Dr. Horrible, the iPhone Comic Review: I Only Miss the Singing

Joss Whedon's Dr. Horrible's Sing-a-Long Blog is a work of pure supervillian musical genius, produced for the internet during the height of the Hollywood writers' strike, starring Neil Patrick Harris and Firefly's Nathan Fillion. The iPhone comic prequel is awesome.

A prequel to the mini-movie—which you can now watch on Netflix Watch Instantly if you don't wanna grab it on DVD or Blu-ray—it's appropriately in comic form, marking a nice progression to the possible feature-length sequel.


It's un-possible for a comic to capture the way that Neil Patrick Harris and Nathan Fillion deliver Whedon's inimitable dialogue, even though it feels genuinely Whedon-esque, through and through, from the pacing to the punchlines. (That's no doubt 'cause written by his brother, Zack Whedon, who co-wrote the original.) But the way they really own their characters actually helps the comic: You can imagine exactly how Fillion-as-Captain Hammer would sneer, "Won't matter when I'm mopping the floor with you," pausing for a moment before adding, as if we didn't catch his drift, "By the way, I'm going to use your face as the mop part." The arched eyebrow, the smirk, Superman-turned-jerkface. You can almost imagine which moments would be sung, and it leaves you wanting more of this universe, these characters, as Whedon's worlds tend to make people do.

As an app, though, Dark Horse's implementation has has some issues—which I think applies to all of their comic apps. You have to swipe your finger across for every. Single. Page. All 117 of them, unless you have it on the auto-play timer. (Why I can't I just tap?) And the pages are relatively static, too—you can only view them in a landscape mode, there's no zooming or panning or flicking. A simple menu lets you scroll directly to the page you want, but that's about it for flexibility. That said, the medium does really shine here, and makes you dream about what it'll be like on the iPad.

Either way, for 99 cents, it's a trip worth taking. [iTunes]


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