As is my wont, I shall review the entire series in this review. And the obligatory disclaimer: I got a sale price on purchasing this audiobook series. Also, since I came late to the party, I listened to the stories in the internal chronological order, rather than in publication order.
Our protagonist is a mechanical genius named Cal Stringel, aka Mechani-Cal. He starts off working for a power-suited rich industrialist superhero (a thinly veiled reference to a character most recently incarnated on screen by Robert Downey Jr). But Ultraweapon, as he is known, doesn’t like to share the credit for inventions. So when Cal is denied a promotion or even his name on a patent, he decides to quit.
Unfortunately for him, there is a law that allows his employer to block him from seeking a job anywhere else doing similar things. After hitting rock bottom on the employment front, he turns to a life of crime. He is captured fairly quickly, and spends a year or so in the Supervillian prison before lucking into a parole. And then things get really interesting.
Suffice to say, he begins as a definite D-List Supervillian, not much better than Gunk or Hillbilly Bobby. However, he continues to work to upgrade his capabilities, so he can finally put paid to Ultraweapon.
Of course, things don’t work out the way he expects, and he winds up one of the few supers not affected by the plague that ends this book, and begins the next. His battle to save the world, and to live with himself, make for interesting listening. By the end of the third book, we must truly doubt whether either the D-List or the Supervillain part of the series title is still accurate.
On to the performance. I beat on Jeffrey Kafer for his reading in another series of books, but he was much more “on point” in this series. I truly enjoyed listening to him. His voice was just right for the cynical Cal, and his vocal characterisations for the others was sufficiently good that I generally knew who was speaking, just from those cues.
All in all, I really enjoyed listening to this book, and can’t wait for Jim Bernheimer to write the next installment. If you enjoy humorous super-powered stories, this one should make you grin, and occasionally even guffaw. Do get the series, listen, and ENJOY!