Brilliantly conceived and hilarious as a send-up of comic books, Dr. Horrible, and Other Horrible Stories, from Dark Horse Books, needs a closer look.

Written by Zack Whedon and Joss Whedon, with artwork by seven artists plus a cover artist, this volume carries forward characters created for the web series Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.

It’s the early adventures of Captain Hammer, the insufferable hero, and his arch-enemy Dr. Horrible. And answers to topics brought up in the show: what is Dr. Horrible’s origin story? How about the origin of Moist, Dr. Horrible’s sidekick?

This Second Edition collects the first Dr. Horrible one-shot, three digital comics, and additional stories. Bonus material includes Joss Whedon’s full one-shot script.

It’s remarkable silly stuff, presented in the format of eight-page stories, each with widely varying illustrative styles. And interspersed are pinup illustrations that seem to show Captain Hammer as a Nathan Fillion look-alike. Wacky, hilarious, slapstick and slapdash, it’s very witty indeed. It tugs at your heartstrings in one minute (how sad, how very sad), then tickles you with brilliantly insightful parody.

It’s an acquired taste, but if you are familiar with the characters already, I have a feeling you will enjoy this collection of wild wild stories!

Dark Horse Books, Dr. Horrible and Other Horrible Stories TPB, $19.99 for 136 pages, Rated 14

By Alan Spinney

After a career of graphic design, art direction and copywriting, I still have a passion for words and pictures. I love it when a comic book comes together; the story is tight, and the drawings lead me forward. Art with words... the toughest storytelling technique to get right. Was this comic book worth your money? Let's see!!