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COMIC REVIEW: Detective Comics #23.1 Poison Ivy

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Detective Comics #23.1 Poison Ivy
Detective Comics #23.1 Poison Ivy

Detective Comics #23.1 Poison Ivy

  • Cover by Jay Fabok
  • Written by Derek Fridolfs
  • Art by Javier Pina
  • Colours by John Kalisz

Purchase your copy @ Comixology now!

BEWARE OF SPOILERS

Pamela Isley’s entry to the ‘Villains Month’ event is a neat little origin story wrapped up in present day tale of Gotham under siege. The absence of Batman has provided a great setting to allow the villains of Gotham to explore the streets and as we see here also to have a little time analyse themselves.

‘The Green Kingdom’ was the first villain issue I picked up after the slightly lacklustre Joker story told in ‘Batman’ #23.1 and I have to say I’m happier with this issue overall. Where the story in ‘Batman’ had some stunning visuals the story felt like a tie-in rather than the kind of standalone story that this event deserved.

This however is a fully contained story which explores Ivy’s own feelings about her childhood and her transformation in to the person she is today.

I was first introduced to Ivy via the 90s animated series which took a very grounded view of the character but I was also introduced to her via ‘Batman & Robin’ which was perhaps not the greatest place to learn about the history of the character.

With those in mind I was intrigued by the origin story here. The simple tale of an abusive father and a mothers garden. Considering that her father used plants as a way to gain forgiveness for her mother and that in the end it would be he who would murder her and bury her body in the garden it’s interesting that Ivy didn’t in fact turn completely away from plants.

The story by Fridolfs is so simplistic that you can’t fault that it almost comes across like a bedtime story being told you a child… just with a bit of murder and mayhem.

The sequences in the present day show off enough of the havoc that Ivy can cause whilst the flashback story takes on a storybook quality which ramps up the tragedy. The underlying tale of abuse is handled tactfully and the story has very little shock value which to me makes the issue all the more credible.

The contrasting moments between present and past also help legitimise the story and give it a linear and natural feeling. I was easily convinced that Ivy’s present day actions were causing her to travel down memory lane and look at her past.

Similarly the artwork is heavily stylised for the flashback sequences to make it appear like it’s printed on different paper. It’s a subtle change that works really well in completing the package. The artwork isn’t breaking any new ground overall but it’s perfectly adequate the story being told.

If like me you’re not fully versed in the history of the character this is a good issue to teach you some of her background.

7/10

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