Dark Horse, $3.50
Story: Zack Whedon
Art: Joëlle Jones, Dan Jackson
Doctor Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog was one of those odd cult hits that came out of nowhere yet was instantly embraced by pretty much anyone with a love for Joss Whedon, superheroes or good comedy. Naturally, the music has been omitted for this one-off origin tale, but everything else that made the Sing-Along Blog so charming has remained in tact.
Beginning with Horrible’s bullied childhood to his first criminal escapade and run-in with Captain Hammer, Zack Whedon effortlessly recaptures the same level of humour that made the mini-miniseries so damn good. Joëlle Jones’s simple but expressive depictions look like the designs for an abandoned animated spin-off, and compliment Whedon’s dialogue-driven humour perfectly.
This special does however suffer the usual prequel trappings. While Horrible’s relationship with his sweaty sidekick Moist is furthered explored here to hilarious effect, the inclusion of laundromat love interest Penny only serves to remind us that we already know how tragically this story ends. But if plans for a TV sequel never transpire, then Zack Whedon should at least write a follow-up miniseries with Jones returning to do the art. I’d snap it up without a second’s thought.