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Top 70 Most Iconic Marvel Panels of All-Time: #40-31

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! Here‘s 50-41!

Now here’s 40-31!




37 (Tied).

37 (Tied).







Now be sure to come back later today for #30-21!

Here‘s #30-21!



I figured the Born Again panels would show up together, getting split pretty evenly. Of course there’s still the Mazzuchelli “fire” splash.

Surprised Peter getting bitten is this high, although it was probably blown out by people favoring the “burglar” panel from the same issue.

Also surprised “Kooky Quartet” didn’t do better.

Still waiting for one of my ten to show!

Most of this seems about right. Peter being bitten suffers from the same problem as the panels from FF#1 we’ve seen. Too much related competition.

I’m honestly confused about the Avengers panel. I love the Avengers. I loved Busiek’s run. I loved the Ultron Unlimited story. Now that you post it here, I recognize the panel. And I like the panel.

But for the life of me it had never stood out particularly before. Obviously it got enough votes that there are many who disagree.

I just find it odd as that would be one of the only choices on the list I actually read as it was coming out that it’s the one I’m the least familiar with.

Can anybody explain anything I’m missing? (besides how cool it is; I get that)

The spider bite tied for 37? Really?

Wow, that makes two from my Top Ten fallen far too low: the cosmic rays and the spider bite. Kids today, no respect for radiation.

And I am also still waiting for one of my ten to show. I don’t know if I should feel proud or just unoriginal. Am I part of a hive mind?

And then there was eight (of my picks left)….
I’m shocked that Peter getting bit by the spider finished this high!
If you showed all 70 of the panels to someone who was a passing super hero comic fan or even to those who’d never read a comic, I’m guessing that Peter getting bit by the spider would be recognized.

The Ultron Unlimited panel should be in the top 10. A shame.

I guess the Ultron panel might be pretty cool if you know the story behind it. Not Korvac Saga cool or Kree-Skull War cool, but at least Count Nefaria cool — although actually as Thor entrances go, the Nefaria battle was better.

But having never seen it before it showed up in this list, I have to say it’s the shoddiest Perez work I’ve ever seen. Thor’s arms look tacked on, Cap doesn’t have any shoulders, and there’s something really weird going on with the coloring, like misprinted newspaper photos when the color plates aren’t aligned correctly.

Put me in with the people that are shocked, shocked I tell you to see the spider bite panel finish at 37 tying with a Born Again panel ?!?!?!?.

No disrespect to Born Again, I love it, but wow, I thought the spider bite would be in the top 10 (if not 5) for sure.
To me it’s much more iconic than one where he’s grabbing Uncle Ben’s killer.

This list gets more and more troubling to me.

@Butler – that radiation comment cracked me up.

No, I do feel a little guilty about not voting for the Spider-bite. I went for the burglar catching scene instead and decided my list was already getting Spider-Man heavy.

But as I stop worrying about how much Spider-Man was on my list and compare it to things I voted for like Banner caught in the explosion, or even “This Man, This Monster.” I fear I did wrong.

I am shamed.

@ Chris Nowlin:

I think that it is the use of Thor as sort of variation on the baseball closer. That really is my favorite use of the character, both here and in the Ultimates. There are various highs and lows in the battle. Everyone does their thing. However, once it is down to Thor vs. the Bad Guy in a straight up fight …. well … Game Over, right? You shouldn’t really even need to see the next three outs, because they are a foregone conclusion.

Does this mean that the “you think this A stands for France?” panel will be in the Top 30?

That’s a little depressing considering the panels that already appeared

The best part of this so far is that Ultimate Cap and France panel STILL hasn’t appeared. Her’es hoping it at least makes it to the top 20.

Cool stuff. Brings back memories. Though I agree that the spiderbite should’ve ended up in the top 10. It’s one of Marvels greatest iconographic images.

Does this mean that the “you think this A stands for France?” panel will be in the Top 30?

That’s a little depressing considering the panels that already appeared

Honestly, I think a lot of the self-righteousness on the part of people getting on their soapboxes and attacking it probably made it rank higher than it normally would have, similar to how if Simon Cowell goes overboard in insulting a contestant on American idol there is a surge of protest and sympathy voting for that contestant the same night. So many people got sanctimonious about that panel and how it was not iconic and only neanderthals could enjoy it that I would not at all be surprised if some people went out of their way to vote for it.

Nightcrawler is the second of my top 10 to come up. Glad it made a respectable showing. I’m sad Eternity didn’t make it higher but then it wasn’t in my top ten so I can’t really complain.

True, on an iconic scale I’d rank the Ultimate Cap moment at least as high as the first appearance of Elephant Steve in Mini-Marvels, though not on an awesomeness scale.

Three of mine done today, I’ve got six left though. I’m kinda surprised that the Eternity pannel ranked this low. I had a big book about the history of Marvel when I was a kid, and it had that pannel in. I thought it was the coolest thing I’d ever seen (and still do!)

I agree with buttler that the Ultron panel the shoddiest Perez work I’ve ever seen.
IMHO, it isn’t iconic at all.

Originally the “A is for France” panel appeared as number 9 or 10 on my list, but I requested that they be substituted for other things. Kind of scary to see where it might end up, given that it’s confusing why it was even included as a nominee in the first place. There’s a ton of other joke panels that could have sufficed as a “dark horse” pick by smart-asses.

Not to pile on, butI thought it was pretty poor Perez artwork as well.

His artwork seemed to slip a bit while I was away from comics.

If it wasn’t for the little wire vine things he seems so fond of drawing, I wouldn’t have even guessed it was his artwork.

I had the “A for France” panel as one of my picks, and here’s why. To me, it’s iconic for distilling everything that separates the Ultimes Universe from the regular Marvel Universe into one panel. You would never get away with having the 616 Cap say something like that. It’s kind of funny and kind of horrible, and it’s Steve Rogers doing something a little jerky while in the middle of doign something incredibly heroic (defiantly telling the Nazi-alien leader he will never surrender).

Seven of my ten picks are going to make the top thirty, which leaves me unreasonably happy.

BTW, my prediction for #1 is the Spider-costume in the trashcan scene. Not only is it iconic, but it’s a great piece of artwork.

@buttler: Agreed, that panel hurts my eyes, especially the coloring. Maybe it comes off better in the original comic (wouldn’t know).

I’m surprised the spider bite was this low as well, although I felt the burglar panel was far more iconic and went with it.

I’m still 0/10….that’s kinda cool :).

Despite it’s “historical” significance, the spider-bite panel is visually unremarkable. That may contribute to why it doesn’t rank very high.

yeah i totally expect the spider costume in the trash to be higher, because that panel was in Spiderman 2

There’s a ton of other joke panels that could have sufficed as a “dark horse” pick by smart-asses

Yes, but how many of them can generate such spirited debate? Are large enough to inspire not one but two in-story responses (one in Brubaker’s Cap and one in Nextwave) within a year or two? How many can still spark off a hundred-plus comment thread even years later that are almost as spirited as the debates that happened when the book was first released? I can’t think of a ton of other joke panels that can claim those things. Closest panel I can think that qualifies is “Goddamn Batman,” and that’s disqualified because it’s a DC panel.

T. you are exactly right. I’m crossing fingers that it lands in the top 10 just for the sheer entertainment of watching so many posters go ape-spit over it. And as someone else had noted on the page where it was originally nominated, every person I lent The Ultimates to mentioned that panel. Every single one.

To me an iconic panels historical significance is far more important than how visually remarkable it is.

I can think of lots of iconic panels that aren’t terribly well drawn or composed, but they stand the test of time because of the history associated with them and how many times that panel is referenced in future stories.

I agree that the spider bite panel isn’t anywhere near Ditko’s best work, but it’s one of the first panels, if not the first I think of when I think of Spider-Man.

I do of course realize this is all very subjective.

Re “Can anybody explain anything I’m missing? (besides how cool it is; I get that)”

Yes. People have confused cool, awesome, or great with “iconic.” The relatively mundane panels telling the origin of Spider-Man, the FF, and Captain America are iconic because they’ve been repeated so many times. Because people can identify them with a glance or a couple of words. Because they form the basis of the entire Marvel universe.

But Peter saying “Ow” isn’t as dramatic, cool, or macho as Thor busting down a wall and saying, “We would have words with thee.”

Re “No, I do feel a little guilty about not voting for the Spider-bite. I went for the burglar catching scene instead and decided my list was already getting Spider-Man heavy.”

Too many Spider-Man panels? Is there some reason Marvel’s most iconic panels SHOULDN’T come from the first few issues of its flagship titles? The challenge wasn’t to pick ten panels that represent Marvel’s growth, diversity, and awesomeness over the decades. It was to pick the most iconic panels in Marvel history.

The Crazed Spruce

September 2, 2009 at 4:01 pm

Well, the Ultron panel brings me up to 2. (I’m surprised the “God Loves, Man Kills” panel ranked out of the Top 20, though.)

If all 10 of the top panels came from AMAZING FANTASY #15 and FANTASTIC FOUR #1, I wouldn’t find that strange or remarkable. Who’s with me on this?

If all 10 of the top panels came from AMAZING FANTASY #15 and FANTASTIC FOUR #1, I wouldn’t find that strange or remarkable. Who’s with me on this?

I’m with you. But then again I wouldn’t be bothered if all 70 panels came from Lee/Kirby FF and Lee/Ditko Spider-Man runs.

I’m surprised the “..And then there was one” X-Men panel did so well. It’s basically the X-Men standing around. I don’t think it’s been homaged & it’s not particularly dramatic. It’s good Dave Cockrum art, but “iconic”?

I don’t think it’s been homaged

It has.

I remember it recently being homaged in a Daniel Way Wolverine story, drawn by Michael Deodato I believe? I’m talking a book as recently as last year.

The X-Men panel is the first appearance of the “new” X-Men as a team. In the context of the comic, it’s pretty impressive. I think I even voted for it, although I can’t remember.

To be fair to Perez, a good deal of his ’90s Avengers work was credited as “breakdowns,” with Al Vey doing “finishes.” He wasn’t doing his tightest pencils. As much as I like his art, and that Avengers series, I don’t think anyone’s going to list it as his artistic highlight. Compare it to, say, Hulk: Future Imperfect, or the Crossgen Chronicles stories he did a couple years later, and the difference is telling.

It’s amazing that McFarlane’s depiction of Spider-Man was the norm for so many years. The speghetti webbing and impossible anatomy became mainstays. Thank you, Brian, for not putting in a panel with the word “advantageous.”

I honestly thought that radioactive spider bite panel would be vying for number#1. Very surprised!

My apologies to Mr. Perez, he’s never been one of my favorites, but that artwork did look quite sup par for him.
I’m not well versed about Marvel in that period, didn’t realize he was just doing breakdowns.

Half my picks gone….now I REALLY interested to see what made the top 20…

The first of my pics has made the list (“Nice work Kingpin”) so I’ve got 9 in the top 30!

The spider-bite could have made my list on a different day. As an event it is certainly iconic, but I couldn’t have actually told you from memory what the panel looked like. In that respect it’s quite forgettable.

How can you look at that Avengers panel with Thor saying “Ultron, we would have words with thee” and not think Bendis-Avengers has been one huge, navel gazing, time killer?

[…] La gente de Comic Book Resources lo prometió, y parece dispuesto a cumplirlo: Tenemos a continuación el resto de las viñetas más icónicas de Marvel Comics. Algunas son verdaderos clásicos, que seguramente todos recordamos, algunas podríamos ponerlas en seria duda con respecto a la elección. Pero lo que si no podemos poner en entredicho es que es un trabajo digno de tomarse en cuenta, así que los dejamos para que los vean y los disfrutene, solo  esta liga (60-51), esta (70-61) y esta otra (40-31). […]

I had 35 and 31 in my top 10. The idea of the new Avengers roster posing for the press began with 35, and that is such a visual way of differentiating them from every other team in the Marvel Universe (X-Men aren’t media-friendly, Fantastic Four has a pretty static roster, Defenders aren’t that organized. Plus it was the official introduction of what had to be a controversial new roster, one sans any founding members. Lastly, all three of those new members went on to really become essential Avengers.

I think 31 sums up the X-Men better than any panel. Nightcrawler looks like a monster, but the real villain is the religious guy. Also, it really illustrates a world that HATES and FEARS mutants.

I never liked #32. I think Perez’s work on this series was mediocre.

I liked that Ultron Unlimited stuff. They fought through a million Ultron robots to get there! WOO!

Not a bad story but Perez crapped on it. Look at Perez drawing Cap, Iron Man ans Thor in the Avengers in the 70s compared to his 90s stuff with Busiek. In the 70s, all of these looked cool. In the 90s they looked rushed and scratchy. And Thor’s face was ugly as Hell. I think he missed Sinott, Pablo Marco or he should have inked his own stuff.

It’s a crime that the Kingpin panel is this low. That panel is in my top ten easily.

I also don’t know how Peter Parker getting bitten isn’t hands down the number one panel.

*shakes head in disgust*

Ditko, Strange and Eternity.Classic.

No sign of any Colan Daredevil.
Hats off to MacFarlane who brought back the weirdness of Ditko into his Spider-Man after years of Romita’s more classic model Spider-Man and especially Peter Parker. Did anyone ever speculate how much Millie the Model influenced classic Mary Jane and Peter Parker.

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