web stats

CSBG Archive

Top 70 Most Iconic Marvel Panels of All-Time: #50-41

We asked you to vote and you came out in droves! It was a great turn-out! And now, we begin the Top 70 countdown, with ten panels revealed in installments all this week!

Here‘s #70-61! Here‘s #60-51!

Now here’s 50-41!




47 (Tied).

47 (Tied).







Come back tomorrow for #40-31 AND #30-21! We’re doubling up on Wednesday so we can fit the whole countdown into one week!


Wow, I’m really surprised the Cap and Bucky panel didn’t rate higher. That panel has been homaged a million times.

I’m surprised as well.

I’m even more surprised that I’m still holding with 7 of my 10 still in contention!

After all the hullabaloo over Cap and Bucky, I’d have thought it would rate higher. I voted for it, anyway.

I’m really surprised the goblin death was so low. I used to see it all the time. They even replicated it for the movie.

I guess after they unkilled him it lost a lot of its meaning.

(Is there any chance they might end this Dark Reign by killing him again so we don’t have to suffer through any more Norman Osborn stories?)

The Cap/Bucky panel is the first one I voted for that’s shown up. Glad to see it beat the random 90’s Cap action-hero panel. If it’s not Kirby, I don’t want to see it.

Hey, that Peter/MJ panel.. What is that? I somehow missed that it in the run up to this, and I swear I have never seen it before. Did Pete just find out Osborn was doing it with Gwen or something?

You know, if they ever wanted Spidey to go back to the Pre-Mephisto thing, maybe there could be a story revealed that because of his choice, he never visited the boy that night and revealed who he was. And that makes Peter sad and some other stuff then.

Nevermind, that’s dumb.

I don’t remember that MJ and Peter Panel either. I must not have voted that day. Nice to see the FF moments in there. They seem to have been neglected as of late.

Patrick Joseph, that panel is from ASM #122, the very last panel on the page. Peter has asked MJ to leave him alone with his grief over Gwen. And she chooses not to.

It’s a fantastic panel, and I’m sorry it doesn’t rank higher.



Happy to see the Venom panel voted in. That was a great scene. I’m also surprised the Cap/Bucky panel was not voted higher. Especially considering the current Brubaker era that has referenced that constantly for the last 5 years.

Only one of my top ten has showed up so far – the fantastic four ship being bathed in cosmic rays. I thought that would make top 20 at least. Oh well, I’m actually surprised that 9 of my 10 are still in contention.

Patrick Joseph – The panel w/MJ that you ask about – this occured right after Gwen’s death. Peter, naturally distraught, tried to run MJ off with a “just leave me alone!” rant. MJ was known as the shallow party girl at this point, and Pete just didn’t feel like putting up with her so soon after Gwen’s death. MJ turns to leave and gets as far as opening the door to Pete’s apartment. However, as shown in this panel, she changes her mind and closes the door to stay and comfort Pete, despite the fact that he just lashed out at her. All we see as readers, though, is this panel, which ends the issue. While I agree with you that this panel has not been shown as frequently as some of the others (and is therefore less “iconic”), it was always pointed to as one of the major turning points in MJ’s character as she moved from being the “devil-may-care party girl” to having more emotional depth. It is also, in my opinion, a great piece of minimalist story telling by (I believe) the late great Gil Kane. It probably holds more resonance now after all these years than it did when it first came out, as we’ve been privy to the full range of the transformation in MJ’s character.

Brian, the description of the panel you gave made me see how the panel could be considered iconic. I just thought it was a panel of Peter crying over Gwen’s death. I don’t know if I would vote for it, but at least I understand why it was on the list.

I think the multiple Cap panels split the votes a bit. I had no problem voting for multiple Spider-Man or FF panels (as so much of Marvel’s visual language came from those two series), but this was the only Cap panel that made my top-ten.

I have officially completely forgotten what I voted for. It was a long weekend.

#50 and #43 are really the only panels that retain their full meaning out of sequence, so despite some of these being big moments I am not shocked to see where they rated. In particular, #49 loses a lot without the moments leading up to it.

Thanks for all the input about the Spider-Man panel. I am woefully ignorant about the series between the drug issues and the debut of Harry Osborne as Green Goblin. I was too busy learning to walk and speak when that one first came out, and the Pocket Books and Marvel Tales reprints of the late 70s never made it that far.

Woah, two of my votes (the FF bathed in cosmic rays and Cap and Bucky on the plane) get the hatchet. And those were the first to come to mind for me with the term “iconic.” My third choice was Skurge so I’m gratified to see that he’s at least made the Top 40.

Mike Klander: actually, every one of the 70 panels nominated was “voted in” to the Top 70. What’s being revealed is just how well they ranked in the voting.

Only one of the panels I voted for (#47 Zemo revealing the Thunderbolts identity) has shown up so far and that one barely made my list, finishing 10th.

Nine out of 10 of mine still to go (I had Cap revealing the leader of the Secret Empire). Quite pleased.

49 with MJ is an awesome panel. Not sure it should suffer because context matters to appreciating it. I think it mainly suffers due to other panels in that story. Ditto 43.

Zemo unmasking is possibly the best Marvel of the ’90s. For whatever that’s worth.

As to Peter unmasking, that story is certainly a classic, I don’t know how much that particular panel is. The final panel of that comic is what rings in my head far more.

The Alpha Flight one surprises me. The panel predates me and I think its significance didn’t pass on as memorably to my generation. I’ve now read that comic, but knew nothing of the panel prior to doing so.

I’m a little surprised to see Bucky’s death so low, but then I didn’t vote for it and there were a lot of Cap panels. (Actually none of the Cap panels made my list. The Cap vs. Hydra panel came closest)

And I’m a little surprised to see the ray bombardment so low. I suspect this means the panel of the four joining hands will be damned high then.

All ten of my choices remain contenders and I feel proud.

And the “Click” panel was homaged by Conway less than thirty issues later in another major scene for the development of Mary Jane and Peter’s relationship.

Wow, 2 of my 10 knocked out of contension here. The FF bombardment with cosmic rays doesn’t really surprise me, but I’m shocked (as are others apparently) at how low the Goblin panel scored.

The Crazed Spruce

September 1, 2009 at 2:04 pm

I think the Alpha Flight panel’s the only one of my picks that came up so far. (And I gotta be honest, I mainly picked that one out of patriotism.)

Damn I love that shot from ASM #122

I shocked that the Jim Lee “Cap leaping into swords drawn” #46 wasn’t higher personally but I have to agree with others here I thought the FF and cap and bucky would both be in the top 20 since they have been referenced so many times

I agree with everyone about the Bucky and cosmic-ray panels. Two down and eight to go for me.

I saw Gwen’s neck-snapping panel today in a Marvel TPB called “Death of the Stacys.” I hadn’t seen the whole sequence before, and was shocked by how they chickened out on the cause of death. After Spidey realizes that Gwen is dead, Goblin gives him a convenient out, saying that the fall alone killed her, and not the whiplash effect from being snared by the webbing. What a gutless way for Gwen to go. I seem to remember reading something about that here on CBR. Brian, do you have a link?

All 10 of my choices are still in it, but I’m worried about “A for France” Cap and Ditko’s Eternity reveal.

Loki’s “For Myself!” is hilarious. So in character, and so funny!

Love the MJ panel too.

I voted for plenty of Spidey panels (more than any other character), but these didn’t come close to making the cut for me.

I think the cosmic rays panel is the first of my 10 to show up so far, although Bucky came really, really close.

I wonder what would the number 1 panel be.. Would that be something that has a hidden Mickey in it? LOL

None of my 10 has shown yet. Either I’m a good picker, or alot of people are crappy pirckers along with me. :)

I didn’t vote for the cosmic rays panel because, for some reason, my memory of what that panel looks like is different from what it actually looks like :) I’ll have to reread FF #1 sometime to see if the spaceship panel in my head is actually in there. And I didn’t vote for Cap/Bucky because I haven’t read many Cap comics except for the Brubaker run and that’s my only exposure to that event at all. So this is the kind of thing that happens when EVERYONE is encouraged to vote regardless of how much of the entire Marvel catalog they’ve actually read.

And I think I could look at the Goblin chunk panel all day. BOOOO on it placing so low.

Hmm, Gobby dies at his own hands (or glider) is that low?

It deserves better–as others mentioned.

They did that scene quite well in the movie.
I saw it start and I was waiting for it, and it proceeded as I imagined it.
Pretty cool.

Most of my votes are still to appear–and I’m sure at least a handful will make the top 10.

All of my votes are still to come. Yay, populism!

these things are usually B.S.

usually b.s., sure, these things, you bet. but let’s get down to it – – – .
so in the end it’ll be
1- FF four hands, 2- spidey recognizes the burglar, 3- scott and jean yelling names at each other, and 4- gwen’s little snap.

Hehe, I know you’d like that to be #1.

Sadly, it is not.

I don’t recognise a single one of these panels (though I can tell what even a few of them are) so it seems right to me that they’re all this low.

So far none of my votes have turned up

Nary an X-Men panel in sight and so many to choose from. Something Dark Phoenix-y I bet, although I wouldn’t mind seeing the first reveal of Stryfe as Cable’s clone. We should have a “fastball special” in there and a bamf or two.

Back to Spider-Man and we must get MJ telling her tiger that he hit the jackpot. One of my fave for showcasing Spidey’s exuberance comes just after he was sick and was unmasked by Doc Ock. Feeling better, he somersaults across the room and says “I feel like a zillion bucks”. Love it.

I’ve read less than a dozen Marvel comic books in my life, but this is awesome. When do we get a DC list?

DC will be 75 next year.



2 down (Odin and his sons, The Kid who Collected Spider-Man), 8 left on my list. While I think the four hand will be high, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the burglar be #1.

I’m suddenly very afraid that Wolverine in the sewer will be #1.
That or that Iron Man panel, oh wait…


You don’t recognise any of these panels? I suppose you haven’t been reading Marvel comics very long. The death of the Green Goblin as it ties in with the death of Gwen Stacy is arguable the most famous Spidey story ever, and what elevated Green Goblin to his status of #1 Spidey villian. Plus it was replicated in the first movie.

The death of Bucky (panel 42) is referenced probably once a year if not more in Captain America for the past 40 years, and maybe once every two or three years in the Avengers. It is one of the largest events in Marvel history, and for a long time it was considered one of the irreversible Marvel deaths (along with Uncle Ben and Gwen Stacy).

The Fantastic Four’s ship getting bombarded with cosmic radiation is the origin of not only the FF, but essentially the entire Marvel Universe, and is arguable the single most famous event in all of Marvel History. Plus, again, a variation of it was in the movie.

The seven panels before these are a bit more obscure, but those three final panels are all part of the very foundation of Marvel comics. Even if you never saw the actual panels themselves, surely you must be tangentially familiar with them and the events they encapsulate, no? I mean, unless you’ve been reading Marvel comics for only a couple of years or so, I guess.

It’s a fun thing to look at these panels, but it would be nice to publish exactly where the panels appear. I remember how much I loved John Byrne’s run on Alpha Flight, but I bet there are a lot of people out there who would have trouble placing panel #44

[…] Resources no parece quedarse atrás, y publicó la primera parte de lo que, a su uicio, son las  viñetas más icónicas de Marvel Comics, que estarán apareciendo durante toda la semana. Por lo pronto, dejamos el post para que lo vean, […]

So was the Peter/MJ panel done by Gil Kane? I know he did “The Night Gwen Stacy Died”.


You don’t recognise any of these panels? I suppose you haven’t been reading Marvel comics very long.

I’ve been reading comics for 23 years, but I’ve always been more of a DC man. All the same I do know the events of those three panels you mentioned – I just don’t specifically recognise the panels and have never seen them homaged, so I can’t see them as very iconic.

Ah, got you DanCJ. Fair enough.

A lot of my generation of readers would probably go for Panel # 46 and 45 because not only did it come from two of the most popular artists of the time (90’s), but they came from two of the comics that we most remember as well (Uncanny X-men # 268 hooked me into comics. Damn you!!), but strangely for me, Panel # 50 stands out from this batch.
I haven’t even read the story and i’m still awestruck by it!!
I have a mind to go to eBay right now and find out if i can get that story.
Pretty cool.

I agree with Daryll B
Though I was never a big Jim Lee fan.. He changed the face of comics ( good or bad).

I would appreciate the Death of Bucky more if he had not been resurrected.

Leave a Comment



Review Copies

Comics Should Be Good accepts review copies. Anything sent to us will (for better or for worse) end up reviewed on the blog. See where to send the review copies.

Browse the Archives