Raising Teenagers in “Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death #5 (Review)
Written by: Amy Chu
Art by: Clay Mann
WARNING SPOILER ALERT!!
Poison Ivy: The Cycle of Life and Death issue five, written by Amy Chu and illustrated by Clay Mann is a brilliant and exciting episode where in Poison Ivy’s sporeling daughters decide to live out their short-term “teenage” years. The half plant, half human girls are now six months old and some time has passed since the last issue. A quick recap of what has happened so far, Ivy was working on a secret new plant gene. Her work was been stolen and in last issue she finds her work being misused by the head of her company. She also finds Thorn was being experimented on and in Ivy’s rage she tears the lab apart by summoning a giant plant to destroy everything.
This issue is focused on the three sporelings named Thorn, Rose, and Hazel. The attractive young daughters of Poison Ivy are a little rebellious and clever like their mommy. Like every young blossoming teen the girls start questioning their existence and want answers about their future. Poison Ivy, the overprotective parent, does not answer their questions and keeps them cooped up in her botanical garden. The only interaction the girls have with the outside world is with Poison Ivy’s co-worker and friend Darshan.
Darshan drops by and gives the sporelings their first gift. The present is a karaoke machine and the girls party it up, sing along and finally let loose. After the sporeling girls are done using the karaoke machine, they decide they want to go out and experience legit nightlife. Thorn and Hazel decide at night to slip out while Ivy is asleep. Little do the girls know, Ivy can’t sleep at night because of nightmares about a giant shadow coming after her. Rose, initially is against going out, but eventually joins the other two girls. When the girls get out they are amazed by the lights of Gotham and the roar of its the heart.
While in downtown Gotham, the girls discover a busy club. Rose, Thorn, and Hazel force their way into the club by making a plant knock out the security guard. Little do the girls know, this club is a gentleman’s club. Hazel and Rose jolt inside and dance around the stripper poles. The audience and the strippers are weirded out by the sporeling girl’s plant like appearance and their mischievous behavior. Thorn, not interested in dancing, goes to get water. A random man gets her some Whiskey to drink and also puts his hand on her thigh. The man’s attempt to seduce Thorn backfires and green hell is unleashed on the gentleman’s club.
Thorn touches the man’s hand and turns it into wood. Hazel and Rose unleash an onslaught of thorny vines that rip the joint to shreds. Guess who breaks up the chaos? Poison Ivy comes and tells the girls that they have caused some un-needed attention and police will arrive any minutes. Right on cue, the issue’s detective duo shows up and get knocked out so the girls and Ivy can escape. Back at Ivy’s garden, the girls are locked in a home-grown wooden cage. Ivy decides to go into the green and find out what to do with the girls and find out why Ivy is having nightmares at night. The issue concludes with us seeing Grimley, now, a wood goblin monster about to kill Poison Ivy. Danger and death lurk in the shadows for the innocent young sporelings and Ivy in the final issue of Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death.
Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death #5 like its previous issues is full of amazing artwork while keeping Gotham’s darker undertone and theme. Clay Mann really brings every he can out of each panel and page, they are simply beautiful. Amy Chu keeps the story fast pace and easy to follow up with. The lighter tone of this issue is a nice break from following Poison Ivy to following her three daughters she calls sporelings. In this issue, the Chu does a great job portraying Ivy as a caring, mom with three rambunctious teenage daughters. Lastly on a personal note I appreciate that Chu end the issu by foreshadow who is behind this all but it doesn’t feel like a cliffhanger, I don’t like cliffhangers, so thank you!