Wednesday, February 12, 2020

The Dollhouse Family #4 Review


Writer: M.R. Carey

Layouts: Peter Gross
Finishes: Vince Locke
Colors: Cris Peter
Letters: Todd Klein
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: February 12th, 2020

In 1847, Joseph Kent is facing Cloax in the cave where they met and she, uh, planted her seed in him(?) that would impregnate his future wife with Cordwainer. Will his knife made of this special kind of metal work? In 2005, Joseph’s ancestor Alice Dealey is struggling to keep the Dollhouse away from her daughter Una. A demonic Jenny sent by the Dollhouse convinces a racist madman to murder Alice and Una, and the issue ends with him blowing the bus they're riding on. To read my reviews of all of this series, click on The Dollhouse Family label.

(1847 - 1865) Right off the bat, Jonathan dies a gruesome death, as would be expected from the line "Joseph Kent's last night on Earth" in the last issue. Cloax uses her nails to cut off the hand holding the knife that could hurt her, then she turns into this big ugly monster with a lot of mouths and eyes, and then she kills him. One thing to remember about this scene is that Cloax calls Aparadon (the sleeping giant in the cave) "an angel".

From here, this part of the story is about Cordwainer. If I recall correctly, Cordwainer was born in 1828 so he should be 18 or 19 depending on the time of year. He learns that his father is assumed dead (the last time Joseph went into that cave he was assumed dead too, but he's really dead this time), and we see that Cordwainer still has the Dollhouse because "it gives him comfort". Cordwainer grows up and gets married but really doesn't have much affection for anything. He is the offspring of this Cloax monster, remember. His wife and kids leave him, he toils away with his inventions, and the estate goes into debt. When he's much older than what we see him in the Dollhouse, the Dollhouse invites him in to live there. And that's it for this part of the story.

(2005) Alice wakes up from being in an induced coma for five weeks. After the explosion, the police contacted Jake, Una's father (who didn't even know he had a kid), and he's there when she wakes up. When she tries to get up and see Una, she quickly finds out that she lost a leg. Of course, she's angry and from here on out and insists on calling it a stump in an insulting way. When they do see Una, we see that Una lost her arm and now has a prosthetic one. It's clear that during the last five weeks Jake has been a pretty damn good father to her, and at one point when Jake and Alice are talking about why she didn't tell him about Una she brings up how terrible of a father hers was. Then we see some rehab and that Jake is sticking around with the girls to help.

But one night the Dollhouse appears in Una's room, and Alice walks in while Una is showing the dolls on inside her prosthetic arm. Now Alice is rip$#!+ and asks Jake to take Una out for a bit. Then she goes up to the Dollhouse and says the words to enter. There's a bit of a reunion with the family but Alice insists on seeing the Dollhouse, and that's when Cordwainer tells her that "The rules have changed. You have to ask her" and we see Jenny looking creepy as always saying "Hey, @%&#-nugget. How's it hanging?"

Alice plays a total mama bear and tells Jenny to leave her kid alone, and even tries to attack her, but Jenny wins that little confrontation. Jenny offers Alice another offer: Una gets her arm back but Alice has to stay in the house forever. Alice, of course, says no, she's not going to leave her kid, so she gets kicked out of the house. "You've made your choice", it says in Cloax's voice "and now you have to live with it", and the house rips away into the air.

Later Alice reads Una a bedtime story, but we see Jenny hiding behind a dresser. When Alice leaves the room, Alice tells Jenny "All right. You can come out now." There's more talk between Jake and Alice in the living room and then they go to get some action in the bedroom. Suddenly when the magic is about to happen, Alice's stump starts itching. She rips off the covers and her leg is there! That could only mean one thing...

Bits and Pieces

One thing I don't get is why Jenny sent that guy to kill them if she still wants Una. It doesn't make sense to me unless interference by her or the Dollhouse was why they survived. But anyway, we get to see the fate of Joseph, how Cordwainer got into the Dollhouse, and Alice's greatest fear come true. Creepy, potty-mouthed Jenny is awesome yet again. And so is this book. I keep saying in every review of every issue that it goes in directions that you never could have guessed, and I'm saying it again here. If it wasn't for one specific ongoing (Daredevil), The Dollhouse Family would be my favorite book in comics right now and I consider it a Must Read. It's a great story that makes you constantly say "WTF?", creeps you out a bit here and there, and the art is a great match for the story being told.


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