“Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” After the idealistic glamour of the 20th-century superhero craze wore off, writers realized this and discovered the potential for character depth in it. Much like the show The Boys, the interplay between normal human nature and superhuman gifts is at the center of all of these novels.
Pinnacle City by Matt Carter and Fiona J. R. Titchenell
A gritty novel reminiscent of the period when the superhero genre was first growing. Hammy superheroes meet in the middle with film noir private eyes, the cartoony style of comic books fused with black and white films. This creates the setting for Pinnacle City, and the plot spirals out from there.
All Those Explosions were Someone Else’s Fault by James Alan Gardner
A novel as humorous and quirky as the title would indicate. What the title doesn’t attest to is the book’s depth, from its characters to its worldbuilding. All Those Explosions argues that it’s possible to have fun with jacked-up people with silly powers while also developing them as people.
The Reign of the Kingfisher by T. J. Martinson
A story about a superhero, but not from his perspective. The book quickly introduces its grand mystery, one with the missing superhero the Kingfisher at its center. The intrigue around the legendary figure grows as the conspiracy continues to go deeper and deeper.