Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Harley and Ivy Meet Betty and Veronica #1 Review and **SPOILERS**

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Pep Comics Tijuana Bible

Written By: Paul Dini and Marc Andreyko
Drawn By: Laura Braga 
Colored By: Tony Aviña and Arif Prianto 
Lettered By: Deron Bennett 
Cover By: Amanda Conner and Paul Mounts 
Cover Price: $3.99 
On Sale Date: October 4, 2017

**NON SPOILERS AND SCORE AT THE BOTTOM**

Why do we want our corporately-held intellectual properties to crossover with other corporately-held intellectual properties? It’s a tradition in comic books going back to Golden Age, when All-American and National publishers combined their house characters to form…the Justice Society of America. And that, my fellow comics enthusiasts, is today’s Comics Brain Melt. My name is Reggie, and I…oh, I gotta review a comic book too? Well, if I must, here’s my review of Harley and Ivy Meet Betty and Veronica #1, for your readin’!


Explain It!

When you trace their origins, you see that the connection of Harley Quinn (an invention for the Batman: The Animated Series 1990 cartoon show) and Poison Ivy (a creation by Bill Dozier and Carmine Infantino for his Batman TV show in the late 1960s) and Betty Cooper and Veronica Lodge (created by John Goldwater and Bob Montana for Pep Comics in 1941 and 1942, respectively) is as unlikely as they come. And yet in the pages of a comic book, all things are possible, and so we have Harley Quinn hanging out with Poison Ivy, when they see a news report about Mr. Lodge turning a swamp into a college campus that will offer free college classes to the folks of Riverdale. Good deal for Riverdale, bad deal for whatever snakes and crocodiles and witches that populate a comic book swamp, and so Poison Ivy resolves to stop constructon of Lodge’s college. Hey, that rhymes.
Wait a minute…did someone sneak politics into my comic book? Free college? That sounds like a socialist idea! Don’t come around here with your smart, sane concepts like single-payer health care and smaller clips for automatic weapons! I read my funny books to get away from intelligent stuff like that! Where was I? Harley and Ivy worm their way into a meeting with Lodge, where Ivy (primarily) pleads her case—which falls on deaf ears. On to plan B: crash the costume party benefit gala being thrown that evening at Lodge’s club…actually, maybe it isn’t a benefit at all, I’m not sure why it’s happening. Story convenience, I suppose. On the Archie side of things, they’re all preparing for this soiree: Archie and Jughead are looking for costumes, Betty and Veronica are being total bitches to each other—everything is as normal in Riverdale.
Well, you can probably piece together the rest from here: Harley and Poison Ivy scam their way into the party and prepare to, I dunno, kill Mr. Lodge or something, and wouldn’t you know it? Betty and Veronica are dressed like Harley and Ivy too! Though curiously, the real Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy are wearing classic variants of their costumes, while Betty and Veronica are in more updated togs. I suppose that allows us to tell them apart. But you know ladies hate to show up wearing the same thing as another woman at a party! Rawr! The fur is gonna fly! And so forth.
On its face, this is a pretty dull but otherwise inoffensive story, sort like every Archie comic I’ve ever read. What really hurts this issue is the uneven artwork that, despite being penciled by one person, looks to be handled by three or four. Sometimes everything looks nice enough, then there are panels where people’s faces look like something from a carnival funhouse. I’d say this might be more of a kick for Archie fans than adherents to the Churches of Quinn or Ivy, but if you’re curious to know what a couple of Arkham Asylum psychos might do in Riverdale, I can tell you right now: take a meeting with a real estate developer and then go to a costume party. I just saved you four bucks.

Bits and Pieces:

Turns out that the mediocrity of Archie comics trumps the zany homicide of Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy. For this round, at least. Most disappointing was the art, which was really uneven and distracting, especially towards the end. But there were problematic panels throughout the book.

4/10
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3 comments:

  1. I pre-ordered #1 and #2 , was expecting better art . I looked up the artist's past stuff and i thought it looked good to me but looks like i got it wrong .

    ReplyDelete
  2. I hadn't ever heard that Poison Ivy started on the Batman TV show of the 60s so I attempted to look it up, but didn't find see anything indicated that this was the case.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Looks like I had it wrong; Poison Ivy was recently created, and would have been on Batman had there been a season four, but the character was not created for the TV show. From Dial B for Blog http://www.dialbforblog.com/archives/209/: "According to Carmine Infantino, "[Catwoman] was on the show, and that connected with viewers. So, William Dozier called and said, 'Do you people have any more women characters?' I said, 'I have three women characters here. I brought them in. Dozier loved Poison Ivy, he didn't like the Cobra, and he was iffy on the Silver Fox. I said 'What if we turned Silver Fox into a Batgirl?' He said, 'I'd buy that.' And that's how it started.”

      Here it's stated that Poison Ivy would have been used for Batman's fourth season, had it existed http://www.rebeatmag.com/holy-precursor-william-dozier-and-the-first-organized-wave-of-comic-based-tv-shows/: "As the only woman not yet used from the comics was Poison Ivy (a villainess that was considered for introduction had there been a fourth season), Dozier convinced the comics publisher to include a new version of Batgirl, who in the television version was Commissioner Gordon’s daughter Barbara."

      Thanks for the tip!

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