Last time on Poison Ivy, Pam reunited with Harley and accepted an offer from her to return to Gotham. This issue sees Ivy begin to make the journey back to her hometown, with an unfortunate detour along the way.
I’ve been very up and down with my feelings over this series. With Poison Ivy, unsurprisingly, turned into an ongoing series, will G. Willow Wilson come up with a new direction that will carry it as a solo? Let’s take a look!
The Real Poison Ivy
I really enjoyed how Ivy was characterized in this issue, overall. This is, generally speaking, the way Poison Ivy has always been. She’s independent, self-righteous, and murderous. It’s almost like none of the “Poison Ivy is a hero” discourse had ever happened. Well, apart from the small mention that Ivy’s misdeeds at the beginning of the series was all Ivy punishing herself, that is. We aren’t asked to see Ivy as anything other than a complicated and dangerous person who thinks she’s in the right, however, and that’s refreshing.
The fact that Marcio Takara is the consistent artist on this book again is also refreshing. He gives a softness to all of the characters and backgrounds that is not only fitting with the plant theme of Poison Ivy, but also creates an interesting contrast to the darker themes of the book. Arif Prianto’s brightly colored skies and forests all help with that effect.
A Weird or Interesting New Direction?
The story itself is a bit difficult to review, since it is all set up for a new arc, and I’m not sure where it’s going. Basically Ivy’s roommate, Janet, is desperate for Ivy not to leave her for Harley, for some reason. Janet is able to coax Ivy to check out a new retreat that some environmental activist is putting on. While at the retreat, a weird and psychedelic (but not explicit) scene plays out where, all of a sudden, all of the women are falling in love and hooking up. Those women include Janet and Ivy, as Janet declares herself madly in love with Ivy.
Now here’s the deal: the story declares that this whole thing is happening because Ivy’s pheromones have gotten out of control, and they are working with the drugs used at the resort. It is even implied that Janet’s entire infatuation with Ivy is put upon her because of Ivy’s unintentional control.
Now, I can see how this could form into an interesting story about the moral complexity surrounding Poison Ivy. She fancies herself as a person on the right side of nature, and she’s trying to compromise with some parts of humanity, but she’s clearly too dangerous to be around when her own powers force people into doing things they wouldn’t normally do. However, I don’t know that that is where this story is going. This could all be just a weird, psychedelic story arc that sees Ivy get together with a new love interest. I have to see where it goes before I make a true judgment.
Another thing I’m not sure about with this story is its handling of Harley and Ivy, again. This is the second time, drugs or no drugs, that Ivy’s all too willing to get together with another woman, despite calling Harley “the woman she loves.” Once again she justifies it with “Harley will understand, and hey, this actually feels great!” I really hate the continued romanticization of Harley as this lobotomized girlfriend who blindly accepts and is unaffected by all of Ivy’s misdeeds. However, it is entirely possible that this new situation with Janet is going to be used to finally create friction between Harley and Ivy. That would be much needed after all this time of pretending that Harley and Ivy have this out-of-this-world perfect relationship. Once again, I have to see if this story actually goes there.
- You were hoping Janet and Ivy would become a thing.
- Marcio Takara is your favorite Ivy artist.
Wilson is taking Poison Ivy in a direction I would not have expected, but there is potential. It’s time to see if Ivy can really support an ongoing title as its sole protagonist.
Disclaimer: DC Comics provided Batman News a copy of this comic for the purposes of this review.