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'Poison Ivy' #4 is dark, romantic, and beautiful
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Comic Books

‘Poison Ivy’ #4 is dark, romantic, and beautiful

‘Poison Ivy’ #4 continues to expertly explore the average everyday people of America.

Poison Ivy has been nothing short of riveting if you’re interested in people and how they think. The series has shown average everyday people who come in contact with Poison Ivy, who is on a mission to kill as many people as possible. Problem is, Poison Ivy’s road trip has shown her regular people are actually good, save for a few. In Poison Ivy #4, G. Willow Wilson and Marcio Takara show us how Poison Ivy can split the difference between bastards who deserve punishment and those who are worth saving.

Those stakes sound high, which is ironic since most of Poison Ivy #4 takes place in a packing warehouse not dissimilar to an Amazon facility. The issue opens with Poison Ivy getting interviewed by the Employee Efficiency Expert, who quickly shows he’s quite a bastard. He touches the employees inappropriately, he’s mean, and he shouldn’t be at any level of power. Soon we meet two of the workers who fill in the blanks as far as how awful this man is, and Wilson makes it clear he deserves what is coming to him.

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Like in past issues, Wilson and Takara show us how Poison Ivy walks a fine line of wanting to kill every human she sees but seeing the good in a few and wishing to help them. Each issue has turned out to be a one-shot of sorts, as we see Poison Ivy wrestle with her plan to poison as many people as possible, but at the last second seeing a few are worth saving.

Poison Ivy

This series is about seeing things for what they are, even when your vision is tainted like Ivy’s is here.
Credit: DC Comics

The benign setting juxtaposes nicely with Poison Ivy’s abilities, rendered incredibly by Takara and color artist Arif Prianto. At the start, we see Poison Ivy having a bit of trouble keeping the weeds at bay on her arms, but when she lets loose, it’s like she’s a demon from another dimension. She’s all spikes, flowing red hair, and pustules of death. These are things her victim sees, of course, but later, when we see the threat chasing Poison Ivy it’s confirmed it’s a similar demonic look.

It’s not all packing boxes, making judgments, and killing those who deserve it. Wilson and Takara also fit in a lovemaking scene that makes sense within the story while reminding us Poison Ivy’s true love is and forever will be Harley Quinn. In this scene, we get a four-panel page of a vision of Harley watching Poison Ivy have sex with a woman she met earlier in the issue. As we see the shadows of Poison Ivy and the woman making love, Harley watches happily and even throws a cute wave. It’s an excellent way to show Poison Ivy isn’t cheating on Harley Quinn so much as letting herself be human, and Harley understands that.

Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou gets to play with lettering thanks to the monster chasing Poison Ivy. Word balloons have never been so chaotic! Otsmane-Elhaou also does a great job with the handwritten notepad captions, adding a nice personal touch to Poison Ivy’s narrative.

It’s plain to see why Poison Ivy needed another story arc, as this issue reveals she has many more people to meet, fall for, and murder with extreme justice. Tender, biting, and truly real, Poison Ivy is a vision for exploring humanity and how a force like Poison Ivy can walk the line between good and bad.

'Poison Ivy' #4 is dark, romantic, and beautiful
‘Poison Ivy’ #4 is dark, romantic, and beautiful
Poison Ivy #4
It's plain to see why Poison Ivy needed another story arc, as this issue reveals she has many more people to meet, fall for, and murder with extreme justice. Tender, biting, and truly real, Poison Ivy is a vision for exploring humanity and how a force like Poison Ivy can walk the line between good and bad.
Reader Rating1 Vote
9.3
A beautiful look at the kind hearted humans, and the awful ones too
Ever so slightly progresses the plot around what is chasing Poison Ivy
Great art, especially the monsters in this one!
The episodic nature of the series is good, but the progression of the bigger plot continues to be quite slow
9.5
Great
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