Since there are so many stories in this one, I'm going to try to keep it short and mention only a few. I did however, write a small thought on each in my notes. So if you are curious about any stories on the list I don't mention here, just ask..
This is not your traditional 'superhero' thinking. These characters are heroes, are not heroes but potentially villains, and are in the grey area where some would think they are heroes and some would think villains. The views are yours for the deciding.
The Introduction raises questions on the use of the term superhero, and the affect on people. The question is raised of how would people react with common things in life if "we" became a superhero. Would you marry the same person? Work the same job? These are some of the thoughts in a few of the stories.
Retribution is a hard story to start with. It could very well hit close to home in an Americans heart, for several. A man losses his wife and child-to-be September 11, 2011, and a part of himself as well. He sighed up to go over seas to make those responsible for his families death pay. His rage is explosive and full of vengeful hate. This is a heart breaking tale, for both sides of the war to me as well. His story is one that many could think he is a villain, but also a wounded man in grieving as well.
Mental Man is a mystery type take. We learn why Rob is in the position he is working, and that he doesn't have an archenemy to keep him feeling balanced and with a life purpose. Rob helps the police look for a murderer, but I wonder who the true murderer is.... I loved the metaphor of his feelings and the mental villain of diseases (Mental diseases.) The way this story turns around by the end in just a few short pages, had me hooked.
I really liked Enlightened by Sin. Victor hears the encrypted threat from Red Dahlia from his favorite DJ while he's cleaning up after his latest bad guy eliminating. Red Dahlia is dangerous and known for many deaths in a world where "Heroes" are sponsored. Victor is not sponsored, and is doing the dirty work of cleaning up the streets where others are not. Victor goes to talk to a victim of Red Dahlia's that 1) didn't fit the profile like the other victims, and 2) lived. This man has secrets to tell. I liked that Victor starts as seeming like a villain for the way he works, but in reality he's not, and I wonder about the "Heroes" in this world as well. I kind of got the reversed feel of Heroes and Villains rule here.
Threshold is a favorite of mine as well, for the twisted ending. We have a man who learns at twenty when he touches someone he will learn great details of harm they have done and if they need to die for it. A symptom of his ability, severe headaches. Uncontrollable pain until he does what needs to be done, and becomes the assassin, to eliminate the horrible people that shouldn't be here. I really liked this writing style, and the storyline with this man and his headaches pushing him to do what he needs to do.
Hero was neat to see how others react with knowledge a 'hero' has and shares. Robert Hanover is with Dr. Lange, his therapist in the hospital. Robert believes he has the power to see exactly seven minutes and twenty-two seconds into the future, but he is self absorbed. When Robert shares something about a beautiful receptionist at the hospital, with the Doctor exploit what he learns?
Pride was a neat read to see how far down can you push someone before the try to turn around, and it might come back on you. Carmichael works in construction now, after he took the fall for his mentor and lost his chance to be a superhero. But things on this job go bad, and Carmichael holds back as long as he can to save others. But when there is to much invested into this project and someone has to go down with the building, a sacrifice that will deface that person and save the face and money of another, who will fall?
Sabre was one I really enjoyed as well. A hero fights the villain, Anti-Matter, in her specialized suit, but when she returns to her office she gets a visitor who suspects her as the "hero" for the suit has abilities in the area her business has worked and created, along with others. This short story starts off fast and strong with fighting, and demonstrates this wonderful suit. I like how this "hero" helps yet makes out for the good. She walks a very gray line type feel to me. I like that idea.
Crooked, Oh! This was one of my favorites. Leon uses his telekinetic power to help cover his tracks in the snow. He goes to rob his ex, just to find someones taken her captive because of him, wanting what he took from them some time ago. A crime boss is hot on Leon's trail, or is Leon the one on their trail. I really liked the way this story twisted together and came to an unforeseen end.
Gone Rogue is a neat tale to see how two heroes can turn to archenemies when one lets his sidekick do all the work and then when things go wrong, shows up to turn on him. This was a tale that really made me think sometimes the "villain" isn't always the bad guy.
Overall, this book really got me to thinking about who really is a "Hero" and a "Villain" and where is the line drawn. It all depends on the side you see, sometimes. The Heroes here could be borderline Villains. Or Villains, borderline heroes. A feeling of Dark Superheroes, nothing is black and white and they live in the grey making the tough decisions and trying to cope with the strange abilities within them in a world dominated without it.