The Dollhouse Family #1 Review - The Indian in the Cupboard but Scary
• DC Comics (Publisher)
The Dollhouse Family #1 is the second Victorian themed Horror story I'm reviewing this week. I actually read the book a couple of months ago so this is me backtracking.
The Dollhouse family feels like a book that will probably read better in trade. It's a decompressed story but also managed to keep me intrigued enough that I feel comfortable recommending it in single issues. if you're looking for a monthly series and aren't trade watching I recommend diving into the title.
This issue gives readers a lot to take in and has a lot more meat on its bones than Basket Full of Heads #1 (The review is written just gotta find it and type). Our main character is Alice who lives with her mom and dad. The story starts in 1979 but jumps forward to the 80s and back in time to the 1800s as well as prehistory.
The time in the 1800s doesn't really come into focus at this time but follows a surveyor. He gets lost in an unmarked cave that seems a lot larger than the 100 paces he accounted for.
The stuff in the 70s,80s is a lot more interesting. Alice's father is abusive toward her mother and presumably toward her. As a means of escape, Alice discovers that she is able to shrink in size and interact with the dolls of the dollhouse she recently inherits from her recently deceased aunt. Everything about the situation seems odd and gets even stranger as she learns more about the dollhouse and its inhabitants.
My initial impression of the issue is that we may be looking at a demented take on The Indian and the Cupboard. I'm not sure if it's a fair comparison though since I'm only one issue into the series.
As with Basket Full of Heads, the strongest aspect of the book is its dialogue and characterization.
My mother was beaten by my father. My parents divorced when I was very young and I was fortunate to have missed the violence. I can imagine my mother in this situation though. There is some really dark material here that may lead to some being triggered depending on their familial situation.
The art direction of Pete and Vince is great for this sort of story. It's not a bombastic style but nails the atmosphere and storytelling beat needed for this situation. The Dollhouse Family isn't scary as of yet but I felt invested in the story and characters after reading. I get the impression that there may be significant twists, turns, and cliffhangers. We may be looking at something special here.
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