Being a superhero requires a lot from an individual.
Superhuman abilities, incredible skills and cutting-edge tech go a long way in enabling one to fill the tights and boots, but they are nearly useless if the hero in question is unable to make the tough call and sacrifice themselves if need be. This is expected, as the threats that superheroes go up against are often devastating in scale, and in some instances threaten all of creation.
With such high stakes at play, it takes a lot of heart, bravery and a dash of madness to go up against the odds and put their lives on the line for the people they protect.
Comics are filled with iconic instances where heroes have risked it all to save the day, and in some cases their sacrifices were not in vain, ensuring that the world lives to see another day and take readers through further emotionally satisfying arcs in the future.
However, some of these sacrifices can be unnecessary or even undone by the writers, diluting the emotional buildup leading to the sacrifice. In the moment though, some of these sacrifices are very impactful and work beyond simple shock value, further enhancing the legacy of a given hero in ways readers may not have predicted.
10. Captain Marvel - The End
Carol Danvers may not be as highly regarded as some of her fellow Avengers, but she has done a great deal within the team and on her own to solidify her status as one of Marvel's most prolific heroes.
And as any good comic book hero worth their salt, Danvers is willing to put her life on the line for the greater good, as was seen in the recent Captain Marvel: The End storyline.
It is a collection of alternate universe issues that offer possible endings for various Marvel heroes and in this tale, a guilt-ridden Carol is summoned back to a desolate and frozen Earth by her former teammates' children to help defeat a radioactive monster that threatens the surviving humans. The elder hero and the newbies swiftly defeat the monster but then quickly learn that the sun is dying.
Captain Marvel is the only one who can reignite it and does so successfully but dies in the process. Before this happens, she finds peace in saving the world and forgiving herself for not being around when she was needed the most.