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Top 70 Most Iconic Marvel Panels of All-Time: #20-11

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! Here‘s 40-31! Here‘s 30-21!

Now here’s 20-11!

Enjoy!

20.

19.

18.

17.

16.

15.

14.

13.

12.

11.

Tomorrow, get ready for the top ten! Are you ready?!?!?

Make your predictions now for the top three panels!

84 Comments

Looks like the splash page group.

Two more of mine down — puny Banner and emo Vision. But hey, that means half of mine are in the actual top ten!

Only one more of mine gone (The death of Jean Grey) so I’ve got 7 in the top ten.

I CAN’T BELIEVE THAT STUPID CAPTAIN AMERICA PANEL IS NUMBER 20 THAT TOTALLY SUCKS AND FURTHERMORE T. LIKES IT AND I CAN’T LIVE IN A WORLD WHERE PEOPLE AGREE WITH T. OMG CAPTAIN AMERICA ISN’T SUCH A TOOL AND HE’S A WUSSY LIBERAL JUST LIKE ME SO HE’D NEVER PICK ON FRANCE WHY DOES MARK MILLAR HATE ME PERSONALLY AND WANT TO RAPE MY CHILDHOOD????????

I just thought I’d get it all out of the way so we don’t have to have this debate again. You’re welcome.

I would’ve thought the Vision would make it into the top five or so. Oh well.

Ha, Greg you sound just like a right wing wacko trying to cut off a reasonable discussion with red meat terms like “wussy liberal.” Kind of an oxymororn, anyway. Nothing wussy about fighting the good fight.

It looks like 5 of my picks have staggered into the top ten. Onward!

4 of mine are on this list. I don’t think I have too many left to be in the top 10.

Don’t you mean, “Excelsior!”?

Yeah, remember last post when that Captain America panel came up, and peeople actually used the comment section to comment on the panels that had been posted? That really sucked.

Only 3 of mine left, but I bet that two of them will be top 2 – here’s the educated guess for the top 3:

3. Cap dies
2. “Jackpot!”
1. The Burglar

Greg launched a preemptive strike!

A panel of Ultimate Captain America?!?! REALLY?!?! 70 years of Marvel Comics to choose from, and there’s *anything* from the Ultimate Universe included?!?!

Wow. Just… wow.

Only three of mine left too, I think. So I’ll list them as the top three:

3. Wolverine in the sewer.
2. “Jackpot.”
1. Spidey lifts machinery.

The Last Boy Scout

September 3, 2009 at 1:13 pm

The panel from “Marvels” (15) encapsulates wordlessly the concept of inserting tales of high fantasy into a (mostly) contemporary, realistic setting. This focus has so long been the (sometimes, just “a”) driving force and identifying feature of Marvel Comics that, while other images may perfectly present a particular character, the “Marvels” panel best represents the notion of the Marvel Universe.

1. Spider-Man: No more
2. “Jackpot”
3. SNAP!

[...] por si estaban desesperados, ya está la siguiente [...]

I lost the Death of Jean and the Death of Gwen here. I’m pretty sure that leaves me with 5 for the top 10. I’m still annoyed at the FF hands panel being so low and the Capt. America *France* panel going so high. It’s also disappointing that the *death* of Steve Rogers is seen as such an iconic piece, given that it was so quickly undone and rendered pretty much meaningless so quickly.

i was kind of hoping the death of jean from the dark Phoenix saga along with her transformation would have been in the top five. or at least days of future past wolverine being blasted to bits by a sentinal would have been top five also.

3. Wolverine in sewer
2. “Jackpot, Tiger”
1. Spidey’s beady eyes on burglar

I CAN’T BELIEVE THAT STUPID CAPTAIN AMERICA PANEL IS NUMBER 20 THAT TOTALLY SUCKS AND FURTHERMORE T. LIKES IT AND I CAN’T LIVE IN A WORLD WHERE PEOPLE AGREE WITH T. OMG CAPTAIN AMERICA ISN’T SUCH A TOOL AND HE’S A WUSSY LIBERAL JUST LIKE ME SO HE’D NEVER PICK ON FRANCE WHY DOES MARK MILLAR HATE ME PERSONALLY AND WANT TO RAPE MY CHILDHOOD????????

I agree, but with twice the rape.

Number 20 needs to be revised since Monday: http://wp.me/pBLmC-2y

Ha, Greg you sound just like a right wing wacko trying to cut off a reasonable discussion with red meat terms like “wussy liberal.” Kind of an oxymororn, anyway. Nothing wussy about fighting the good fight.

He’s liberal. And he’s joking.

Oh, now you’re starting to make me cry…..these are such a good reminder why I love comics so much.

Since everyone’s guesses for the top three so far list the MJ jackpot panel, I’m going to guess that it’s numero uno.

Two more of mine down with this group, no idea how many that leaves me. Man, I love that Vision panel, though.

A panel of Ultimate Captain America?!?! REALLY?!?! 70 years of Marvel Comics to choose from, and there’s *anything* from the Ultimate Universe included?!?!

I know! Heroes Reborn was robbed.

I kinda was hoping Spidey on top of the Bridge would have been in the top 10 instead of the ‘Snap’ panel – it just strikes me more. Still, happy it is in the top 12. Also, I’m personally glad that the tree X-Men panels here didn’t make it into the top 10… I kinda dislike the X-Men I guess. Also happy that the gamma bomb almost hit the top ten (I’m curious how many votes it was shy by).

My guesses:

3. Spidey lifting Machinery
2. “Jackpot”
1. Burglar

I hat to say this to the Vision fans out there, but until this list, I had never seen the Vision panel before. The “Even androids can cry” bit sounds familiar, but I’d never seen the panel. I’d read Marvel comics pretty much non-stop from 1984 through 1994 (and intermittently thereafter). Granted, I’d only occasionally dipped into the Avengers end of the pool, but so many of these panels I’d seen years before actually reading the stories attached to them.

So while I’m guessing that the Vision panel carries a ton of significance to Avengers readers, I’m not certain how much it does for Marvel readers who never read the story. Of course, I could have just been unlucky and never seen it or a clear reference to it before. Like others with the Skurge panel, I guess.

I really can´t remember what my votes were and I like the idea of don´t keepeing count in what panels have already appear, either. It´s a joy just looking at them.

I surprised Banner didn’t make it into the Top 10. It was the only Hulk panel on the countdown, it’s been referenced a ton of times since, and it’s Kirby. Number 11′s respectable, but I thought it would crack the Top 10.

I love the Days of Future Past one. It really raised the stakes by having so much characters bite the dust. Yes, they were future counterparts, but still was a shocking moment.

The Crazed Spruce

September 3, 2009 at 4:16 pm

I’d need to double-check to be sure, but it looks like about half of my picks are in the Top 10. Sweet!

And I’m guessing the top three will be:

3: Spider-Man no more
2: Wolvie in the sewer.
1: Spidey lifting the machinery.

I’ll go with 1. Burglar, 2. Spider-Man no more, 3. Wolverine in the sewer.

Daredevil at #19 got the hose. To me, that is THE Daredevil moment. And I also agree that the multiple panels from FF #1 split the vote.

Sadly, I seem to also have missed the point of the Giant-Man panel. I stopped reading comics around the time that they became polybagged, mutl-covered, foil-die-cut, hologrammed, trading card-included monstrosities. I’ve read some of the major arcs in TPB format since then, but was never into Ultimate.

It’s kind of funny to look at that Giant-Man panel and not get it–now I know how non-comic readers would feel looking at ANY of this stuff. “What’s the big deal? It’s not even clear what’s going on!” Yet for fans, looking at any one of these panels instantly triggers all kinds of memories and emotions.

I think the Ultimate Cap panel is a great one. Not because of the message but because of the tremendous Hitch drawing.

I doubt this could happen, but all 70 of these would make an AWESOME poster!

Spidey homerun:

Spidey #32 at #1
Snap! at number #2
MJ and the Jackpot #3

I hasten to add so far my guesses have been less than stellar.

funny how the two dark phoenix panels went hand in hand (18 and 17).

I predict Jackpot as # 1.

Well I’d need to find my list to check which ones are remaining–but I do know my Number 1 choice has to be in the top 10 as I thought all along–along with some other choices.

Whoa, that Gwen Stacy page isn’t in the top 5? That’s shocking to me.

So is #14 really from Avengers #4, or is it from a reprint/retelling? It just looks a little off to me.

So far my picks ranked 51st, 46th, 44th, 43rd, 30th, 28th, 26th, 19th… So from what’s left from my list and the comments here I’d say the first 10 panels are.

Electra’s getting impaled
Spidey tosses his costume
Spidey lifts the machine
M.J. goes “Face it tiger you just hit the jackpot”
Wolverine in sewers
Spidey catched Uncle Ben’s murderer
The Thing “Man is Monster”
That “Hear me X-Men I am Phoenix” panel
Captain America on the floor
Falling Gwen Stacy panel

Don’t know in which order, though.. :)

What about Dreadstar, Issue 8(?) with Oedi and Tutun:

Oedi: He’s got to be in there somewhere?

Tutun: But Where?!?!?

Oedi: How about under the table?

Oops…sorry. Got off track. It’s Marvel, isn’t it? Jack Nicholson’s line in A Few Good Men comes to mind…

But anyway, for some reason, it’s always the Captain America panels that I’m always drawn to. But the Number One panel? Man, that’s tough. It’s like trying to select an all-time outfield or an all-time four-man starting rotation.

I didn’t even see the death of phoenix or spidey holding dead gwen pics before. Must have missed a day somewhere. Plus guys forget France, the A on Cap’s mask stands for Australia :). Go Oz.

Two more down (Vizh and Dead Phoenix), which means I have six in the top ten. Good for me!

I’m very surprised that Phoenix’s first appearance cracked the top ten but her death didn’t. Also surprised that Cap’s thawing didn’t hit the top ten either.

14th is respectable, but I was hoping Vision would make it higher. Love that panel. Buscema was great.

So my wild guess for 1-10:

10. Phoenix rising
9. Cap dying
8. This Man, This Monster
7. Spidey lifts machinery
6. Wolverine in sewer
5. Elektra dies
4. Spidey’s burglar
3. Snap!
2. Spidey no more
1. Jackpot!

I’m confident Mary Jane will be no. 1. The panel is such a perfect storm of historical significance, great art, and quotable dialogue. A really, really memorable piece of comic book culture.

Any of the FF panels should have ranked higher than Ultimate Cap. From the looks of it, none will be in the top ten. That’s a shame since the FF title birthed the Marvel Universe. It’s the recency bias I guess.

I’ll put my money on:

3. Wolverine in the sewer, giving birth to the 21st Century.
2. Spider and the Burglar define the whole Marvel Universe, pretty much.
1. Spidey lifts machinery and really nails the whole Marvel concept for good and all.

Number 1 will be “Face It Tiger, You Just Hit the Jackpot.”

i’m surprised no Civil War panels have been voted since that changed the face of Marvel today.

@ Mr. M
That is from Avengers #4, well a reprint at least.

The reason that Cap panel may look odd to you is that it’s inked by George Roussos. His inking style was very different than Dick Ayers and Chic Stone, two of kirby’s early Marvel inkers that had a slicker brushier style.Roussos work is inconsistent, one panel may look great and the next one looks awful.
I’m not sure but it looks to me like he may have inked with a speedball pen nib, which gives it an angular thick and thin quality. He inked several of the FF issue around this time too (under the name George Bell).

I’m just glad that “This Man… This Monster” made it into the top 10, I was getting worried.

I really hope Spider-Man doesn’t take the top 3 slots.
But if he does, I hope the machinery lifting panel is #1.

Who are the asshats that voted for that Cap/france panel? I hope you all get cancer of the anus!!!

“Do you think this anus stands for France?”

I’d hoped the France panel would be in the top 5, but never mind. It’s still funny to laugh at all the people who still don’t understand the panel.

We understand it and still don’t like it :-P

“I would’ve thought the Vision would make it into the top five or so. Oh well.”

I think you could make a case for any of the top 30 or so to be in the top 10. With the exception of Cap/France, of course.

“I’m confident Mary Jane will be no. 1.”

After the comments here, that’s a good guess.

“That’s a shame since the FF title birthed the Marvel Universe. It’s the recency bias I guess.”

Yep. Several FF panels should’ve been in the finals and people should’ve voted for all of them, not picked one OR the other.

“It’s still funny to laugh at all the people who still don’t understand the panel.”

It’s still funny to shake our heads at all the people who mistook “cool” or “awesome” for “iconic.”

If ALL the votes for FF #1 were counted together, they’d still only barely crack the Top 10 (and that’s presuming that the people who voted for one FF #1 panel didn’t vote for more than one, which almost certainly did happen).

For whatever reason, people just weren’t big fans of the FF #1 panels.

KangarooOnTheLoose

September 4, 2009 at 3:07 am

People aren’t understanding what kind of guy Ultimate Cap is. if you read the Ultimate universe, he’s a lot more old-fashioned, brutal and is sometimes a hard guy to be around. Cap and Nick Fury talk about that line and how weird it was later in the book. In all fairness, that page isn’t so much iconic as memorable. Those who hate it remember it, those who love it remember it. And it’s a great piece of art by Bryan Hitch.

3. Wolvie in the sewers
2. The burglar
1. ‘Jackpot’

It’s still funny to shake our heads at all the people who mistook “cool” or “awesome” for “iconic.”

But isn’t that rather missing the point of how images become iconic. That’s the whole idea of a meme. The fitter the image is, the more it will spread. Once an image has spread through a group of people, then we can say it is an icon. Surely the fitness of an artistic work is dependant on its aesthetic appeal. People like the image, the image spreads, the image becomes an icon. If you think that an image’s iconicity is independent of it’s aesthetic appeal then I don’t think you really understand iconicity.

“If you think that an image’s iconicity is independent of it’s aesthetic appeal then I don’t think you really understand iconicity.”

Alas, I’m afraid it’s you who doesn’t understand iconicity, Ted. I’d say an image’s iconicity is largely if not totally independent of its aesthetic appeal.

Evidence: Almost any ’60s Marvel origin story. Rob Liefeld’s Image-style drawings. ACTION #1. “Garfield.” Nancy and Sluggo. The first Mickey Mouse drawing. “Ishtar.” “Planet 9 from Outer Space.” “Birth of a Nation.” The Tiananmen Square photo. The Vietnam “napalm girl” photo. The Hindenburg photo. A burning KKK cross. Joan of Arc burning at the stake. Jesus on the cross (any version). Any primitive petroglyph or cave painting. All famous or infamous (i.e., iconic) for their place in history, NOT for their aesthetics.

Are you really going to argue that the top 10 iconic panels are more aesthetically appealing than any other panels? I don’t think so. If we took the top 70 panels and ranked them aesthetically, I bet there’d be almost no correlation between aesthetic appeal and iconicity.

In fact, there might be a negative correlation. Plain panels like “the Burglar” might be at the bottom while gorgeous panels by Adams, Buscema, or Simonson might be at the top.

I agree with Greg.

Kind of.

I really hate that panel.

I think one of the high ones will be at the end of Origin #2 where James’s (Wolverine’s) claws have first come out of his hands and he screams in pain.

Uh, there aren’t going to be any new panels beyond the original 70, Paul. And the one you suggested didn’t make the list.

I guess Paul didn’t look at the 70 panels we got to choose from, since no Origin panels were featured (thankfully).

@Rob Schmidt

I think that you are taking a very narrow view of aesthetics. Something doesn’t have to be ‘beautiful’ to have aesthetic appeal. Anything that can cause some sort of joy, even a perverse joy, could be called aesthetic. Something can be aesthetic if it is moving, or enjoyable, or enlightening, or familiar, to take just a few examples.

Take the “napalm girl” photo. You say it is famous for its place in history, but thousands of photos were taken during the Vietnam war, ostensibly have the same place in history. The photo’s importance, its central position in culture, exists because it was able to burrow into people’s minds, and it was only able to do that because it was such a moving and well composed photo. I would say that the “napalm girl” photo is iconic, when thousands of photos of the same thing aren’t, solely because of its aesthetic appeal.

The images in origin stories, for instance, are appealing because the story that they are in is appealing, and they remind people of the story. The images have appeal, not in themselves, but for their position. There are plenty of panels in origin stories which aren’t iconic, because they have no and never had any appeal, because no-one liked the characters.

“I think that you are taking a very narrow view of aesthetics. Something doesn’t have to be ‘beautiful’ to have aesthetic appeal.”

aes?thet?ic

–adjective
1. pertaining to a sense of the beautiful or to the science of aesthetics.
2. having a sense of the beautiful; characterized by a love of beauty.
3. pertaining to, involving, or concerned with pure emotion and sensation as opposed to pure intellectuality.

“The photo’s importance, its central position in culture, exists because it was able to burrow into people’s minds, and it was only able to do that because it was such a moving and well composed photo.”

The napalm photo was important and moving because of 1) its horrific subject matter, 2) its message about the evils of war, and a distant 3) its composition. Only 3) is properly an aesthetic value.

Now explain why Rob Liefeld’s Captain America, “Planet 9 from Outer Space,” or a KKK cross is iconic for its aesthetic appeal. Good luck with your answer…you’ll need it.

This wasn’t clear, but I put the term ‘beautiful’ in scare quotes to indicate a narrow conception of beauty. Yes, all aesthetics is concerned with beauty, but beauty can mean many things outside its most conventional definition.

Under the definition of aesthetics you yourself provided, which I still think is narrow, is “horrific subject matter” not “concerned with pure emotion and sensation”? Is horror not an emotion? Furthermore, learning a message about the evils of war satisfies our curious nature, again leading to an emotional response. We feel that we understand the world better, and we feel happy that is the case. And while we might not like facts, we rather have them than not.

Rob Liefeld’s Captain America: beauty is, as they say, in the eye of the beholder. Thousands of people, at some point, found Liefeld’s art beautiful. If they hadn’t of, the Liefeld and his art would be forgotten, and not iconic.

Planet 9 from Outer Space, a movie which is often described as “so bad it’s good”. Good, as in aesthetically pleasing. People are often perverse in the way that things which should ostensibly be found ugly are found beautiful for their very ugliness, although usually only when that ostensible ugliness is extreme. I can’t explain it, but from experience it seems the case.

KKK cross: I was, specifically, talking about iconicity is works of art. The KKK cross seems to be an icon as a general idea, rather than any one particular photograph of it. However, we may say that a photograph of the KKK cross may have some appeal, in so far as its horrific subject matter, or to be more accurate the horrific subject matter it signifies, moves us.

Is there anything else you’d like cleared up?

“”You think this letter on my head stands for France?”

Why!! Of course not, Ultimate Cap!

As everyone knows, that sacred “A” Stands for… ALBACETE!!

Captain Albacete, the King of Razor Blades.

P.S.: One of the reasons I prefer 616 Cap to Ultimate Cap is his respect towards people: Brubaker’s 616 Captain paid homage to the French Resistance against nazis in one flashback issue, which means Bru knows well his history books. Millar probably has just “Story of the Glasgow Rangers” as his foremost history book

History? We don’ need no stinkin history!

Wolverine in Sewer
Electra Gets in impaled
This Man this Monster
Spider-Man no more
those would be my top four for sure. Although a recent favourite of mine would be the JR JR produced panel with the Hulk and Black Bolt during the opening sequences of WWH: “I didn’t come here to hear you whisper…I came to make you scream!!!” Instant classic!

The number one panel should be the last page of the Spider-Man story in Amazing Fantasy 15. With Great power comes great responsibility. The last panel where he is walking away from the reader with his head down, future unkown, is priceless.

My Top 3

3. Tiger you just hit the jackpot
2. Spider-Man unmasked by Doc Ock in front of everyone (Spidey 11)
1. Great power comes great responsibility (AF 15)

Can we have a Top 100 splash pages next? or Top 100 suprises (reader did not see this coming) next?

10. Phoenix rising
9. Cap dying
8. This Man, This Monster
7. Spidey lifts machinery
6. Spidey’s burglar
5. Wolverine in sewer
4. Elektra dies
3. Spidey no more
2. Snap!
1. Jackpot!

I still think #20 is fairly stupid.

“History? We don’ need no stinkin history!

Right-o, Captain Albacete “don” need “istory”

He just needs a good razor sharpener to bellow his mighty battle cry “Ti via cose a anavajasoooo!!”

One thing is for sure when that Ultim. Cap panel was done the controversy spread like wildfire. Sort of like when Spider-Man took off his mask in Civil War.

But I think an image to be iconic has to be a mix of aestetics and what the message meant. I think Bucky discovering Cap is a unique classic scene yet I think the bad artwork may prevent it from being a truly iconic panel.

“”You think this letter on my head stands for France?”

No, I thought it stood for asshole.

The Cap panel is not iconic. It is only memorable because it’s so STUPID and so OUT OF CHARACTER.

It’s not out of character.

If 616 Cap had said it it would have been out of character. For Ultimate Cap to say it was completely in character.

It is still stupid.

Stupid on Captain America’s part. Quite clever on Mark Millar’s part.

I don’t like Cap acting this way but no doubt it’s iconic. It’s well done and the reaction that this had was tremendous.

Bullseye stabbing Elektra from Daredevil 181
Superman laying in rubble from Superman 75 (Death of)

[...] doing anything else, I ran across this poll / article series in the Comics Should Be Good archives: Top 70 Most Iconic Marvel Panels. Clicking at semi-random, I saw several panels from comics I bought when I was a wee lad, and then [...]

I agree.
Keep the Ultimates out. Give the their own collection maybe.
Avengers 4.
Don Heck efficiently Doing what Kirby did with Submariner in Fantastic Four (Johnny Storm burning off the beard in the Bowery!!)
this was when the Avengers really hit pay dirt.

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