Harley & Ivy Meet Betty and Veronica continues to be a party of fun, but some identity crisis derails this issue a bit.

You know what I enjoy? A fun comic! You know what Harley & Ivy Meet Betty and Veronica is? A fun comic!

Going into this book, I didn’t know how Marc Andreyko and Paul Dini were going to make this crossover work. I didn’t think it was impossible, but I wasn’t exactly sure how strong the execution would be. I mainly struggled with the idea of there being a believable excuse to have all of these characters cross paths… But within a few short pages, they proved me wrong.

Hiram Lodge is looking to buy and develop land in Riverdale that is currently a swamp. What’s seen as an eyesore for citizens is a treasure for people like Pamela Isley though. As it turns out, the swamp is home to rare plants that are quite good. This brings Ivy and Harley to Riverdale, and subsequently to a costumed benefit where Veronica and Betty dress as… You guessed it, Harley and Ivy!

This chapter picks up following the revelation that these characters are dressed alike, and runs with a slew of jokes… And there are many jokes. There’s some humor that feels natural for the characters, humor at the expense of characters, and to match the concept, some zany moments to round out the issue. We’re even treated to a number of cameos that should make any DC or Archie fan happy!

If there is a drawback to this issue, it’s a lack of plot progression. Most of this issue is a means to an end to tell jokes, and it inadvertently creates confusion in the process. Thankfully, the fun nature of this comic makes up for some of these shortcomings, and ends on a high note as a conflict is set in motion! This book is a wild, wacky ride, and though it’s far from perfect, it’s well worth your time!

The Art: Before I discuss the art, I need to take a minute to praise Lupacchino and Morey’s cover! It’s a perfect representation of the issue, and looks beautiful! Now, on to the internal art: Laura Braga covers art duties. From a technical aspect, I find her work solid. This issue captured some of her weaknesses because I could never tell which Harley or Ivy I was looking at – the real Harley and Ivy, or Betty and Veronica dressed as Harley and Ivy. I understand the plot depends on them looking like each other, but Braga could have done something to help differentiate the characters for readers. I also take small issue with how… developed Betty and Veronica are. They’re teenagers, they shouldn’t be as busty or curvy as our Sirens. Despite these notes though, Braga delivers where it matters most with this book, and that’s in tone! She captures the same aspect of fun that Dini and Andreyko deliver in their script!

Breakdowns for this issue can be found in the spoiler tag.

Spoiler

The Good:

The Humor. The humor plays a large role in making this book worth your time. Is it perfect? No, it’s far from it, but it is a lot of fun to read and is almost guaranteed to brighten your day a little. Who doesn’t want that?

A Magical Experience. I expected to see Sabrina play a role in this story, but I didn’t think I’d ever see Zatana pop up! What a surprise, and a welcomed one at that! If you’d told me Zatana was in this series, I’d have wondered how in the hell Dini and Andreyko would’ve logically made this happen (I mean, let’s face it, this entire concept is a stretch, but strangely works), and yet, they did it! And this isn’t just a cameo, both ladies play a substantial role in the issue!

Look What the Cat Dragged In. Catwoman is the obvious inclusion to this story, but I didn’t expect to see her this early. And if I’m being honest, I never thought I’d see her at this party… but she’s here. What I love about this, is that Selina isn’t here because of Harley or Ivy. She’s there to see Josie & the Pussycats! Apparently, she’s a huge fan. No matter her reason for being there, Selina ultimately gets caught up in Harley and Ivy’s chaos anyway.

Puddin’! I literally laughed out loud. Harley sees Reggie dressed as the Joker, and yells “Puddin’!” as she runs towards him… only to run past him to a table full of pudding… Kudos gentlemen. Kudos!

A Little Mix-Up. If it weren’t bad enough that Betty and Veronica dressed as Harley and Ivy, while Harley and Ivy dressed in their old costumes, our Gotham City Sirens end up changing into their current costumes to create confusion with the benefit attendees concerning who’s who. The point was to make it easier to kidnap Veronica and force Hiram Lodge’s hand, but when an altercation turns south, Selina sneaks her gal pals out of Riverdale… The only problem is she mistakenly takes Betty and Veronica instead of Harley and Ivy, and there are some Gotham thugs that are looking to make examples out of our Gotham City Sirens. This doesn’t bode well for Betty and Veronica.

The Bad:

Who’s On First. Harley and Ivy change back into their current costumes to confuse the benefit attendees, but the decision unfortunately makes the plot just as confusing for readers. There were a number of times where it took a few lines of dialogue before I knew if I was reading Harley and Ivy or Betty and Veronica. While all of these instances eventually become obvious, it was still distracting to begin each interaction with any of these four characters wondering, “Wait… Is this one of the Sirens, or one of the River vixens?” This confusion takes away from my enjoyment of the story and has to be accounted for.

Plot Progression. There’s literally no plot progression in this issue. Most of this chapter is an excuse to play with meta aspects – which I’m not complaining about – and to create some humor, but it ultimately feels like a means to an end for a mere laugh. Andreyko and Dini could’ve prevented both of these opportunities by simply having Harley and Ivy remain in their classic costumes. The main reason for the costume change was ultimately so Selina would grab the wrong duo, but with a comic as zany as this, we would go along with this even if the women weren’t dressed exactly alike.

Recommended if:

  • You want to read a fun book!
  • You love meta based humor.
  • The worlds of DC Comics and Archie collide!

Overall: Marc Andreyko and Paul Dini deliver in making Harley & Ivy Meet Betty and Veronica a fun read, but they struggle a little when the plot creates some identity crisis that unfortunately falls over into readers being confused as well. Despite some opportunities found within the issue, it will still put a smile on your face, and satisfy you enough to come back for more next month! Plus, there are so many great meta aspects to this book that any comic fan should check it out!

SCORE: 6.5/10