Doctor Horrible (Neil Patrick Harris) in white with a forearm-mounted weapon

Doctor Horrible


Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog was a 2008 web series and musical comedy. It was a quick, crisp, one-shot project by Joss Whedon and his usual associates and relatives. The titular Doctor Horrible is a Silver Age  scientific super-villain.

Early on, Dr. Horrible was quite successful and well-considered. Then after some discussion, less so.


  • Real Name: Billy.
  • Other Aliases: Cute Guy (to Penny).
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: None.
  • Group Affiliation: Evil League of Evil (applicant, then member).
  • Base Of Operations: Los Angeles.
  • Height: 6’0” Weight: 150 lbs.
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: Blond


Powers and Abilities

Dr. Horrible is an inventive genius. Like many super-villains, he possesses no special powers of his own but can seem to whip up mind-bogglingly complex gadgets within days. The only problem is he has a hard time acquiring the necessary resources to properly build his machinery. That often makes his inventions unstable at best.

In DC Heroes RPG terms, he usually has a small budget of Hero Points  to build his gadgets with. Thus, he usually opts for poor reliability numbers or unusual drawbacks to compensate. Whether or not the Damaging Reliability optional rules are used in a campaign, it seems Dr. Horrible’s inventions are always subject to them.


Billy loved super-heroes from a young age. Like many boys, he idolized Justice Joe, the crimson caped crime-fighter.

That was until a fateful day in 1996. Eight year old Billy was playing with his action figures, when a classmate began picking on him. The bully thought it odd a 6th grader would play with “dolls” even though Billy was advanced through in classes due to his high intelligence.

The altercation was only exacerbated when Billy pointed out that the name the bully was using to insult him, “Einstein,” actually referred to someone who was highly intelligent. Needless to say, Billy headed home after school that day with a black eye.

On his way home, he noticed a crowd of kids gathered around a building. Joining the crowd, he witnessed Justice Joe confronting Mister Maniacal (an evil genius). Just when it seemed Justice Joe had the best of Mister Maniacal, even calling him “Einstein” as an insult as he prepared to beat him, Mister Maniacal pulled out a ray gun and zapped Justice Joe.

The ray robbed him of his powers. From the moment of Mister Maniacal’s victory, Billy knew his destiny – to become a super villain.


Doctor Horrible ! The early years !

20 years later, he assumed the moniker Dr. Horrible. He embarked on his first caper, an unsuccessful attempt to blow up all the parking meters in the city using explosive quarters. On his way to escape, he first encountered the man who would become his nemesis, Captain Hammer.

Doctor Horrible (Neil Patrick Harris) wields a super-weapon and smiles

Captain Hammer was an egotistical glory hound. He exemplified the bully mentality that caused Billy to turn to evil in the first place. Captain Hammer began to beat him, when the dark figure of a horse appeared on a nearby rooftop. Horrible stood in amazement at the figure of Bad Horse. Meanwhile, Hammer ran off to confront the evil equine.

After that, Dr. Horrible no longer simply strove for his goal of social change (namely, a society that valued intelligence rather than looked down on it). He now also tried to gain the attention of Bad Horse and his Evil League of Evil (the E.L.E). This resulted in a series of encounters with Captain Hammer.

Along the way, Horrible met his sidekick, Moist. Moist allied with him after witnessing one of Horrible’s confrontations with Hammer. During it, Hammer had unsuccessfully tried to emulate Maniacal’s ray. Moist was impressed that anyone would even stand up to Captain Hammer. Thus, he quickly became Dr. Horrible’s loyal henchman.

Doctor Horrible and his sing-along-blog !

Dr. Horrible continued his exploits. He even started an online blog  to record his thoughts and to spread word of his deeds. Eventually, Dr. Horrible gained the attention of the Evil League of Evil. Bad Horse sent him a letter stating that he was being considered for membership. Howbeit, that also would be his final consideration.

Doctor Horrible grabbing innocent grass

The letter also insinuated a final fate for Horrible if he was unsuccessful in proving himself worthy. It stated that if he failed, Bad Horse would make him “his mare.”

In response to this, Dr. Horrible launched his next plan. He attempted to steal Wonderflonium from a van for his latest invention, a Freeze Ray. Unfortunately, right before the theft began, Billy encountered the girl was pining for, Penny. She was in the area collecting signatures for a petition.


Although he’d seen her every week in the Laundromat, he had never been able to bring himself to speak to her. To his surprise, she recognized him and struck up a conversation.

In the course of the theft, Captain Hammer showed up. He damaged the device that Horrible was using to control the van, resulting in it nearly hitting Penny. Once again, Horrible confronted Hammer (Penny having been knocked into the trash). All that got him was to be throttled until Hammer noticed Penny. Hammer decided to impress her, losing interest in Horrible.

Dr. Horrible escaped with the Wonderflorium. Yet he could but lament that he had accidentally introduced his love to Hammer, whom she believed to have saved her.

Dr. Horrible managed to finish his Freeze Ray. He then planned a major crime at the Superhero Memorial Bridge on his blog. Unfortunately, the LAPD and Captain Hammer were waiting for him… since they had seen the blog. In addition, the Freeze Ray evidently needed time to warm up, which Horrible hadn’t anticipated.

The battle ended with Dr. Horrible narrowly dodging a car thrown at his head. It resulted in a major embarrassment.

Doctor Horrible- to kill or not to kill ?

While Dr. Horrible was recording his blog entry about the incident, he received a call from Bad Horse (and his singing cowboys). They informed him that they had witnessed his humiliation. Thus, his only recourse to prove his worth to the Evil League of Evil now was murder. If he failed, the result would be his own demise.

This sent Horrible into a moral conundrum. He tried to think of someone deserving of death. Nevertheless, he couldn’t picture himself committing murder under any circumstances.

Meanwhile, Billy was having a burgeoning relationship with Penny. He questioned her about some of his misgivings. However, he couched it in discussion of just trying to be hopeful in a run down world and of striving for greatness in his destiny without getting into specifics.

Doctor Horrible (Neil Patrick Harris) in red and in a dramatic pose

This continued until her relationship with Hammer started to grow more serious. She introduced Hammer to her friend, Billy. But Hammer recognized the Doctor. Pulling Horrible aside, he told him that he planned on seducing Penny and giving her his “hammer” just because he knew that Horrible liked her.

Just in case Horrible didn’t get the entendre, Hammer pointed out that his fists were *not* his “hammer,” that the “hammer” was his penis.

Disgusted and dejected, Dr. Horrible decided that Captain Hammer was truly deserving of death. The world would be a better place without him. Throwing himself into his work, Dr. Horrible modified his Stun Ray into a Death Ray and made some adjustments to his Freeze Ray. He put together a fool proof plan that would end Captain Hammer once and for all!

Doctor Horrible makes his move !

As Horrible was working on his plan, Penny seemed to be waiting at the Laundromat for him more often. She seemed to question her own relationship with Captain Hammer. That was even though she believed him to be a good person since he was helping her establish a homeless shelter.

However, she was attracted to Billy and seemed to have more in common with him. Unfortunately for them both, this truth is something that Billy would never come to realize.

When it came time to open the homeless shelter, Captain Hammer gave a speech. It included revealing comments about himself and Penny, causing Penny to leave. While Hammer obliviously continued to work the crowd, Dr. Horrible sprang his trap from his hiding place. He was concealed under the sheet that was supposed to contain a statue commemorating the shelter to Captain Hammer.

Horrible rays

Horrible shot Hammer with his Freeze Ray. Pulling out his Death Ray, Dr. Horrible spread fear in the crowd by gloating and firing his Death Ray into the ceiling.

Moving to finish Hammer off, Dr. Horrible was unable to bring himself to pull the trigger. Penny moved into the back of the room unbeknownst to either Hammer or Horrible. Coincidentally, the Freeze Ray wore off! Captain Hammer punched Dr. Horrible, sending both the Death Ray and the Doctor flying.

Picking up the Death Ray, Captain Hammer decided to finish off Dr. Horrible. Lacking Horrible’s moral hesitation, and despite Horrible’s attempt to warn Hammer that the ray has been damaged, he fired. Instead of firing properly, the Death Ray exploded in Hammer’s face causing Hammer to run off crying in pain.

Doctor Horrible, PHD in Horrible, ELE Member

This left Dr. Horrible was unharmed. But he soon discovered that a few pieces of shrapnel hit Penny in the back of the room. She died in his arms, with the last words, “It’s ok. Captain Hammer will save us.”

This caused a massive media sensation, giving Dr. Horrible credit for the kill and Hammer’s defeat. The publicity insured his membership with the Evil League of Evil. Dr. Horrible finally had everything he ever wanted except love.



Dr. Horrible is a slender gawky blonde man with youthful features. In his villainous persona, he wears welding goggles (usually on his forehead), a lab coat, thick welding gloves and boots to match.

Before Penny’s death and his acceptance into the Evil League of Evil, his coat and boots were white with grayish gloves and khaki pants. Afterwards, he changed into a red coat, black gloves, and presumably black pants and boots. He also wears a caduceus, modified with a sword instead of a staff, on his chest pocket.


Dr. Horrible is a highly intelligent, sensitive, and socially conscious young man set to change the world. However, after a childhood of being bullied for his advanced intellect, he has come to the conclusion that the only way to create that change is by conquering the world and fixing it himself.

If it weren’t for his socially awkward tendencies, he might have been seen as a visionary, able to create inventions and sell his ideas for social change rather than resorting to villainy. When Dr. Horrible is in action, he can be incredibly charismatic. He would likely be much more influential if he had more confidence.

Horrible is actually a nice guy despite being perceived as a villain. While he wants to impress the Evil League of Evil, he is very conflicted when they ask him to commit murder in order to gain admission. Ultimately, he refuses to actually killing anyone, despite being enraged by Captain Hammer’s seduction of the girl he loves.


Dr. Horrible: “This city needs change. Who’s going to provide it, Mr. Muscles over there ? No. Horrible is just what the doctor ordered !”
Moist: “You could really use a new catch phrase.”
Dr. Horrible: “Thanks. I’ll work on it. I’m just saying if we want the world to improve, evil plots, villains, henchmen may by our only hope.”

“I have a P.H.D. in Horribleness !”

“It’s not about making money, it’s about taking money. Destroying the status quo because the status is NOT ‘quo’. The world is a mess and I just need to rule it.”

“Freeze Ray – tell your friends.”

“With my freeze ray I will stop – the world ! With my freeze ray I will stop- the pain !”

“I’ll bend the world to our will and we’ll make time stand still ! That’s the plan. Rule the world. You and me, any day.”

Dr. Horrible: “I saw Penny today.”
Moist: “You talked to her ?”
Dr. Horrible: “So close. Just a few weeks away from a real audible connection.”

“Soon I’ll control everything. My wish is your command.”

(After inadvertently introducing his love to his nemesis) “Balls.”

Penny: “He’s a really good looking guy and I thought he was kind of cheesy at first.”
Dr. Horrible (under his breath: “Trust your instincts.”
Penny: “But, he turned out to be totally sweet. Sometimes people are layered like that. There’s something totally different underneath than what’s on the surface.”
Dr. Horrible: “And sometimes there’s a third, even deeper level, and that one is the same as the top surface one. Like with pie.”

“The freeze ray needs work. I also need to be a little bit more careful about what I say on this blog. Apparently the LAPD and Captain Hammer are among our viewers. They were waiting for me at the Mayor’s dedication of the Superhero Memorial Bridge. The freeze ray takes a few seconds to warm up and I wasn’t… Captain Hammer threw a car at my head.”

Dr. Horrible: “I wanna do great things, you know ? I wanna be an achiever, like Bad Horse.”
Penny: “The Thoroughbred of Sin ?”
Dr. Horrible: “I meant… Ghandi.”

“Listen close to everybody’s heart and hear that breaking sound. Hopes and dreams are shattering apart and crashing to the ground. I can not believe my eyes, how the world’s filled with filth and lies. But it’s plain to see the evil inside of me is on the rise !”

“Penny will see the evil me – not a joke, not a dork, not a failure ; and she may cry. But her tears will dry when I hand her keys to a shiny new Australia. It’s a brand new day. Yeah, the sun is high. All the angels sing because you’re gonna die !”

“Go ahead ! Run away ! Say it was Horrible !”

“Hammer meet nail !”

“This world is going to burn ! Burn ! Bur- (looking over a reporter’s shoulder) That’s two ’r’s. H-O-R-R- ya… right. -BURN !”

“Dr. Horrible is here to make you quake with fear !”

DC Universe History

Dr. Horrible would easily fit into most of the Justice League’s rogue’s gallery. Especially if you’re using a more comedic or tongue in cheek version like the Superfriends. The E.L.E. would be a great replacement for The Legion of Doom.

Dr. Horrible would be a great poignant villain for any hero that is conscientious enough to realize that might doesn’t always make right. Batman could even try to intervene to keep Dr. Horrible from joining the League only to be disappointed by Penny’s death.

Misc. Universe History

Considering that Ben Edlund (creator of The Tick) had a hand in creating several characters in the Singalong Blog, any of the characters could easily be dropped into the “Tick-verse.” Dr. Horrible would be a great villain who might even ally with the Tick to take on an even bigger menace.

Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

Tell me more about the game stats

Doctor Horrible

Dex: 03 Str: 02 Bod: 05 Motivation: Power Lust for Social Change
Int: 07 Wil: 06 Min: 04 Occupation: Super Villain Blogger
Inf: 04 Aur: 05 Spi: 04 Resources {or Wealth}: 008
Init: 014 HP: 025

Artist (Singing): 05, Gadgetry: 09, Thief (Stealth, Security Systems): 04, Vehicles (Land, Remotes): 03, Weaponry (Rays): 04

Attractive, Headquarters (Expansive), Sidekick (Moist), Genius.

Penny (High), Evil League of Evil (Low), Pink Pummeler (High), Conflict Diamond (Low).

Nemesis (Captain Hammer), Enemy (Johnny Snow), MIA (Penny), Misc (It costs Dr. Horrible double the HP cost to reduce the Rel# for a gadget), Mistrust, Uncertainty, Enemy (Johnny Snow).

Gritty Humor.


  • Freeze Ray [BODY 04, Mental Freeze: 05, R#03. Note: It makes a noise when the “freeze” wears off. Bonuses & Limitations: The Freeze Ray automatically loses initiative in the first attempt of a dice action per combat due to its long warm up time.]
    This is Dr. Horrible’s masterpiece which he works on throughout his blog. It is for this device that he steals the Wonderflorium. Unfortunately, it also has a very long warm up time which results in our villain taking a severe beating from the foul hero before he can get the shot off in its unveiling moment at the Super Hero Memorial Bridge.
  • Stun Ray/Death Ray [BODY 05, Energy Blast: 08, R#02. Note: This Gadget utilizes the optional rules where damage increases R#. If roll is below the R#, the gadget explodes using Energy Blast in a 0 AP range area effect (not including the person it was originally aimed at). Bonuses & Limitations: Originally this device was limited to “Bashing Damage Only” until Dr. Horrible modified it during the blog.]
    This was Dr. Horrible’s Stun Ray which he modified to be a Death Ray. He likely recreated it into the wrist mounted version seen in the blog after its destruction.
  • Trans-matter Ray [BODY 04, Detect: 09, Teleport: 04 R#02. Bonuses & Limitations: The trans-matter ray changes the physical composition of anything it teleports to a liquid and may even include a Transmutation: 08 effect where it changes the make up of the object into curry or a similar substance. Device only works to locate the object to be teleported (and only teleports things from a distance to the gadget).]
    This device is a ray that allowed Dr. Horrible to steal gold from the city. Unfortunately, once he teleported the bars, he found them to be unrecognizable as gold.
  • Horrible Remote [BODY 06, Interface: 05, Radio Communication: 05, R#02]. This is an object about the size of a tin can that allows Dr. Horrible control the vehicle it is attached to through his iPhone.
  • Growth Device [BODY 04, Growth: 09, R#2]. In one sequence, we see a giant Dr. Horrible stomping around downtown. While this likely was a fantasy sequence, it seems likely that it will result in an invention eventually.
  • Captain Hammer Shot [BODY 01, /DEX/ 05 /STR/ 08 /BODY/ 08 /INT/ 03 /WILL/ 02, Jumping: 04, Enhanced Initiative: 07. Bonuses & Limitations: Italicized stats must be used even if subject’s natural stats are higher.] This is a shot created from Captain Hammer’s DNA. It gave Dr. Horrible Captain Hammer’s physical capabilities, but also limited his intellect until Moist administered the antidote. Unseen in the blog, this appeared in Dr. Horrible’s comic book.

Design notes

Many of the stats are speculative and based on the assumption that comments narrating past events or off-screen activity are true.

The good Doctor’s high BODY is based on him surviving the regular and often severe beatings he takes from Captain Hammer.

Now the nightmare’s real, and I won’t feel a thing

These stats reflect primarily what’s seen during the events in the blog. Afterward, Dr. Horrible undergoes a number of changes. He seems to lose his Uncertainty drawback. His contact with the Evil League of Evil goes from Low to High and he likely gets a large HP award increasing his HP pool as well.

He also increases his Wealth to around 16 due to a series of successful bank robberies. He builds a wrist mounted ray gun (presumably another Stun/Death Ray, this time one that can not be taken away). Finally, he actually gains the Popularity advantage of sorts since he does acquire a fan base of his own.

This may also mean that his gadgets also become more effective due to a larger HP and Wealth budget. A GM could easily adjust these to make him as effective as they want him. They might even rule that the bought off his Misc. Drawback making it more expensive for him to reduce reliability numbers at the end of the blog as well.

By Adam Fuqua.

Source of Character: Dr. Horrible’s Sing-along Blog and his comic, as well as The Captain Hammer’s Be Like Me, Moist: Humidity Rising, and Penny Keep Your Head Up comics.

Helper(s):, Horrible Wiki , Eric Langendorff.

Completed this 17th day of January, 2011 by the Gregorian reckoning.