Superhero philosophy time:
Thinking about the "Logan" opening tonight and the concept of the hero who outlives his peers. It's not an unexplored theme--everything from Kingdom Come and Earth X to Old Man Logan and "The End" series has explored it--even the old, pre-Star-Lord Guardians of the Galaxy was really big on it, with guys like Vance Astro or Wonder Man outliving their friends and loved ones by millennia. (I really want to write the story of Simon Williams, who didn't have the benefit of Astro's long nap in space flight. Simon lives those centuries, awake. He sees his friends shuffle off this mortal coil in real time. I don't know who had it worse, him or Vance.)
But it makes for an interesting exploration of the concept of the superhuman, doesn't it? Because we tell these stories about heroes trying to save the present, trying to change the world, whether it's stopping street crime or rescuing a kitten from a tree or preventing World War III. But it's pretty likely that anyone that "special," be they Kryptonian or a mutant with a healing ability or a guy injected with some sort of serum that lets him look like he did during WWII seventy years later or if he's a science experiment gone wrong or the fastest man alive...
It's almost inevitable they're going to outlive every single person they've saved. The existential crisis of that concept amazes me. That's a story I want to tell.
I figure in the Indestructibles universe, we've got one or two characters this could happen to. (One for sure--it's been hinted at in some of the stories that one of the Indestructibles will live three hundred years or more if someone doesn't kill that person intentionally first.) What happens to that sort of hero? Do they just keep going, continuing the good fight? Do they lose their minds after everyone they've ever known is dead? Do they surrender to the ebb and flow of time? Or do they, Gandalf-style, play the long game, because they know they've got all the time in the world?
What does a hero do when they have what feels like forever stretched out in front of them?
Matthew Phillion is the writer of "The Indestructibles," part-time actor, occasional filmmaker. Currently on the lam in Salem with his trusty dog, Watson.