April 21, 2024

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Noteworthy Issues: Knight Terrors: Poison Ivy #1 (July, 2023)

Poison Ivy's in her worst nightmare: living in suburbia.

OK, after a couple lackluster nightmares for DC characters, maybe Poison Ivy will have an interesting one.  It is penned by G. Willow Wilson, and her script for Catwoman’s One Bad Day special had the most interesting take on that concept.  Maybe Wilson can succeed where others so far have failed.  OK, “failed” is a strong word.  They mostly bored me.

Issue:  Knight Terrors: Poison Ivy #1, July 2023

Writer:  G. Willow Wilson

Artists:  Atagun Ilhan and Mark Morales

The Plot:  Poison Ivy’s worst nightmare?  A sitcom suburban existence.

Commentary:  Alright, this is more like it.  Poison Ivy has changed a lot over the years.  She was originally a straight-up Batman foe, maybe a bit of the femme fatale sort, then gradually became an eco-terrorist, and most recently, a very eco-friendly heroic type.  Yeah, she’s still got the history, but she has a relationship going with Harley Quinn now and all.  What makes a character like this Poison Ivy tick?

Fortunately, Wilson seems to have an answer.  Ivy’s nightmare is basically living in a TV sitcom version of the suburbs with Harley, Batman and Catwoman are her next door neighbors, and other Bat-related characters, heroes and villains, seem to live in the neighborhood.  Ivy resists at first, but she gradually comes to embrace this rather bizarre world.  I don’t comment on art too often in these reviews–you know, despite the fact that these are comics and art is as important to the storytelling as the writing–is freaky enough, with Bat-characters walking around with their masks and the like but otherwise dressed in ordinary clothes that suggest a summer day under a smiling sun.

Yes, the sun has a face.

Of course, some character I don’t recognize who, for all I know, is part of Ivy’s solo book just wanders in about that time.  And her interactions with the dream figures is somehow even more freaky.

Anyway, here’s what makes Ivy more interesting:  she may be a good guy now, but she doesn’t see Batman as an ally, taking a very leftist perspective on Batman’s crimefighting in a manner that sets her apart from other characters, and likewise gives her nightmare more meaning as it suggests she is succumbing to a lifestyle that she would never agree with.  That makes for a more effective nightmare.

Granted, I don’t expect most of these books to go that route, but at least Ivy’s did.

Grade:  B+