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Dollhouse Epitaphs – Review

In a world where people are hired out to do all sorts of tasks for whomever can pay a fortune. These specialists are called “dolls”, and they will perform jobs such as romantic interludes to high-risk jobs. These dolls have their memories wiped after every mission and are given new personalities each time. Although protagonist Echo remembers little bits each time. This is the setting for Joss Whedon's short lived TV series Dollhouse with the story that's continued in this one-shot released by Dark Horse.

Do not answer your phones! This is how the issue opens up and then it shows what happens if you do, it appears you go crazy and wish to kill people and utter chaos has now taken over the city. They are picked up by a gun-toting cold hearted survivor named Zone and trying to figure out a way to organise their new lives. Running into another pair of survivors but the adult claims his name is Ivy. Zone kills Ivy and the child runs away and speaks to a man in shadows who reveals himself to be Alpha, the rogue serial killer doll.

Dollhouse Cover

This comic jumps straight into Whedon's already developed world with a continuation from the last episode showing an almost apocalyptic world. Previous knowledge will be needed to fully understand everything that is going on but there is not a great deal going on that a new fan will not be scared away.

Jed Whedon (Joss Whedon's brother) and Maurissa Tancharoen (writer for Dollhouse) are the writing pair behind this comic. I found the writing to be mediocre and lacking spice. It is a world where an apocalypse is currently unfolding in a different way than I have seen before but the characters themselves, even though only one issue in, already fall into the stereotypical survivor characters. Zone being the cold-hearted killer, the other two trying to help each other and wanting to hold onto their humanity, their reactions to the events stock standard too. I will not judge too harshly on this as it is only a preview issue of sorts to lead into a new series and there is plenty of room for improvement.

Cliff Richards did the artwork for this issue. His pencilwork on the characters is somewhat simple and it actually works for this comic. It is not some over the top job and is pleasing to the eye. Where Richards stands out is his work on all the backgrounds and scenery. This again is simple and not over detailed but he leaves in the bare essentials and that is where his art really works. Similar work to his run on Vampirella.

Michelle Madsen was the colourist for this issue. The colouring was nothing out of the ordinary either and seemed fairly basic. The colours themselves seemed quite bland and without taste, including bright colours. Her work has fallen from the talent she showed in her run on Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season Eight.

Wrapping up this comic was a bit of a disappointment compared to the anxious wait that I had with this coming out. Though it is only a one-shot preview issue so hopefully everything will start to come together and pick up soon when the series kickstarts. I do recommend this for old fans but also new fans, especially those fans of other works by Joss Whedon or sci-fi.

Overall Score - 6.3/10



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