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Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death #1 Second Take Review and *SPOILERS*
Beginning to Bloom
Written By:Amy Chu
Art By:Clay Mann, Seth Mann, Ulises Arreola
Letters By: Janice Chiang
Release Date:January 20, 2016
and Score At The Bottom*
Poison Ivy has made her return from the DC bench to
lead in her own mini-series. One thing that has been lacking in DC comics are
female-led books, and this is a fine addition to a needed quo. Now that one of
DC's greatest villains is leading her own title, is it any good? The book was
actually really good; the characterization of Ivy was a stand out, but the real
shining spot is the art.
Pamela Isley is going straight. We open with Ivy
searching in Africa for a “fossil plant” to put in her botanical research laboratory
that recently hired her. After a kerfuffle with some African refugees, Ivy
brings the plant back. We follow Pamela in her research facility. Then we get a
visit from a class, but the best thing is that it is our Gotham Academy crew.
There is not much interaction, but seeing the classmates was a great touch to
further building this world. Our field trip is interrupted by Dr. Harleen
Quinzel, I would imagine we would be seeing Harley, but not in the very first
issue. After a nonsense bar fight (like the good old days), Ivy struggles with
her humanity. The issue finishes off with Ivy finding her botanist friend dead
in the lab; the cycle has now started with death.
The characterization of Poison Ivy was really good. Something
that has been lacking at DC is the characterization of their female characters.
In this book we see Pamela struggling with the fact that she is both human and
plant, but the plant side of her overcoming the rest. She is trying to find a
place in the middle where she can be both, but no one is like her so she is
starting to succumb to the plant side. Which I really enjoyed that she has this
problem instead of a problem that just fell out of the sky. Now she has to
solve a murder and how will she be able to solve both? One of the most annoying
things about DC right now is the oversaturation of Harley Quinn—so of course we
would find her here—but I actually really liked the characterization of Harley.
It was not over the top cartoonish or stupidly ridiculous. The argument that
they had felt kind of forced, but felt appropriate. While there was not much
story to pick up, I really enjoyed following Ivy.
I do not think I have seen Clay Mann's artwork
before, but this was absolutely amazing. Starting with the first page with
Poison Ivy I felt like I was reading a DC comic from before the New 52 (which I
found to be an amazing time for DC) so it was absolutely my favorite part of
this book. The characters looked great, Pamela was not hard on the eyes at all,
and every other character looked great. I loved the way Harley Quinn was drawn,
it made her look stunning. Even the Gotham Academy students looked really
great. One thing I noticed about the art was some panels did not have any
backgrounds, and though I do not think this took away from the story telling, I
found it a little off. The colors in this book were great and made the pages
come to life. Very vibrant choices and I think they were the right choices.
Bits and Pieces
Poison Ivy had a great first issue that had not much
set up for what's to come, but had plenty of characterization of who Pamela is
and how she feels about the world moving forward. We had some great cameos that
were frosting on a cake that I ate up right away. The art is the best part of
this book: Clay Mann can draw some ladies and all of his characters were really
well-drawn and realistic instead of just background scenery. This was a good
start and I hope the book picks up quick in the next issue.