Brad Meltzer has skills, no doubt. The superhero by way of CSI tricks he pulls here, in terms of thinking through the implications of a world of superheroes, and the thriller plotting, are all really well done. There's a lot of strong character work. The only reason I can't give it a higher rating though, is because the whole "realistic, gritty superhero" thing as done here just doesn't work for me. It's well done, but it's not fun. It takes out the escapism while replacing it with a crime thing that I can't get into because it's got Superman and Batman in it. That conflict never resolves itself into a working hybrid, it's like "hey, did you every want to see a story where the My Little Ponies got raped? it's done reeeallly well!" And my answer is, um, not really. Not that you can't tell dark and adult stories in this genre (see Powers for one example), it's just this one doesn't hold together for me.