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Literature: Confessions of a D-List Supervillain
"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 sarcastic, 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 the weak willed, mercy loving heroes. Immerse yourself in his epic battles and see what it's like to be an outsider looking in at a world that few have ever experienced.

Confessions of a D-List Supervillain is an independent superhero fiction novel by Jim Bernheimer. It chronicles the efforts of a minor armored supervillain in his efforts to save the world from mind-controlling bugs lest he join the ranks of the Evil Overlord's many slaves. At the end of the day, we have to ask, what is heroism?

It now has a prequel, Origins of a D-List Supervillain, which explains most of the backstory hinted at in the original novel.


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The entire series contains the following tropes:

  • Anti-Hero: Ultraweapon. The Olympians as a whole, it's soon obvious.
  • Anti-Villain: Mechani-Cal is a disgruntled engineer and uninterested in hurting people other than Ultraweapon.
  • Big Bad: General Desire, the Evil Overlord, and Ultraweapon.
  • Cape Punk: One of the best examples thereof.

     Confessions of a D-List Supervillain 

Confessions of a D-List Supervillain provides examples of the following tropes:

  • After the End: A typical supervillain mind-control plot goes horribly, horribly, horribly wrong. It gets better.
  • Aliens Made Them Do It: Wendy and Cal have sex under the influence of a psychic. This torpedoes any developing attraction between them.
  • Asshole Victim: Virtually everyone Cal hurts is this to one extent or another.
  • Badass Grandpa: The Bugler, though not exactly a grandpa, is still one of the older characters in the book.
  • Betty and Veronica: Aphrodite and Wendy.
  • Big Bad: Ultraweapon.
  • Captain Ersatz: Ultraweapon is one of the 'Iron Dick' versions of Tony Stark.
    • Mechani-Cal has some similarity to the Spider-man villain, the Beetle. Who, coincidentally or not, became a hero in the Thunderbolts.
  • Deal with the Devil: Subverted. Cal's deal with the Evil Overlord turns out to have no consequences whatsoever.
  • Epic Fail: The accidental release of the mind-control bugs by Ultraweapon.
    • Cal's first going as a supervillain.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Subverted. Ultraweapon doesn't love Stacy because he can only view her as a possession. Likewise, the same for Wendy's stalker.
  • First Girl Wins: Aphrodite and Mechani-Cal are together at the end of the book.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Mechani-Cal seemingly gives his life to save the world from Ultraweapon.
    • He gets better.
  • Good People Have Good Sex: Deconstructed. The sex is better when Cal and his lovers genuinely care about one another.
  • Kick the Dog: Ultraweapon gets one when he brainwipes Aphrodite of her romance with Cal.
  • Jerkass: Athena, Ultraweapon.
  • Law of Inverse Fertility: Cal and Wendy conceive a kid during their mind-control.
  • More Than Mind Control: A central premise of the book. The problem isn't the bugs which mind control people. It's the fact that the mind-control is more addictive than crack and heroin put together with great sex.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Only in a superhero universe does Cal's execution of Wendy's stalker end up evil after the man used his superpowers to force Cal and her to have sex.
  • Pet the Dog: Mechani-Cal gets probably his single greatest moment of sympathy when he gives a starving mother some of his rations.
  • Physical God: Played with. The Olympians are essentially mortals empowered with the personality and powers of the deities they represent.
    • Athena is a jerk.
  • Rich Bitch: Subverted by Wendy. Despite being richer than God, she's the sweetest character in the book.
    • Oddly, this seems to have been Aphrodite's old personality.
  • Rich Idiot with No Day Job: Ultraweapon is apparently this. He made part of his original armor but has since used a core of engineers to make the rest of it. He now coasts on the profits and prestige from 'his' work.

     Origins of a D-List Supervillain 

Origins of a D-List Supervillain provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Asshole Victim: Barton, the guy who deliberately ruins Cal's career just to scare other engineers into compliance.
  • Blessed with Suck: This is a common feature of superpowers, it turns out.
  • Bury Your Gays: Velocity dies fighting Ultraweapon.
  • Cool Old Guy: The Biloxi Bugler turns out to be one of these.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: A series of them throughout the book. The Bugler delivers one to Cal, Cal returns the favor, and Ultraweapon stomps Cal in the end.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Cal suffers one after Vicky dies and when Ultraweapon effortlessly defeats him.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Barton ruins Cal's career, destroys any possibility of his getting another job elsewhere, and otherwise destroys his life due to Cal resigning for wanting credit for his work on Ultraweapon's armor. He doesn't even let Cal withdraw his resignation.
  • Face Death with Dignity: The Biloxi Bugler has one, though he was never in danger of execution. It ruins Cal's moment.
  • Freudian Excuse: It turns out a LOT of supervillains had their lives ruined by Ultraweapon.
  • Hero Antagonist: Ultraweapon appears to be this. The Biloxi Bugler is a more straightforward example.
  • Lipstick Lesbian: In-universe, many supervillains are fascinated by Velocity's provocative sex life.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Cal delivers one of these to the Biloxi Bugler in revenge for his earlier defeat. It makes him feel unclean.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: A psychologist, correctly, points out that while Cal's situation sucks—he's not the center of the world and it would be best to get over himself.
  • Start of Darkness: This is more or less what this story is all about.

Confederation of ValorLiterature of the 2000sA Conspiracy of Paper
Charlotte PowersSuperhero LiteratureThe Descendants
BystanderSuperheroCharlotte Powers

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