REVIEW: ‘The Dollhouse Family,’ Issue #6 (of 6)

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The Dollhouse Family #6

This week, The Dollhouse Family has returned to readers and after the shocking end to the last issue that showed Una agreeing to enter the Dollhouse with Jenny to restore her mother’s leg. Now in the finale of the series, The Dollhouse Family #6, written by M.R. Carey, with art from Peter Gross and Vince Locke, colors by Cris Peter, and by DC Comic’s Black Label horror imprint, Hill House Comics, The Dollhouse Family #6 is carrying a lot of narrative weight on its shoulders. Over the course of six issues the series has not only focused on building out a contemporary story around Alice but a historical one that traces the lore around the Dollhouse, its creation, its magic, and its evil. But this dual storytelling has suffered bumps in the road and sadly, in its finale, it struggles again.

Having flown to Ireland to find the truth behind the Dollhouse, Alice discovers its origins and learns its history. There, she is greeted by a talking cat, another eternal entity, and one that’s been warring with the demon in the Dollhouse since before single-celled organisms came out of the primordial soup. This is extremely on the nose in representing the Cheshire Cat and further shows that this series is using the theme of Through the Looking-Glass. That said, the cat’s dialogue is some of the best in the series and they thread a connection between the past and the present. The cat finally gives Alice and the readers the answers to why the Dollhouse has been relentlessly pursuing her.

The answers we get are executed well, but ultimately when Carey reveals the Dollhouse’s origin and motives, you realize that it could have been presented without the dual storytelling nature of the past issues and still would have had as much impact. In fact, because the story has been split between the past and the present, I found myself almost apathetic to Alice’s last fight against the Dollhouse in The Dollhouse Family #6. I needed more time with her and with her daughter Una.

That said, The Dollhouse Family #6 finishes this series by opening up the door for a sequel series while still offering a solid conclusion and tying up all of the characters’ stories. Additionally, Gross and Locke’s art is gorgeous and disturbing. For their artwork alone, you should pick up this issue. Add in Peter’s vibrant colors and Klein’s deft lettering, the creative team is top-notch.

Sadly, I just wanted some sort of emotional impact from this series and The Dollhouse Family #6 didn’t deliver it. There were moments of great storytelling in twisting who the hero of the story is in the end but ultimately, but I just wanted more. Carey has an eye for writing horror, but the problem with this series was that it was set in two time periods. This pulled away from driving emotion in Alice’s story and instead created pacing issues. If there is a sequel to this series, I’ll definitely check it out, which is a testament to the lore that Carey has built in this series. But as a finale, The Dollhouse Family #6 winds up in the middle of the road for me.

The Dollhouse Family #6 is available digitally now.

The Dollhouse Family #6
2.5

TL;DR

Sadly, I just wanted more impact from this series and The Dollhouse Family #6 didn’t deliver it. There were moments of great storytelling in twisting who the hero of the story is in the end but ultimately, I just wanted more. Carey has an eye for writing horror, but the problem with this series was that it was spent in two time periods and not driving emotion in the Alice’s story