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Review: Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death #3

poisonA dangerous and mysterious creature is killing off the scientists at Gotham Botanical Gardens and Poison Ivy is in the thick of the drama in Poison Ivy, Cycle of Life and Death #3.


Spores and spoilers below…


The GCPD are at the crime scene of Dr. Eric Grimley’s death at Gotham Botanical Gardens Plant Sciences Division. Dr. Grimley’s body is looking pretty dilapidated even for an 83 year old man. The cops interview Darhsan who tells them that after having a conversation with Dr. Pam Isley (who had to run home to deal with an emergency) he went into Dr. Grimley’s office when a strange maybe-not-human figure rushed by him. He found the Doctor inside dead.


Meanwhile Poison Ivy is at home with her two newborn plant babies: Rose and Hazel. Rose can communicate with plants and Hazel can make them grow. Even plant babies cry and as much as Ivy enjoys the idea of being a mom conceptually she leaves the pair with the oversized plants who are charged with their protection.


Ivy goes to the Lab where she is met by Darshan who tells her of Dr. Grimley’s death. She believes that her research has been stolen and tries to make her way to her lab. She is stopped by the police who start to interrogate her. Pam gets dangerously close to killing the mere humans when their questioning is stopped by a mysterious phone call. Although no longer being questioned she isn’t able to get to her lab since it is a crime scene.


Back at home, Ivy finds that something has broken into her house and left behind bloody footprints. The plant-guards are pretty well beaten up but her spore babies are safe. Pam consoles the pair saying that she won’t let monsters hurt them. The babies see a foul creature threatening them, but Ivy puts them at ease. She sets up some vicious venus fly traps when the doorbell rings. It is Winston, the too-cool-for-school dweeb from the lab. She lets him upstairs much to his excitement.


Winston is surprised that she has kids, but it doesn’t stop him from trying to trade the fact that he is her alibi for the first killing in exchange for a little kissy-times. This, unsurprisingly, doesn’t work. Ivy works some horticultural devilry on him. It looks like Winston is plant food.


The doorbell rings again, it is Darshan. Pam goes to a diner with him where they have a tender hand touching moment. Darshan has a friend in the Gotham Permits Department and has possession of some old plans of the lab. There is apparently another way into the lab and Pam wants to get her research. Pam leaves the diner but forgets her glasses.


Back at Che Ivy, Catwoman arrives to help Pam break into the lab. As they speak bout their plans someone cries out for help. Darshan has been captured by some protective ivy as he has tried to return Pam’s glasses. Until next month….


Amy Chu’s story continues to be interesting. The struggle between Ivy’s godlike qualities and her humanity is well done here. We have seen her lack of respect for human life in the first issue with her rejection of Harley, in the second issue with her murder of the dog abusing old woman and in this issue with her near murder of the two police officers. However, these are counterbalanced against her sadness over the death of Dr. Luisa Cruz, her caring for the old woman’s dogs, and here her love of her sporelings. We get a foreshadowing of her burgeoning humanity through her reaction to the brief touch by Darshan. Can Ivy begin to resurrect her humanity through a relationship with him? It is fair to say that she isn’t going to develop into a caring Mom just yet, since she has little patience for her babies crying. Ms. Chu appears to be putting some interesting pieces into place which is a good sign for this mini.


The art in this issue is better than the previous issue’s however it is by no means spectacular. The pencils are by Clay Mann and Stephen Segovia. Inks are by Seth Mann, Jonathan Glapion, Dexter Vines and Art Thibert. There is quite a bit of inconsistency in the artwork and that does hurt the book. Ulises Arreola’s colors work fine, there are a lot of sage’s and muted colors which work with the story. Again, it works fine though not spectacular.


I enjoyed this issue much better than the last. The development of Ivy’s personality is starting to gel and I feel like a good character arc is developing. I do wonder about that panel that showed Ivy holding her sporelings with a monster behind her. What is it supposed to be showing? Is this something the babies see? Something they are communicating with her about? Why doesn’t Ivy take the break in into her apartment more seriously? Hopefully these questions will be answered satisfactorily but for now it is working.


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  • Ian Miller

    I really like your highlighting of the theme of Poison Ivy being torn between her inhuman and human natures.

  • Gerry Green

    Thanks, that is one of the most interesting things to me about Ivy. She doesn’t care about people much of the time which feeds her villain side. But sometimes a person breaks through and causes her to reconsider her priorities.