Detective Comics 23.1
Special “Villains Month” Title: Poison Ivy 1
Derek Fridolfs, Javier Pina
Forever Evil Crossover
Spoiler alert! You have been warned!
The Detective Comics tie-in successfully renewed my interest in a character that I had long ago written off. That’s right. Poison Ivy is back and better than ever. By giving her not only an updated origin story, but giving her a motive that actually makes sense for the first time in years, writer Derek Fridolfs and artist Javier Pina tell an excellent tale of what used to be one of the Batman’s lamest foes.
The beautiful artwork and good script transport us to the world of Poison Ivy, who in the New 52 is neither heroine nor villainess per se, but rather, an anarchist who will stop at nothing to realize her vision. In a sense, she’s a highly-motivated yet somewhat moral Eco terrorist. By introducing an abusive father to her origin (and a murderer, just for that added oomph that every good and tragic member of Batman’s rogues gallery so desperately needs to actually work), the man-hating part of her character is immediately established. But by introducing a rare skin condition and an affinity for plants (because they don’t hurt you and always listen), this writer/artist team successfully draws us into the world of Poison Ivy. But the origin is not the only story being told. No, she’s cleaning up the streets of Gotham, initially joining the Birds of Prey, then, once they outlived their usefulness, going solo. Though she may often times ally herself with heroes, she is not one of them. And though she more times than not finds herself using the corrupt, the evil, and the psychotic, she is far from any of those characteristics. After all, she just wants nature to return to greatness once and for all. And she’s willing to help it in any way she can, even if it means killing those who cross her path.
Though it was probably overall not worth the extra dollar, it was still a decent enough issue. Save the buck and get the regular cover, but this is a must-read for fans of John Layman’s current run on Detective Comics. It is also worth noting that though I do love (almost) all things Batman, I’ve never really cared about this character in particular. There are rare occasions where she is used well, but never more than a simple plot device that has been well placed within the story. This was the first time I would actually say Poison Ivy is front and center. And actually important. That’s worth the cover price alone. And that’s what makes the premise of Villains Month and Forever Evil not only a fun gimmick, but necessary for the survival of DC Comics and the New 52.
My Rating: 4/5