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Confessions of a D-List Supervillain  By  cover art

Confessions of a D-List Supervillain

By: Jim Bernheimer
Narrated by: Jeffrey Kafer,Talmadge Ragan
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Publisher's Summary

Exploding from the pages of Horror, Humor, and Heroes, Volume One - it’s the full length adventures of the one and only Mechani-Cal! So grab your battlesuit and prepare to get a little nasty.

"Being a supervillain means never having to say you’re sorry - unless it’s to the judge or the parole board. Even then, you don’t really have to. It’s not like it’s going to change the outcome or anything." Those are the words of Calvin Matthew Stringel, better known as Mechani-Cal. He’s a down-on-his-luck armored villain. Follow his exploits as he gets swept up in a world domination scheme gone wrong and ends up working for these weak willed, mercy loving heroes. Immerse yourself in epic battles and see what it’s like to be an outsider looking in at a world that few have ever experienced. Climb into Cal’s battlesuit and join him on his journey. Will he avoid selling out his principles for a paycheck and a pardon? Can he resist the camaraderie of being on a super team? Does he fall prey to the ample charms of the beautiful Olympian Aphrodite? How will he survive the jealous schemes of Ultraweapon, who wears armor so powerful it makes Cal’s look like a museum piece?

See the world of “righteous do-gooders” through the eyes of someone who doesn’t particularly care for them. Revel in his sarcasm and hang on for one wild ride! Just remember: losing an argument with a group of rioters isn’t a good excuse to start lobbing tear gas indiscriminately at them. You’ve only got so many rounds and it’s going to be a long day, so make sure you get as many as possible with each one.

©2011 Jim Bernheimer (P)2011 Jeffrey Kafer

What listeners say about Confessions of a D-List Supervillain

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Not Quite The Avengers, But Just As Much Fun...

Superheroes and Villans seem the be the rage these days, especially with the Avengers, The Dark Knight, Spiderman and Kick-Ass all having their day in the sun. With that in mind, I can't help but say that I've always had a soft spot for well-written stories about superheroes and their antithesis, their arch-enemy villain. I've always savored a battle royal, sometimes to the death, where fantastic powers housed in finite and flawed men and women come to bear, where in the end, only one champion is left standing.

This is definitely a story of flawed heroes and villains.

Without giving much away, I CAN say that the story starts out with a world completely conquered, heroes and villains alike, and one very flawed anti-hero must choose the harder, more difficult road to bring humanity back from the brink.

Yep, that's where it STARTS. And its storyline is as good or better than most of the genre.

Bottom line, we get an exceptional audiobook listen, and while it's NOT War and Peace, it's a VERY fun and engaging listen, one to which I've listened a total of three times.

You read correctly. Three times.

Great escapism, and again, well-written.

So, champion, step into the battle royale. Bring your powers to bear, and get this audiobook today!

26 people found this helpful

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Brillant!

So every now and then a story comes along and just surprises the heck out yah! This is one of them. The writing is great, but the narration added so much to it! When you have characters that are so smart and just plan ahead so well, it really makes for a great afternoon. You will laugh out loud at some point during this book, and I believe that everyone will be able to relate to the character on some level too.

Read it, you'll love it!

26 people found this helpful

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A bottom-of-the-barrel villain levels up

Calvin Stringel, aka "Mechani-Cal," is, as the title of his autobiography indicates, a D-list supervillain. He's that guy you barely remember who took up about 4 pages in issue #277 six years ago. Spider-Man beat him up once, and maybe he was part of a gang that got flattened by the Avengers during an ill-conceived plan to raid Fort Knox.

Mechani-Cal is basically, as he is repeatedly reminded, a cheap knockoff of Ultraweapon, who is this universe's Iron Man. As the story starts, however, the villainous Overlord has unleashed a plague of mind-controlling insects that have taken over most of the planet. Mechani-Cal, by staying in his armor for the last few weeks, is one of the few free-willed humans left on Earth. When he runs into the Olympians — the most powerful superhero team on Earth, and all mind-controlled — he manages to free Aphrodite from her mental enslavement. They head back to his secret underground base, which is basically a rathole in a junkyard.

The plot thenceforth flows in heroic fashion as Mechani-Cal ends up literally helping save the world, and thus "reformed," tries to earn a pardon for all past crimes by joining the good guys. Of course, none of them trust him, and Calvin is, while not truly evil, certainly not a hero. And he's now dating Aphrodite. Who used to be dating Ultraweapon. Ultraweapon doesn't take this very well.

Mechani-Cal is actually a "realistic" character given the givens of a superhero universe. The explanation for how an engineering genius has wound up being a low-rent villain mostly known for getting pounded by any hero he has the misfortune to fight makes sense, and Cal's struggle to redeem himself, without really feeling like he needs redemption, makes him a character you root for even if he is still kind of a jerk. It helps that it turns out that some of the heroes are even bigger jerks.

Cal levels up in a big way over the course of the book. He also gets to bang two of the most beautiful and powerful superheroines in the world, despite being a nerdy, unattractive ex-villain. A wish-fulfillment fantasy? Oh yeah. But he never really stops being a dork who screws up more often than he succeeds. And yet, he's very human and endearing in a fallible way. He continually does all the right things, not necessarily for the right reasons.

I enjoyed this book quite a lot. It was like a good miniseries based on some obscure mainstream comics character that a writer took a shine to, except of course these are all characters who exist only in this book.

16 people found this helpful

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Everyman villain tries to make good. Fun stuff!

This is a sideways take on the traditional superhero/supervillain story. Some other reviewers have said that lacks originality, but being a comic (ahem, graphic novel) nerd, I consider it a genre. And it's a genre I dig.

This tale follows Cal, a supervillain who is just getting by, but is eminently likeable despite his illicit career path. When his circumstances change and he winds up playing on the good guys' team, he finds all sorts of hurdles. It's a fun story, but that's not to say he doesn't have to deal with some real problems. Still I'd say it's lighthearted overall and an engaging listen.

14 people found this helpful

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It ain't Shakespeare, but it is very entertaining

This was a fun, fast (and cheap!) take on the superhero genre - and, if that is your expectation, you are going to have a guaranteed good time. The book wastes no time dumping you right into the action: introducing you to the sardonic anti-hero-turned-hero that is the main character and immediately launching into a whirlwind of action. While the universe itself is about as well-justified as most in comic books, and many aspects are played for laughs, Bernheimer can actually make you feel like there are real stakes, and you care about the characters enough to make any inconsistencies in tone or plot seem inconsequential. Ultimately, this is a fun light novel, that is both a send-up and a homage to comic books, and it works really well as these things.

Two minor issues mar the book. The first is that there is a slightly off tone towards the way the author treats female superheroes, which, while never overt, makes a few scenes feel creepy instead of charming. That being said, there is nothing overtly upsetting in the book, which is PG-13 at most, and the author manages to hit the right notes to keep his central romance going most of the time. The second minor issue is the second reader, who is pretty bad, in contrast to the reader for the vast majority of the book (Mr. Kaffer), who is excellent.

If you are looking for something very entertaining, you enjoy the superhero genre, and you aren't going to take Bernheimer's universe too seriously, this is a really winning choice.

14 people found this helpful

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Supervillainy Good Times

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Already have and will continue to recommend it to friends.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Cal, the main character, is my favorite. He is witty and a true hero amongst posers.

What about Jeffrey Kafer and Talmadge Ragan ’s performance did you like?

Quality voice acting from both and great use of vocal distortion on some of the characters. Kafer is great in portraying MechaniCal's disdain and frustration over the heroes actions.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Sometimes it takes a villain to save the world.

Any additional comments?

Any comic book fan will have a blast listening to this story and treasure it as if it were their favorite comic, I did.

10 people found this helpful

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A bit of reality in the world of heroes

Great book by great author.
Something in the middle between usual orthodox comics style and "BAD BOYS" comics by Garth Ennis

PS
It is your choice
If you want something funny, easy to listen and interesting.

9 people found this helpful

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Memoirs of a Supervillain turn Superhero

Would you consider the audio edition of Confessions of a D-List Supervillain to be better than the print version?

I haven't read the print version. The audio edition is excellent though.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Mechani-Cal, of course. He's the main character. His voice and style is so humorous and dark, you can cannot help but like him. A brilliant mind, a good soul, but has suffered a lot bad luck to sour him. His attempts to be the boy-scout Superhero fail him, however, when push comes to shove, that's when Mechani-Cal does his best.

Which scene was your favorite?

Not a scene, but my favorite part of the book was the first part when Mechani-Cal tries to figure out how to save the world from the mind-controlling bugs enslaving the human race. But it's all great stuff from beginning to the end.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The scene where so-called superhero and jealous ex-boyfriend mind-wipes Aphrodite, Mechani-Cal's new girlfriend, thereby forgetting her special sweet relationship she had with Cal.

Any additional comments?

I truly enjoyed Confessions of a D-List Super-villain from beginning to end. The narrator did an incredible performance as Mechani-Cal. The story has a great mix of action, humor, sarcasm, and romance. For those who enjoy comics and superheroes, this is a great audiobook to listen too.

9 people found this helpful

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Excellent Book

I was just searching the book lists when I came across the title. When I read the synopis and the very first paragraph took me in and I had to buy this book. I wasnt disappointed and have told friends about it. You will laugh out loud at times.

I am eagerly awaiting another book by the author when ever it appears

8 people found this helpful

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This is a GREAT story!

This is my first listen to a Jim Bernheimer book and it was great. He does an excellent job developing characters and puts together a really interesting plot. The good guys and bad guys were well thought out.
The best part of this book was the humor. The author does a great job of making you understand what the characters are going through.
The Narrator (Jeffrey Kafer) does an excellent job with all of the voices, and I would love to listen to him again.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Helen
  • 10-03-17

Not as good as the prequel

So, I guess I listened to this in the wrong order - Confessions is not as good as Origins. This may be just because Bernheimer improved as a writer, but this is definitely more episodic (well, clunky) and doesn't flow very well. Still, it was a fun listen and kept me entertained for the duration.

Pick it up if you're after a short, entertaining romp. If you're after a deep discussion of what it means to be a superhero, keep looking!

Looking at the length and reviews of the next book, I think I'm going to stop this series here.

1 person found this helpful

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  • AudiobookDevotee
  • 08-23-18

Decent story. Quite short.

I thought this was a sequel to the story in the back of 'Horror, Humor and Heros' but that story is actually repeated in the first four chapters. Overall it's quite a good story although a bit short. The characters are quite fun, the plot doesn't take too much to follow and there's some humour in it as well. There's good narration and I'd say it's worth a credit.

Having listened to this again years later I will say that the second half drags a bit and the protagonist's mopeyness gets quite tiresome. Still decent enough book though.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-25-18

Great

It's a great book and well performed but the man should have read the end.

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  • Jonathon
  • 04-15-18

AMAZING

This is an amazing book. I highly recommend this for anyone who enjoys the superhero genre.

1 person found this helpful

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  • knobby
  • 09-06-22

listen to it as if your flicking through a comic.

simply. it's fun.
easy to listen too and gave me feeling hits I didn't expect when I started it.
im glad I added it and will listen to it again

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  • Lee Redwood. Gorin
  • 07-07-16

what a series

why are there not 20 books for this series already. five four three two one