ADVANCE REVIEW: Dollhouse: Epitaphs #1

A comic review article by: Felicity Gustafson
ADVANCE REVIEW! Dollhouse: Epitaphs #1 will come out on July 13, 2011.

I will probably always be a Dollhouse fan unless something horribly drastic happens to change the show. At first when I watched the "Epitaph One" and "Epitaph Two" episodes, I wasn't too thrilled, but I will admit that they grew on me. Now, I'm completely captivated and I love the futuristic story of the destruction and survival of our beloved characters. I'm saddened by the fact that once I get hooked on a TV show, inevitably it's doomed to cancel. Because didn't you know we needed another show about doctors, lawyers or cops? Heaven forbid we get to keep any science fiction or fantasy show! At least it seems that some shows are being continued in the comic world, so we can still get our fix.

Anyways, back in April an "Epitaph" one-shot was released. The one-shot part made me think that that was the end and there would be no more Epitaphs. I've never been so happy to be wrong! Apparently it was more of a teaser to judge fans reactions to a possible continuation. In this issue, we get a little Alpha, Ivy (who was Topher's assistant in the show) and Trevor, the little boy introduced in the one-shot. While there's mention of Echo and the others, I doubt we'll see her for awhile yet. Back when I reviewed the one-shot, I said unless you're a fan, there's not much of a point in buying it. Now with the new Epitaphs miniseries, I'd have to tell you to go pick it up since it's basically a prequel to this.

There are both some humorous and suspenseful moments included between these pages and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment. The part where Ivy walked in on another Ivy having sex with yet another Ivy had me roaring with laughter. Then when they were trying to explain it to themselves just made it even better. No, you don't see anything and they're not both in female bodies, so just calm your nerdpants down. When a comic is grounded and realistic, I love it, but sometimes there needs to be a little humor to break up the intensely serious nature. Like if there's an apocalypse, you always have that one person who shouts, "Quick! If we're all going to die, everyone have sex!" There's just a fine line between too much humor and not enough. Dollhouse manages to balance right on that line. On one page, you'll have Trevor fighting for his life and two pages later, you'll have Ivy sexing herself up -- literally!

The artwork's pretty decent -- neither the best or the worst I've seen. There are some really nice details on the up close shots of their faces. The far away shots are usually seen with vague outlines of bodies or facial features. The only bone I really had to pick was that Alpha didn't really look like Alpha. He resembled Alan Tudyk a bit, but I had some trouble confirming that it was him. There were a couple panels where I could clearly see the resemblance in specific expressions and others when I couldn't tell at all. Other than that, it was pretty good artwork all around.

True to Dollhouse fashion, Epitaphs #1 leaves off on a pretty steep cliffhanger and I'm already itching to read the next issue. Any Dollhouse fan will no doubt adore this series and I would easily recommend it to anyone who likes the idea of surviving by sheer willpower and technology alone while outnumbered by millions of mindless killers. I suspect this will turn out to be a great series and I plan on sticking with it to the end. 

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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