Confessions Of A D-list Supervillain
by Jim Bernheimer, fantasy (2011)
EJB Networking, $2.99, ISBN N/A
Calvin Matthew Stringel, who describes himself as "reasonably talented, but hapless", is a minor supervillain called Mechani-CAL in a world full of ripped superheroes. Mocked by his peers and regularly gets his rear end served on a platter by superheroes, Mechani-CAL finds himself in an odd position indeed at the start of this story - he may be only one who can save the world when most of its inhabitants, including the superheroes, have their minds taken over by grasshopper-like bugs that attach to the neck. What's a third-rate supervillain to do?
Confessions Of A D-list Supervillain starts out a pretty funny take on the superhero trope from a lowly villain's point of view, but it eventually devolves after the first third or so into a lovey-dovey soap opera that has our supposedly loser-like hero involved in a love triangle and being actively pursued by a hot superheroine even as he rises up the totem pole from school to cool. This part of the story reads creepily like a nerd's fantasy put into a paper and ruins the whole mood of the story. The bug plot is soon shoved aside from Calvin's rise from zero to stud, and worse, the last few pages are from the heroine's point of view, to tell me how pathetically happy she is that Calvin deigns to love her back.
I bought this book thinking I'd get an amusing satirical fantasy, and for a while, that's what I get. It's really too bad that the story loses most of its charms when the author proceeds to strip Cal of his adorable geeky-nerdy loser status in an attempt to turn him into a standard superhero fare. Mechani-CAL is cool, but that fellow by the last page is just blah.
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