G. Willow Wilson and Marcio Takara explore Dr. Pamela Isley’s convictions in Poison Ivy #3, offering an intimate portrayal of a villain who isn’t quite sure how to proceed.
The issue opens in a hybrid dream sequence that sees Poison Ivy faced by her lover, Harley Quinn. Color artist Arif Prianto gives the sequence real vibrancy, with ultra blue water and vivacious greens. But it isn’t until after Ivy wakes up that the reader becomes aware just how vivid this sequence is. In the dream, Ivy’s skin is rendered in flushing pink, but when she wakes, she’s pallid, rendered in subtle blues that highlight her diminishing health, both mental and physical.
The newest person to encounter Ivy on her roadtrip of carnage is Carrie, the manager of the motel that Ivy is staying at. Carrie is oblivious to Ivy’s purpose, and her ignorance makes Ivy question her own actions. This becomes especially clear when Carrie asks Ivy to help fix a patch of yard, getting rid of trash and planting plants native to the area to help rejuvenate the land. As Ivy’s journal says, “I spend a lot of time contemplating murder. But what I really love is buying plants.”
While prior issues had hinted that Ivy was struggling with her course of actions, Poison Ivy #3 really brings that home. As Ivy works in the yard, Takara draws her as increasingly happy, an emotion she hasn’t quite allowed herself to feel in awhile. A particularly fun detail is the fact that Ivy loans Carrie her sunglasses. Ivy’s interaction with Carrie rekindles the possibility in her mind that humans might not be so bad, but she also feels burned out by hope. It’s a painful journey to see a character face the failings of their own convictions, and writer G. Willow Wilson does a fantastic job with making this journey feel real through the use of Ivy’s journal entries. Letterer Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou does a beautiful job rendering not only these entries, but the dialogue, switching from all-caps to small-caps when it suits the intonation of the characters, making the book’s text ebb-and-flow across the page.
Poison Ivy has excelled at giving its lead a compelling tale, even if the tale is a bit depressing. Ivy is clearly in desperate need of help and compassion as she moves from town to town, so it will be interesting if she is able to find that help inside herself or inside the people who know her best. G. Willow Wilson, Marcio Takara, Arif Prianto, and Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou have made this story one of the character’s best.
Become a patron today to get exclusive perks, like access to our exclusive Discord community and our monthly comic book club, ad-free browsing on aiptcomics.com, a physical trade paperback sent to your house every month, and more!