Aging Superheroes are Awesome, Depressing
If you’ve ever wanted to see how your favorite superheroes might look once aging ends their careers, these pictures are some possible examples. Aging isn’t covered much in main comic continuity, because the big labels don’t want their cash cows like Spider-Man and Batman becoming obsolete. Shows like Batman Beyond have covered it very well, however, as have series like Watchmen and movies like The Incredibles. These two examples of artwork take a bit of a different look, however, turning superheroes and villains into much older versions of themselves.
First, from GeeksAreSexy, we have some photographs taken by Dylan Collard, which are awesome enough photos on their own but even more interesting due to the subject matter portrayed. Robin and Catwoman soak up some sun outdoors, Catwoman’s hair now bleached a platinum blonde. Joker sits in one of his many abandoned warehouses, looking considerably older but still sporting his green hair and white face paint. Wearing an undershirt and one of his flamboyant pairs of pants, he seems to be reading the newspaper, perhaps lamenting the losses his retirement fund is taking.
The Six Million Dollar Man looks about as you’d expect, just older, even cradling a beer in one hand. The other arm, though, is open and has various wires connected to some outdated computer equipment. Apparently he couldn’t afford the costs of keeping his bionic implants up to date beyond ’70s tech. Wonder Woman has put on some weight over the years and looks quite bitter, but one can hardly blame her; rather than fighting crime and supervillains, she’s tasked with mopping the steps of some building to make ends meet. Not the happiest of ends for our heroes (and villain) but we’ve seen real-life celebrities have similar downfalls.
Gilles Barbier, however, sculpted his version of aging superheroes in some really striking examples which, due to the medium, are able to be less realistic and more, well, “comic booky.” His piece is dubbed L’hospice and shows a variety of heroes receiving care late in their lives. Superman now moves with the help of a walker, and apparently can’t use his X-Ray vision without a pair of bifocals which, now that I look at it, makes him look oddly like an old Clark Kent. Fancy that.
Wonder Woman’s strapless top now rides much lower on her body, and Captain America’s now less muscular body is receiving an IV treatment of some kind. My favorite, though, is Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four. Gone are his black hair and gray temples, leaving the brilliant scientist completely bald. And much like Wonder Woman’s bust, Mr. Fantastic’s elastic limbs have lost much of their perkiness as well, his right arm drooping a few feet over the edge of a desk, apparently unable to return to its normal length.