The Dollhouse Family #2 Review - Play At Your Own Risk...
I've had the entire Hill House line of comics on my pull list prior to the first issue launching. Due to the random and scattershot nature of my reviews, I haven't got nearly as far into this initial wave of stories as I would like but I will...eventually. Of the three titles, Basketful of Heads seems to be the most mainstream and accessible. The Dollhouse Family is a lot more interesting in scope and scale.
Dollhouse Family #2 opens in the aftermath of the cliffhanger of the last issue. Alice has brutally killed her father after seeing visions of her mom's death while in the Dollhouse. The Mother decides to take the blame for the death and is incarcerated. Alice is sent to a group home.
Due to the trauma of the events, Alice elects to be mute and not speak again to anyone. The fact that she won't talk, is allowed to keep her dollhouse, and gets her own bed puts her in the crosshairs of other children who bully her.
The story also jumps back to 1826 and continues what appears to be a parallel story of how the dollhouse came to be and more specifically how the entities came to reside there. Kent makes his way back to civilization after being lost in the cave and seduced by the entity there. While in recovery he falls madly in love with his nurse. Shortly thereafter they have a child but the mother dies during childbirth. This establishes the Bloodline that I assume is informing what is happening in the Alices timeline circa 1986.
Of the titles, I've reviewed in this line this issue is easily the best so far. The series also seems to be making the most progress. Whereas Basketful of Heads and Daphne Byrne as both really decompressed. Both issues of The Dollhouse Family felt complete. This is a credit to a great script and solid editing.
I also really like that the sinister nature of the dollhouse is coming into focus. It's hinted at in the first issue but the cliffhanger here goes a lot further than Imagined it would. The sinister undercurrent being cultivated by Peter Gross is palpable. This is especially the case in the conclusion of the issue which is genuinely scary and comes out of nowhere.
The series also seems to cover similar ground as Daphne Byrne with the entities influencing events but it's too early to tell if the two series have a connection. Wrapping things up, I'm definitely intrigued by the story here and I'd consider The Dollhouse Family a potential must read depending on the quality of the next issue or two.