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I first read this around 2015, I think. There were at least three books in the series maybe four. I remember I started getting free copies of the book from the author in exchange for reviews until I gave him a bad review (deserved in my opinion) for getting too formulaic. It started with some sort of event giving people powers, leading to the government forming a team to keep order. I don't remember the full roster, but I remember it included

  • a military guy without powers who was using a prototype powered suit, some sort of "stun discs" that he could use like grenades, and pistols that shot dinner sort of energy
  • a sapient robot with built-in weapons. Unreplicable technology. Predates the empowering event
  • a teleporter (shadow powers?) who initially used his powers for theft. I think we're introduced to him when the team takes him down and gives him the choice of incarceration or service. He might have had some sort of power nullification later in the series
  • there was at least one female on the team, but I forget their powerset
  • I think there was someone whose powers depended on water
  • at some point, they (accidentally?) hijack the body of a villain who's managed to turn himself into an energy being, and he becomes a team member
  • I think someone has powers involving redirecting and changing energy directed at them

Plotlines I remember:

  • At one point, satellite weaponry is used to take out the White House, I think as part of a conspiracy to infiltrate the government. The villain there had a lot of red in his costume or powers
  • As a result of this, at one point, the team goes rogue from government control, using an alternate base
  • There's an arc involving someone from the future opposing the team, I think tied to a female on the team
  • One of the villains undergoes a process that turns him into pure energy. I think the team arrives at his (underground?) facility a little too late to stop him. The team has a hard time hurting him until he drains the robot's power source, initially seeming to "kill" said robot. It turns out he somehow also snagged the robot's consciousness, allowing him to be controlled for a book or two before the process is reversed
  • At one point, they visit a community of empowered individuals hiding from being forcibly recruited. While they're there, an attack happens and they're blamed for it

I don't remember much about the covers. They were Kindle books. Parts of the writing felt a bit like it was modeled after an RPG group's sessions. In particular, the bit where the robot hijacked the energy being felt like a "I want to play a different character" moment.

  • What I get from that is that Kindle/Amazon doesn't let you track your own reviews? Or do you leave too much of them? – Jenayah Jan 21 at 23:51
  • I leave a lot of them. :-P – FuzzyBoots Jan 22 at 0:16
  • That said, it is present, several pages in. Thank you for the tip. – FuzzyBoots Jan 22 at 2:56
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Thanks to Jenayah prompting me to page through my past reviews, I found that I apparently read all four of the initial books in 2016, and there's only five published in the series. It's Percival Constantine's Vanguard Superhero series.

Covers of three of the first three books in the *Vanguard Superheroes* series

After a mysterious phenomenon called The Event, superhumans—called specials—now walk among us. And the potential danger these untested and powerful beings warrants a way to keep them in check. Enter Vanguard, a government-sanctioned team of superheroes designed to deal with rogue specials. This team of powerful beings with even more powerful personalities must overcome their differences while dealing with one life-threatening crisis after another!

But a mysterious warlord and his terrorist network waits in the shadows, planning to use superhumans for their own nefarious purposes!

Paging through the first book, most of the team is introduced in short vignettes. There's a female shapeshifter, a guy who can turn into a shark monster and gains super-senses, the teleporting thief who can also shoot dark energy blasts, a guy who can generate fire (and is immune to it), and a female telekinetic. Then, a military guy shows up and introduces a scientist to Zenith, a robot built by Nikola Tesla (I hadn't even mentioned that I thought he was built by Tesla because I was sure I was thinking of Atomic Robo). And then a super-tough female soldier is introduced after encountering a superpowered warlord, the Khagen, leader of the Red Fist.

Poking around the reviews, the time-traveler is Chronos, and shows up in the fourth book.

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