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CSBG Archive

The Top 70 Most Iconic Panels in Marvel History – Day 18

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 #100…

The Mighty Thor #365…

The Ultimates (Vol. 1) #12….

151 Comments

Running out of panels Brian?

Haha, I knew that the Ultimates “France” panel was bound to show up eventually.

Brubaker also sort of responded to this bit in an issue of Captain America, where Cap says that he doesn’t understand why people call the French cowards, when in WWII they never gave up against the Nazis, even though their country was completely invaded, or something along those lines.

Are we going to see the panel where Ultimate Cap kicks Banner? (heh heh heh…)

Nothing from the Ultimates should ever be on this list. The Spidey mutation story-line was pretty epic back in the day and has been redone in other mediums such as the cartoon and action figure lines. The Thor as a frog one, though, is my own personal favorite. Thor hasn’t gotten enough love in this series so I’d throw Simonson a bone on this one.

Also I got to ask Simonson about that storyline in the late 80’s at a convention Q&A session. I asked why he decided to go the route of turning Thor into a frog. I was a fairly young little guy at the time and he over simplified the answer I guess, based on my age and responded something like, “Oh, well there is this old classic fairy tale where someone is turned into a frog and this was based on that.” He then was about to answer another question but I couldn’t let that slip…I was young but now moron. I quickly spoke up and said something along the lines of “I understand the reference to the Frog Prince story as told by the Brothers Grimm, as seeing as how Thor is the prince of Asgard I understand the link, but what prompted you to come up with that whole storyline”. Walt was a bit taken aback by my follow up question…I suppose not expecting me to fully understand that but hell, it wasn’t an obscure reference and I had always been interested in mythology and folklore. Anyway after a brief pause he launched into the back story of how he had one other idea for a storyline where one day Thor suddenly loses all his powers and has to fight to redeem all his Thor powers (I think he had planned to make him a regular Asgardian…still super human compared to humans). Something about Odin deeming that Thor has lost his responsibility to maintain the mantel of Thunder God and Protector of Midgard. Then the more he thought about it, this storyline wasn’t really compelling enough plus he had already had Thor fight Beta Ray Bill for the right to be the Thunder God and weild Mjolnir so he wanted to find another way to strip Thor of his powers to some extent and still make it fun. Then he came upon the concept of doing a fairy tale type story and eventually went with the Frog Prince idea.

Anyway, I don’t think old Walt expected the positive overwhelming fan response to those two issues. They were totally fun and didn’t have to rely upon the old Superman convention of “This is an imaginary tale” excuse to keep it out of continuity. Those two issues were a great representation of how comics at that time were still cool and fun at the same time.

Why not put panels from the Ultimates on the list? If any one in the whole series deserves to be on there, it’s this one. (Homaged quite nicely in Nextwave.)

Good God, the six-armed Spidey story was incredibly stupid.

I don’t think there is anything “Iconic” about the Ultimates. I don’t think there is anything “Iconic” about any of the Ultimate comics. The art in that Cap shot with grotesquely distorted facial features is just rough and fugly. Oh wow, a cheap shot at France in the post 9/11 world…big f-ing deal. It is a lame tired, worn out, hack piece of writing. Is there a Freedom Fries reference in the next issue? Do they claim that the French tanks only have one gear and that is reverse? Oh, the French suck and aren’t real patriots so let us mock them. I understand Millar’s lazy attempt at criticizing the Bush admin and post 9/11 rectionaries but that isn’t Cap. Cap would have understood the number of French citizens who bravely fought against the Nazi’s in the underground and from first hand experience. That isn’t an iconic moment…just sloppy and lazy which is how I’d describe most of the comics in the Ultimate line.

I hope some of the midgard serpent/thor art is going to make its way onto the list.
Gavin, just because you don’t like something doesn’t mean it isn’t iconic. I don’t think you can argue that the Ultimates were both popular and influential. This panel is something that people will immediately recognize and know where it is coming from. Sound to be like that is pretty much the definition of iconic.
P.S. I don’t really care for the Ultimates (or much of the Authority comics for that matter) but I don’t deny their impact.

GAVIN = WAAAHHH

I don’t recognise the Spidey and Thor ones, bit that Ultimates panel is a classic. And yes, the French aren’t cowards – if anything Tony Blair was the coward for bending to George W Bush’s demands and the French were the brave ones for standing up for their beliefs, but it was still funny as hell!

WAAAHHH= TROLL

This is supposed to be about our opinions on the panels…don’l like mine? Go f-yourself. Post your opinion or counter-argument or GTFO.

Another day, another lame Cap panel. Ultimate Cap taking a cheap shot at France as one of the most iconic panels in Marvel’s 50 year history? Really?

Three good choices today, Brian. That Ultimates panel is probably the most iconic Marvel panel of the past decade. I don’t like it all that much either, but it certainly belongs on the list.

That Ultimates panel is quite bad, Warren Ellis did a MAGNIFICENT takedown of it on Nextwave, though.

By far the best one here is the Thunder Frog panel. There is true creativity and imagination at work here, differently from the cheap shock value on the third one, and it’s better executed graphically than the first one (sorry Gil Kane, but you did much better on the following issues).

Best,
Hunter (Pedro Bouça)

@DanCJ: “I don’t recognise the Spidey and Thor ones, bit that Ultimates panel is a classic.”

??????
Haven’t read or seen many super hero comics prior to this decade, eh?

I’d choose #2. Simonson was batting 1.000 on Thor then and the frog story line struck a chord with the readers.

While the multi-armed Spidey story was in it’s 100th issue and an interesting idea, I mean if you’re going to buy the idea that getting bit by a radioactive spider will give you spider-like abilities (instead of giving you radiation poisoning) then how far do you take the transformation? Do you take it only far enough that he still looks/acts human or a little farther?

As for #3, if I couldn’t see the entirety of the mask/costume, I’d have no idea who’s face that was.

I’m ok with the Ultimates panel being in there, if only because that joke is repeated ad nauseam on these and other comics board.

Oh the furore of that Ultimates panel. I found it absolutely hilarious at the time, not because I agree with it but that its completely in context with the twat that is Ultimate Captain America.

The heat Ultimates gets off somme folks is so ridiculous. If anyone truly thinks this series is the worst comic of all time then they have had good look on their pull list.

You can dislike the Ultimate Cap panel — and I completely despise it; it’s so different from any Cap I know that this panel alone would convince me not to read Ultimates, if I hadn’t already been ignoring it — but you can’t deny that it’s recognizable, and therefore iconic.

If this were a DC discussion instead of Marvel, I’d have to consider the “Goddamned Batman” panel to be iconic as well, as much as I hate it. People know it, people reference it, and like it or not, it’s memorable.

Bernard the Poet

August 19, 2009 at 6:14 am

Sorry, but the Captain America panel is really offensive and shouldn’t be on a list like this.

France declared war on Germany in September 39 . They did it knowing full well that the ensuing battle was gong to be fought in France and that the Nazis had been preparing for war for years. They could have let Poland and the rest of Central and Eastern Europe be annexed by Germany peacefully, but instead they remained loyal to the national principal and the Rights of Man. For this, Europe and all democratic nations owe them a great debt.

Yes, their army was annihilated by Germans in 1940, but then no one defeated the Weirmacht without three-to-one numerical advantage and air supremacy, so that doesn’t make them uniquely incompetent or cowardly.

I fear that this post is coming across as a bit pompous and people will inevitably reply that the panel was just a joke, but REAL people REALLY died – tens of thousands of them – and any “joke” that perpetuates a simplistic and racist viewpoint should not be condemned, rather than praised as iconic.

Okay, I usually don’t complain and rarely post but… that first panel is certainly not “iconic”. I realize Spider-Man is going to have a lot of panels, but we can skip him every once in a while. Espcecially if you are only going to post stuff like this. Thor/Frog is not iconic either. The Captain America panel is great. A real memorable moment. Not these other two. You were only 1 out of 3 today. I am just surprised at how little diversity we are seeing in these panels. When people start saying “they don’t recognize” certain panels, that is the first clue that you are missing the boat on what “iconic” means.

I look forward to improved results.

@Bryant Hudson: “When people start saying “they don’t recognize” certain panels, that is the first clue that you are missing the boat on what “iconic” means.”

Well, having never read an issue of Ultimates, I have no idea what the hell panel #3 is. (and yes, a panel can still be iconic even to someone who’s never read the comic it’s from, but I’d never seen this panel before- ever. And I’ve been on the net reading comic sites for over 15 years) Nor have I heard or read it referenced anywhere.

Panel # 2 has been referenced and talked about for over 20 years.

Not liking a panel doesn’t mean it’s not iconic. Jesus.

When you’re covering 70 (or 48 plus a few golden age panels, anyway) years of history, even some longtime fans are going to have some gaps in what they’ve read or what was memorable to them. Some modern stuff doesn’t ressonate as strongly with older readers, and a lot of the bronze age panels don’t mean as much to younger readers. The Silver Age panels, not surprisingly, are the least constroversial, and will mostly likely end up dominating the top 10. I really think Brian’s done a hell of a job with this. So far I haven’t seen anything I didn’t recognize, and only one that I’d quibble with its iconic status (the Skurge panel, which is incredibly awesome, but I’m not sure if it belongs on this list).

At the risk of angering others….here goes.
#1: Stupid. This is not iconic, and rarely referenced since then.
#2. Whimsical and original…but NOT iconic
#3. Calm down everyone. If Cap selected another country, like Switzerland, would you still be as upset? I am anti-France for many reasons, but didn’t interpret or project the politics there. This is an iconic moment because for the first time, to me at least, Cap is a screaming lunatic…and I loved it. All other moments in his history display in fighting with nobility…wonderful but boring…. Here’s an intense, close up scene unlike any others.
Kudos.

The Ultimate Cap’s reference to France has nothing to do with WWII France. Yes, the French declared war against the Germans and many fought bravely to liberate their country after it was taken over. This is obviously a reference to postt 9/11 France who would not support the US in Afghanistan when they were searching for the Taliban. Whether you agree with the US invasion of Iraq or not this has nothing to do with that. And for the record, as an Army vet I can tell you that many, many Iraqi citizens were overjoyed that the US took out Hussein. If the media spent half as much time on those stories as they did the negative ones you people might have a different opinion on the whole thing.

I think the best thing about this thread is seeing how differently people see Marvel history.

comicbookreader

August 19, 2009 at 7:21 am

Take heart, Brian: the fact that this many people are fervently debating the relevance of the Ultimates panel means that you did right by selecting it. The debate is kind of the point, isn’t it?

And for all those screaming, “But the Cap I know and love would never say that!”: this is Ultimate Captain America. Totally different character, people. And for better or worse, this panel stands out as part of Marvel’s history. Deal with it.

I’m sorry, I DON’T mean to hijack this thread, but, after reading this comment:

@harry: “This is an iconic moment because for the first time, to me at least, Cap is a screaming lunatic…and I loved it. All other moments in his history display in fighting with nobility…wonderful but boring”

??????

Now I’ve stated that I’ve never read Ultimates, so I have NO idea what characters are in that book, but geezus, since when has it been established by any writer or editor that Captain America is a “screaming lunatic”? The character has been established for nearly 70 years as a noble warrior. That’s who the character is.

If that makes him boring, well then I guess (to you) Captain America is boring. You don’t have to read any book with that character in it. There are PLENTY of other characters and comics that are or feature screaming lunatics.
Why would any writer or editor radically change any character from who or what they are? That sounds like sloppy work to me.

(sorry for the hijack Brian)

comicbookreader

August 19, 2009 at 7:24 am

In regards to panel #1: I also find it amusing that the most recent memorable use of “Not Like This… NOT LIKE THIS!” is probably Hawkeye’s death scene from Bendis’s Avengers Disassembled storyline.

comicbookreader

August 19, 2009 at 7:32 am

@Richard J. Marcej: Since you admittedly haven’t read the Ultimates, I’ll remind you that ULTIMATE CAP =/= REGULAR 616 CAP. The noble Cap you know and love still safely exists in your longboxes (and I guess is in the process of being restored by Brubaker).

@harry: If it were Switzerland it would TOTALLY make sense because of their constant state of neutrality…hell, they even refused to be in the EU rather than be eventually subjected to possible coflict…not than I’m denigrating them, just saying they are resolute to remain neutral. In that context Cap’s comment would be much more appropriate.

@Chuck D: You have it totally wrong…the whole thing comes from their lack of support for the invasion of Iraq. There have been a total of something like 28 French casualties in Afghanistan. It was the whole freedom fries incident and also the hawk co-opting the “Cheese eating surrender monkeys” and other jingoistic B.S. that went on during that time.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_Fries

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheese_Eating_Surrender_Monkeys

This type of thing is not becoming of Cap and is jingoistic and at worst, just plain ignorant. Like I said, lazy writing to criticize the overseas actions and knee-jerk response in a response to 9/11 and how so many of our choices were compromised by a lack of thinking it all through by being blinded to speaking points and whatnot. That is the point of the Ultimates and how they are a team of heroes but co-opted by the govt. in a misguided usage of them.

Omar Karindu, with the power of SUPER-hypocrisy!

August 19, 2009 at 7:40 am

Hitler’s face is incredibly iconic, to the point hat he killed off an entire style of mustache perhaps for all time. Hitler is also monstrous, but this monstrosity does not make him less iconic — he’s just an icon of evil for most people (and, distressingly, admiration for a small but sometimes vocal fringe element).

Tom Fitzpatrick

August 19, 2009 at 7:40 am

THOR the Thunder-frog!

Wins hands down!

Is it to late for me to request a panel from Colossus beating up Ord in Whedon’s first AXM arc? Either the shot of him and Kitty phasing up through the floor behind Ord, or Peter laying the smackdown while shouting “I am made of RAGE!”

Uh, Chuck, you do realize the French are part of the coalition forces in Afghanistan, right? Mind you, that’s nothing to be proud of. That war has managed to kill thousands of civilians, destroy what little infrastructure Afghanistan has, and restart the opium trade. The Taliban is still around and their opposition treats women just as badly. The only point of this stupid war was to access the landlocked Tajik natural gas reserves. In 2001, the Taliban was open to turn Bin Laden over to a third party government. Bush scoffed at this offer — if he’d taken it seriously, he would have lost the pretext for an imperialist war. 8 years later and the US still doesn’t have Bin Laden in hand. At what point do you Bush toadies start admitting the war in Afghanistan was and is a total failure? You destroyed a country and murdered thousands of innocent people for NOTHING.

Oh, and Chuck the overwhelming position of Iraqis in surveys is the want the US to get the hell out of their country. Maybe this is because of the 100,000 plus civilian casualties you “heroes” are responsible for. I’m sure there were Wehrmacht vets who went back to Germany and argued how overjoyed the French were about being invaded. You’ll find collaborators in any invasion. You’ll also find militant resistance forces. When those resistance forces are on our side, we call them war heroes. When they are the people of a country we’ve crushed, we call it genocide.

Amidst all the “support our troops” propaganda, it’s become politically incorrect to disrupt all of the self-congratulation of the US military to point out the obvious — the war in Iraq and Afghanistan were crimes against humanity and those who chose to serve in them are complicit in atrocities. Stop being so damned proud of yourself and have some shame for the orphans, widows, and widowers created by your sham “wars of liberation.”

I’d never seen the Ultimates one, but vaguely knew about it because of the awesome riposte in Nextwave. I’m encouraged by its presence on the list, though, because that means we may be getting some iconic Mini-Marvels panels on here. Ooo, or Marvel Adventures. Galactus playing baseball!

Richard,

If you’ve never read Ultimates you may not realize that the whole point of the book was to take these traditional Marvel characters and reimagine them from a modern point of view. Ultimate Cap shares similarities with regular Cap but he is not the same character. The same goes with the Ultimate versions of Thor, Iron Man, Wasp, Giant Man, etc. This wasn’t sloppy work. I like both versions of Cap and he has been one of my favourite characters for over 30 years (which is weird since I’m Canadian), so there you go.

Out of these three, the only one that doesn’t fit at all is the multiple-armed-Spidey one; it’s entirely forgettable despite being so over-the-top.

The Frog!Thor scene is a total classic, full stop. It’s fantastic and funny, and still talked about twenty years later. Definitely the most iconic of this bunch.

And the “This A doesn’t stand for France!” may have been controversial, but it’s undeniably a memorable moment, because it illustrated one of the uglier aspects of Ultimate Cap’s character. That version of Captain America offended many fans and made many others laugh out loud, but it was perfectly consistent with Ultimate Cap, and an interesting echo of many of his compatriot’s worldview. Unlikable characterization is not the same as bad characterization (and as Pedro mentioned, Ellis mocked that scene brilliantly in “Nextwave”).

“Gavin, just because you don’t like something doesn’t mean it isn’t iconic.”-Can we have a moratorium on this idiotic phrase please?
When someone delineates the reason(s) behind their opinion of something, that does not leave them open for such a cheap shot. Gavin neither said nor implied it isn’t iconic because he didn’t like it. Basically he said “I don’t like it, I don’t think it is iconic, and here’s why.” people who use the tired “oh just because you don’t like it…” probably think they are being clever when in fact they are just killing their own argument.
Rule of Response #2-Stick to the facts. You can’t imply something that the other person did not say and then argue against it. It makes your response seem petty and inconsequential.
Rule #1, BTW, is “be nice”.

I agree with the Cap panel’s inclusion. It was easily the most repeated line I’d read in comics in a long time. I lent out my comics a lot, and everyone who returned that one brought up that line.

GREAT LIST! Love the Spidey one, the Throg one is uber classic, and I’m glad you added in that Cap splash. Friggin’ hysterical!

Oh – there’s a great panel in PPSSM, I think #79, where Spidey rips all 4 of Ock’s arms off! Ya gotta add that one!

Splint Chesthair

August 19, 2009 at 8:28 am

It’s not iconic by any stretch of the imagination, because it’s a minor point in the Vision/Scarlet Witch storyline, but my favorite Captain America panel was from Avengers # 113. Cap starts reading through all the angry letters the Avengers have received after Vision and Wanda went public with their relationship, and comes across one that proclaims they’ll all go to hell for condoning an “unnatural” relationship between a mutant and a robot. Cap hurls the letter in the fireplace, shouting, “I don’t know who your God is, mister, but a God of love is mine!”

It’s a neat moment that shows that Cap’s values are the American ideal of “liberty and justice for all” and not just whatever the popular sentiment of the time deems them to be, like in Ultimates. It’s Cap wanting everyone to have a chance at the pursuit of happiness and taking a (dare I say) progressive view that probably comes with having thunder gods, robots and mutants among your drinking buddies.

As far as iconic Cap panels go, I’d nominate his faceoff with Thanos during “Infinity Gauntlet.” Both Cap and Thanos know there’s no way Cap can win a one-on-one fight, but Cap stands up to him anyway, saying Thanos will never win so long as one man stands against him. It’s drawn as a series of long horizontal panels that give the impression of Cap marching to his certain death like a good soldier.

That Ultimate Cap panel is iconic, but for all the wrong reasons. It’s an everlasting symbol of just how terrible a writer Mark Millar really is. And Cap, Ultimate or not, would never be so stupid as to say anything like that.

I’ve read maybe 2 or 3 issues of Thor in my life and I instantly recognized that panel. Seems iconic enough to me.

agree with Dave. And I think it’s silly how a particular person or two complain about too many Cap Iconic panels yet they don’t bother to offer any other iconic panels. Cap and Spidey are going to appear in the most number of Marvel Iconic panels because they have the most Iconic imagery.

If we are going down this road how about “HULK WANT FREDDIE PRINZE JR!”? ; )

France is still providing support in Afghanistan even though America’s rightwingnuts tell us we must hate France because they didn’t believe Bush and Cheney’s claim that Saddam had WMD’s.

Who was right?

If it weren’t for Lafayette’s support at the Battle of Yorktown, there wouldn’t have been a United States of america.

I vote for Thunderfrog for the beautiful way it encapsulates so much that I love about mainstream superhero comics–and it’s stylistically a great representation for the artist.

AND I vote for Cap, because I love that panel, and it encapsulates a whole lot about the entire series–in that Ultimate Cap is completely different from regular Cap, and the Ultimates is a naughty little series that takes modern political issues, strips them of the actual politics and remixes them in amusingly shallow ways.

Dumb as it is, it is an extremely effective panel.

it’s funny how people always seem to forget that without the French, the United States of America wouldn’t even exist. men like L’Enfant and La Fayette volunteered to fight the British on the shared idea of liberty. the French navy was instrumental in the American victory over Cornwallis at battle of Yorktown. our country wouldn’t have existed without the French.

i would have to go with the ulitmates pannel for it shows cap tikced off and having to remind some villian where he comes from.

Random Stranger

August 19, 2009 at 9:44 am

I wish I could say that Cap panel was one of the worst things Marvel has ever published but then I look at Loeb…

So it’s an incredibly bad panel that everyone recognizes because of how terrible it is and how it set the tone for the downward spiral of the Ultimate universe. It definitely belongs in a list of iconic panels.

Looks like Cap is going full retard there.

The Thor-Frog pannel is fun and cool and all, but I’d hardly call it iconic…

Heck yeah, Thor frog!

The cap panel is iconic. Stop whining people.

I enjoy reading these comments. It’s fun to have 30 people talk about how much they love Panel X and how it’s the greatest thing ever and they have a tattoo of it, and then person 31 says “That panel isn’t iconic” with no explanation at all why. Personally, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Brian has been doing an excellent job all around. I’d go so far as to say that if he posts something and says it’s iconic and you don’t know the panel, it’s more about your ignorance than the panel not being iconic.

For example, even though I’m a huge Avengers fan and have been active in the Avengers fan community for well over a decade, not only have I never read Ultimates or seen this panel before, I’ve never once even heard anyone mention it. Ever. Does that mean it’s not iconic just because I am ignorant of it? Probably not. My guess is that this panel became famous because of internet arguments over it like the one here, meaning it’s more iconic to the internet community than to the comic fan base at large; but that doesn’t mean it isn’t iconic.

I’m particularly puzzled over people complaining about the Thor panels the last couple days. Simonson’s Thor run is probably the most famous and acclaimed era in Thor’s 47 year history, and if you ask people what images they remember from it I’m guessing most people would have Thunder Frog and Skurge’s death right at the top of the list (along with Loki and Thor calling out Father! when Odin dies and the cover of Thor 337). How are these not iconic? I haven’t seen anyone offer any actual reasons for not including them.

I’ve never heard of the Captain America one at all. I’ve never seen the other two, either, but I have heard about them many, many times over the years, so it seems to me that they are far more iconic.
I don’t really like having an Ultimate panel on here, because to me it’s not really Marvel. I suppose that’s just a prejudice on my part. I’ve been against the whole Ultimate concept from the moment I first heard about it. If they wanted to create new types of characters and situations, then why didn’t they just make them completely new? Like the New Universe (only done right). I don’t like having multiple versions of Marvel characters confusing new readers. (And that’s an important thing to keep in mind. There was once a time when comics were read by a large portion of the population, or at least the young population. Now it’s just a small close-knit subculture. One major reason for that is that it’s hard for a young person with little or no knowledge of these characters or their world to just pick up a book and follow the story with any interest. It seems sometimes that you have to conduct a lot of research before you can even hope to enjoy some series. And as long as this is the case, there is always a strong possiblity that the fan subculture may shrink further as they age, until there aren’t enough readers to keep the publishers in business.)

For example, even though I’m a huge Avengers fan and have been active in the Avengers fan community for well over a decade, not only have I never read Ultimates or seen this panel before, I’ve never once even heard anyone mention it. Ever. Does that mean it’s not iconic just because I am ignorant of it? Probably not. My guess is that this panel became famous because of internet arguments over it like the one here, meaning it’s more iconic to the internet community than to the comic fan base at large; but that doesn’t mean it isn’t iconic.

Right, for that reason I’d say that the infamous Liefeld image of the anatomically impossible Cap is probably more “iconic” than any of the ’90s or ’00s Cap panels shown here, just because people drag it out so often to exemplify the excesses of ’90s comics — but I don’t think it’s an actual panel from a comic, so it doesn’t count for our purposes.

I’m sad to see no Conan images in the mix, but it’s hard to pick one image that stands out, unless it’s the first appearance of Red Sonya or something like that.

Are we gonna get any Iron Man panels in this? I don’t think he’s really shown up yet…

here’s the thing abt that cap panel (which, for better or worse, SHOULD be considered for iconicity): it has nothing to do w/the actual bravery of France / the French — ESPECIALLY in WWII.

It has EVERYTHING to do w/American’s attitudes to France / the French post 9/11 — “Freedom Fries” is right on point, there. And all of that junk. Moreover, it has EVERYTHING to do with Millar’s attitude to that American attitude. Basically it’s (good euro-lefty) Millar’s piss-take on an amped-up (if you will, “ultimate”) American jingoism in the middle early ’00s).

Not apologizing for that panel; I rolled my eyes then and do still — it’s just trying sooo hard, on so many levels, for a reaction (not the least of which is having a character who looks like “good ol’ cap” spouting that line) — just setting the context, because anything outside that context is just playing into what Millar was trying to do

Time to quit being so uptight, fanboys. Its comics. That Captain America panel is funny, and weird. Good choice. And as for that guy that said Ultimate comics shouldn’t be included because they’re not Marvel: They are Marvel. You know why? They were published by Marvel.

That said, I think, yeah, this Cap panel was supposed to be the Ultimates version of Cap in a bit of commentary about gung ho patriotism. In that sense, it’s certainly iconic of the Ultimates.

I think some people are missing the point that the Ultimates Cap IS a jingoistic, unlikeable character. The 616 cap is the living embodiment of all the lingering nostalgia of the 40s and 50s – the epitome of the “Leave it to Beaver” mentality along with *positive* strong patriotism, love of country, and good manners. The Ultimates Cap is the *inversion* of that – he’s the embodiment of all the negative aspects. He’s not MEANT to be a role model or hero. Ultimates wasn’t about good guys versus bad – it’s about OUR guys versus THEM, good or bad.

That image is iconic… it’s very negative, and it was MEANT to be that way. It’s a character building moment. The Ultimate Cap isn’t a nice guy.

I think some people are missing the point that the Ultimates Cap IS a jingoistic, unlikeable character.

No, he’s freaking awesome. He’s how Captain America should be and I like him very much. Just because he’s unlikeable to you doesn’t mean he’s universally unlikeable.

That Ultimates panel is quite bad, Warren Ellis did a MAGNIFICENT takedown of it on Nextwave, though.

If Warren Ellis didn’t like it, that’s even more proof it’s great. Ellis’s cheap shots at America got pretty tiresome in Nextwave anyway.

Sorry, T. I have to agree with DuckPuppy – I think that Ult Cap is meant to be a jingoistic, unlikeable character. IMO, that moment with Ult Cap screaming about France was meant to be a parody by Mark Millar.

Sorry, T. I have to agree with DuckPuppy – I think that Ult Cap is meant to be a jingoistic, unlikeable character. IMO, that moment with Ult Cap screaming about France was meant to be a parody by Mark Millar.

Maybe he is meant to be jingoistic and unlikeable. Maybe the moment is meant to be a parody by Mark Millar. Regardless of what was intended, Ultimate Cap turned out extremely likeable instead and the moment became iconic and classic. Sometimes what we intend isn’t what results.

Bernard the Poet

August 19, 2009 at 1:19 pm

T wrote: – “Ultimate Cap turned out extremely likeable instead and the moment became iconic and classic. Sometimes what we intend isn’t what results.”

Exactly, and that’s why it shouldn’t be on a list like this, because taken out of the context of the Ultimates series the panel is jingoist and offensive.

Roquefort Raider

August 19, 2009 at 1:30 pm

Oh, come on. We recently had a panel where Hank Pym strikes his wife. Taken out of context it is also very offensive. Ultimate Cap is clearly far to the right of the political spectrum : of course he’d buy the anti-French venom of Bush Jr. and company. That panel was totally in character, and it is definitely iconic; it’s one of the best-remembered panels of the 2000s.

Well chosen, Brian.

LouReedRichards

August 19, 2009 at 1:35 pm

I agree with Butler. It’s sad that the most iconic image of Cap in the last 25 or so years is the “man boobs” version of Cap…

I’m going with the panel #2. The Spider-Man panel is ok, but since there are going to be sooo many of his anyway, I’d say let this one drop. Thunder Frog all the way!

As far as panel #3 – As I’ve stated, the Ultimate Universe has never intrigued me, as a big Cap fan I guess I should count myself lucky. I think reading a jingoistic a-hole Cap would really be a drag.

Also: Is it just me or is it a bit irritating to have somebody declare a comic from the last ten years or so a “classic”, but then turn around and say something like ::insert beloved Silver Age/Bronze Age iconic moment here:: isn’t iconic, because they haven’t read or heard of it?

Probably about as irritating as me griping because I don’t recognize any of the moments from the last 15 or so years.

Exactly, and that’s why it shouldn’t be on a list like this, because taken out of the context of the Ultimates series the panel is jingoist and offensive.

No. Out of context it’s awesome and excellent. In context, it’s awesome and excellent. No matter what was intended with it, the result was pure gold.

Have we had anything from Byrne’s Fantastic Four? There’s a scene in Annual #17 which I think is the first time Sue sends her balls/spikes of force at Dr. Doom, indicating that the Invisible Girl is going to become the Invisible Woman for the first time.

I busted up laughing the first time I saw that Ultimates panel. I vote for that one.

Also: Damn, dudes, lighten up.

LouReedRichards

August 19, 2009 at 2:20 pm

I whole heartedly agree on having some Byrne FF in here, it is my favorite run of comics ever.
Hard to think of any really iconic panels from his 60 issue run, but damn what a ride it is!

Maybe that whole “Terrax’s penis” thing that people get worked up about might count…

BTW: I thought the FF fought the Skrull cow people in FF Annual #17.

There is a sort of gray area between the start of the 1970s and the beginnings of the Internet, particularly for Marvel Comics. That is why some people will not accept panels #1 and #2 as iconic. If it’s not in the 1960s and it’s not in the last 10-15 years, then a lot of people didn’t hear of it.

I’m an exception, because I’m very fond of Marvel in the 1980s. So, more Simonson, please!

And I agree with Omar Karindu and disagree with Bernard. Just because something is evil it doesn’t mean it isn’t iconic or shouldn’t appear in these lists. The Nazi Swastika is incredibly iconic, after all.

Oh yeah, I’d love to see some more Byrne panels here too, stuff from FF and She-Hulk.

And American Anti-French sentiment is older than the Iraq War. For instance: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/112_Gripes_about_the_French

And I agree with Omar Karindu and disagree with Bernard. Just because something is evil it doesn’t mean it isn’t iconic or shouldn’t appear in these lists. The Nazi Swastika is incredibly iconic, after all.

And in addition, the Cap panel is not even evil or bad so the point about whether or not evil counts as iconic is moot.

I mean come on, Nextwave was LOADED with jokes at the expense of Americans and pro-Europe (pro-British specifically) sentiments. Yet people were able to have a sense of humor about it. So why not this?

That Ultimates panel was good for a nice chuckle, but not much else. Another one that’s too recent to have really earned icon status. Ten years from now, I doubt it’ll mean much of anything, even to people who actually read the story.

And, on a purely personal/aesthetic note, I thought that Hitch’s work on Ultimates, while pretty to look at, was no fun to actually read. He seemed more interest in showing off his (unquestionably amped up) draftsmanship) over actual storytelling. I much preferred his work on the Authority which, while less hyper-detailed, was both aesthetically pleasing and story functional.

I might be confusing my FF Annuals, but I think the mad cows and Doom and the Puppet Master and tiny FF dolls are all tied up together.

Shawn – I think the Skrull cows are referenced in one FF Annual, while the Tinytown story is in FF #250, if I’m not mistaken.

T. – I’m not sure whether the panel is “evil,” I won’t join the political debate on either side. Really, my point is just that ethics and morals and stuff like that shouldn’t enter into a discussion about whether something is iconic or not.

I wasn’t attacking you Rene, just saying that the argument shouldn’t even have to reach that point because its hardly unethical. If Nextwave can be chockful of anti-American stereotypes and recreate Ella Bloodstone as a patriotic Brit who makes jokes at the expense of fat “American proles” in battle and no one finds it unethical, why can’t we have a sense of humor at someone recreating Cap America as a patriotic American who makes jokes at the expense of “wimpy” French? If someone called the Nextwave stuff unethical or immoral they’d be laughed off the board, and rightly so. That’s why I think such notions really have no place discussing the Ultimates panel either.

Wait, if Ultimates “recreated” Cap as a patriotic American… are you implying that previous versions of the character were not patriotic? Or at least insufficiently patriotic?

a patriotic American who makes fun of wimpy French (Ultimates version) as opposed to the patriotic American who solemnly praises their WW2 sacrifice (Mainstream Marvel version). Happy?

You guys know that in the next issue Cap was like “Yeah, it was just one of those things that came out in the heat of battle.” It’s not like Ultimate Cap has some deep hatred for the French, he was just psyched up and in the zone. Everyone says stupid stuff when they’re pumped up like that.

Look, the way I see this is that out of all the Ultimate comics, all the series, all the minis, all the specials, that’s the one panel where anyone who read it will know which one you’re talking about.

That makes it iconic, whether you like the line, or the art, or the series, or not.

I can see arguing it’s “too new” to be iconic. I don’t agree with that argument myself, but “too new” makes a certain amount of sense.

The other arguments for “it is not iconic” raised in this thread have generally been ones I don’t find persuasive. Even people who haven’t read any Ultimate have probably seen this panel. I have quite a few friends who don’t even read comics regularly that have seen and reacted to it. It’s a potent image.

I agree with Butler. It’s sad that the most iconic image of Cap in the last 25 or so years is the “man boobs” version of Cap…

I’m pretty sure the most iconic image of Cap in the last 25 years involved his body after being shot. To be fair, that’s sad also.

I consider 2 and 3 iconic (for those complaining about 2, there’s a reason the Pet Avengers contain a Throg.) I can see an argument for 1, but it feels like posting a picture of Electric Superman and calling that iconic.

“But — not like this! Not like this!”

That was a catch-phrase for my sisters and brother and I all through our youth. Iconic for sure.

Thor Frog was a great story, but I doubt that anyone who didn’t read it when it first came out could have described a single panel of it to you. Not Iconic.

The A-Head panel is offensive and obnoxious, but it’s the only panel from the whole Ultimate line that I could have quoted or drawn for you. Memorable? For sure. Iconic? Yeah, I guess.

Mutt, I’m going to have to disagree with you on the Thor Frog panel (which I have already sort of defended here once, but if I may). I think one thing that’s happening right now in comics is that what we think of as iconic is being redefined by a new generation of writers and artists who are beginning to reference works from when they were reading books as a kid. As a result, stuff from the 80’s that we might have dismissed as just another fun story 10 years ago is now being re-evaluated because the creators are forcing us to re-evaluate them.

It’s probably true that up until a few years ago people outside of Thor fans from way back wouldn’t have known about the Frog story. But as Thok pointed out, there’s a Throg character being published right now, just as there was an entire issue of Thor recently devoted solely to talking about how awesome the Skurge death scene was (i.e. Thor: God Sized). Another example might be the completely inexplicable return of Mockingbird, which I don’t think anyone outside of the writer cared one bit about; but since he was a Mockingbird fan, they brought her back, and who knows but five years form now Mockingbird may be the most popular female hero in the Marvel Universe and suddenly the panel where she drops Phantom Rider off the cliff in WCA is one of the most iconic panels of all time.

I doubt that will happen, but what we think of as iconic is changing, has changed and will change. Yes, that seems to go against the whole idea of being iconic, but I think that’s just the difference between what will be the top ten panels and the bottom ten. If this were the Top 50 Most Iconic Panels in Marvel History and the list were being done in 1989, I have a feeling a lot of panels people now don’t remember at all would have been on the list. The Frog wasn’t iconic once, but it is now.

For the FF questions: Terror in a Tiny Town was in FF#236, and Doom gives compliments to Sue’s prowess in FF#259. He tells her “…for the first time I am even compelled to consider you, whom I once thought the weakest of the four, might actually survive a battle with Victor Von Doom. I agree there should be more Byrne FF here.

As for the Ultimates panel, *ehh* it’s significance is already fading since I think most people have forgotten about France’s reluctance to go on the Bush version of the Crusades. I’d vote to add “Santa Doom” instead. :-)

** is anyone else getting the audio an annoying ad playing on this site?

I was expecting the Ultimates panel and the Thor/Frog to show up (although I wasn’t sure which specific Thor panel it would be, but this is a good choice).

I haven’t had much interest in Warren Ellis’s Nextwave, I think his writing’s great but am not really into his superhero-bashing. But I am really curious to see his rebuttal to this Ultimates panel. I suspect I’ll be greatly amused.

On FF: I think I figured out, you’re right about the Skrull Cows/Annual #17, and Tiny Town was maybe FF #236, which was a double-sized anniversary issue of some sort. I’m finally indexing all my comics, but I haven’t made it to the FF box yet. Sorry for the confusion.

On whether Cap being nationalistic is the same thing as patriotism: I don’t think it is. I don’t find the image as offensive as I do Hank abusing his wife, and while I think it’s a tacky sort of icon to have, I can see why it matters to some.

I don’t think it’s possible to keep politics out of this sort of process, and I don’t think we should try. Some images evoke strong reactions; whether that makes them iconic, or just upsetting, is one of the questions worth answering.

Thank you, Scott Harris! For some reason, it had slipped my mind, but you’re right! Mockingbird letting the Phantom Rider fall off the cliff should definitely be on this list!

“SonTenks
August 19, 2009 at 4:21 pm

Look, the way I see this is that out of all the Ultimate comics, all the series, all the minis, all the specials, that’s the one panel where anyone who read it will know which one you’re talking about.

That makes it iconic, whether you like the line, or the art, or the series, or not.”

==============================================================

No, it doesn’t. Just because something is widely known or recognized doesn’t automatically make it iconic.

If being widely known or recognized isn’t sufficient criteria for being considered iconic, then what is?

I’d like to see Frog Thor kick Ultimate Cap’s ass.

What about the scene in FF 66/67 where the blind Alicia Masters confronts the cocoon from which ‘Him’ will emerge? I think it’s a full page panel…

Really enjoying the top 70, don’t agree with all of them, but what the hell?

whether that makes them iconic, or just upsetting, is one of the questions worth answering.

Why does upsetting and iconic have to be mutually upsetting? What matters is that it’s memorable, not the emotion it evokes. Pym hitting the Wasp is upsetting, does that make it not qualify for being iconic? Far as I know, there’s no “positivity” or “uplifting” or “politically correct” requirement in any definition of iconic that I’ve ever seen. You just want it excluded due to the fact it offends your political sensibilities and are attempting to backwards rationalize it.

@DanCJ: “I don’t recognise the Spidey and Thor ones, bit that Ultimates panel is a classic.”

??????
Haven’t read or seen many super hero comics prior to this decade, eh?

I’ve been reading superhero comics heavily since 1986/7. That said, with the exception of the Frank Miller stuff, I haven’t been impressed by the Marvel stuff I’ve read from before Joe Q came along. Still I have enough Marvel knowledge that I’d have thought the truly iconic images should at least be vaguely familiar to me.

I fear that this post is coming across as a bit pompous and people will inevitably reply that the panel was just a joke, but REAL people REALLY died – tens of thousands of them – and any “joke” that perpetuates a simplistic and racist viewpoint should not be condemned, rather than praised as iconic.

The panel says nothing about the French. It says a lot about Ultimate Cap.

If that makes him boring, well then I guess (to you) Captain America is boring. You don’t have to read any book with that character in it. There are PLENTY of other characters and comics that are or feature screaming lunatics.
Why would any writer or editor radically change any character from who or what they are? That sounds like sloppy work to me.

That Ultimate Cap panel is iconic, but for all the wrong reasons. It’s an everlasting symbol of just how terrible a writer Mark Millar really is. And Cap, Ultimate or not, would never be so stupid as to say anything like that.

Some people don’t seem to quite have the concept of what the Ultimate Universe is about. These are different characters to their 616 counterparts. Some are similar and others aren’t. Captain America is one of the less similar characters, but the version in The Ultimates is the first version that I’ve ever found interesting (and until Brubaker came along, the only version)

Yes, their army was annihilated by Germans in 1940, but then no one defeated the Weirmacht without three-to-one numerical advantage and air supremacy, so that doesn’t make them uniquely incompetent or cowardly.

I fear that this post is coming across as a bit pompous and people will inevitably reply that the panel was just a joke, but REAL people REALLY died – tens of thousands of them – and any “joke” that perpetuates a simplistic and racist viewpoint should not be condemned, rather than praised as iconic.

Where does the panel specifically mock the tens of thousands of French who died in WW2. There is a long history of “French people as wimps” humor in the Anglosphere that predates WW2. Just because he makes fun of the French doesn’t necessarily mean he’s mocking the French who died in WW2 any more than Ella Bloodstone’s anti-American jokes in Nextwave mean she’s taunting the Americans who died in 9/11.

I wrote above:

Why does upsetting and iconic have to be mutually upsetting?

I meant to write “mutually exclusive.”

For all those whose arguments against the iconic status of the Ultimate Cap panel include the phrases, “Well, I’ve never read the Ultimates, but…” or “Captain America would never say that…”: PLEASE. STOP. POSTING.

The Ultimate Universe is 10 years old; 1/7 of Marvel’s purported 70-year history. And after ten years of Ultimate comics, this is the panel people remember or reference from those comics.

Plus, it’s not like Cap is sitting around the dinner table, offering to say a few words about the French. He’s in the middle of a life or death situation where he’s been beaten up and beaten down. He’s mad as hell and he’s looking to scream something, anything, loudly and angrily.

Of course Cap would say something like that. Ultimate Cap would always say something like that. He’s a jock, a soldier boy, and while he may be a hero, he’s also a bit of a bully and a brawler. He is not, however a diplomat or a statesman.

Man, I’m a French Canadian, and I still think that line was bad-ass.

Of course, one must also remember that these are choices up for vote- not the final outcome. If you don’t think its iconic, don’t vote for it!

The Cap panel is iconic in a “Janet Jackson Super Bowl slip-up” sort of way. As an adult reader getting into Marvel stuff after ten years away, I was enjoying The Ultimates until that panel, where I got kind of embarrassed, and knew I’d never recommend it to anyone. Rather than have a dramatic concept or image, rather than expand the character, it just played on a dumb nationalist stereotype. It made the portrayal of Cap more simplistic and ignorant. So it’s iconic like Rob Liefeld’s Captain America was. Can we get some of Liefeld’s images of Cap in the list? He also ‘added’ a lot to the character.

And, I have a feeling that anyone who disagrees with me will inevitably be American. No other country on the planet thinks France is a punchline.

But def, that’s the point!

No other country thinks France is a punchline.

He’s Captain America.

He’s 1945! Right-wing, family values, blue collar all-American!

He’s not a left-winger. While I am, I can appreciate that he’s very much written with a clear voice. Ultimate Cap is a clearly defined, if somewhat overly republican super-hero. Tea Parties and screaming at town hall meetings, France-bashing, but also tough as nails, and bad as he wants to be.

T., you don’t think conveying the status of iconic to something is related to making a value judgment?

As I said in an earlier thread, I believe iconic does have a “positivity” or “uplifting” or “politically correct” requirement. Icons were originally objects of worship, sacred images within churches. Does none of that connotation remain? Do we make icons of that which we don’t want to possess or be or live up to? If you don’t respect or even like your icons, why care about them at all?

T., btw, it’s not that iconic and upsetting are mutually exclusive. It’s that merely being upsetting isn’t enough to qualify as iconic. Whether upsetting or not, the image also has to have some kind of symbolic power.

I think it’s fair to say that “iconic” is used by comic fans to mean something quite divorced from the word’s etymological roots. That’s fine– language drifts, and sub-cultures routinely appropriate old words and give them new meanings to create useful jargon.

No other country thinks France is a punchline.

Where did you get that idea? It’s blatantly wrong. Try England and the rest of the Anglosphere for starters, going back centuries. Two british quotes from different centuries for starters:

“I do not dislike the French for the vulgar antipathy between neighbouring nations, but for their insolent and unfounded airs of superiority” (Horace Walpole 1787) from the “I Hate the French Official Handbook”

“Oh please, spare us all from France…. What a worthless bunch of bullies and braggarts the French are” (Julie Burchill, Sunday Times July 7, 1995)

Also, mistake a German guy for French like I once did years ago based on someone’s surname and see if America has a monopoly on French-bashing. I sure got an earful of anti-French language that day.

Whether upsetting or not, the image also has to have some kind of symbolic power.

It does have symbolic power. It just doesn’t symbolize something you like. But how can you say the panel doesn’t symbolize anything at all? That would mean that it’s devoid of meaning. The fact you can get so worked up about it is proof in and of itself that it must have SOME symbolic power. Otherwise you would have apathy over it, and no passion for it pro- or con-.

Then we should use a different word. Above you asked “If being widely known or recognized isn’t sufficient criteria for being considered iconic, then what is?” The missing factor is this: devotion. Infamy and worship aren’t the same.

Icons were originally objects of worship, sacred images within churches. Does none of that connotation remain? Do we make icons of that which we don’t want to possess or be or live up to? If you don’t respect or even like your icons, why care about them at all?

One group’s icons are another group’s blasphemy. Those same objects of worship within Catholic churches were often object of controversy and scorn among Protestants and militant Muslims through the ages. Likewise, the fact that a certain amount of comic fans don’t like this image doesn’t change the fact that it’s a piece of powerful imagery that is held in high regard by another group of fans.

Then we should use a different word. Above you asked “If being widely known or recognized isn’t sufficient criteria for being considered iconic, then what is?” The missing factor is this: devotion. Infamy and worship aren’t the same.

If no one had any devotion to this panel, it would be a one-sided comments thread and you’d have no one to argue with, right? The fact that it’s over 100 comments of back and forth show there obviously is some devotion to it.

I was responding to Lynxara above, btw.

T., are we talking about Cap insulting the French or Hank hitting Jan now? About the former, I’m not worked up. I know exactly what that image means, and I agree with comments above that it says more about Ultimate Cap than anything else, a character I find intriguing. About the latter, I hope it doesn’t make the top ten, and I will not vote for either myself after the 24th.

Also, I have yet to see anyone explain to me why America being the constant butt of Ellis’s jokes and the Ella Bloodstone character in particular in Nextwave is acceptable but this single-panel joke is such an outrage.

Shawn, I was mixing up posters. Forget it then.

The English word “icon” is derived from the same Greek root that gives the Greek Orthodox (not Catholic) ikons their name, but that word’s etymology does not necessarily reference worship of ikons. The word came into English meaning “symbol” and then acquired a host of other new meanings based on its evolving usage.

I find it patently ridiculous to say that you can’t call an image iconic unless people feel devotion to it. For one, T. in this thread clearly does feel devoted to it and it seems reasonable to assume that at least some others may feel the same way. Is that not sufficient for meeting your requirements?

Two, the English word icon is used in plenty of contexts where devotion is wholly beside the point of the usage… or do I have to feel devoted to my copy of Firefox to click on its desktop icon? So why do we have to feel devotion to comic book panels, rather than acknowledging them as potent symbols of certain famous tales or cultural zeitgeists?

Lynxara, because a word has multiple meanings (conveniently numbered in most dictionaries to reflect either chronology or frequency) doesn’t mean the list is infinite. Of course we’re not talking about desk-top icons/shortcuts/buttons. That would have been a rather silly project for Brian to initiate, unless there’s a subgroup of computer users who’ve changed all theirs to lanterns and bats and big red S’s.

Instead, he’s picking memorable, important, powerful, symbolic, beloved, remembered, famous (and sometimes infamous) single panels that come from stories that matter to us. IE, I think we can agree we’re talking about definition 1. here rather than definition 4. or 5.

“Devotion” is also a word that has wider applicability than its original religious context. I’m not asking for anyone to start praying to Thunderfrog. But I am hoping that the images that rise to the top of this list are at least well-liked.

Thor Frog, please.

“Shawn Hill
August 20, 2009 at 9:37 am

Instead, he’s picking memorable, important, powerful, symbolic, beloved, remembered, famous (and sometimes infamous) single panels that come from stories that matter to us.”

=================================================================================

Which is exactly why I don’t think the Ultimates panel counts. In the big picture of Marvel comic book history, I don’t think that scene or story is really all that memorable, important, powerful, symbolic, beloved, or matters all that much. It’s not any kind of watershed moment in the history of the company or character. It’s kind of a funny joke that’s really only funny for a fleeting second the first time you read it.

Personally, I don’t think it’s something that, years from now, people are likely to remember fondly as a key moment in their comic reading experience. I could be wrong, of course, but we won’t know until more years have past and it’s become something people can look back on, which is the reason why I think stuff released in the last few years shouldn’t make the cut unless it’s something that had a really major, undeniable impact. The Ultimates doesn’t really qualify.

I’m not sure you can disqualify Ultimates out of hand. It’s already had two significant impacts I can think of offhand.

The video game the Prototype, for instance, was heavily influenced by what Ultimates did with the Incredible Hulk and its super-solider serum backstory (almost to the point of plagiarism, frankly). This video game has sold well over a million copies, I believe.

Likewise, Ultimates solidified a personality for Tony Stark that rapidly made its way into both the popular movie and back into the 616 comics. The latter was noteworthy for how little sense it made given what Iron Man had been doing at the time. I think any younger fan would be shocked to find Tony had ever behaved in any other way.

There’s plenty of room for debate about the Captain America panel, but not for the overall significance of Ultimates, I think.

“The video game the Prototype, for instance, was heavily influenced by what Ultimates did with the Incredible Hulk and its super-solider serum backstory (almost to the point of plagiarism, frankly). This video game has sold well over a million copies, I believe.”

That’s great for the gaming industry, but really says nothing at all about the importance of the comic book as a comic book to the history of the medium or the company. Apples and oranges.

“Likewise, Ultimates solidified a personality for Tony Stark that rapidly made its way into both the popular movie and back into the 616 comics. The latter was noteworthy for how little sense it made given what Iron Man had been doing at the time. I think any younger fan would be shocked to find Tony had ever behaved in any other way.”

Again, “popular” does not equal “iconic.” The personality of Tony Stark in the film was based primarily on the long standing template of Stark with a couple of superficial elements from the Ultimates version thrown in. And even those elements (the more irreverent sense of humor, the drinking and carousing) got their start in the original version and were simply blown up and exaggerated for the Ultimates model. None of it was original to the Ultimates.

“There’s plenty of room for debate about the Captain America panel, but not for the overall significance of Ultimates, I think.”

I think otherwise (quite strongly, actually). We’ll just have to agree to disagree.

It seems extremely myopic at best to argue that it’s not a sign of extraordinary impact for a specific superhero comic’s narrative to have a profound effect on an original work in another medium.

If popularity has no influence upon what is iconic, then what does? Certainly all of the other panels I’ve seen thus far in the countdown have been from works that were very popular at time of release and beyond. Are you arguing they possess some absolute quality that transcends being simply well-liked?

Again, “popular” does not equal “iconic.” The personality of Tony Stark in the film was based primarily on the long standing template of Stark with a couple of superficial elements from the Ultimates version thrown in. And even those elements (the more irreverent sense of humor, the drinking and carousing) got their start in the original version and were simply blown up and exaggerated for the Ultimates model. None of it was original to the Ultimates.

Okay. Well what about Sam Jackson as Nick Fury then? Who will be the lynchpin of the upcoming slate of Marvel films ending with the inevitable Avengers movie?

“Also, I have yet to see anyone explain to me why America being the constant butt of Ellis’s jokes and the Ella Bloodstone character in particular in Nextwave is acceptable but this single-panel joke is such an outrage.”

Let me tell you a secret, Mr. T. Nextwave was a HUMOR book, there were jokes on almost every page.

Ultimates tried to be earnestly serious all the time. If that Cap panel was indeed a joke, it was the only one on that issue, maybe even on that storyline. And Mark Millar never mastered concepts like “irony” or “subtlety”, so it’s hard to view that as a joke instead of a political statement.

Best,
Hunter (Pedro Bouça)

Ultimates was clearly given the remit of being serious, but I think Millar ended up having time managing his tendency to fall into a giddy mix of satire and fight scene one-upsmanship with that book. The result is idiosyncratically a Millar title, utterly serious and ridiculous by turns, that almost can’t be considered distinct from the author, save in pieces.

Nextwave is certainly not even comparable in terms of tone, though. It was pure sitcom silliness from day one, and the jokes were clearly from the everything’s-a-target school of thought. In its way, Nextwave is a far more purposefully written book than either Ultimates series.

“And Mark Millar never mastered concepts like “irony” or “subtlety”, so it’s hard to view that as a joke instead of a political statement.”

Sure he mastered them…he has them etched on the sledgehammer he calls his pen.

That aside…I’ve yet to really find any single panel included on this list that I couldn’t be persuaded to see as iconic. Good job so far.

What a pathetic perversion of what Captain America ever stood for.
Steve Rogers shilling for Bush and his fellow traitors???
If there really was a Captain America as Simon and Kirby envisioned I think rather that he’d have snuck into the Oval Office, cracked Rumsfield’s and Cheney’s heads together and asked W. over their crumpled bodies if he was ready to get smart, fast.

And I think Kirby’s liner notes would have emphasized the stain spreading across George W.’s trousers.

“And Cap, Ultimate or not, would never be so stupid as to say anything like that.”

Well he did. As written by the fella who created him.

A little WWII history. France did in fact surrender to Germany in WWII, despite a previous agreement with Britain that neither would surrender to Germany and leave the other country hanging. Churchill in particular was extremely bitter about the French military and political leadership betraying this alliance, though to be fair France stood a good chance of being annihilated if it hadn’t surrendered.

And while there was the French resistance, there were also French collaborators who facilitated Germany’s occupation and military actions, and who turned over thousands of French jews to German authorities.

The Ultimate Cap panel is hilarious.

That panel wasn’t aimed at France, my friends. It was aimed straight at Americans.

This analysis of France’s military history is a distraction from what Marvel Inc as part of America’s media machine was doing so urgently and blatantly at that time.

And, I have a feeling that anyone who disagrees with me will inevitably be American. No other country on the planet thinks France is a punchline.

You do know Mark Millar’s scottish right? France was the punchline of the joke, but not the butt of it.

Also, I have yet to see anyone explain to me why America being the constant butt of Ellis’s jokes and the Ella Bloodstone character in particular in Nextwave is acceptable but this single-panel joke is such an outrage.

I don’t know considering America is the butt of this joke too.

That panel wasn’t aimed at France, my friends. It was aimed straight at Americans.

Bingo!

You do know Mark Millar’s scottish right? France was the punchline of the joke, but not the butt of it.

Which always surprises me that people still say Millar isn’t subtle; he had his cake and ate it too, making fun of Americans while reeling in the rubes with every issue.

But def, that’s the point!

No other country thinks France is a punchline.

He’s Captain America.

He’s 1945! Right-wing, family values, blue collar all-American!

He’s not a left-winger. While I am, I can appreciate that he’s very much written with a clear voice. Ultimate Cap is a clearly defined, if somewhat overly republican super-hero. Tea Parties and screaming at town hall meetings, France-bashing, but also tough as nails, and bad as he wants to be.”

I suppose from my point of view, I always considered Cap above the lowest common denominator. It’s fair to say that the Ultimate version is not above that.

I was about 12 when I read X-Men vs Avengers (by all means, not an iconic comic ;) ). The climax is Magneto using a super amped helmet to tweak the racism in humans so that they have no anti-mutant bias, but he realizes his error when he tries to change Cap, but there is nothing to change. Cap has no bias! Silly to define a character by a minor appearance read as a kid decades back, but I always considered Cap (Ultimate or no) above the ignorant fray. Millar didn’t.

To T.
I’m well aware of the rivalry of European nations (I don’t live in America! I’ve met other countries’ people!), but I’ve never experienced anything so immature/ignorant as America’s hatred of France. European have rivalries mixed with respect for the culture. Americans have freedom fries. It’ll take at least another 10 years to forget that embarrassment.

Shawn Hill
“Which always surprises me that people still say Millar isn’t subtle; he had his cake and ate it too, making fun of Americans while reeling in the rubes with every issue.”
100% agreed, but a shame he had to drag a nobly portrayed character in the process.

Silly to define a character by a minor appearance read as a kid decades back, but I always considered Cap (Ultimate or no) above the ignorant fray. Millar didn’t.

There’s your mistake. Assuming that the original version of the character had any bearing on the personality of the Ultimate version.

I’m well aware of the rivalry of European nations (I don’t live in America! I’ve met other countries’ people!), but I’ve never experienced anything so immature/ignorant as America’s hatred of France. European have rivalries mixed with respect for the culture. Americans have freedom fries. It’ll take at least another 10 years to forget that embarrassment.

Yes, because a vast majority of Americans, an OVERWHELMING amount, really believed in and perpetuated that “freedom fries” thing. Not just a vocal minority that anti-American people focused on and talked about to death to point to as proof that all Americans are morons.

Saying “Freedom Fries” crowd represents the average American is like saying soccer hooligans are representatitve of the average European. In the same thread you’re using to condemn narrow-minded stereotyping, you’re engaging in it yourself and you miss the irony. You brag about meeting other countries’ people, try meeting more Americans and asking them what they thought of the term “Freedom Fries.”

And I’ve traveled to other countries too, and let me tell you, in Europe they are chock FULL of stereotypes and jokes about each other, including about the French. I’ve had Germans tell me a bunch of anti-French humor for example, I’ve had French people badmout the hell out of Germans, and I’ve heard Brits mock French people mercilessly. Stop with the self-serving bias and acting like Americans have some monopoly on stereotypes and xenophobic humor while the rest of the world is so enlightened and above that. A lot of self-hating Americans buy into this image of Europe as being beyond these types of behaviors but I’ve actually interacted with and befriended many Europeans on my travels.

Based on my travels this list here is one of the most accurate I’ve ever seen in terms of what Europeans think of each other:

http://dailycandor.com/what-europeans-think-of-each-other/

The part about France:

The French — Disliked by some Spanish (particularly the Catalonians), for being arrogant. One woman from Barcelona told me, “Come on¦who really likes the French? Nobody!” The Swiss don’t like the fact that they have contempt for authority and are lazy. The Brits, of course, have the most mixed feelings about the French, though. One half the country hates them, the other half loves them. Those that hate the French tend to like the Americans, and vice versa. In the UK, they’re considered stinky, rude (they never line/queue up like decent people), and a bit yellow, based on their tendency to not fend off invaders like the Nazis.The French, in turn, dislike the British, look down on Belgians for being stupid, and don’t have much to say, in my experience, about Spaniards or Germans (oddly).

Also this chart is pretty good:

http://www.exile.ru/transient/151/europeans-chart.html

From this article:

http://www.langust.ru/review/18ways.shtml

No other country thinks France is a punchline.

You’re wrong.

http://dailycandor.com/what-europeans-think-of-each-other/

The French — Disliked by some Spanish (particularly the Catalonians), for being arrogant. One woman from Barcelona told me, “Come on¦who really likes the French? Nobody!” The Swiss don’t like the fact that they have contempt for authority and are lazy. The Brits, of course, have the most mixed feelings about the French, though. One half the country hates them, the other half loves them. Those that hate the French tend to like the Americans, and vice versa. In the UK, they’re considered stinky, rude (they never line/queue up like decent people), and a bit yellow, based on their tendency to not fend off invaders like the Nazis.The French, in turn, dislike the British, look down on Belgians for being stupid, and don’t have much to say, in my experience, about Spaniards or Germans (oddly).

I’m well aware of the rivalry of European nations (I don’t live in America! I’ve met other countries’ people!), but I’ve never experienced anything so immature/ignorant as America’s hatred of France. European have rivalries mixed with respect for the culture. Americans have freedom fries. It’ll take at least another 10 years to forget that embarrassment.

Believing a majority of Americans sincerely believed and celebrated that “Freedom Fries” stupidity rather than just a vocal minority is like an American saying that soccer hooligans are an accurate representation of your average European.

No other country thinks France is a punchline.

More reasons you’re wrong:

No other country thinks France is a punchline.

http://www.exile.ru/transient/151/europeans-chart.html

http://www.langust.ru/review/18ways.shtml

I’ve actually traveled around Europe and met with many Europeans, and I’ve heard plenty of stereotype humor directed toward other countries. It’s similar to how they would bash America to me for being racist and anto-black on one hand, then turn around and launch into scathing indictments of Africans and Arab muslims in the next breath. It’s not that I’m trying to deny America’s problems, I just hate when people in other countries turn a blind eye to instances of themselves doing the exact same stuff they criticize in America.

I recall the Freedom Fries thing being regional. Some areas took it very seriously and others tended to ignore it. It was pretty hard to predict which areas would embrace it and which wouldn’t, too– but it didn’t help us that a lot of major cities got into the Freedom Fries thing. I recall it was big in DC for awhile since DC’s food and social culture tend to be dictated to large degree by the tastes of the current President.

Again, T., I strongly suggest you miss the point, deliberately or otherwise.

Whether or not there is a history of France-bashing isn’t the issue. As I said, that panel was not aimed at the French. It was part of a systematic and virtually system-wide media campaign to make Americans go along with the unprovoked invasion of a sovereign country.

And I insist that it was a perversion of a well-established character that his creator would have despised.

It was part of a systematic and virtually system-wide media campaign to make Americans go along with the unprovoked invasion of a sovereign country.

I’m not sure if I’m misunderstanding you here… Are you suggesting that Mark Millar was trying to encourage America’s (and other countries’) invasion of Iraq?

And I insist that it was a perversion of a well-established character that his creator would have despised.

Possibly true, but I’m not sure that’s really relevant.

Comics readers, for the most part, never have and never will care about the wishes of creators of corporate-owned characters. The characters tend to be viewed instead as the “work of many hands” and so readers usually favor whatever is novel or especially well-written. Breakout hits tend to be both.

Ultimate’s jingoist Captain America was extremely novel at the time and written in a fairly entertaining fashion so most readers had no problems accepting it.

Some of you people and your hate of the Ultimates is fuckin’ RIDICULOUS. It is a decent comic, mixing the pop dialogue of Mark Millar with a showing of what superheros would be like with the politics of the modern world.

Don’t like? Well, most people disagree with you, but I’ll be damned before I let someone not hold they’re own opinion.

Ultimates was good. And that is MY opinion.

I am suggesting that, yes.

I am suggesting that, yes.

Wow. Sometimes someone is so far wrong that it gets really hard to argue against them because you can’t even work out how they came to their bizarre opinion in the first place.

I’d actually go along with your belief in this media-wide campaign, but that panel was a critique of the attitude spread by that campaign. It’s in no way part of it.

Well, my bizarre opinion came from hearing of this panel several years ago and finally seeing it here, out of context, and of reading two days worth of thread all in one go. And, pervceiving it through a bias that hasn’t much liked the whole Ultimates universe.
And, to me, this version of Captain America being put forward as “iconic” was an insult to Kirby (and maybe Simon as well, I don’t know much about his politics).

If the whole piece was satirical, if this turned out to be Englehart’s 1950’s fascist Captain America reborn or if Cap is actually acting under the influence of Zemo or Dick Cheney or some other supervillain, then I apologize to Mark Millar. Because on the surface this looks very much like yet another bit of the whole “Freedom Fries” “French Faggots” “Old Europe” campaign that became so blatant right after France refused to join in the invasion.

If the whole piece was satirical, if this turned out to be Englehart’s 1950’s fascist Captain America reborn or if Cap is actually acting under the influence of Zemo or Dick Cheney or some other supervillain, then I apologize to Mark Millar.

The Cap in this story isn’t under any evil influence or anything like that. He’s just an old-school jingoistic soldier with very old-fashioned values. Some of these are good and others not so much. Moments of humour like this though are definitely at the expense of those with similar opinions and not the French. It’s definitely iconinc though as it so perfectly captures the personality of this version of Cap and the differences between him and the original version – and because it polarised the readers so much.

t.
“Yes, because a vast majority of Americans, an OVERWHELMING amount, really believed in and perpetuated that “freedom fries” thing. Not just a vocal minority that anti-American people focused on and talked about to death to point to as proof that all Americans are morons.” etc etc…

This proved my point well enough. Captain America is not a character that is in the vocal minority of the ignorant, he should be the better man. That makes the portrayal annoying.

Anyway, it’s not even that you twist my words, you just make an argument over stuff nobody said. Nobody said Americans are morons. You’re pushing things far further than what was said to make a point, but at that point, you’re not arguing me, but some imagined netizen. Freedom fries were American. So some English dislike the way French people stand in line… It was Americans who invented freedom fries and tried to institute them. Not every American. Maybe not a majority. But the thing they had in common was that they were American. I think it’s worth pointing out they were stupid, and not liking Cap’s portrayal in this context. He wasn’t raised in a trailer park.

I agree with you DanCJ. Not happy about it, but I think it was an ironic appearance.

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