I suspect a big chunk of my audience has read Worm already, but it’s worth catching the stragglers.
TAYLOR HEBERT. Dweeby high-school student, tortured by the popular kids, uses her insect-control powers to fight crime on the side to vent, falls in with some friends(?), shit goes fractally crazy.
It’s staggeringly long and Lord knows it has its problems, but Worm is the only superhero story I’ve fallen in love with.
“What if superpowers existed alongside OUR SHITTY WORLD” stories are a dime-a-dozen, but Worm goes above and beyond with an immense cast of heroes, villains, rogues, world-ending colossi, and more. The powers are consistently cool as hell, and interact in dazzling ways; Worm even gives us a whole taxonomy that can apply to any other superhero story. (My personal favorite is Accord, whose intelligence scales with the complexity of whatever he thinks about, whether he wants it to or not.)
It gets pretty damn dark, especially in the arcs with the Slaughterhouse Nine, but even as situations escalate beyond anything you predicted, they remain grounded in characters we care about, with clearly-defined limits and abilities.
If you have a few weeks to kill and you’re up for superheroics on an epic scale, check it out.