The girls fully embrace their situation in this chapter of Harley & Ivy Meet Betty and Veronica, but two and a half issues into this trope, things are starting to get tired…
This issue took a turn for the worst for me. There are many aspects of Harley & Ivy Meet Betty and Veronica that I really enjoy, but those moments haven’t been touched on since the second issue. I guess it’s my own fault to a degree, because I fully expected this title to focus on the encounters of these characters, but instead it has turned into, “What crazy antics would Betty and Veronica do if they were criminals for a day, and what would happen with Ivy and Harley if they went back to high school?” And… Well, I’m just getting a little tired of this approach.
I enjoyed the first two issues because it thrust Harley and Ivy into Riverdale, and submerged them into the world of Archie. Doing this allowed Dini and Andreyko the opportunity to play into the history of comics, and it was a lot of fun! I loved the interactions of all the characters because that’s what makes the kids of Riverdale so fun for me! But the end of the second issue abandoned that concept and moved on to focus strictly on the leading ladies switching roles.
Yes, I’m aware that Harley, Ivy, Betty, and Veronica are all the title characters, and I expected them to receive the focus, but I didn’t think the plot would unfold in a way that would shut these characters off from everything that makes them great. And by switching bodies, that’s, unfortunately, what the creative team has done.
Betty and Veronica are now in the bodies of Harley and Ivy, and are back in Gotham. We all know that the Gotham City Sirens have their fair share of enemies, so it’s no surprise that our Vixens get caught up in the mess. I’ll agree, the concept is a funny one… but only for a single issue. The jokes being told are the same jokes that have already been told. Now they’re just getting recycled and presented in a different format. It’s kind of like when you go to a comedy club and the comedian’s joke starts bombing, but rather than recognize it and move on, they just keep trying to save it to get laughs. No, you tried, move on.
I feel as though the writers think the entire concept is hysterical and that it will carry itself. Unfortunately, it doesn’t. This isn’t like Noises Off where everything that’s occurring is so gut-wrenchingly funny and unexpected that your cheeks and stomach hurts by the end of it. No, this is predictable, with poor attempts to inject one-liners – most of which fall flat.
There are some good moments though! I generally enjoyed a scene in Riverdale that takes place at the drive-in – thanks mostly to Jughead. I will admit that the writers missed an opportunity here though, so that’s a bummer. The biggest laugh has to come from Betty and Veronica (as Harley and Ivy) stealing a taco truck! Easily the BEST one-liners I’ve come across in a while. So despite the flatness of most of the issue, there’s still plenty to enjoy depending on your preferences and sense of humor.
The Drive-In. I loved the expected play on “Batman’s shadow.” We all knew it would come eventually, but I loved that they used Jughead (with corndogs in hand) to execute it. Though, considering Harley was devouring food right before this, Dini and Andreyko missed an opportunity for Harley to pull a “Man after my heart” type of comment after witnessing Jughead savoring four corndogs. Yes, I know it’s highly inappropriate, but it’s also one of those things that Harley – for whatever reason – can manage to get away with (much like Deadpool).
Seizing Life By the Carnitas. This is the hardest I’ve laughed in this run. No matter what happens by the time this book ends, I have this page to fondly look back on, and it makes the entire series worthwhile! I actually laughed out loud while reading this. Kudos Dini and Andreyko! I hope this text was a combined effort and came naturally from a brainstorming session of taco jokes!
Bad Girls. I find Betty and Veronica’s foils in Gotham draining. There are moments of decent comedy, but overall the concept just doesn’t work as well as it could. And I think that’s where the real problem is. It’s not that it’s bad, I just feel as though the writers put an emphasis on the wrong thing. Rather than make them bad girls who embrace the life of Harley and Ivy, they should have done a slapstick, “Get me outta here! We’re not made for this life! Mommy, help!” approach. I know the book is meant to be silly and unbelievable, but the idea of these two becoming “bad girls” in Gotham is a bit too much for me.
We Want Our Bodies Back. We do too…
- You like silly shenanigans.
- You’ll take a light-hearted read any day.
- It’s a crossover of two classics!
Overall: Let’s be honest, this book is nothing but silly shenanigans, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Silly shenanigans can be fun if presented well, and I think Harley & Ivy Meet Betty and Veronica succeeded in doing this early in its run. Unfortunately, now, those attempts are falling flat, and thus, so is the book itself. I want to like this book, but I can’t imagine it turning things around to the degree that it needs to with two issues remaining. I won’t go so far to say that the book is terrible, but it’s definitely not great – and it pains me to say this considering Paul Dini has writing credits!