor and Hulk locked in combat, each completely unable to move the other for hours on end, from Defenders #10 might be a possibility for Hulk. Though, as cool as that sounds in theory, it was a big disappointment to me since I wanted to read a huge throwdown instead. The cover for Defenders #10 is based on this sequence inside the comic, so it might be considered that the cover is more iconic than the panel, I’m not sure.

Really not sure about Panel #3. I don’t even know what’s going on there, let alone instantly recognize the panel.

If anything, I am learning I need to familiarize myself with Daredevil more.

I think that the opening pages from World War Hulk where he’s handing the Inhumans their asses contains some pretty iconic Hulk panels. I know, I know it’s avery recent comic and many of you didn’t care for the mini series but considering that everyone is having trouble coming up with any other examples from his 40 year history, I’d say that those panels hold up pretty well. JR jr art helps too.

Heh, I’ve been waiting 2 weeks for panel 1 to show up, love it.
Not convinced about the other 2 today though.

All this talk about covers that are actually more iconic than the interior panels they represent just serves to remind me how poor I think 99% of comic covers are nowadays. The vast majority of them are simply stock “pose” shots that could appear on any given issue of the title. I’m doubting that 20 years from now we’ll be talking about too many current covers as being “iconic.”

And to be a bit more on topic, what about doing a top 70 most iconic covers? That would be great.

Hulk holding up a mountain in Secret Wars, maybe?

How about any Hulk v. Thing panels? Are any of those iconic? They must have fought each other a couple of dozen times by now. Or is that another case of the covers being more iconic?

This game is hard

From Iron Man # 132, a full page panel featuring Shellhead knocking the Hulk out, though at the cost of TOTALLY draining all the power in the suit.

There – both Iron Man and Hulk – you’re welcome!

Who says this isn’t the Marvel Age of service with a smile?

Hulk – “Honey I’m Home.”

Iron Man – damn, that is hard. How about when Bearded Drunk Tony deliver’s Gretl’s baby?

From Iron Man # 132, a full page panel featuring Shellhead knocking the Hulk out, though at the cost of TOTALLY draining all the power in the suit.

There – both Iron Man and Hulk – you’re welcome!

Who says this isn’t the Marvel Age of service with a smile?


I featured that in Cool Comic Book Moments, Jim, but I dunno if it really stands out as an iconic panel – has it ever been referenced since it happened?

I’m not sure it’s iconic, but it was kinda cool moment so I remember it. During the Peter David run of the Hulk, the Hulk is facing the leader and gets blasted to his bones and heals as he moves forward,(note from memory not exactly sure of sequence of events) he turns off whatever is blasting and heals naked, the panel has the Hulk, the leader some cloud covering obvious parts of the Hulk, and the Leader says something to the effect of the Hulk needs to put pants on. It is the first time in my memory that shows the Hulk having a major healing factor.

Beyond that I really can’t think of much iconic stuff about the Hulk. Maybe just because it’s cliched Hulk/Thing fight (in similar vein the panel where Herc/Thor are arm wrestling in an Avengers annual is pretty cool) might have one iconic panel somewhere.

Capt. USA – I think it was Vector of the U-Foes who stripped the Hulk bare, and it was a member of the Pantheon who suggested he put on some slacks (a young female member of the Pantheon said that there was no rush).

I agree it was a very cool scene. The notion that the Hulk’s strength was actually a hyper-fast healing capability was introduced by Peter David in the Wolverine issue. It has more or less been canon ever sense.

I think the Hulk carrying Betty – drawn by McFarlane during that run, might be somewhat iconic.



Dunno about iconic, but that third panel must be one of the greatest comic images ever. Just look at it: Tragedy! Despair! Conflict (emotional that is)! Love! Hope! The end of a legendary tale and the promise of another! And – in case we forget this is a superhero comic – the big, bold “NEXT ISSUE: A MAN CALLED CAGE!” That panel has everything! Modern writers, read it and weep.

The two Hulk panels/splash pages that stand out most in my mind would be the Thor vs. Hulk moment from The Avengers-Defenders war and the debut page of the combined personality Hulk from issue 377 (which is the “Honey, I’m home.” bit Snakeman mentioned).

Oh, het – how about the first time the Hulk knocked someone out by just clapping real hard. That’s certainly been used/referenced many times over the years.

The best I can offer as a lifelong fan is that, when you asked about Iron Man, the first thing that popped into my head was the last panel of Iron Man #126. After mostly 2 issues of Stark out of the armor, he finally dons the armor after destroying Hammer’s machine that’s been controlling it.

And I find, in searching for the image, that Dave at Dave’s Long Box has written it up before, as well (along with a nice shot of that last page:

What do you say?

How about the “I’ll just stop being Tony Stark!” panel from the Demon Bottle arc? Sorry, I don’t recall the issue number.

Also how about the Captain Britain splash with the giant cross legged Jim Jaspers?

Definitely #1 as far as today’s panels. And have you featured anything yet from Daredevil #7, the fight with Namor? Seems to me there were some pretty incredible Wally Wood panels there, although I haven’t read it for a while.

How about the clicking door from ASM 149, some say it was the first time Peter and MJ were intimate in a biblical sense. Boo Yah!

If you’re looking for an Iron man moment, how about the one the jump starts his spiral into Demon in the Bottle? The shot of Iron Man’s repulsor blowing a hole through a foreign ambassador’s chest during diplomatic meeting.

One that might actually make the cut: the first panel of the second chapter of Giant-Size X-Men #1. It’s the first look at the “All new, all different” X-Men in their new uniforms, standing on the stairs at Xavier’s mansion while he explains that their uniforms are made out of unstable molecules.

Two that probably won’t make the cut:

If a panel can be iconic because of the dialogue instead of the art: the first time the Hulk says “Hulk Smash!”

If intercompany crossovers count as Marvel books: the image of Superman holding Thor’s hammer and Cap’s shield.

Don’t forget to find a Sgt Fury panel or two!

A great Hulk panel is the one where he finally goes green again and he is surround by his skin and blood. After a long time of the grey Hulk, it made the green seem like the monster he was always meant to be.

It’s the Daredevil one for me!

I suppose it depends on your definition of “iconic”, but the image when Hulk rips Wolverine in half in Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk could qualify as an iconic panel.

Now that I mention it, how about more love for the Ultimate line in the top 70 panels. The Ultimate universe has been around for at least 10% of the 70 years. I think some of those images can be called iconic by now.

I think the list needs the first fastball special (lame but iconic), a good Hulk landing (complete with THOOM!), and since you’ve done the burglar reveal how about another from Amazing Fantasy #15 – the “Not my problem” panel.

There was a Hulk run (forgot the author) where Bruce ultimately battled the Leader who was survivng with his head only in the final panel at the end of the remarkable story line….anyway…Bruce runs into Tony Stark and they are into their alter egos…the cops show up, and in one panel they are Hulk and Iron Man, the next panel it’s Bruce and Tony and they ask each other how they changed….if not an iconic moment on how characters change, perhaps a cool comic moment…that is worth researching Brian…and my goodness, just think of how much Marvel material is appearing in both columns….shows how weak DC is without Alan Moore, historically.

For Hulk, I think there was one in the McFarlane issues where he fought Wolvering, that had the word ballon “You’re not the only one with a healing factor”

Or something like that. It could maybe make the list

Random Stranger

August 19, 2009 at 9:22 am

The best Hulk panel I can think of doesn’t even have the Hulk in it: that image of Bruce Banner caught in the gamma bomb while Rick Jones cowers below from Hulk #1. It’s a terrific panel by Kirby and much like the spider bite panel from Amazing Fantasy #15 is immediately recognizable.

Agreed, Random Stranger – THAT panel is definitely iconic, so I already put it on the list.

Ah, the birth of Phoenix! Finally some Cockrum magic on this pages. It’s just not iconic Marvel for me without him!

How about Cosmic Spidey punching the Hulk into orbit? That might be another one where the cover is more iconic than any specific panel. I was neither a Spidey or Hulk fan at the time and I still thought that scene was cool

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