The Dollhouse Family #3 – M.R. Carey, Joe Hill, Writers; Peter Gross, Layouts; Vince Locke, Finishes; Dan McDaid, Backup Artist; Cris Peter, John Kalisz, Colorists
Ray – 9/10
Ray: The most terrifying of the Hill House books returns in Dollhouse Family #3 for another installment and another time jump that follows both Alice and Cordwainer into the next stages of their life.
Cordwainer is born to the man who explored the cave in the first issue, and is immediately ostracized by his father for the death of his mother in childbirth. Raised by the maid, he still becomes a cheerful boy obsessed with building treehouses – but when he tries to grab the mysterious coin his father has kept from the cave, his hand is burned.
That only deepens his father’s obsession as he chases down the cave and tries to make another deal with it. These segments have a classic, gothic horror style to them and manage to weave some great tension out of scenes where very little happens. The two timelines didn’t seem linked too closely in the first issue, but since then they’re complementing each other and weaving a fascinating picture.
If you want to really get scared, though, the Alice segments are where the series plumbs the darkest fears of the reader.
She seems to have escaped the Dollhouse and is making a life for herself as a college student, but a chance sexual encounter leaves her pregnant – and all attempts to abort fail, as if some outside force is interfering. Years later, raising her daughter alone, she finds herself haunted by the dollhouse again as it starts to stalk her and her daughter.
This segment is full of some of the creepiest images of the series, but even scarier is the way one of the dollhouse’s ghost uses some of the darkest elements of the real world to target Alice and her daughter. There has been a tug of war between the seemingly neutral residents of the dollhouse and the evils that lurk inside the Black Room. As we enter the second half, there are a lot of unanswered questions – and the answers we get just make things more disturbing in the vein of the best thrillers.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.