Here’s a quick summary of Issue #1:
The issue opens with Trevor, Alpha, and their pairs of Ivys continuing the quest to locate Echo. Splitting up to continue the search in a suburban area, Trevor and the male Ivy find some survivors in the abandoned houses. Unfortunately, so does Alpha. Searching alone, we see Alpha brutally murder the survivor he’s found. It then becomes clear that the main benevolent personality in Alpha’s head has struck a deal with the main psychotic personality in his head. The deal: if benevolent Alpha wishes to save the world without interference, then psychotic Alpha gets to have his fun.
The rest of the issue deals with the personal relationships present in the various groups we’re following. The older, female Ivy becomes annoyed that the male Ivy won’t make out with her despite smooching the young, hottie Ivy earlier in the series. Zone, Mags, and Griff finally bond as a group, dedicated to each others' survival. And, Alpha starts to fill Trevor in on his murderous past.
Alpha and Trevor follow signs left by Echo in hopes of locating her, but, very soon, Alpha finds himself with a gun barrel pointed at his temple courtesy of Paul Ballard! Trevor threatens to “wipe” Paul with the tech he’s created, causing a stand-off. When Paul reveals that he’s tracked a trail of bodies here in order to find Alpha, Trevor realizes it’s true and bolts. Paul knocks out Alpha, muttering how it will be a better world once Alpha is gone
Alpha... Again! The continued exploration of Alpha remains the best thing about this book. The character, with the memorable portrayal by actor Alan Tudyk, is extremely interesting on his own, but Chambliss isn’t content to simply rehash what we’ve already seen on television. He pushes Alpha into some captivating and thought-provoking situations. How I wish Tudyk had a stab at this storyline! It’s also fantastic to see the pieces continue to come together as we witness the building of the bridge between the Alpha who left Ballard a veggie and the enlightened, savior-type Alpha present in the finale of the television series.
Ivy x 2. One of the great staples of the Dollhouse television series was the way the writers would use the doll technology to @#$% with the audience! Body-jumping, deleting parts of your personality, and having multiple copies of the same person in different bodies were just some of the ways this was accomplished, and Chambliss keeps it up in this series. Throughout Dollhouse: Epitaphs, Trevor and Alpha are accompanied by multiple versions of Topher’s lab partner, Ivy... only none of them are in her original body. Apparently, this was an attempt to help provide order once the world collapsed (because of the tech going active), but what it really provides is an awesome examination of how people view, relate, and define themselves.
The return of Paul Ballard. It’s actually nice to see Paul again, and I’d be a liar if I didn’t admit that I was hoping he and Alpha would get to lock horns again.
This wasn’t on TV. Why??? What cursed god or demon doesn’t want Joss Whedon to make @#$%ing awesome television??? Why have your forsaken thee???
The Ugly (Fan Buzz, that is...)
Fan buzz continues to be extremely positive for this series, with some readers having picked up the book despite never finishing the television series! Sure seems like a confusing way to follow the story to me, but it speaks very positively of Andrew Chambliss and his talent!
All in all, if you’re not yet reading Dollhouse: Epitaphs, then you should be! If you can’t find the back issues, then make sure to keep an eye out for the inevitable trade paperback. Let’s hope it’s released before the end of civilization.
Ditch the Tech,
-Bryant the Comic Book Slayer