Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy # 1 Review and **SPOILERS**

Year of the Hero in Crisis

Written by Jody Houser 
Pencils by Adriana Melo 
Inks by Mark Morales 
Colors by Hi-Fi 
Cover by Mikel Janin 
Variant Cover by Stanley “ARTGERM” Lau 
Letters by Gabriela Downie 
Editor: Molly Mahan
Assistant Editor: Dave Wiegolsz 
Group Editor: Jamie S. Rich 
Cover Price: $3.99 
On Sale Date: September 4, 2019


Well here’s something weird: a Harley Quinn/Poison Ivy miniseries that ties directly into Heroes in Crisis and Year of the Villain! Something tells me that this ain’t gonna be one of those “evergreen” trade collections. Let’s dive into my review of Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy #1, right here! 

Explain It!

So this miniseries takes place immediately after that 9-issue Heroes in Crisis series written by Tom King. If you didn’t read that, then you’re in luck: there’s a fairly detailed recap at the beginning of this issue. If you read Heroes in Crisis and were totally confused by 3/4ths of the story, then you’re in luck: the recap in this issue is more coherent and sort of “smooths” out some of the stickier plot points. The point is that, after having been murdered, Poison Ivy regrew a raw version of herself from a flower that she had given to Harley Quinn, and now is more vulnerable or something. Frankly, I don’t see what the problem is. She falls apart into a kind of plant-based heap at one point, but otherwise she seems to be doing well and having a positive effect on growing thing. As in: she makes them grow. 
The book runs in place for about half the issue, then Lex Luthor’s robot (that’s been dispensing villainous boons during this Year of the Villain mess) shows up and gives Poison Ivy some fertilizer. It sort of stabilizes her and even allows Poison Ivy to generate clothing again. But her powers go wacky again, spewing thick vines from her arms and face, ensnaring Harley Quinn in the process and generally making a real planty mess of everything. The root of this problem? Dr. Jason Woodrue, the Floronic Man, and one-time university instructor to Pamela Isely (if that continuity holds, and I think it has for this story,) who is part of this new Legion of Doom Lex Luthor has arranged from beyond the grave. So that will be a thing. 
This was a pretty uneventful issue that somehow managed to clarify some things with Heroes in Crisis and Year of the Villain despite itself. The story is pretty plainly told, first in extended recap and then onto the “action” proper, but the artwork is so uneven that it’s tough to get into the rhythm of the thing. You may have come solely for the Artgerm variant cover, and I wouldn’t blame you.

Bits and Pieces:

Up front, we learn that this is an epilogue to Heroes in Crisis and a vehicle for Year of the Villain. Split the difference and you’ve got a miniseries no one asked for. Now that it’s here, I’d like to ask for less.


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