Story: Andrew Chambliss, Jed Whedon, Maurissa Tancharoen
Script: Andrew Chambliss
Pencils: Cliff Richards
Inks: Andy Owens
Colors: Michelle Madsen
Picking up from the end of April’s one-shot, we are re-introduced to Trevor, a young boy whose uncle was imprinted in the initial wave of remote wipe phone calls and later killed. The bulk of the issue is focused on the training Trevor receives from Alpha and the various Ivies (Topher’s assistant, who imprinted hundreds of people with her personality during the course of the apocalypse), as they endeavor to raise a resistance force against Rossum.
Meanwhile, we are introduced to a new breed of Rossum zombie. In addition to the Dumb Shows (blank slate personalities) and Butchers (exactly what they sound like) we now have Wielders, who build portable imprint devices and work to execute a series of directives, which so far have included swelling their numbers with the aforementioned imprint devices and modifying a broadcast tower to imprint survivors through radios. The existence of the Wielders leads Alpha and the others to seek out Echo in the hope of immunizing survivors against the imprints. However, as the Wielders broadcast hits the airwaves, one of those imprinted is an Ivy who just happens to be driving Alpha and the others to their destination…
- I know I mentioned this in my review of the one-shot, but Cliff Richards is a great fit for this material.
- I liked the introduction of the Wielders. When they’re first seen at the start of the issue, there’s a definite sense of uncertainty regarding what they are and what they’re doing, and indeed their endgame remains unknown. Even when their nature is explained later in the story, they complement the Butchers and Dumb Shows rather nicely. After all, if you can imprint large groups of people with a personality suited to any tactical need you may have, why would you settle for mindless destruction?
- The use of multiple Ivies (and the interactions between them) was great, and the sort of thing you could only do in a Dollhouse story.
- I was a bit disappointed that this was such an Alpha heavy issue. As much as I like the character, I was expecting there to be at least some appearance by other characters, if not any of the former actives or Dollhouse staff, then at least the group of survivors introduced in the Epitaph episodes. Although based on the teaser image for next issue, that may change soon.
If this doesn’t feel like a first issue, that’s because it really isn’t. The Epitaphs one-shot from April is the true beginning of this storyline. That being said, if for some reason you missed the one-shot, you won’t have a problem jumping onboard with this issue. While it clearly presents a story already in progress, the reader is given all the necessary information to follow the story between the dialogue and the recap page.
Bottom line, if you’re a fan of the show, you’d have to be a fool to skip this series.