I do not own Dr Horrible or anything else for that matter. This is more of a reflection on Moist, because, as the lone sane guy, he was woefully underused. Hopefully, he'll even get his own song in the sequel (WHICH IS BEING WRITTEN RIGHT NOW)
I am an anthropologist (cough nerd alert!), so if you read my stuff, you can probably tell by now that I "love" analyzing cultures. Even fake ones. No dialogue or even plot. Rumination is the word of the day.
It sucks. Being a super-nonhero. Not even a super villain. So .When one has a totally non-awesome power (and possibly a glandular problem), what does one do? Make friends? Influence people? Or just do what every other person who doesn't fit the standard "hero/villain" archetype and join the Henchmen Union.
Now joining and becoming are way too different things. Like acting, only about 2% go on to bigger and better gigs. Some, like Computer Override or Arcane Arcade (it was the 80s), become bona fide super villains on their own end. Others, like Mage Madge, sell out and convert to Superhero status. Then there's the Iron (Y)- the only sidekick to somehow play both sides and still not have anyone get it. The equivalent of Jews for Jesus handing out Watchtowers. After a while, everyone just got annoyed and stopped taking his calls- one of the few times both superheroes and supervillains ever agreed on anything (a quorum was called and everything).
But most sort of languished in their weekend warrior roles as evil sidekick to whoever would hire/adopt them (most didn't even get that far). 90% didn't even have their own costume- why bother if you hooked up with a superhero/villian with a gold and purple color scheme with helicopter wings and you just blew $400 on a blue and white costume with a squirrel motif? Way too many newbies got caught in the ol' outfit scheme scam. Best to just wear old jeans- who knew when one would have to escape via sewer?
But unlike the Superheroes/villains, things were a lot looser in the Union. Good and evil sidekicks often mingled, gossiping, sometimes even hooking up; lots and lots of D&D had been played, and it was way more interesting when almost everyone had some lame but potentially level 2 dangerous power (Mindflick kept flicking crap like dice and cards with her mind at people until getting /kickedbanned for a month).
Moist was sort of a non-follower. He'd joined up on half of a whim, and somehow hooked up with one of the more benign super villains. He liked that about Billy. Not that the guy wasn't fully committed to being bad and doing awful things (in the name of good- Moist never really got a handle on how his philosophy worked), but his own nature just sort of got in the way. Truth, Billy mostly picked him because Moist provided an excellent lubricant for his machines and gizmos ("It's an organo-based lubrication with no real breakdown on a cellular level, and it's not the super expensive stuff that one can't just get at Walmart!"). Moist mostly just needed a neutral place to stay.
For some reason, Billy was obsessed with optics. "Rays," he would say, "are the future." The ability to bend, expand, contract, squeeze light particles and ions into compacted forms of blah blah blah. Billy would go into great chunks of detail at times. Pop culture referencing Copernicus and da Vinci and Leeuwenhoek. Moist actually knew all of them, what they were all about. But being Moist had taught him how to overcome one's disabilities. How to schmooze and make friends, when to throw out a Buffy or Friends line. After a while, he actually became one of the more popular people in the Union (he even got invited to a few superhero parties, which were always lamer and more sober than one would think). And one doesn't do that by riffing four hundred year old dead people that nobody actually cared about. Unless in the right company, of course.
Moist knew all of this, because he had his own secret identity. One that let him be himself, where he didn't have to phrase his words for maximum social status approval, didn't have to worry about how he dressed or presented himself or be the ultimate straightman for everyone else's crazy hang-ups. It really was the best of all worlds. He could be the funny guy, the neurotic, dress in geek chique. Then he could be the straight shooter, the sane guy that everyone liked because he never was crazy or went completely over the top with crazy, ill formed antics.
Moist even had his own engineering masters degree, but he wasn't about to tell Billy that. Sidekicks were supposed to be the backup singers of the duo- the Captain to the Tenille. The Randy Jackson to the Simon and Paula. The Kim to the Matt or was it the Matt to the Kim?
Not that he didn't plow through Billy's notes when the guy was out laundering. Because Billy really was a genius. Moist didn't read them to steal or borrow ideas, he read them just for the sheer enjoyment factor. Somehow Billy had actually figured out how to package vectored beams of light into nifty packets of visible, finite pulses in a relatively small handheld gun. That technology alone was worth billions. But Billy was so in his own little universe of evil that he couldn't see outside of the superheros/super villains culture. He could have just out and out bought Australia on the pulse patent alone.
Moist thought about co-mingling his friends, letting the two worlds converge. He knew Billy would be In Like Flynn with the others. That he would be exalted, have other social outelts besides himself, could stay up late hours doing exactly what Billy liked to do best (besides taking over the world) and get into deep conversations about physics and optics and everything else that overly smart people with no sense of propriety talk about. Probably even relax enough and socialize enough to realize that not every socially outcasted genius had to play the super villain card to get anywhere.
But Moist was protective of his two halves. Billy had Dr. Horrible to let his inner geek out and even Captain Hammer to a certain extent, and Moist got a social life outside of engineering and geek jokes. He couldn't let the two mix, because then it would just get weird. He couldn't be himself, and he couldn't be himself again.
Splitting oneself into two personalities was way stranger (and easier) than he thought possible, and then he realized he couldn't go back even if he wanted to. With Billy, he could do things like rob banks, lubricate things, hang out with normal people, and hit on women in leather successfully. With the others, he could wear the crazy outfits, play WoW all night, and hit on women in leather unsuccessfully.
And then suddenly there was not one but two Pennies in his life, and things just got stupidly complicated.