Issue: Dollhouse: Epitaphs #5
Release Date: November 9, 2011
Writer: Andrew Chambliss, Maurissa Tancharoen, Jed Whedon
Pencils: Cliff Richards
Inks: Andy Owens
Colors: Michelle Madsen
Cover A: Phil Noto
Cover B: Frank Stockton
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
I suppose it had to happen eventually, but here at the end of a great mini-series, prequel-itis finally gets the better of us. Up to this point, Chambliss, Whedon, and Tancharoen had been free to tell pretty much the story they wanted to tell about life after the Dollhouse series ended, and it’s been great. But now it’s time to make sure that all of the story lines and character paths line up neatly so as not to contradict the two “Epitaph” episodes of the show.
Issue 5 begins where Issue 4 left off, under a pile of rubble. Echo and Alpha and Trevor discuss Alpha’s transformation and Echo’s discoveries as Wielders try to dig through the rubble to get to them and capture Echo so that Rossum has all the power in the new world order. Using the information that Echo has, along with the chemical markers in her body, they can either permanently imprint or permanently protect anyone they choose. Just when they think that all is lost and that the Wielders are about to crash in upon them, burly protector Paul Ballard appears.
Meanwhile, Zone and Mag are still hell bent on destroying the antenna in Hollywood and after a lot of fighting and shooting to ward off Wielders, manage to make it to the base of the antenna where a communications hub is located with a bank of telephones situated on it.
Back in the main story, The Ivies work out a way to broadcast a signal that will wipe clean the Wielders and return them to a safe, placid Doll-State. But they have need of a device that will broadcast the signal over a wide enough area to wipe all of the Wielders. And so our two story lines converge. As the Ivies try to find a phone line over which to broadcast their signal, they chance upon the bank of phones where Mag is setting up explosives to destroy the antenna.
During the time that The Ivies are trying to send out the signal, Wielders are closing in on them and Ballard et al can only hold them off for so long. Alpha makes the decision to go out and face the Wielders so as to give Echo and The Ivies a chance. But in order to do this, Alpha has to let his evil side run rampage on the Wielders.
After The Ivies get through to Mags and convince her to hook up the phone line to the antenna, the broadcast wipes all the Wielders who are attacking both groups. The Ivies manage to briefly mention Safehaven to Mags before being cut off, and that gives her the hope that keeps her going until we encounter her just before she enters the Dollhouse.
Echo decides that her work isn’t done yet, and that she needs to head back in to Neuropolis to help the people in there. But before she heads back in, she tells Ballard that someone needs to protect the information that she has stolen. The only person she trusts to do that is Ballard, but they can’t be together as the danger is too great. Instead, she decides to take Trevor with her, saying that Trevor is the best part of Alpha, who disappeared while fighting the Wielders.
As the issue closes, we get to see exactly what Neuropolis is… a huge city sized Dollhouse.
I’m full sure that we’ll see more Dollhouse comics somewhere down the line, and even if we don’t, this series was a great addition to the canon of the show. Great dialogue, a good story, decent art and some fantastic covers made for a series that’s definitely worth investing in. Though the need to avoid contradictions did hamper the last issue a little bit.