I’d like to ask the readers a question. If you are still buying Poison Ivy, why is that? I’m not saying that in a snarky way as if “no one would ever want to read this book!” It’s just that I feel the momentum of intrigue once held by this book has been slowly fading away for a while now. Nevertheless, every time I think the book is going to collapse in terms of people’s interest, there it is in the top 30 comics, every month. So, why has this book kept people on board for so long?
Why Are You Reading Poison Ivy?
In the beginning, I assumed it was because Ivy was a popular but under-utilized character. However, I think the novelty of her having a book would’ve worn off by now. Is it because of the artwork? I think that’s part of it. I’ve long said that Marcio Takara and Poison Ivy is one of the best artist/character pairings of all time. This issue is no exception to that opinion. Takara’s style is very detailed, but gives a softness to all the characters and backgrounds. When that style and softness is juxtaposed with Arif Prianto’s intense color work, it gives the tone that Poison Ivy possesses: tranquility mixed with intense emotion. That truly reflects the character of Ivy. She has a mix of a soft, deep understanding of nature, contrasting with inner character turmoil.
Is it for the Poetry?
That all sounds very poetic, but that’s also how G. Willow Wilson writes Ivy’s inner monologues throughout this series. This current issue also demonstrates that as Ivy narrates a dream she has had about one of her victims finally succumbing to the toxins she infected him with. This kind of poetry brings some artistic intrigue to the comic that you don’t really get from any other DC title right now.
However, the problem this issue has is that despite the top notch art and poetic monologuing written by Wilson, there’s not much of any story here. All we get is the reveal that Ivy’s toxins are finally starting to take hold of her victims and that they are going on the attack. One could have presented that in the first 5 pages of this comic and then told more of the actual story. Wilson instead uses this entire issue for filler.
What does that leave me with? Well, it leaves me with the feeling that I still don’t hate this run. I’m also not really invested in what’s happening anymore, either. We don’t learn anything we didn’t already know from issues ago.
Still Nothing for Janet/Harley/Ivy
Speaking of prior set-ups, we still don’t get any answers or developments on the Harley/Ivy/Janet love triangle. All we see is a page of Ivy and Harley sleeping peacefully together, while Janet stays awake in another room looking miserable. It’s been months, and this weird three-way relationship sub-plot is still going on. The last two months did nothing to explain why Harley and Janet up and kissed out of nowhere. Wilson better explain what she’s doing with this soon. Currently, it looks like Janet is this “side quest” that Harley and Ivy use and disregard sexually so that they can get back to their more “passionate” relationship. If that’s the case, that’s honestly pretty sick.
- You want more amazing Poison Ivy art and poetry from Wilson and Takara.
I suppose the most positive thing I can say about Poison Ivy is that it’s the best book on the stands right now in terms of having a cohesive story, for the most part, and in terms of having some artistic merit. But honestly, that’s not a high bar. I wish that this series would pick up and live up to being one of the top selling DC books as it currently is.
Disclaimer: DC Comics provided Batman News a copy of this comic for the purposes of this review.