Amazing Spiderman #31 - #33, by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko.
This three issue story arc was one of the best comic stories ever done in my humble opinion. In the early silver age of comics a three issue story arc was almost unheard of, so this story was a very special event.
What I remember from this story (and I'm doing this solely from memory) is that Spider-Man in order to save his Aunt May had to fight against impossible odds to get a rare medicine to save her life. Aunt May was dying from a transfusion that she had received from Peter in an earlier issue and since his blood was radioactive it was killing Aunt May. Spider-Man moved heaven and earth to save her. He fought a ton of henchmen and Doctor Octopus. In the panel where he picks up a monstrous piece of machinery that had him trapped you could feel that this was a man who was pushing himself beyond his limits. I also believe that he ran into his girl-friend who was horrified that he was so beaten up looking and want not say anything about it and Spider-Man was slowly going to wreck his romance.
This story always resonates with me because it taught responsibility and the willingness to do the right thing no matter what the personal cost. Peter Parker emotionally and physically paid a price, but he did what was right.
It is impossible for me to adequately express the emotions I feel when I re-read that issue, but those three issues encapsulated what it means to be a true hero.
It is seldom that we see that type of portrayal anymore as it almost seems to be too cliche or that no one is that good, so let's bring the heroes down to my (meaning the writer's) level.
I rather have my heroes be something to aspire to and I always say that the silver age comics I grew up on reinforced and thought me better morals then anything else in my life. All I ever needed to know about life I learned from comics is damn close to being true. It is a shame in that becoming more adult in their presentation we have lost the ability to make our heroes, heroes.