For years, Spider-Man has been one of the most beloved of all Marvel heroes. The character’s personal struggles and light-hearted personality make him incredibly relatable to audiences, which explains why the character has had so much success in other areas of pop culture.
Granted, Spider-Man has certainly been through a lot of ups and downs since he was originally created in 1962. Yet, for all the things he has experienced, fans have only grown to love him more. To look back at some of the character’s biggest moments over the years, here is our list of the 10 most iconic panels in Marvel’s Spider-Man comics.
10 Mary Jane’s Introduction
Mary Jane Watson would forever be a key component in Peter Parker’s life, ever since her introduction. Not only was she there for him during the death of Gwen Stacy, but Mary Jane would go on to eventually become Peter’s wife.
Furthermore, she has certainly grown a lot as a character, going from a party girl all the way to the head of Stark Industries. Though MJ is back to being Peter’s girlfriend, there’s no denying just how important she is to Peter. Her famous line, “you just hit the jackpot” is forever engraved into Spider-Man’s history.
9 Peter Lifts The Debris
The few panels of Spider-Man lifting an incredibly heavy amount are so iconic, that the scene was replicated in Spider-Man: Homecoming. In order to get Aunt May a cure, Spider-Man must free himself from the debris that has fallen on him. When all hope seems lost for him, he summons all the strength he can muster, resulting in one of the most incredible displays of strength for the character to date.
This scene really showcases just how determined Peter is as a character, further emphasizing the attributes that make him such a great hero. Though he has certainly gone on to perform some more impressive feats, this moment remains one of the more defining in Spider-Man’s history.
8 Emerging From the Grave
Kraven’s Last Hunt is a fan-favorite Spider-Man story for sure. After burying Peter Parker alive, Kraven the Hunter sets out to prove that he can be a better Spider-Man.
Though the Web Head is initially believed to be dead, the beautifully illustrated panel of him rising from the grave is easily one of the more iconic scenes from the story, as it gave readers a sense of excitement that he had finally returned. Overall, this single panel alone expertly captures the strength, persistence, and bravery of Spider-Man, making it easy to understand why it is so iconic.
7 Unmasking Himself
Back during Marvel’s original Civil War event, Peter Parker shocked everyone by revealing to the world that he was Spider-Man. Though this decision is one that he would later regret, it is still one of the more iconic moments for the character.
From this moment on, Spider-Man would constantly be on the run, while also trying to keep his family safe. Shortly after, his secret identity would be returned to him at the cost of his marriage to Mary Jane. While this decision remains controversial to this day, this single panel of him addressing the camera is still one of the most important events the character has ever undergone.
6 Birth of Venom
Spider-Man’s symbiote suit is one of the most beloved Spider-Man costumes aside from the classic look. Initially, though, the suit was an alien parasite that fed of Peter’s body, draining it more and more by the day. Upon this discovery, Peter set out to remove the creature by using the sound waves from church bells to weaken it.
This event marks an important turn for Spider-Man in two ways. Firstly, it brings a long-running chapter of his life to a close, as he was back to his original personality. Secondly, removing the symbiote also led directly to the birth of Venom, one of Spider-Man’s most formidable foes. Considering everything that came after this event, it is easy to understand why this panel is so iconic.
5 Spider-Man No More
Shortly after the Kingpin was introduced, Peter Parker left behind the mantle of Spider-Man in what is one of the most recognizable images for the character. As Peter walks out of a dark alley, the Spider-Man suit remains behind, draped over a garbage can.
This image is so popular that it has been redrawn, parodied, and adapted several times over the years. A version of it even appears in the live-action Spider-Man 2 (2004).
4 Becoming Spider-Man
While the spider bite gave Peter Parker his powers, he wasn’t actually Spider-Man until he understood that with great power comes great responsibility. Unfortunately, Peter learned this the hard way, finding out that the man who killed his uncle was the same criminal that Spider-Man refused to stop earlier.
For how old this panel is, it is still incredibly detailed, with the shock on Spider-Man’s face clearly coming through his mask. Though there are more iconic moments in the character’s life, this single panel marks the very moment that Spider-Man was truly born.
3 The Wedding
As mentioned previously, Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson would eventually tie the knot. For all the troubles the two characters had gone through over the years, audiences were ecstatic to finally see them get married.
Though Peter would be late due to some Spider-Man business, things mostly went off without any issues. In the last page of the wedding special, Mary Jane can be seen holding onto her new husband, who is clad in full Spider-Man gear, as the two of them swing out to start their new lives together. For all the horrors Spider-Man has experienced, it is nice to see one of his happiest moments get so much recognition.
2 Amazing Fantasy #15
Serving as the cover to Spider-Man’s very first appearance, this image of Spider-Man swinging away is easily one of (if not) the most recognized images of the character.
This picture of the Wall-Crawler has gone well beyond the comics, even being adapted as an official movie poster for Spider-Man: Homecoming. The image captures a lot of the quirky charm charm and heroic nature that made so many fall in love with Spider-Man to begin with. As a result, it is pretty easy to see why this is one of the most iconic images of Spider-Man ever.
1 Death of Gwen Stacy
The only image that is arguably more iconic than Spider-Man’s first appearance is the death of Gwen Stacy. After being kidnapped by the Green Goblin and tossed off a bridge, Spider-Man would fail to save the woman he loved, snapping her neck in the process. Though some believe she was dead beforehand, this single panel marks the absolute lowest point in Spider-Man’s life.
For as hard as he tried to be a hero in this case, he just wasn’t able to save the woman he loved. Furthermore, Spider-Man’s future would forever be altered by this moment, as this event marked the shift towards more mature elements in Spider-Man books, as well as all of comics. This image is not only important for Spider-Man, but the entire comic book industry, easily making it the most important single image in Spider-Man’s history.