Stop and Smell The Roses in “Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death #1” (Review)

Jan 20, 2016

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poisonivy1Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death #1
DC Comics

Writer: Amy Chu
Artist: Clay Mann
Inker: Seth Mann
Colourist: Ulises Arreola
Letterer: Janice Chiang

I’ve read very little with Poison Ivy in it, and the only exposure I’ve had to the character outside from that are the Arkham series of video games and Batman and Robin, both of which are not particularly good representations of the character. Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death #1 breathes new life into Poison Ivy and provides a brilliant look at the world she finds herself in.

Amy Chu nails the aspect of the detachment Pamela Isley feels, being a part of The Green (an elemental force connecting all plant life on Earth) and being a human at the same time. Chu explores this by showing us apoisonivy2 few of Pamela’s relationships, particularly her relationship with Luisa Cruz, a colleague of hers while working at Gotham Botanical Gardens. Most of the book is dedicated to showing just how strained Ivy and Harley Quinn’s relationship is at the moment, Quinn believing that Ivy doesn’t want to spend any time with her because she isn’t as smart or that she’s taking time away from Ivy’s experiments. I really enjoyed all the interactions that Ivy had with every single character in this first issue, especially when a certain group of students show up at the Gardens for a tour.

The art team on this book is absolutely fantastic, from the facial expressions to the body language, each panel is a real treat. Clay Mann makes Ivy sexy without putting her in any compromising positions and does fantastic detail work on the plants that Ivy uses throughout the book. Ulises Arreola’s colours are beautiful and a great fit for this book, making Ivy’s world bright and beautiful.

After fifty years, this is the book that Poison Ivy deserves and it helps having the perfect creative team for the character. I’m very excited to see what else is in store in the upcoming issues. Don’t sleep on this one, it will surely grow on you.

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