David Dunn, a former star football quarterback who works as a college stadium security guard, is the sole, completely unharmed survivor of a train crash which kills 130 other passengers. After a memorial service for the victims, he finds a note on his car windshield asking if he has ever been ill and inviting him to "Limited Edition", an art gallery operated by comic book expert Elijah Price. David realizes that he has indeed never been ill, and goes with his young son, Joseph, to meet Elijah, who suffers from brittle bone disease. Elijah explains his personal theory that his own physical frailty must be matched by someone on the other end of the spectrum who cannot be "broken". David is unsettled and leaves when Elijah admits that he believes superheroes are real, but later finds he can bench press 350 pounds, well above his expectations. Joseph idolizes his father, believing him to be a superhero, although David maintains that he is just an ordinary man.