Dr. Pamela Isley aka Poison Ivy is trying to get something back. More specifically, she wants her godlike powers back, but maybe she’s also trying to figure something out about herself. G. Willow Wilson and Marcio Takara are delivering an intriguing solo series for Poison Ivy that’s unmistakably mature. Poison Ivy #2 is more of the same.
Poison Ivy #2 opens with Ivy reminiscing with Harley Quinn. Via captions, we learn she only loves two things: Harley Quinn and the planet. Now, the people living on it are another story. Much of this issue is set in a diner where Ivy is releasing spores to enact a plan that’ll mean lots of dead people. As the story progresses, though, she realizes there are good people worth saving. Will her morality come in the way of her plan?
This issue is also thought-provoking. Wilson inserts some incredible bits of information surrounding a specific plant that relates to how Poison Ivy thinks about life and plants, and in the same scene, veganism. There are other stories within stories taking place here, like Poison Ivy reminding the reader that forest fires are only getting worse, which helps break up a diner scene that could have been stiff and boring.
There’s a complexity to Poison Ivy that’s also evident. That helps round her out as a real person while not forgetting the fact that she has served as a supervillain before. We see she’s willing to kill and is capable of it. Honestly, it’s rather easy to see why she’d be willing to kill when the Earth is literally on fire. That makes this series feel relevant in today’s climate, further elevating the narrative into something for the modern era.
Takara’s art is expert at pushing in on close-ups, moving out to establishing shots, and the like. This is especially important in the case of dialogue-heavy two-shot sort of scenes. You won’t notice thanks to these well-timed shots. Cutaways also work well to break things up and they also add a little violence. In fact, Takara goes pretty hardcore with the gore in one panel.
Some of these diners may come off as almost too pure and good, though. While Wilson makes a strong case for why Poison Ivy is looking at the greater good to heal the world, she’s also a bit callous to be fine killing a person who is practically pure good.
The colors by Arif Prianto are warm, especially in the diner with the way light hits the character’s faces. Lighting on faces keeps your attention and makes sure to keep Poison Ivy’s pasty skin looking accurate.
Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou letters the issue, utilizing some fantastic flourishes. Word balloons have hand-drawn looks and change depending on the need of a scene. Poison Ivy’s captions are written as if via a lost notebook, putting you even further into her head. Lettering differences can be exciting too, like when a character utters a poem and the word balloon is taken over by a poem cut from a book and pasted over it.
It’s exciting to get such a strong series in the voice of a villain like Poison Ivy. Not only that, it makes strong points about why Poison Ivy would kill and harm in the name of getting her mojo back, but also saving the world while doing it. It’s not hard to relate to her while also feeling a bit unnerved by her killing ways. It’s everything you’d want in a supervillain series – Poison Ivy is complex as you hang on her every word.
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