Review: Poison Ivy Cycle of Life And Death #2

by Paul DePaola
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Poison Ivy has made an attempt to go straight and live a life that does not revolve around super villainy.  However, someone killed one of her coworkers at the Gotham Botanical Gardens and now Ivy’s carefully guarded past is becoming suspect.  Difficult questions and situations are beginning to arise for Ivy.

The Positive

PI 2 2I like seeing Poison Ivy/Pamela Isley in a more “normal” role.  She’s not trying to take over the world or kill all the men in Gotham.  More than anything she just wants to be left alone.  She feels apart from the world and has now lost the only people that she could possibly call friends.  Like much of Gotham, Poison Ivy is dealing with a dual identity.  Most people only know her as Pamela Isley, a brilliant researcher, and know nothing of her past.  But inside, she is still that other person.  She is Poison Ivy, Pamela is the mask she wears.

Someone very much wants to make it look like Ivy is killing these people.  She even comments once at how much she would like to kill her nasty boss, but that would put the focus on her.  We get to know her fellow coworkers.  One of them quite literally won’t hurt a fly.  We don’t get any suspects yet, though.

The larger story begins to take shape in this issue.  While Ivy deals with death in her other life as Pamela, at home she is working to create life.  Specifically, more life like her, plant-animal hybrids.  I like seeing Ivy humanized (for lack of a better term) and not just shown as a stereotypical villain who is only out for herself.

The Negative

It’s unclear here how much the GCPD knows of Pamela Isley as Poison Ivy.  From years of Batman stories I always assumed that, at least among the police, her identity was well known.  Here she tells her name and none of the police react.  Later, one of the detectives tries to look her up and is unable to find any information.  Are the files on the supervillains limited to only certain people?  It’s unclear if this is police procedure or some larger piece of the puzzle.

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By the end of this issue, we have two murders and not a single suspect yet.  Even the police don’t put forth any theories, except an accident.  Ivy doesn’t seem to be taking the deaths very seriously either, so we don’t get any leads from her point of view either.

The Verdict

The first issue was a great character study of Poison Ivy, here we get more of her as a character but a proper mystery is forming around her.  While we don’t get very many leads or suspects, the story is well written and drawn.  I like the idea of Ivy as a mother and I’m very interested to see what direction the rest of the story goes in.  I just hope they don’t want to long to get into the mystery.


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