Superhero narratives are often characterized as very black-and-white: The good guys are very good, the bad guys are clearly bad, the city is always saved. But there are plenty of shades of gray when it comes to superhero stories. Whether you love comics like The Boys, where normal people take down corrupt superhumans, or Watchmen, where heroes make more messes than they solve, there’s lots of room in the genre for darker, more introspective takes.
Those new interpretations don’t stop at comics and TV shows either; there are plenty of great novels that look at the tropes of the superhero genre in a new light. If you need saving from the same old story of good versus evil, here are six books to challenge the super–status quo.