20 Most Powerful Comic Book Panels Of All Time

These 20 entries encapsulate why comic book fans love comic books so much.

In the world of comic books, a complete story is often told over the course of one issue (or multiple issues for a lengthier arc). But in rare instances, one single page can transcend traditional storytelling practices by evoking a whole range of reactions and emotional responses from the reader. Depending on the comic and the situation, these panels have the power to haunt readers, horrify them, or make them stand up on their seats and cheer in jubilation (or a combination of all three). In other cases, these panels are so thought provoking and mentally stimulating, fans are still debating their meaning years later. Because of the emotional weight these visuals carry, it should come as no surprise that the vast majority of these panels/pages are frequently referenced and paid homage to in other comic books, or across other media, such as film and television. The following 20 panels/pages, selected from a wide array of comic books published over the past 50-plus years, demonstrate just how powerful the comic book medium can be when the stars align and a single visual manages to marry the perfect combination of riveting text and beautiful/impactful images. For many, these 20 entries encapsulate why comic book fans love comic books so much.
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Mark is a professional writer living in Brooklyn and is the founder of the Chasing Amazing Blog, which documents his quest to collect every issue of Amazing Spider-Man, and the Superior Spider-Talk podcast. He also pens the "Gimmick or Good?" column at Comics Should Be Good blog.