Wonder Woman. Black Panther. Wolverine. Captain Marvel.
Everyone knows the names of these superheroes—and they’re enjoying a new heyday because of their explosion onto the big screen. But if you’re more in the mood for a book than a comic book or a movie, here are ten superhero novels that we think you just can’t miss.
Vicious by V.E. Schwab
Every superhero needs a good supervillain: Batman and the Joker, Magneto and Professor X, the Fantastic Four and Doctor Doom. Eli and Victor were best friends until a terrible accident ripped them apart and they became worst enemies. V.E. Schwab’s twist on the superhero genre turns its tropes on their head and takes a hard look at what it means to be a hero—or a villain.
All Those Explosions Were Someone Else’s Fault by James Alan Gardner
Three newbie heroes—they don’t even have a team name!—find themselves desperately trying to counter a diabolical scheme. This romp through a world of monsters and superpowers has all the fun of traditional superhero comics in a fresh setting.
Wild Cards edited by George R.R. Martin
This series, edited by George R.R. Martin, takes place in a world where an alien virus wiped out huge swaths of the population, and gave one percent of humanity superpowers. A shared-universe series written by a broad range of incredible authors (including Roger Zelazny, Sage Walker, and George R.R. Martin himself), Wild Cards tells the story of the world ever since.
Good Guys by Steven Brust
It may not be available until March, but keep an eye out for Steven Brust’s novel about a team of people who learn they have superpowers, and find themselves working for a secretive organization known only as The Foundation putting their abilities to work. As it turns out, though, those who look like good guys at first…might not be that at all.
Soon I Will Be Invincible by Austin Grossman
Doctor Impossible is a mad genius, but he just doesn’t quite seem able to pull off any of his grand plans. This novel is from the point of view of a man just trying to achieve his dreams of world domination, only to be perpetually thwarted by the heroes. Austin Grossman provides a look into the daily trials and travails of a struggling supervillain.
Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn
While being a superhero might be a challenge, being a superhero’s assistant is even harder. Sarah Kuhn’s fun and action-packed novel is the answer to your female-superhero-seeking prayers. Evie Tanaka is good at her job as backup dancer to her childhood friend and San Francisco’s most beloved superheroine. When she poses as her boss for a night, though, her life is about to turn upside down.
Ex-Heroes by Peter Clines
Superheroes known as ex-humans versus an army of zombies. What’s not to like? With the plague of living dead spread around the globe, a ragtag team of disillusioned and scarred heroes struggle to defend a small group of survivors. Unfortunately, it turns out that the zombie horde may not be the only threat.
After the Golden Age by Carrie Vaughn
Celia West is the daughter of two famous superheroes—but she doesn’t have any powers of her own. A favorite target of crime bosses and supervillains, Celia wants nothing more than to reject her family’s legacy and make her own life out of the shadow of her famous parents, but she learns it’s not that easy to escape the world of capes and immortals.
Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson
In this twist on superheroes, Brandon Sanderson presents a world where great powers aren’t used for good at all. Those people who were gifted with powers in a catastrophic event called the Calamity might have superpowers, but they aren’t heroes: instead they use their strength to subjugate everyone else, and only a group of ordinary humans are fighting back.
Renegades by Marissa Meyer
Marissa Meyer, author of the beloved Lunar Chronicles series, turns to a world where the Renegades, a group of individuals with extraordinary powers, overcame a pack of villains to establish truth and justice. Adrian is a Renegade boy who believes in their cause, and Nova is a girl seeking vengeance against them. Their lives are about to collide.