Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Dollhouse Epitaphs #2 review, Fly #3 review

Comic Book Wednesday

Issue #13

This is going to be a quick entry with just two reviews. However, you can head over to IMPULSE GAMER and check out my review for IDW's True Blood: Tainted Love miniseries. I've joined the staff of Impulse Gamer as a comic book reviewer, so I'll be splitting my duties between this site and that one. However, don't expect any less content here. In fact, I've got some new ideas (including a featured YouTube channel) that I'm planning on bringing to this blog.

Dollhouse: Epitaphs #2
Story by Andrew Chambliss, Jed Whedon, and Maurissa Tancharoen
Script by Andrew Chambliss
Pencils by Cliff Richards
Dark Horse Comics

Another solid installment. We see a bit more of the Epitaph crew from the TV show (Felicia Day's Mag and the snarky Zone), which is cool, but the draw of this series can be boiled down to one word: Alpha.

The Big Bad who has somehow become a hero continues his journey to stop Rossum Corp in this issue, and he has to make some hard choices along the way. One of the three Ivys gets imprinted, and Alpha makes the decision to leave her behind. It's totally zombie-world out there, because the rule the two groups seem to be going by is "Imprinted = dead." It becomes an issue for both Alpha and Mag's group, because this isn't like the person goes through the process of dying and coming back as an undead creature. One second, you're talking to a person and one phone call later, that person instantly switches into something else. It's a lot more personal... and a lot more horrific.

And speaking of horrific, Chambliss continues to tease readers about Alpha's mindstate. We haven't gotten a solid reason for his redemption yet (other than guilt), but this issue begins the deterioration of the heroic persona that Alpha has worn in the series so far. We're only two issues in, but things are already heating up.

Fly #3
Written by Raven Gregory
Pencils by Eric J
Zenescope Entertainment

Even at twenty-four pages, this issue is an incredibly quick read. It begins back in present day, where Eddie seeks Francis out and says, "She found me." We cut to a similar situation in the past, where a younger Eddie goes to Francis in a panic after killing Danielle's dad. He is feeling guilty about it, but both Francis and Danielle's reactions show Eddie that he was exhibiting heroism. The dichotomy of the present day scenes to these somewhat lighter past scenes (the childhood element of the scenes is accentuated by the art, especially on the page when hearts fill up the background when Danielle asks Eddie to be her boyfriend) continues to make FLY a textured read. Danielle's reaction to the rape at the hands of her father and his subsequent death seems oddly black & white in its positivity, but when you think about where Danielle ends up, it becomes clear that writer Raven Gregory is creating a purposeful balance between her seemingly carefree attitude in the past and her murderous, batshit crazy persona in the present.

The issue climaxes with the mysterious baddie from the previous issue finally interacting with one of the main characters. I won't give any spoilers on that, but the series continues to get grittier and grittier, shedding more light on how the Fly drug is continuing to destroy lives. This story is a satisfying combination of decompressed, slow-boil plot developments and breakneck-pace. Slow-boil and fast-paced don't seem as if they're ideas that work together, but FLY somehow makes it work. Well.

Looking forward to next month's issue.

NEXT WEEK: The entire blog will focus on Supergirl. The final issue of the series comes out next Wednesday, so we'll have a special little lead-up to the review. More details later.

IMPULSE GAMER: My next review will be for Image Comics' sold out THE VAULT #1.

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