This week featured the arrival of Dark Horse Comics' "Dollhouse: Epitaphs" comic book on shelves, returning fans to the world of Joss Whedon's over-too-soon television series in a one-shot comic written by Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen. However, as Dark Horse editor Scott Allie told MTV News earlier this year, the return to the dollhouse doesn't end there.
"Epitaphs" will be followed by a five-issue miniseries that kicks off in July, and MTV Splash Page is proud to bring you the exclusive announcement of the series' creative team, and an early peek at some of the issues' covers. So, without further ado, please join us in welcoming Andrew Chambliss back to the "Dollhouse" universe!
A story editor and writer on more than half of the "Dollhouse" episodes (including "Epitaph One" and "Epitaph Two"), Chambliss currently serves as Executive Story Editor on the hit series "The Vampire Diaries" (as well as a story editor for "Spartacus: Blood and Sand"). He'll team up with "Dollhouse: Epitaphs" artist Cliff Richards for the five-issue "Dollhouse" miniseries, and we made sure to pick his brain about returning to the body-swapping sci-fi world in our exclusive interview.
MTV NEWS: There’s been some uncertainty regarding the timeline you’re going to cover with the series. Is it filling in the gaps between Epitaph 1 & 2 like the one-shot, going beyond Epitaph 2, or something else entirely?
ANDREW CHAMBLISS: The miniseries, like Jed and Mo's one-shot, will pick up after the first Rossum robo-calls that started the apocalypse — which means it's all pre-Epitaph 1. Jed, Mo and I sat down and drew up a timeline, and we realized there was close to ten years' worth of story to mine before we even reach 2019 when Epitaph 1 takes place. It seemed like the start of that timeline would be a good place to start the miniseries.
MTV: Is the story something the writing team had in mind (or was discussed) when Epitaph 1 & 2 were being created?
CHAMBLISS: The storyline wasn't something we specifically had in mind when we were working on Epitaph 1 & 2, but we definitely used some ideas that we never got to fully explore — stuff like showing exactly what Wielders are, how the Freakshows were created, and why they were driving around in that tricked out semi-truck.
MTV: It looks like we’ll see a lot of Maggie, Zone, Griff, and Alpha… anyone else from the TV series that we can look forward to seeing?
CHAMBLISS: We'll definitely see more Mag, Zone and Griff as they try to survive in post-robocall Los Angeles. And Alpha plays a huge part in the miniseries. I won't give away who, but we'll also see a familiar face or two from the show. Actually, I should clarify... it might not always be a familiar face -- this is a world where body-switching is the norm so we'd be remiss if we didn't take advantage of that.
MTV: For you, what were some of the dangling questions that you were looking forward to answering in the comic book series?
CHAMBLISS: The biggest question that I wanted to answer was what happened to Alpha. He left Season 2 in the present timeline as a very unstable villain and returned in Epitaph 2 as a trusted ally. That's a big jump from face-slashing psychopath to apocalyptic hero -- the miniseries seemed like a good way to explore exactly how he came to have that journey. Plus, Alpha's fun to write.
MTV: Were Jed & Maurissa involved in planning out the series’ arc, too?
CHAMBLISS: Yep, Jed, Mo and I worked together to plan the arc. We'll take any excuse to grab dinner with each other, and talking "Epitaphs" seems better than most. I had a blast writing "Epitaph 2" with them, so it's a lot of fun to return to that world and explore ideas and characters we didn't have a chance to get into in the finale.
MTV: Will we ever see more of Echo?
CHAMBLISS: I'll say this much: there are a lot of characters in the miniseries who are desperate to find Echo — some good, some bad. Whether they actually find her, why they're after her, and what she's been doing -- I'll leave those questions unanswered.
MTV: Did you get any input from the actors who played the characters – Felicia Day, perhaps? I know she works pretty closely with the Dark Horse crew on her own comic.
CHAMBLISS: No input from the actors, but you just made me want to call them to see what they think should happen to their characters. Hmmm, I'm sensing Enver [Gjokaj] will probably pitch something about Victor speaking in lots of different accents. I, for one, want more Victor/Topher.
MTV: Any thoughts of extending the story beyond those five issues?
CHAMBLISS: Like I said before, Jed, Mo and I broke out the timeline and we've got ten years to cover. That's a lot of story, and there are still many characters we didn't even touch. So, yeah, there's a lot more story to tell.
"Dollhouse" #1 hits shelves July 13. Here's an exclusive preview of the "Dollhouse" #1 cover and variant cover, as well as the "Dollhouse" #2 variant cover by Massimo Carnivale.
Planning to pick up the "Dollhouse" comics? What questions do you hope are answered in the series? What do you think of Andrew Chambliss writing it? Let us know in the comment section or on Twitter! You can also follow me, Splash Page editor Rick Marshall, on Twitter!