Episode 13: Dissecting Dr. Horrible

April 20, 2011

Featuring Matt Anderson and Ben De Bono

In this episode of The Sci-Fi Christian, Ben and Matt explore the spiritual themes behind Joss Whedon’s brilliant web series, Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog

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3 comments on “Episode 13: Dissecting Dr. Horrible

  1. Mike Poteet Sep 29, 2011

    Excellent, excellent analysis of Dr. Horrible, guys. Good work! (Except for the part where Ben dares to say Superman is “not much” better than Captain Hammer. Excuse me? Hammer is a totally self-obsessed, fascist, male chauvinist pig. Superman is totally about helping other people—you’ve said so yourself, for crying out loud, to the point where you say he’s boring because he’s about nothing else! Can’t have it both ways! Honestly, Ben, you hate Superman, you hate Star Trek—it’s a good thing you’re a brother in Christ!)

    Aside from that, I think your insights are dead-on and I agree with almost all of them. Penny as a substitute only works somewhat; Jesus, of course, sacrificed himself voluntarily for humanity. Penny is an innocent bystander. And I don’t see much hope in that final shot of Billy—I think you were more on track when you call it a tragedy. Tragedies, by definition, do not end with any hint of hope. If anything, the tragedy is that Billy gets what he wanted, and is “totally lost,” as Matt says—makes me think of those definitions of hell where God loves us too much to force himself on us, and if we say we want life without God, God ultimately says, “Ok, if that’s what you want.” Granted, the fact that a sequel is coming could hint at redemption, and might ultimately validate Ben’s take.

    But, overall, really great discussion. Your singing isn’t bad either!

    Ben, I agree completely about “The Passage.” I’m glad I wasn’t the only one disappointed. Those first 250-300 pages really are an incredible read. How could Cronin have gone so wrong?

    Not “Superman: Earth One” but “Birthright” by Mark Waid. Awesome graphic novel, the first big, thick Superman book I read when I became a comics fan. Would make an incredible movie, so I hope the movie follows its outline–especially the emotional wallop it packs at the end. It almost–almost–made me tear up. No foolin’.

    • Just for you Mike I’d be willing to give Captain Hamm… er… I mean Superman (I’m always getting those two mixed up since they’re so much alike) a second chance. As you know from the show, in addition to not liking his character in general, I really disliked both the original Superman movie and Superman returns. What other movies/shows/graphic novels would you recommend to try and convert me?

      • Mike Poteet Sep 30, 2011

        “Birthright” (mentioned above) is my best recommendation. (Steer clear of “Superman: Earth One” by JMS and “Secret Origin” by Geoff Johns; I liked them both, but the former tries a bit too hard to be “relevant,” and the latter draws too much on Silver Age mythos that I enjoy, but you would not. Or so I presume.)

        Other recommendations you might like:

        1) “Superman for All Ages” — beautifully written and drawn graphic novel, by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale. Focuses heavily on the human aspects of the character — more about Clark and his relationships, though there is plenty of super-action, as well.

        2) “Last Son” — now in trade paperback (I think), written by Geoff Johns and Richard Donner. This is a riskier recommendation, since you actively dislike Donner’s film; however, if you think of it as the “Superman III” that should have been, with some of the elements from the film’s mythos reintrerpted slightly; or if you just read it as a really good story (says me) that combines great characterization with lots of action; you might go for it.

        3) You might enjoy reading “The Man of Steel” 1986 miniseries and subsequent monthly reboot, headed up by John Byrne, as it attempted to respond to your criticisms of the character (too powerful, too flat, etc.) that were prevalent back then. Available in 5 trade paperbacks. This is the post-Crisis on Infinite Earths continuity that includes the death and return of Superman circa 1990.

        4) “Superman: The Animated Series” — I can only personally vouch for the first season since that is all I’ve seen so far, but it’s from many of the same talents that brought us “Batman: The Animated Series” and led into the excellent “Justice League” cartoon.

        So that’s for starters!

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