I just finished reading Soon I Will Be Invincible, by Austin Grossman. It was an enjoyable book about superheroes and super-villains in a very familiar setting. The chapters alternate between two point-of-view characters. Fatale is an experienced crimefighter who has just been invited to join the New Champions, the premier superhero team. Doctor Impossible is a classic super-villain mastermind with a scheme to take over the world.
This could have easily been a bad book, re-hashing lots of familiar themes and concepts from superhero comics. But Grossman manages to pull it off just as well as Kurt Busiek did with Astro City. He takes the familiar and looks at it carefully with fresh eyes, yielding some interesting insights. So even though the core of the New Champions is clearly based on DC's trinity, and another team member is an obvious Wolverine type, it's still interesting.
Some of the insights were even startling. A character is poking around in the New Champions headquarters and notes the peculiar combination of smells, commenting that it can be a fine line between having superhuman powers and having a chronic medical condition.
Or this insight: "If you haven't been this close to superhumans, you don't understand what it's like to fight them. Even when you've got powers yourself, the predominant impression is one of shock. The forces moving around you are out of human scale, and your nervous system doesn't know how to deal with it. It's like being in a car accident, over and over again."
I just finished reading Soon I Will Be Invincible, by Austin Grossman.
Nice! A fun book. I thought it was more farcical/parody than you seem to have. I thought the villain was appreciably more interesting than the heroes. I really liked his complete inability to translate the coherent inner dialogue to actual speech.
If it would have just been the villain it would have been a masterful novella. The hero stuff was OK, but really didn't add anything to the zeitgeist. Why not just read old Teen Titans Cyborg stories? The hero stuff was 20 years too late.
Reread The Midnighters trilogy as I am running it as an RPG mini-campaign. Still one of my favorite short series.
Also doing the first book of The Laundry. An odd book, that shows the author as a full-on computer nerd. He references stuff from the Jargon File and has a grasp of really old 70's-era computing. Tie that to a theme that is somewhere between James Bond, Dilbert, and Lovecraft. (Screw the Walther PPK, I want a Class 4 Hand of Glory.) And it pulls it off in a way that is both far funnier and far less sillier than Necroscope.
Oddly enough, I picked up the Laundry because of an RPG blurb as it uses a modified version of the BRP/Cthulhu rules.