Comic Review: Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy TPB (DC Comics)

The recent Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy six-issue miniseries is now collected as a trade publication, which allows us to delve into their madcap mayhem in a big way. Writer […]

The recent Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy six-issue miniseries is now collected as a trade publication, which allows us to delve into their madcap mayhem in a big way.

Writer Jody Houser (Faith, Orphan Black, Max Ride) takes Harley and Ivy from their previous adventures and shows us an Ivy in recovery. Bereft of most power, Ivy is only a sliver of her former self. Skin and bones, but in a ‘green plant’ kind of way. As Quinn watches helplessly, Ivy limps along passively. However, one thing leads to another, inevitably, and the pair end up in tons of mischief and battles.

Penciller Adriana Melo gives us a Quinn and Ivy who are glam and ‘bam’, devilish and delightful. Ivy seems to change ‘plant outfits’ at every turn, rivaling Cher for costume changes. The Floronic Man battle scenes are fabulous. The character renderings are really strong, splash panels have plenty of power and drama. Melo is inked by Mark Morales and Wade Von Grawbadger, putting clean, expert linework to its finest advantage. Colouring is from Hi-Fi, who keeps the visuals brightly contrasty and ‘huetiful’.

The six-issue story is perhaps a bit more subdued than it needs to be; there are many moments when the drama could have been accentuated, and other moments when the tempo reduces, a sense of defeated calm coats the proceedings. Running in place, peddling on the gym bike, getting nowhere. The creative team relies a bit too much on small transition panels showing small figures running around. While this provides comic relief à la Archie Comics, we want these two powerhouse ladies at their boldest. This is our fantasy, our wish, our entertainment. Any down moment needs to propel the story forward, as we yearn to see total action and kickass awesomeness.
Altogether, this hardcover is a fun if uneven combination of romp and stomp and ‘off to the doctor’ for our dashing duo.

The trade publication collects the six issues and adds some nice bonus content; three pages of Adriana Melo pencils from various issues, plus some really splendid full-colour covers and variants, shown without the logos and trade dress.

DC, Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy Trade, Approx $35.00 for approx 160 pages hardcover. Assume Teen+

Alan Spinney

About Alan Spinney

After a career of graphic design, art direction and copywriting, I still have a passion for words and pictures. I love it when a comic book comes together; the story is tight, and the drawings lead me forward. Art with words... the toughest storytelling technique to get right. Was this comic book worth your money? Let's see!!