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Deaths In Superhero Movies That Are Burned Into Your Memory

Updated May 3, 2021 25.9k votes 3.2k voters 186.5k views15 items

List RulesVote up the death scenes that left a permanent impression.

Superhero movies set a certain precedent: Someone is going to die at the end. It's not universal, but it's true often enough. It's one of the ways a franchise can close one chapter, making it possible to move on with new characters without having to perpetually rehash the same material. As a result, superhero films are responsible for a number of unforgettable death scenes - though not all of these deaths are burned into the audience's memory like the rest.

Some death scenes aren't very memorable at all - often because the movie itself is poorly executed, or otherwise fails to meet expectations, and thus can't stick the landing on a a key death scene.

Of course, the bad guys aren't always the ones who bite the big one; when a hero falls, it can be more memorable than when someone like Two-Face meets his end in Batman Forever. This list features some of the greatest death scenes in comic book films. Some are more poignant than others - while some are just awesome, or otherwise amusing. So find your favorite scenes below, and don't forget to vote them up to see which death in a superhero movie was the most impactful of them all.

  • When he was first introduced in Guardians of the Galaxy, Yondu was something of a hybrid ally/enemy to Peter Quill. He kidnapped him when he was a child, and raised him to be a Ravager, all the while threatening to eat him. In the first movie, he was working against Peter to swipe the Power Stone, and while they teamed up in the end to save Xandar, Peter managed to pull the ol' switcheroo, which suggested their interactions weren't concluded.

    The second movie gives Yondu much more screen time, and with it comes the revelation that he abducted Peter to give to Ego. But he never handed him over, opting to keep and raise him for himself. By the end of the movie, it's clear he did this because Ego was slaying the kids Yondu was delivering to him, and that Yondu ended up being more of a father than Ego ever could be. It becomes clear that Yondu truly cared for Peter all along.

    As the two blast off of Ego's planet following the Celestial's demise, there is only one emergency spacesuit between the two of them. Without hesitating, Yondu puts the device on Peter and activates it. Before they soar out of the atmosphere, Yondu says, "He may have been your father, boy, but he wasn't your daddy." With that, Yondu holds onto Peter's face as he perishes from exposure while Peter cries and yells for the father he always had, even without realizing it.

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  • Guardians of the Galaxy introduced the adult version of Groot, and despite only being able to say "I am Groot" throughout the movie, he clearly demonstrated his intelligence and compassion when dealing with his friends. For his enemies, he dealt death and destruction like the rest of his pals.

    The tragic end of the film features the Guardians together aboard Ronan the Accuser's ship in the middle of what's about to be a crash-landing. The only way to save everyone is for Groot to grow a protective enclosure made of his own body; Rocket knows it is a sacrificial move that his friend will not survive. As Rocket pleads, Groot looks at each of the Guardians, and says, "We are Groot." When the vessel finally falls to the ground - destroying Groot in the process - everyone else survives intact, making Groot's sacrifice both noble and effective.

    The fans yelling at the screen that Groot could only ever say "I am Groot," and nothing more may have technically been correct, but they were yelling through tears.

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  • By the time Avengers: Infinity War comes to a close, numerous characters have met their end. The movie began with Loki's memorable demise, but as things progress - with our heroes going up against Thanos in different battlefields across the galaxy - Vision gets slain (twice), and, of course, Thanos snaps his fingers and culls half of all life from existence.

    At this point, audiences are torn apart watching Wanda, Groot, Bucky, Black Panther, Doctor Strange, and most of the Guardians of the Galaxy fade into dust. The most difficult passing was that of Peter Parker, AKA everyone's Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man. It starts with him telling Tony Stark that he's not feeling so good, and as his mentor holds him in his arms, Tony is powerless to do anything but watch as his young protege fades into dust. It was one of those "I'm not crying! You're crying!" moments; despite Peter's eventual return in Endgame, this scene remains one that hurts to watch.

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  • When Avengers: Endgame pits the entire might of the MCU up against Thanos and his army, the result is arguably the largest battle in cinematic history, with the possible exception of some scenes in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The entanglement is intense, involving several key players in the MCU taking the Gauntlet around the battlefield, with the aim of keeping it from the Mad Titan.

    When it finally comes down to an Iron Man vs. Thanos fight, the two beat each other with everything they have. In the end, Thanos finally gets ahold of the Gauntlet, declaring, "I am inevitable." He snaps his fingers... only, nothing happens. At that moment, he discovers the Infinity Stones are no longer set in the Gauntlet. His gaze turns to Iron Man, who raises his arm as the Stones set within his gauntleted fist. He rebuts: "And I... am... Iron Man" before snapping his fingers.

    Thanos watches as his forces are converted to dust, and there's nothing he can do. He realizes he's lost, so as his army crumbles to dust around him, he takes a seat and looks away pensively before he, too, turns to dust and blows away in the wind.

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