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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

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

Overall Score – 6.3/10


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