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ADVANCE REVIEW: Dollhouse: Epitaphs #2

Posted: Tuesday, August 9, 2011
By: Felicity Gustafson

Andrew Chambliss, Jed Whedon, Maurissa Tancharoen
Cliff Richards, Andy Owens (i), Michelle Madsen (c), Nate Piekos (l)
Dark Horse
ADVANCE REVIEW! Dollhouse: Epitaphs #2 will come out on Wednesday, August 10, 2011.

Oh, this series. There's a new plot twist at every turn. That's what I look for in a series -- plot. Romantic storylines are nice, but ultimately leave me wanting something more substantial. With Dollhouse, you get lovable characters, an evil corporation, technology of the future, the necessary apocalypse in ever epic story and more importantly, action-packed plot twists that leave you on the edge of your seat wanting more. Have I mentioned that I love this series?

So what do you do when 90% of the world are Butchers? Now what do you do when the Butchers get portable imprinting devices? Well, Zone's answer is to kill all tech. In a way, I have to agree that it would fix their current problems, but it's not exactly realistic. You can't kill all tech before the Butchers would get you. So on one side of the map, Zone seems to be going off the deep end on an almost certain suicide plan and on the other, we see Alpha, the set of Ivies and Trevor heading to Washington D.C. to find Echo. By the time the issue's over, their mission completely turns around, literally, but I won't spoil the big surprise. All I can say is, Alpha fans... read this comic! By the end, I was squealing with delight.

With the addition of the new tech and the unveiling of at least one of Rossum's plans, the poor heroic survivors have a pretty high proverbial fence to scale. Trevor's actually become a strong ally in the fight against Rossum, despite his young age. He's shown a couple instances where he thinks fast on his feet and he's caught on quite quick to swapping skills in the field. In the last issue, he was having a moral dilemma about killing, but he must've taken Alpha's advice and gotten over it. I really like where the writers are taking his character. Not much is shown about the Ivies or even Zone and Mag; this issue ended up revolving mostly around Alpha. Not that I really minded, because he's one of my favorites due to his complexities and unpredictable nature. I mean, the guy's got approximately fourteen people floating around in his noggin, cut him some slack. Plus, he was played by Alan Tudyk and that's always a win.

Obviously there's not much to say about the artwork. It was neither the best nor the worst I've seen. It seemed a little bland; they could've used more detail, but the coloring was spot on. The use of bright color opened the page up quite nicely. There were a couple of instances where the characters were drawn at odd angles and they looked a little off, but that was rare. I have a hard time telling the difference between Zone and Alpha sometimes because they have the same build and brown hair. The art didn't make or break the comic, it just left a feeling of indifference.

Overall, it was a really great issue, even by Dollhouse standards. Major plot twist at the end gave it bonus points, but I can't really give it a perfect score due to the lack of astounding art and the fact that with every issue, Echo's becoming more of a Mary Sue... and she hasn't even been introduced yet. Despite that, this series is gradually becoming one of my favorites. There's some brilliant work behind Dollhouse, especially in the writing department. I don't think any Dollhouse fans would be disappointed in how the story's progressed so far.

Felicity Gustafson was born in Ohio and, after the astounding realization that there was more to do than look at trees and cows, she decided to become a nerd and got into comics, anime and video games. New to Comics Bulletin, she sticks mostly to reviewing things out of the horror and comedy genres. She spends most of her time working in the manufacturing industry, finishing her computer degree and steadfastly avoiding ham fat at all costs.

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