The final issue of this story is here, but will Poison Ivy’s babies be the ones who really beat the bad guy? Wait…she has babies?! Is it good?
Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death #6 (DC Comics)
Poison Ivy and her Sporelings battle for survival in the epic final chapter of “Cycle of Life and Death”! The monster Grim makes his final move, the murderer is revealed, and Pamela Isley’s life will be forever changed! Plus, someone, or someTHING, joins the fray!
Why does this book matter?
So far, Amy Chu has written a pretty good horror story that’s masquerading as a supervillain redemption story. Poison Ivy has managed to appear heroic, but still has some violent tendencies she can’t keep at bay. She’s also a mad scientist, combining human and plant DNA. Aside from that someone is murdering folks around town and they’re pinning it on P.I. (let’s make that stick) and it’s damn well time she ends it this issue.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This is one of those issues where the villain explains why he did what he did and how he got here. Typically I’m a fan of these types of comics since it involves a story within the story and when told well basically adds more bang to the story buck. His story makes sense, although becoming a 30 foot monster probably isn’t the real answer here. Chu keeps the flashback short and interesting, focusing more on the battle at hand between said 30 foot villain and Poison Ivy and her kids.
The biggest takeaway is going to be the surprise guest that joins the fight and where we leave off. It ends relatively well seeing as there’s some change to mix things up in the future too. Chu manages to stick some humorous bits in too with the guest hero that any WWE fan should dig.
Much of this issue is action which means artist Al Barrionuevo and Cliff Richards are in charge of making the pencils look clean and easy to follow. They don’t disappoint…completely. The monster villain is a bit boring and simple (like something out of a cheap Power Rangers episode), but effectively creepy with his skull head and pointy bits. He’s basically an Ent with arms and legs. The action itself is easy on the eyes, but it’s a tad hard to follow as detail does lack in environments and backgrounds. There’s one moment that works very well that I won’t spoil, but let’s just say when the bad guy is down, make sure they’re dead!
It can’t be perfect can it?
The lack of backgrounds kind of kills the reading experience for me partly because it makes it harder to follow the action, but also because this book feels unfinished. You can tell two artists were involved with the art too, with Ivy looking not herself in some panels, but then much more herself (at least how she’s looked in the rest of this series) in others. These elements take you out of the story and into the, “What am I looking at?” experience.
There’s also a balance issue. It opens with flashback and then sticks with all out action for the remaining pages (save for an epilogue of sorts). This series was never about big action, but maybe Chu felt it was necessary given it was a climax. Needless to say, some of the best moments in this series were like small vignettes in a horror film, but unfortunately this has devolved into a Godzilla type brawl.
Is It Good?
An average book that wraps things up and has a nice flashback sequence to have it all make sense in the end. The series as a whole has been good due to the smaller horror scenes littered throughout, but unfortunately this issue loses that and ends up becoming a bad guy vs. good guy brawl.