Poison Ivy #11 review

Last month, Poison Ivy’s powers got out of control and wound up turning an environmentalist’s retreat into a love fest. Will Ivy get her powers under control and right the wrongs she had unintentionally caused? Let’s take a look!

On the Right Track

This series went from being my highest rated book, to becoming one of my lower rated ones, and now it’s climbing the ratings ladder again. G. Willow Wilson has finally been able to balance out Ivy’s character as a complicated and somewhat redeemable protagonist for this book, without stripping her villainous attributes away.

Ivy immediately works to try to undo her intoxicating effect on the women on the retreat. What we get is more creative artwork from Takara, as Ivy uses “the green” to pull the ladies up from beneath the ground. Takara’s art in and of itself has given a real personality to the Ivy book. It’s calm with it’s soft faces and angles, yet it can also turn up the intensity of the book with the psychedelic approach and Prianto’s harsher color choices.

Ivy feels guilty over what she has done to the women. However, she also argues that nature is unpredictable and uncontrollable, and not something she could’ve helped. I can see how someone might find this contradictory, but I see it as feeding into Ivy’s confusion over what her place in the world really is. She likes to fancy herself as the person in the right. However, she can’t stop acknowledging herself as a monster, in spite of what her new sidekick and would-be paramour Janet might say.

Can Wilson Keep This Up?

My complaints with this issue are much smaller than the ones in previous issues. The dialogue in the scene where Ivy defends herself to the leader of the retreat felt way too on the nose. It was like Wilson wanted to spell out everything the characters were feeling in the moment and couldn’t think of a more creative or natural way to do it. I also feel like we don’t make as much story progress in this issue as we could have.

Also, the series has gone back to being the character study of Ivy that I enjoyed in the beginning. However, at that time, I was reviewing it as a limited series. Can Wilson keep this going as an ongoing series? Time will tell.

Ivy and Janet From HR

Lastly, we get some brief updates on where Ivy is at with a lovestruck Janet from HR. Ivy is (now) resistant to the relationship. Janet, meanwhile, is filling the void in Ivy’s character that Harley was supposed to fill. Janet is the person who believes that Ivy is more than a monster, even though Ivy doesn’t believe that herself.

This Ivy and Janet relationship has been a bit rushed, but it is not surprising. From a writing perspective, I’m more onboard with it than I am with the Harley and Ivy relationship. To reiterate my thoughts on that: Harley and Ivy have an expectation placed on them by their fanbase that they ARE perfect for each other and that comics need to reflect that. As such, Harley and Ivy don’t have much actual chemistry anymore. Their stories are focused on them giggling about where they can find the next bedroom rather than on having an actual story or conflict (their fanbase HATES conflict between the two).

Janet and Ivy already have a more interesting dynamic set up where Ivy is the unstable one and Janet is her ill-fated supporter. There’s already some friction, and there’s no demand to idealize this relationship. It could go anywhere. I hope DC is using this relationship to move away from Harley and Ivy, but we will have to see.

Recommended if…

  • Ivy and Janet from HR is your ship
  • You love comics that are character studies


G. Willow Wilson has seemingly made her Ivy series bounce back. I just hope she will be able to keep this ongoing series interesting. I want to continue to get good insight on Ivy’s character and her supporting cast in the future.

Score: 7/10

Disclaimer: DC Comics provided Batman News a copy of this comic for the purposes of this review.