Publisher: DC (Hill House Comics Imprint)
Writer: Mike Carey
Artwork: Peter Gross, Vince Locke
Colours: Cris Peter
Lettering: Todd Klein
Release Date: 11th March 2020
When Alice is forced to face the hard facts that now only are the police unwilling to help her find Una, but they are openly treating her as a suspect, she decides to take the fight to the Jenny, and Cloax. Unearthing the origins of Cordwainer and the rest of the Dollhouse family, Alice heads to her ancestral home in County Wicklow to try and find the origin of the dollhouse itself in an attempt to give herself any edge in her coming fight to rescue her daughter.
So, what can I tell you about this issue to convince you to buy into this series, that I haven’t already said about the previous issues? Not a lot if I’m honest, I am pretty much just repeating myself at this point but, you know what? If I can get one more person to read this series by doing so then this is more than worth my time.
That said, I just want to get one small niggle out of the way right now before move onto the good stuff. In this issue, Alice pulls off an unbelievable job of historical sleuthing in what seems to be a couple of hours using only Google. Even with full paid access to Ancestry and the combined talents of Miss Marple, Hercule Poirot and Lt. Frank Columbo, I can’t see how she got the information she did in that time. However, it serves to move the story along to the good stuff at a brisk pace, so I’ll forgive and forget this time.
What discovering this information does do, is give us the insight into how the Dollhouse collects its family and why Alice and Una are so important to it. The Voice in The Black Room is playing revenge as the longest game of them all, collecting the souls of every descendant of Joseph Kent that it can. What Alice still doesn’t know is why.
Alice’s arrival in Ireland comes with a series of surprises, the least of these being that she is the sole heir to her Aunt’s estate – and also that of Joseph Kent – and this is the point where the story steps up to a whole other level. There have been two timelines running throughout this series so far, and this issue brings them both together, merging ghostly visions of the house on the night of Cordwainer’s birth, and finally revealing the origin of the Dollhouse. I’m not even slightly exaggerating when I say that this reveal was the most unexpectedly Cronenberg thing I’ve seen since I read Lonnie Nadler and Zac Thompson’s COME INTO ME.
The artwork remains absolutely beautiful, disturbing and horrific, and there are panels that I could sit and look at for hours. Okay, they’re the more disturbing ones, but I could still sit and look at them for hours. I’ve been really impressed with the work Vince Locke and Chris Peter have produced on this series and each issue of this story has been a real highlight of my pull list.
This year has produced some great titles already, and this is one of my favourites. I can’t find fault with anything this team has produced so far, and I think that it’s going to take something very special to knock The Dollhouse Family out of my top 3 comics this year.
[PREVIEW ARTWORK – CLICK TO ENLARGE]
The writer of this piece was: Mark Scott
Mark Tweets from @macoy_comicgeek