Review: “Dollhouse: Epitaphs” by Andrew Chambliss, Jed Whedon, & Maurissa Tancharoen

Title: “Dollhouse: Epitaphs (Collected TPB Edition)”

Author: Andrew Chambliss, Jed Whedon, & Maurissa Tancharoen

Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Cyberpunk, Comics, TV & Film

Release Date: April 2012 (expected)

Synopsis: Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse continues, written by television-series mainstays Andrew Chambliss (the CW’s Vampire Diaries, co-writer of Buffy Season 9), Maurissa Tancharoen (Spartacus), and Jed Whedon (Dr. Horrible) The Rossum Corporation”s Dollhouse technology has gone viral with a synchronized phone call that wiped the minds of everyone it reached, turning them into mindless killers. Those who avoided the call – including show favorites Echo, Alpha, Mag, Zone, and Griff – must try to survive in the sudden apocalypse and be wary of Rossum’s expansive technological reach. This is only the beginning.

☆: 5/5 – a very satisfying glimpse into the cause of the thoughtpocalypse!

Review: First, a huge thanks to Dark Horse for putting this awesome book up on NetGalley for the (reviewing) world to request and read! I was really pleasantly surprised when I saw it up there – I just had to request it. And you know what? This one book collects all five of the original issues that make up the “Epitaphs” mini-series and all of the awesomeness contained therein. And yet, while you get the “complete” story of how the Rossum mindwipe thoughtpocalypse starts, it doesn’t exactly end where the show picks it up at the end of season 2 (spoiler alert!). All I know is one thing – I still want more on the thoughtpocalypse adventures with Mag, Zone, Griff, Alpha, Echo, and the others.

However, I know the chance of more of “Epitaphs” being written and released is slim to none. Which is saddening, but what we’re given is absolutely awesome material – and I’d expect no less from the badass Whedon-Tancharoen team (they did help end season 2, after all, with their scripting) and I’ve come to like Chambliss a great deal with “Buffy: Season 9”. I don’t think it needs to be said that if you haven’t seen the end of the first season, you’re going to spoil yourself, but if you’re just starting season 2, you’re in luck! This won’t really spoil you, but it builds on the material given to us in the unaired thirteenth episode of season 1 and a nice chunk of the last episodes of season 2.

All of the spoiler warnings said and in place, Whedon, Tancharoen, and Chambliss go into some very, very dark places with the genesis of the thoughtpocalypse, and shows us the buildling of Neuropolis (which we only get a look at in the series after Echo and her ragtag bunch of ex-Actives and other friends and foes when they actually infiltrate it), which is literally built on the ruins of buildings that the Rossum-created Butchers have totaled in their rampage across the globe (or in this case, Arizona). We also get some good information on where our favorite characters who worked in the LA Dollhouse as staff were when the Thoughtpocalypse hit, as well as how that affects the anti-Rossum cause.

But I think my favorite part was Alpha’s redemption – or rather, how it happened, and how it almost didn’t happen at all. I never thought I’d come to love Alpha as much as I do, but thanks to this much-needed installment, I got a look into his very real suffering with all of the people in his head. Everyone loved (me included) Alpha as the villain trying to steal the sleeping beauty-like Echo from the LA Dollhouse, but this shows how he tries so very hard to reform himself, as well as his continuing love for Echo and how he has to deal with all of that.

Oh yeah, and the fact that he still has quite a few murderous personalities in his head doesn’t really help the reform process.

But I found myself cheering for him like I never did before, and it was a really satisfying experience. “Experience” is the only way to describe any Whedon production, and “Dollhouse”, regardless if in TV or comic form, definitely is no exception to that idea. “Epitaphs” just contributes and completes the “Dollhouse” experience and really is a must for any Whedon/”Dollhouse” fan. Hands down. Though I just want more misadventures of how the thoughtpocalypse goes down (I wanted to see more Topher, for one thing, in this volume), overall I’m pretty happy with the end results, and I highly recommend it.

“Dollhouse: Epitaphs” is out in North America on April 11th, 2012, so be sure to pick it up then. It’s made my best of 2012 so far list, so really, this is a miniseries you can’t miss!


3 thoughts on “Review: “Dollhouse: Epitaphs” by Andrew Chambliss, Jed Whedon, & Maurissa Tancharoen

  1. Pingback: usagi’s challenges for 2012! « birth of a new witch.

  2. I had no idea Dollhouse was also getting more adventures in comics form, how great.

    Thanks for this review, now it is on my wish list and I’ll be sure to get it in April.

    • All throughout last year there were the single-issue comic releases, and I had no idea how long it would go on for, to be honest. There were only five issues released in the end, and now they’re collected in this volume. I wish it’d gone on longer, but I feel like things are finally complete.

      I’m glad my review helped you decide! It’s definitely worth the money and the wait as the team who wrote it is ridiculously awesome. ❤

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