With the advent of Autumn, Poison Ivy falls into a depressed slump. Harley tries to shake her friend out of it but each attempt, facilitated by the Joker, only makes Ivy feel worse. Finally the ultimate faux pas turns into the motivation Ivy needs to pick herself up and fight to protect her darlings.
First off, it's weird, very weird to see the Joker portrayed so lightly. Not only is he not doing anything nefarious, but he actually comes across as a fairly decent boyfriend for Harley. After years of the two of them being the poster child for the worst relationships out there, it's strange to see them in what apparently is a functioning relationship. Rather than a homicidal maniac this Joker is a bit of a bumbling buffoon. And sure, we can't use the current interpretation of the Joker for this series, but I'm not going to lie, I don't know how to feel about his portrayal here. Other than confused.
The opening couple pages threw me off for a bit, since I had never seen that kind of approach taken in this series. But when I realized where the story was going I felt those pages were actually one of the strongest parts of this story. We're not unfamiliar with attempts to show Ivy's world from her point of view, but I think this version was most effective in its simplicity. The love she has for her plants really comes through the screen, and the lighter tone Li'l Gotham takes lets us focus on her love rather than her insanity. I'd even say that this chapter is a must for anyone that wants the bare bones of her character. And the fact that she falls into a depression during the Fall makes so much sense I have no idea why this is the first time we've ever seen someone write it.
The art is great, as usual, Ivy especially has some great faces throughout the chapter. I'm a simple man where my comedy is concerned, I'd almost say that in some ways I haven't advanced beyond infantile humor. Just make a funny face and you'll make me laugh. So for anyone that secretly just likes to look at funny faces you'll get a kick out of Ivy this chapter.
Not sure how Selina went from being in casts to being perfectly fine, but hey, comic books amirite? I highly recommend this chapter to anyone that likes Ivy but hasn't taken the chance to check this series out. Give it a look see, try not to be weirded out by not-insane-Joker, and maybe you'll find something you were missing from your Batman reading list.
Batman: Li'l Gotham Chapter #19:
Reviewed by Derek Bown