Review: HARLEY QUINN & POISON IVY #1
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Jody Houser
Pencils: Adriana Melo
Inks: Mark Morales
Letters: Gabriella Downie
Reviewer: Tony Farina
Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy picks up right after the events of Heroes in Crisis. Ivy died and was brought back to life. She grew out of a flower that she gave to Harley. Even Harley calls it “wackadoo” so you know things are totally crazy. Still, that is not the craziest thing. The totally nutso part is that Ivy can’t hold her human form and she falls apart into vines and flowers with a face.
So, what is a super genius doctor of psychiatry who is also a madwoman to do? Open a box that Lex Luthor delivered of course. Well, good news. There is fertilizer with a little something extra in there. Maybe he really does know everything. Ivy grows her body back and Harley has a change of heart about being a baddie.
Just when things look like maybe the gals are going to do some good, Ivy bursts into…I am going to wait for you to see that. This is a summary, not a total play by play.
Adriana Melo has the knack for taking characters created by masters (Paul Dini in this case and Jack Kirby in the brilliant Female Furies) and making them stunningly real. Right, I get it. Ivy is a plant who has things burst out of her. Harley is…well Harley. There is nothing actually real about them. However, look at what Melo does. She makes these women look like actual women. They look like they can actually stand up and walk around. They are filled out the way women who have these powers should filled out. So many times the female characters would be impossible to bring to life because they are way out of proportion. When Melo draws women and she makes them just look like women. It is refreshing and it works.
When I found out that Jody Houser was going to write a book with Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy, I was so excited. Houser simply does not cut corners. This is a six issue run and there will be zero fat. Go back to her brilliant run on Young Animal’s Mother Panic (I miss that book) and consider how every panel meant something. There was a mystery. She let it unfold the way it needed to unfold. She never rushed. She never cheated. This book starts off with a mystery and ends with a cliff hanger. Each panel is perfect. Every rage filled manic episode from Harley is crafted in a way to make sure we get where we need to be.
Honestly, this is an excellent start. Nothing to see here.
There is a cliff hanger in this issue and I suspect each issue will end with one. This is excellently paced. The art is stunning. In fact, make sure you check out the alternate covers of this. Wow. Harleen and Pamela are in excellent hands with Jody and Adriana at the wheel. Buckle up. This ride is going to be bumpy, but it is going to be so much fun.