Review: Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death #1

Poison Ivy is trying to make a go at civilian life.  She’s put aside her super-villainy for a life of research.  But, she doesn’t quite fit into the human world anymore, she’s an outsider, not fitting in anywhere.  She has been researching an ancient plant found in Africa, but there is more going on than simple research.

The Positive

PI 1 3On the first issue of this six issue mini-series, I’m glad to see that they didn’t go the obvious route of having her fighting with Batman or trying to take over the world.  It seems as if she is bored by these types of fights now.  Nowhere in life does she truly belong, forming connections with only a few people and even they do not get close to her.

She has settled into a routine when things are thrown into chaos by the arrival of Harley Quinn.  Harley just continues to enforce the feeling of Ivy as an outsider.  We do get some fun scenes of them together and Ivy’s way to resolve a bar fight is pretty great.

This chapter of the story is really more of a character study of Poison Ivy.  By the end of the issue, we get the beginnings of the mystery and story that will propel things forward.

The Negative

It’s never really clear why Harley is included in the story.  They have a few scenes together as they talk about Ivy’s feelings and her place in the world, but it’s never clear what Harley wants or why she is there.  It seems she wants some kind of relationship with Ivy, but it’s unclear if she wants something specific from her or not.

In this first issue, there isn’t much of a plot to speak of, nor do we have any idea of what the story arc will be.  There are several pieces given to us, but we have no clue how important or relevant any of those will be to the overarching story.

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The Verdict

This is a really good look at the character of Poison Ivy.  She’s not presented as a villain or a hero, she simply is presented as a person and how she does and does not fit into the world around her.  It’s a great character study of her, but the story is lacking when it comes to the larger mystery and story arc.

3.5outof5

  • Joe Buechel

    I wanted to like this issue but I was distracted by the fact that this is not the Poison Ivy we have seen since the New 52 re-launch. She as written and depicted much more like the pre-New 52 character so I was bit.. thrown off. I have thought for a long time that Poison Ivy has a lot of potential as a character and, personally, (aside from a quintessential Batman femme fatale) I think she belongs on the Suicide Squad. Lots of opportunity to interact with Harley and her character could develop more organically. The whole “reformed criminal starting over” shtick is pretty played out.