Story: Jed Whedon & Maurissa Tancharoen
Art: Cliff Richards
Colors: Michelle Madsen
- The story begins by giving us a glimpse of the principle characters’ (of both this comic and the series’ two ‘Epitaph’ episodes) lives prior to Los Angeles being attacked with imprinting technology, including the attack itself.
- Amid the chaos of the attack, Ivy uses the phone line to imprint a man (Wendall) with her personality, introducing herself to his nephew Trevor and explaining that “something terrible has happened”.
- The narrative then jumps two weeks into the future, and we see that Griff and Mag and Mr. Jacobson (an obvious Redshirt) are preparing to brave the carnage in the hope of finding fellow survivors.
- As the three make their way through the streets, Zone arrives in a car, taking a ‘shoot first and ask questions later’ approach to anyone he believes has been wiped or imprinted.
- The three flee in Zone’s vehicle, eventually hitting a car carrying Ivy and Trevor.
- Ivy attempts to explain the situation, but Zone shoots her in the head after hearing Trevor refer to her as Wendall.
- Trevor flees the scene, and is later seen at a stadium, where he speaks with a shadow figure about raising an army.
- As the issue closes, the shadowy figure revealed as none other than Alpha.
- There were some very nice character beats here, particularly concerning Zone and Mag.
- Alpha! Crazy or not, his appearances were always a highlight of the series, something which will hopefully continue to be the case as this story continues in July.
- As expected, Whedon and Tancharoen’s script captured the feel of the show rather well, particularly the trademark chaos and confusion of the ‘Epitaph’ episodes.
- I was also impressed with Cliff Richards’ penciling. His style seems to fit Dollhouse nearly as well as Georges Jeanty’s fits Buffy.
- The ending is a bit abrupt. I really can’t complain too much, since there will be a series of follow up issues starting in July, but given that this is a one-shot (as opposed to ‘Part 1 of X’), I was expecting more of a done in one sort of affair.
- The first nine pages were previously printed in the “exclusive” promotional comic included with the second season DVD set (which, amusingly enough, is advertised on the back cover). It’s really not that big of a deal, but it irked me enough that I felt it was worth mentioning.
Ultimately, what we have here is a prologue, designed to both pique our interest in the upcoming Dollhouse miniseries and set up the characters on whom the coming stories can be expected to focus. Fortunately, it succeeds on bothcounts. This was particularly important with regards to the characters of Mag, Zone and Griff. While technically established (having appeared in two episodes of the TV series), the degree to which they were developed pales in comparison to the core cast of the show. This is only natural. Again, we’re comparing characters featured in two episodes to the cast of the other twenty-four. And since this issue picks up minutes before the apocalypse, it affords a perfect opportunity to see not only who these people are, but also (as always seems to be the question where Dollhouse is concerned) who they once were. In the end, if you enjoyed the show, you have no reason not to pick this up.