I love superheroes--to such a large extent that I don't generally like deconstructions of the genre. I like my superheroes just fine the way they are, thank you very much.
But I liked Vicious. A LOT. It strips down the idea that people with superpowers see themselves as above us mere mortals and it tears apart the whole Good vs Evil, black-and-white tradition of superheroes and supervillains. The two main characters, Victor and Eli, are much like Doctor Doom and Mr. Fantastic or Lex Luthor and Superman, if both the "hero and "villain" were psychopathics capable of great, casual cruelty. There's no good and evil here, no black and white, just varying shades of grey. In Vicious, none of the superpowered characters are someone to look up to, to be inspired by. And yet, the characters are all compelling, especially Victor Vale, who is painted as the villain of the piece at the beginning of the novel, but turns out to be much, much more. Actually, all of the characters turn out to be very complex and endearing in different ways. Combine that with a plot that builds to a thrilling climax while also moving back and forth in time and...you've got me. Vicious is absolutely super. (Sorry.) (I'm not really sorry.)