Marvel Comics has created an expansive, incredible universe filled with some of the most iconic characters and beloved stories. There are countless pages of comics for fans to enjoy but every now and then, a single panel stands out in our memories. Whether it’s the incredible artwork, a major reveal or moment in a story or even just a really funny line from one of Marvel’s more comical characters, some comic panels just deserve to be recognized.
With that in mind, I want to take a look at some of my favorite comic panels. Each week, I will select one panel from a new Marvel comic as a “New Favorite” and one panel from an older comic as a “Classic Favorite” and provide some context as to why those two panels are so great. Sometimes I might get a little loose with what I consider a “panel,” because comics tend to play by their own rules. But at the end of the day, we’ll have two glimpses of two great Marvel comics, one old and one new.
So without further ado, here are my picks for this week’s top Marvel Comics panels:
Classic Favorite: “Hawkeye #2” (2012)
Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: David Aja
Clint Barton is an Avenger. Clint Barton is a superhero. Clint Barton is Hawkeye. One thing Clint Barton is not, is smooth. While trying to blend in with high society (which is really just a bunch of criminals) alongside his protege Kate Bishop, he repeatedly tells himself to “keep it casual.” And to make matters worse, he compliments someone on their “cumberbatch.”
Bishop immediately corrects him and points out that he should probably stop telling himself out loud to keep it casual. But the joke works on two levels. Yes, Barton is an idiot who confuses a cummerbund with an actor. But also, Cumberbatch is obviously the actor who plays Doctor Strange, a character Barton knows well.
This is one of many hilarious jokes in this “Hawkeye” series from Matt Fraction. You get to see Clint Barton in a new light on a personal level while still getting all of the high-octane Hawkeye action. Plus, Kate Bishop is a great character and the real star here.
New Favorite: “Symbiote Spider-Man: King in Black #2”
Writer: Peter David
Artist: Greg Land
Yep, two jokes in one week! This is classic J. Jonah Jameson in a classic Spidey story. “Symbiote Spider-Man” is set in the time before Venom, when Peter Parker was still wearing the symbiote suit (hence the name). So it makes sense that we would get some great JJJ moments.
It would also make sense that Jonah would have no idea who Neil Degrasse Tyson is. Apparently, long before hosting Cosmos, Tyson was the science editor at The Daily Bugle. But even the great Neil Degrasse Tyson isn’t above being fired by JJJ.
It’s amazing that in a comic in which an Avenger is seemingly killed, a world-ending force is on the horizon and a time-traveling conqueror shows up, we can still get hilarious moments like this. That’s the beauty of getting into a classic Spider-Man story like this. And the beauty of a great character like J. Jonah Jameson.
Be sure to check back next week for more of my favorite Marvel Comics panels.