The world thinks Cal Stringel, aka Mechani-Cal, is dead. However, Cal knows differently. He is in hiding, building back up his power and his alternate identity. He and a few select folks don’t agree with the status quo and they are going against it. On one side are the bureaucrats of the powerful nations of the world backing the sanctioned superheroes. On the other hand are the supervillains willing to sabotage Cal and his rogue buddies. Now toss in Cal’s personal life, such as his relationship with Stacy Mitchell (a sanctioned superhero known as Aphrodite) and his boss (Whirlwendy) who happens to be his baby momma, and you have quite the setting for reader entertainment.
I have thoroughly enjoyed this series and I believe this is the best yet. Bernheimer’s writing gets better with each new work. This tale is told mostly as a series of flashbacks. Stacy and Cal had a falling out and a year later they reconnect. So of course Stacy wants the inside story of Cal’s life for the past 12 months. As Cal and Stacy do mundane things like make dinner or shower together, Cal tells his tale. It’s a great story, something that is worthy of headlines if only the world at large knew the half of it. It was a great way to break up all the action with moments of reflection on the consequences.
Then there is the whole idea of Cal as a father. He reproduced! That happens to real people, so why not our D-List supervillain. Of course the dynamic between his baby momma (Whirlwendy) and him is a source of entertainment. Cal and a few others have joined forces and their default team captain is the mother of Cal’s baby. You can imagine my amusement.
At one point, Jim Bernheimer had a contest or such and several fans of the series had their names built into this book as minor characters. That includes me! Hooray! I was quite surprised and amused as to how my character ended up naked on a football field with several others.
OK, back to the plot and characters. Even though the story is told in flashbacks, so we know that Cal survived, there are still several twists and turns that made Cal’s story telling engrossing. Yep, I know he’s still intact and relatively healthy, but I wanted to see how he outwitted or outfought or outhid all these powers that he was up against. I was not disappointed. Then there is the character development. Cal started off the series by burning nearly all his bridges. In this book we see how that has shifted and he is actively trying to build relationships, and not just for the sex. He’s still an ass with a good heart, but he more self-aware and not just reacting to his raw emotions.
Overall, a great addition to the D-List Supervillain series.
The Narration: Jeffrey Kafer once again was awesome. I love his voice for Cal as it is always a little sarcastic. He has great voices for all the other characters and does a great job conveying emotion.