I have mixed feelings about this issue of Poison Ivy. On the one hand, I like the overall idea of the story and where it is going. On the other hand, I think that the execution is really off.
The overall plot of this issue is that Ivy finally makes a decision to correct her mistakes by developing an antidote for the women affected by her toxins. In trying to find a solution to the problem she caused, however, she may have created an even bigger disaster, as in leaving certain humans as transformed plant zombies who can only be defeated by being turned to mulch.
I like how this plot continues to explore Ivy’s character. As discussed before, Ivy can be very self-righteous with her motivations and her knowledge of the green. Here she is put in an interesting situation where she must take responsibility for her own actions. She tries to, only to have her powers and influence further spiral out of control and create more destruction. Ivy has to continue to wrestle with who she is and what her place is in the world. While she wants to fight for the green, it seems she can cause cruelty without even trying, no matter how much Janet tries tries to build her up as a person who is changing for the better.
What Does Not Work
All of that represents things I find interesting in concept rather than execution. There are just too many missteps in the writing of this comic. We get an extended sequence of Ivy on the brink of death, dreaming about her life as a little girl and her connection to nature. It’s a very poetic sequence and lovely to read, but it feels overly long and dramatic for a comic that is not meant to explore Ivy’s potential death.
Ivy talks about the connection she feels to the group of women she saved, and it’s meant to represent a moment of growth for her. However, we barely got to see Ivy spend time with these girls at all, so it feels unearned.
There’s also a scene with the head of the retreat refusing to take Ivy’s antidote because “there are too many unknowns,” and with Janet arguing about how they can let her go when she could kill them by not taking Ivy’s vaccine. The dialogue felt way too on-the-nose in light of the various recent debates over the Covid vaccines in the real world. It took me out of the story.
The artwork, meanwhile, is generally consistent with the brightness and lushness we’ve seen in the past. The sequence of Ivy’s near death is probably the most aesthetically pleasing part. However, I’m starting to notice that Takara draws most of the character’s eyes as almost black balls. I’d really like to see more color and life in them.
Lastly… there’s Janet. I’m at a point where I think I’ve been too lenient on her relationship with Ivy. It made sense for Janet to simp for Ivy when she was under the influence of her pheromones. Without that though, her loyalty and belief in Ivy feels over-the-top and forced. I don’t call Janet a simp for nothing. It’s like she has Stockholm Syndrome. Hopefully, the Janet and Ivy relationship will be fleshed out better in the future and we can see what the point of it is.
At the final scene of the issue, Ivy returns to Harley with Janet in tow. Ivy decides she will not tell Harley of all her transgressions just yet. I just hope we get to see some actual conflict between Ivy and Harley for once, and that this doesn’t turn into a story that makes Harley out to be this unreal fantasy of a woman who is never negatively affected by anything her supposed partner has done.
- Ivy, Harley, and Janet sounds like an interesting triangle to you.
- You are interested in Ivy’s complex morality.
The Poison Ivy ongoing series is far from perfect. Wilson has some great concepts and a good voice for Ivy, but I want to see the execution of this series improve as it continues.
Disclaimer: DC Comics provided Batman News with a copy of this comic for the purposes of this review.