Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death has been a real treat so far and that’s in part due to the creepy nature of the story. Ivy has been somewhat heroic, but still her semi-evil self, which has made for a complexity we don’t normally see from the character.
Let’s delve into issue #4, is it good?
Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death #4 (DC Comics)
DC Comics summarizes the book thusly:
Catwoman and Poison Ivy—reunited! As the body count rises at the Gotham Botanical Gardens labs, Ivy needs Selina’s help to solve the puzzle…a mystery that seems to involve Ivy’s blossoming children!
Why does this book matter?
Writer Amy Chu has written a solidly paced story that’s on the edge of creepy and scary all at once. That’s not something you see every day! Poison Ivy has birthed human/plant hybrids which is like the plot of some great B-movie horror flick. The art has been solid at capturing the creepy too.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Adding Catwoman to the mix has given this book a bit more fun as Selina brings her humorous banter and a lighter tone to the table. It also helps that Catwoman can reflect on the weird and Chu consistently captures how we feel through Catwoman. That makes for a read that’s easy to relate to and it feels like it’s on your level. Chu does a great job with her voice too – with all the characters’ voices for that matter – as they all feel unique and just right.
Chu manages to open this book with a caper type feel, which again, gives it a bit more energy and a little less of the horror creepiness vibe it’s been going with. Fear not if you’re a fan of the creepy stuff though, because the story shifts back into that direction and Chu successfully makes the chipper Catwoman feel just as creeped out as us. There’s some fantastic stuff going on I won’t spoil, but let’s just say wooden skin is one of them. Ick!
Every character gets a role here as well as Darshan – Poison Ivy’s coworker – manages to help out, Catwoman uses her burglary skills, and Ivy brings the muscle. That makes for a nice teamup feel to the proceedings, although it’s never really made clear why Darshan would even help them.
The art by Robson Rocha looks great, especially the facial expressions and reaction shots. He must be going off photographs because in a few they’re so lifelike, and so perfectly reacting to a moment, you’d think this was a movie. Ivy’s costume continues to look fantastic, as well as Catwoman’s black leather, and each scene is easy to follow and well drawn overall.
It can’t be perfect can it?
As I mentioned about Darshan opens this book a captive of Poison Ivy and Chu doesn’t explain why he’s okay with helping two on again off again criminals. One might chalk it up to him liking Poison Ivy, but it’s not really said or shown.
A few panels do look off, from an oddly thin and long armed Catwoman, to a few smaller panels that make it hard to gather the expressions on the characters faces. There’s also a panel with the breasts clearly not aligned with Poison Ivy. All in all, it didn’t ruin the experience, but it was a tad jarring. Poison Ivy is drawn a bit too booby too, with one side boob shot going so overboard I’m pretty sure there’s nipple showing.
Cover up girl!
Is It Good?
If you’ve been reading this all along you won’t be disappointed. It furthers the plot, makes for a fun team-up type of issue, and even instills a bit of humor too. The characters are interesting, the story intriguing and the tone unique in of itself. Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death is memorable in every way.