Good Fun But An Unsatisfying Ending In Dr. Horrible: Best Friends Forever

by Josh Davison

[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]

Dr. Horrible and Captain Hammer have teamed up…for a concert. Horrible and Hammer are best friends now, but, on the way to the concert, the alarm to Dr. Horrible’s laboratory goes off. He and Hammer go to investigate to find fellow supervillain Hourglass. She can peer into the future, but creatures called Timeworms escaped through the rift and are hunting her down. She needs the help of Dr. Horrible and Captain Hammer.

Dr. Horrible Best Friends Forever cover by Fabio Moon
Dr. Horrible Best Friends Forever cover by Fabio Moon

Dr. Horrible’s Singalong Blog was a gem of the writer’s strike era brought to us by Joss Whedon and actors Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Fillion, and Felicia Day. It told the tale of Dr. Horrible (Harris) and his failed exploits of villainy while he competed for the affection of Penny (Day) against superhero and archnemesis Captain Hammer (Fillion).

Dr. Horrible: Best Friends Forever follows this up with the bizarre twist of Horrible and Hammer being best friends. This is explained midway through the story in a fairly clever manner.

Best Friends Forever, in many ways, is a delightful follow-up to the original Singalong Blog. There are many good one-liners and jokes. It’s almost adorable to see Dr. Horrible and Captain Hammer being so chummy and affectionate towards one another.

What it’s missing is a coherent theme. There are many small “themes” that pop up throughout the comic: the importance of genuine bonds, deception, procrastination. However, each one is only lightly touched upon, and the ending, consequently, comes off as limp. Singalong Blog had a genuine resolution that showed a transformed Dr. Horrible; this one just has him getting the short end of the stick again while gaining, learning, and really losing nothing of consequence.

Dr. Horrible: Best Friends Forever art by Jose Maria Beroy, Dan Jackson, and letterer Blambot's Nate Piekos
Dr. Horrible: Best Friends Forever art by Jose Maria Beroy, Dan Jackson, and letterer Blambot’s Nate Piekos

Jose Maria Beroy and Sara Soler split the artwork for Best Friends Forever, and both artists turn in good work. Beroy delivers a more classical superhero style with heavy shading and regal figures. Soler takes over towards the end and brings a cuter style with softer and more cartoonish characters. There’s no thematic or atmospheric reason for the art transition, but I can’t complain about the results. Dan Jackson’s colors are vibrant and appealing too, bringing the aesthetic design together well.

Dr. Horrible: Best Friends Forever is a cute and funny return to the Dr. Horrible universe. The ending is deeply unsatisfying, but the main thrust of the story is fun enough that I can still recommend this to anyone who enjoyed the original Singalong Blog. For those who haven’t–well, like with Life is Strange #1, you should watch Singalong Blog then check out Best Friends Forever.

Dr. Horrible: Best Friends Forever comes to us from writer Joss Whedon, artists Jose Maria Beroy and Sara Soler, color artist Dan Jackson, letterer Blambot’s Nate Piekos, cover artist Fabio Moon, and variant cover artist Francesco Francavilla.

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