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From the moment Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog hit the intardwebz, fans of musical comedies, with a superhero hook have been in seventh heaven. While there have been a couple of attempts to tell a Dr. Horrible origin story, the official take on the villain’s past can only be found in the pages of Dr. Horrible #1 from Dark Horse Comics.

DRHorribleCOVER.jpgDR. HORRIBLE
Zack Whedon (W)
Joëlle Jones (P)
Dan Jackson (C), and Kristian Donaldson (Covers)

What sends a villain over the edge and gets him (or her, but in this case him) to dedicate his life’s work to evil? For young Billy (a.k.a. the future Dr. Horrible) it was the moment when he witnessed the fall of the brawn due to the brain of the villain. It probably wouldn’t have gone down that way had the dumb as a bag of hammers school bully hadn’t just given Billy a shiner.  At that instant, Dr. Horrible was born.

The rest of the issue is a jump ahead 20 years to a point where Dr. Horrible is just starting to make a name for himself,and keeps having run-ins with Captain Hammer, who himself is not that smart.  Instead of taking a pounding, Dr. Horrible believes distilling the DNA of his enemy and injecting himself with it will give him all of the power, with none of the consequences.  There are, or course, consequences, but before things get too bad Dr. Horrible makes his escape to fight another day.

Zack Whedon does a great job of telling the origin story, and considering his familial connection to the property it makes sense he would create something that should be considered canonical.  The pacing of the story is good, and his ability to work most of the other characters from the web musical into the story works well too.

Those who are expecting exact likenesses of Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Fillion, Felicia Day, and Simon Helberg might be slightly disappointed, as Joelle Jones creates great caricatures, but not realistic likenesses.  Her art works really well, as it brings another level of interest to the story.  Felicia Day fans are going to enjoy her likeness as she’s drawn as the cute pixie who anyone – even a villain – would fall in love with.  I believe this is the first time I’ve ever seen Jones’ work, and I’m finding myself wanting more.

And by issue’s end I find myself wanting more of these stories. We do know how it all ends, but the adventure getting there is what will make an interesting series.  As a single issue, there are not a whole lot of problems with the story or art.  I like how the story answers some questions, and the art ties it all together.  If you are a Doctor Horrible fan, then you’ll want to pick up this issue as it receives 4.5 out of 5 Stars.

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The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.

You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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1 Comment

  1. Rowan
    November 24, 2009 at 9:12 pm — Reply

    So will this become a series ? or was this just a excellent one off ?

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