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The 70 Most Iconic Panels In Marvel History!

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23. Captain America #113 (Jim Steranko)

22. Silver Surfer (Vol. 1) #1 (Stan Lee, John Buscema and Joe Sinnott)

21. Fantastic Four (Vol. 1) #1 (Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Sol Brodsky)

20. The Ultimates (Vol. 1) #12 (Mark Millar, Bryan Hitch and Paul Neary)

19. Daredevil #232 (Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli)

18. X-Men #134 (Chris Claremont, John Byrne and Terry Austin)

17. X-Men #137 (Chris Claremont, John Byrne and Terry Austin)

16. Avengers (Vol. 1) #4 (Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and George Roussos)

15. Marvels #2 (Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross)

14. Avengers (Vol. 1) #58 (Roy Thomas, John Buscema and George Klein)

13. Uncanny X-Men #142 (Chris Claremont, John Byrne and Terry Austin)

12. Amazing Spider-Man #121 (Gerry Conway, Gil Kane and John Romita)

11. Incredible Hulk (Vol. 1) #1 (Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Paul Reinman)

10. Fantastic Four (Vol. 1) #51 (Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Joe Sinnott)

9. X-Men (Vol. 1) #101 (Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum)

8. Captain America (Vol. 5?) #25 (Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting)

7. Amazing Fantasy #15 (Stan Lee and Steve Ditko)

6. Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #33 (Stan Lee and Steve Ditko)

5. Amazing Spider-Man #121 (Gerry Conway, Gil Kane and John Romita)

4. X-Men #132 (Chris Claremont, John Byrne and Terry Austin)

3. Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #50 (Stan Lee, John Romita and Mike Esposito)

2. Daredevil #181 (Frank Miller and Klaus Janson)

1. Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #42 (Stan Lee and John Romita)

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Great selection. Lots of Kirby and Ditko as it should be, and some Steranko too.

Individual panels like these are also a great way to advertise issues and trades, much better than just a cover shot. Seeing this list reminded me of that.

There were two I thought out of place, one of them especially, but they are still very well known.

Some people need to look up the definition of iconic. Wolverine in the sewers? Iconic. Captain America gets shot? Not iconic. And so many more. It’s about the instant memory recall. Or the ones that have been repeated over and over again. Or that define the story they came from. A good portion of these are just “important moments in Marvel continuity” or “a cool splash page” rather than truly being “iconic”.

Mikael these lists are subjective, the voters obviously feel that the panels you questioned fit the criteria. I personally don’t recognize a lot of these but I’m also not the typical comic reader.

I’m happy, and very surprised, to see Ekektra at number 2

I’ve never noticed this before, but in #31, where is Nightcrawler’s tail?

Huh, I’m surprised the defrosting of Captain America from Avengers #4 didn’t crack the top 10, and definitely surprised it’s below Cap’s death on the courthouse steps.

And it’s odd the panel of Magneto ripping the adamantium out of Wolverine’s body (I don’t know the issue off the top of my head) isn’t on the list at all.

Most of these are out of context for me, and therefore lost on me. What does #57 mean? As for as I can tell, it’ just a guy getting a bad-ass shave. And what just happened to Odin in #62?

Hard to agree with most of these. Some were really iconic but others… not so much. Many of these are big and important point in the history of MU but not necessarily iconic pictures that spring to mind when I first think of iconic panels from marvel comics. But it’s always subjective so whose to say what is iconic and what is not
And while that number one is iconic I wouldn’t say that it’s the most iconic out of all these panels. It feels that OMD still has an effect on the minds of many fans and that is probably part of the reason that this particular panel ended up being number 1.

walt simonson’s run on thor is the reason i started reading comics. brilliant art and fantastic, gripping, stories.

I SO want a poster of that FF #57 panel.

No Wolverine crucified on the X?

Kyle that was a cover.

There are a bunch os links missing or that need fixing but this was a truly awesome, amazing collection of some of the best art ever in comics and truly memorable moments. Thanks a lot. This is will be a “Norh” for when I have enough cash for redecorating my home.

There are a few I’m shocked are not on here….

Tony stark from his battle with the alcoholism (demon in a bottle I think was the title)
Thunderbirds death in the men
Black bolts marriage to Medusa
The death of Wonderman

I was surprised to see Guardian’s death on here… But agree it was iconic

Many are very heart-wrenching moments. They deserve their respective places.

@Runnrx13 the bad-ass shave is from FF #4, in which a bearded, amnesiac homeless man is revealed to be Namor, making his first Silver Age appearance. Not sure about Odin though, as I still haven’t read all of Simonson’s Thor run!

Some of these (yeah, to single out Cap’s death again) seem to make more sense in the context of when this poll was first conducted a few years ago, and I have a feeling they wouldn’t place as high today. Can’t argue with most of these though.. and #1 definitely deserves the spot in my opinion, no One More Day derived nostalgia involved.

Rather astounding and disappointing that none of the artists, except in the instances where their names are in the panels, are mentioned alongside their work.

@Tommy: OMD is not the only reason #1 is universally beloved and unparalleled in terms of impact. This was THE moment Marvel’s flagship title completely shifted in tone. From the dark and bleakness of the Steve Ditko years (AKA the wannabe tone DC is always striving for its own titles and movies, to prove they are oh-so-much-more-mature-and-realistic-thanks-to-their-grittiness) to a more joyful and vibrant tone, under the art of romance artist John Romita Sr. and the pen of the snappy and charismatic Stan Lee (who was now free to show off his own fun personality in his writing, free from the tethers of the contrasting and “serious” Ditko).

In many ways, Mary Jane’s “Face it, Tiger!” moment is the perfect instance of where The Amazing Spider-Man stopped being a dark, depressing and incredibly plodding title, like a current DC title, and became a fuller, lighthearted series which celebrated the joy and beauty of life in ALL of its different colors. Much like Marvel’s current tone, reflected in its comics and cinematic universe. In short, that panel, as far as images go, was an incredibly symbolic moment that best illustrated how much fun and escapist a comic book could be, very much like the iconic cover of Action Comics #1. Only difference being, Marvel has more or less remained loyal to the promise of hope and wonder they showed in that one panel (even though they have treated the actual relationship of the two magical, star-crossed lovers featured here, like shit). While DC has completely forgotten what it was about that very first cover of Action Comics that enchanted and captured the imagination of the world, and gave birth to the superhero genre as we now know and adore it.

A link to a great article about how Mary Jane Watson’s introduction was a revolution for superhero comics: http://freakytrigger.co.uk/ft/2013/05/the-jackpot/

49 and 40 are my faves. 49 chokes me up a little and 40 gives me goosebumps.

Not really a “panel” per se, but this is an iconic Marvel image if ever there were one.


I am wondering at #59. It seems a bit obscure for this type of poll. I do not have a problem with it, but is the only one from a story I do not recognize. It is the Black Widow though, right?

@RunnerX – Odin died in panel #62.

Looking at the Steranko panels, I wish we could see that same sort of mindfuck in the movies, possibly in a Shield movie perhaps? Especially the Bucky panels, it looks like a Bond opening but crazier and more dramatic.

nice picks not only seeing a lot of kirby and ditko love. but also god loves man kills on this list. though surprised to see the panel from the boy who collected spiderman not in the top five. or dark phoenixs suicide higher on this list plus missing from this the panel where thinking he stopped the juggernaut by raming him with a tanker trunk spider man sees juggy walking through the flames. .

This ranking / list thing always ends up meaning discussion.
And all that discussions aren’t worth the time spent on them.
Everyone will always have his own. Always differente from the others. And it will be that way forever and ever.
Let’s enjoy remembering what those panels meant for us readers when we first read those comic books, those feelings, surprises, joys , etc…

Reading this article reminds me of the old “How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way” book–a bunch of out-of-context panels. (It’s not a bad article–I’m just saying that the de-contextualized panels remind me of it.)

Surprised that Spidey and the burglar didn’t rate higher than it did. Also, I’m disappointed that there aren’t more Hulk panels.

I disagree about the ranking of Electra’s death being #1 but pretty much all of them belong on the list, except I can’t stand the Ultimate Cap one. it really doesn’t even have any relevance anymore. I doubt many people remember that it was a knee jerk reaction to Europe not going for President Bush’s hunt for WMDs and invading.

“Freedom fries” anyone?

Glad to see all the Lee/Kirby Fantastic Four love.

The revelation of Charles Xavier as Onslaught should have been there.

Magneto ripping Wolverines adamantium out and Wolverine realizing his claws were bone for the first time should be in here.

1 and 2 cannot be argued.

My favorite is the Buscema Vision panel, so powerful.

Not only is the drawing/composition by Romita perfect. (i mean really that panel says everything you need to know about the personalities of Peter and Mary Jane.)

Not only that, but that maybe the most iconic line, along with “even an android…..”

Iron Maiden: I think you’ll find the Ultimates line was a reference to WW2. You know, when Fra ce surrendered, and when Cap had just comt from?

Apologies for the atrocious spelling: France, and come come from.

Overall I think the list is solid. Nice to see certain iconic creative runs on a few different titles well represented.

Personally though, I think #’s 62, 61, 60 & 49 seem too low, and #49, to me, is way too low… I feel that is definitely one of the top 10 most poignant moments in Marvel history (maybe that ridiculous next issue promo box dropped it; I swear, that blurb is about as big of a moment ruiner as someone unleashing a gigantic fart during a eulogy).

A couple other panels I’d at least argue deserve “honorable mention” status:

The end of Spider-Man #39, where the Green Goblin reveals he is Norman Osborn to Peter Parker.
The end of Spider-man #238, first Hobgoblin
The end of Iron Man #128, the “Demon in a Bottle” arc where Tony’s looking out the window at the sunrise.
Hulk #377 “Honey… I”m home.” (I know it was used with SM #300’s Venom 1st appearance, but I liked PAD’s use better)

And a personal favorite of mine from Iron Man #150 “… Because Avenger, I give you my word.”

I had no idea that Galactus’ defeat in ‘Annihilation’ (‘Extirpia saw! Galactus has fallen!’) with Galactus slumping against the building was a homage to that FF panel (having never seen that one before, as I’m not an FF fan). Cool stuff!

Phoenix, Phoenix, so good they named her twice! :P

where’s Steranko’s iconic HULK cover? You know the one that was reproduced like a gazillion times!!

Thanks for the list. Whether we agree with all of it or not doesn’t really matter, it gives us an idea of some really iconic panels. Thanks again.

Robin you may be right about the in-story context of that line but Iron Maiden is also correct about the meta-textual meaning of that line.

All subjective based on the people who voted, so I won’t argue which is right or wrong. Obviously a lot of Simonson Thor and DD Born Again fans skewing the vote.
But the panel from Spider-Man #33 at #6isn’t the one I have always thought and seen talked about as THE iconic image from that book. It’s this one;

We actually let people choose which Amazing Spider-Man #33 panel/page they could vote on and they went with the still struggling image. It’s definitely a close call!

Thanks Brian. I thought several of the panels from iconic issues were not the ones I would have gone with (Avengers #93, FF #49 and Steranko’s Cap among them) but this one really stood out for me. As with all these types of polls, says as much about the people who vote as the subject of the results.

Is there any significance that most of these happened, what, over 20 years ago?

Not one Neal Adams panel? Seriously.

Writer Dennis O’Neil and artist Neal Adams beginning with issue #76 (April 1970) that dealt with various social and political issues where Oliver advocated social change and Jordan was more concerned about dealing with criminals. Each would find their beliefs challenged by the other. Oliver convinced Jordan to see beyond his strict obedience to the Green Lantern Corps, to help those who were neglected or discriminated against.

Then, of course there’s the art of Neal Adams ‘pulse pounding penciling pagentry” of his first issue splash on The Uncanny X-Men. How could these not make the list?

@Darrell Goza #66 is a Neal Adams panel.

@Darrell: I’m going to guess that Adams’ ‘Green Lantern’ art was excluded because it’s not a Marvel property. But when a ‘most iconic DC panels’ ever comes up, be sure to nominate that one.

#66 was Neal Adams.

Is there any significance that most of these happened, what, over 20 years ago?

Typically the most iconic aspects of character’s histories will come early in their fictional “lives.”

I remember a similar thing CBR did–I can’t remember if “Most Iconic Panels” a few years ago but something downright similar–with MJ closing the door that took the top spot then.

I could be remembering incorrectly. But if I’m right, then hot damn, what a gal!

“Some people need to look up the definition of iconic. Wolverine in the sewers? Iconic. Captain America gets shot? Not iconic.”

I think you’ve got that backwards there, Mikael. I’d never seen that Wolverine panel before this article. The Captain America picture was everywhere though and I knew it’d be on this list as soon as I saw the title. It’s so perfectly done, displaying the final moment of the Marvel U’s greatest hero.

Panel #59: Amazing Adventures (Vol. 2) #5 (Roy Thomas, Gene Colan and Bill Everett)

If you take a close look at Black Widow’s hair, under her arm/elbow…

Oh. My. Goodness!

[blockquote]I think you’ve got that backwards there, Mikael. I’d never seen that Wolverine panel before this article. The Captain America picture was everywhere though and I knew it’d be on this list as soon as I saw the title. It’s so perfectly done, displaying the final moment of the Marvel U’s greatest hero.[/blockquote]

Wow. Might want to check your footing, because that ain’t the high ground you’re standing on. That Wolverine panel is over 30 years old, is an important, memorable moment in what is largely considered one of the best storylines of all time (Dark Phoenix Saga), by what is considered one of the best creative teams runs on a title (Claremont & Byrne on Uncanny X-Men) of all time and helped launch Wolverine’s popularity to what he still enjoys today. You’re on a comic book related website offering your opinion and don’t know this? I say again… wow.

@Stephen: I think both can be considered ‘iconic’ in their own way. Yeah, Cap’s ‘death’ was everywhere at the time that issue came out, but the Wolverine panel is cherished because it was the moment that set off his definitive ‘breakout’ in X-Men. He’d already gained a fan following by that point, but his taking on the Hellfire Club minions solo, then staging the X-Men’s rescue solidified his rep.
The panel of him emerging from the sewers has been recreated in the 90s cartoon, as well as in Astonishing X-Men (where it’s Kitty who does the same pose/line).


In regard to Cap’s line about the France in the Ultimates… considering the timing involved in publication, it’s a good possibility that Millar was referencing current events during 2003 and France’s opposition to the proposed invasion of Iraq.

In regard to Cap’s line about the France in the Ultimates… considering the timing involved in publication, it’s a good possibility that Millar was referencing current events during 2003 and France’s opposition to the proposed invasion of Iraq.

It’s possible, sure, but Occam’s razor would suggest that it was referencing the much more famous surrender during World War II.

France has an undeserved reputation for cowardice in war. The line is based on that, not just one incidence which could be used to support it.

Great list.
#2 makes me wish that Miller still drew that way, instead of his current figures with big, clumpy, oversized fists and feet.

[…] As vinhetas mais icónicas da Marvel. Uma excelente lista no site CBR. […]

[…] The 70 Most Iconic Panels in Marvel History (goodcomics.comicbookresources.com) […]

Was trying real hard to guess what #1 could be as I looked at Elektra’s sai going through her chest. Couldn’t come up with anything, scrolled down, saw MJ, and actually laughed out loud in my office. Great ordering; here I am, thinking “What could be more devastating, powerful, gripping than this?” and it’s “Face it, Tiger.”

Like others, I’m surprised that Wolverine getting the adamantium ripped out of his body by Magneto wasn’t on here. It’s amazing how much mileage Marvel gets out of the Dark Phoenix story, but all the panels that are on here deserve to be. But like someone else said, there’s a lot of Simonson Thor and Miller Daredevil, probably more than necessary.

I’d have included Spider-Man crashing the gas truck into Juggernaut – specifically, the panel that’s just one giant explosion. I seem to also remember a particularly poignant panel during the Infinity Gauntlet where all the heroes are down except Cap, who stands up and gets right in the face of Thanos. There’s also some great stuff from Secret Wars that got overlooked, like the Hulk picking up a mountain. Oh, and the first appearance of the SHIELD helicarrier is pretty impressive. I almost think the splash pages shouldn’t count, but there were some good ones on here. Anyways, complaining is more fun than complimenting. Really fun list.

Totally agree with # 1! Mary jane is the single most important supporting character in the MU! She has pushed plots and altered minds! Go MJ!

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