Hi there, Past Selves.
I’m on a bit of a superhero kick right now. Just on a brief break from the novels, throwing together a bit of fanfic and what if. I might change a few names and publish someday if I’m feeling frisky enough.
Wish fulfillment pure and simple, starring myself by any other name. The premise is simple enough, an average Joe (or Mike in this case) finds a convenient reality shaper willing to grant one wish to a bystander, to prove their power is real. I’m wearing a hero T shirt, as I so often do, and ask to become that hero. Super, man!
The reality-shaper goes too far, actually transforming the entire world’s history to one where Suuu…ome Hero never existed before in comics, but “my” home planet was real, blew up, and sent a rocket baby to Earth.
Not only that, but other superheroes of all the popular Pantheons are retroactively justified in the new timeline. The origins of other heroes (and their villains), gets shoehorned in with as little change as possible… since the big change, the creation and destruction of an entire planet and people, has already set the stage. The baby rocket is recovered by secretive forces who experiment with it and its contents (not me, just skin flakes and the like).
In order to add over-arching drama, I needed a suitably large villain or threat. To fill that role, I made one other change, this one less invasive but closer to home. Mars is thought by (real life) science to have actually had the conditions for life, billions of years ago. So in my world, it did. A civilization, with enough science to know they lived on a dying world. Their minds preserved, they just need another life-bearing planet and bodies able to live on it. Well, lookee here, there’s one right next door! Just some pests to shoo off it and it’s ready to move in. Actually, those pests might make good host bodies, if they weren’t so weak and fragile; let’s experiment on them to enhance their abilities.
This becomes the go-to explanation for everyone and everything else; alien technology and DNA serves as a catalyst for all the other changes to the world.
And if that isn’t threat enough, there’s always that rogue reality-warper still out there. Maybe he changes his mind about altering the world, and the heroes find out that they won’t exist anymore if that happens?
I posit that the popular superheroes of the present did not exist as prior fictional characters, thus other franchises have to take their place in the altered past. In the case of my main hero, that’s easy, as he has a commercial rival with similar abilities to take up the slack. Also, not all of the current franchises fit the retconned premise I’m making up, and would remain fictional within the new timeline. No mutants, for example.
As I said, it’s just something to occupy my mind and writing practice for now, until I get back in the groove of my main work. This is how I write, skipping back and forth between one story and another, one world and another. Creating worlds that would be interesting to live in.
And granting power to myself as the main character, of course. That goes without saying.