Serial Killer Joss Whedon Faces His Public

Illustration for article titled Serial Killer Joss Whedon Faces His Public

As you probably know, something dreadful happened in the last episode of Dr. Horrible's Singalong Blog, Joss Whedon's internet supervillain musical. Online critics were somewhat dismayed, and when Whedon went on a live chat at the Washington Post, he found himself facing his critics. Whedon's response to the neigh-sayers, plus other Horrible tidbits, after the jump.


At the end of Dr. Horrible, the lovely Penny (Felicia Day) dies during the battle between Dr. Horrible and his nemesis Captain Hammer. One person in the Washington Post chat complained that "Penny is merely a prop for Dr. Horrible and Captain Hammer to fight over," and Joss responded:

Yeah, Penny is not the feminist icon of our age. And yes, she does exist in the narrative as part of Doc's fate — but everyone in the story is there to move the story. Is she less real than Hammer? (Is ANYTHING?) We gave her a cause so she wouldn't JUST be the Pretty Girl but the fact is, neither Doc nor Hammer gives her the attention she deserves — Doc's crush comes before he has the slightest idea what she cares about. Which is not uncommon. It reminds me of "Sweeney Todd," the Judge and Sweeney singing "Pretty Women" — a beautiful duet with no insight whatsoever. Just images.

But we shoulda gave her more jokes.

Joss seemed to become a bit more mock-grouchy when another person asked about his habit of killing off lovable characters in his work, and whether he worried it would become "by the numbers." Joss snarked, "Boy, you kill someone, everyone makes a fuss!" But he argued Dr. Horrible is different from his other homicidal works, because it's structured as a classical tragedy. Usually, death in the Whedonverse is "meaningless and arbitrary," but this is "the old brew."

Whedon also mentioned that a Dr. Horrible sequel is highly unlikely, at least for the time being. And for those who detected the hand of Ben Edlund (The Tick) in the story, Joss confirmed it: Edlund worked on Horrible in the early stages but then "had to drop out." The supervillain Bad Horse was a character Edlund had pitched endlessly for Angel, Whedon's vampire-detective-lawyer show, and the minor bad guy Moist was Edlund's idea as well. [Washington Post]


Charlie Jane Anders

@JennaW, Internet Tough Girl: It's almost as if people take Joss seriously as an artist or something! But nahh...