Harley and Ivy Meet Betty and Veronica #5 – Paul Dini, Mark Andreyko, Writers; Laura Braga, Adriana Melo, Artists; Arif Prianto, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW
Ray: After a few entertaining issues that maybe dragged out the body-swap plotline a bit too much, Harley and Ivy Meet Betty and Veronica #5 speeds up its plot in a big way with this packed issue that brings the two groups of gal pals together again for team-ups and betrayals. While Reggie has been captured by the villains, Betty and Veronica – in Harley and Ivy’s bodies – finally track down Sabrina, and after some arguing and much snarking from everyone’s favorite talking cat, they manage to get their bodies swapped back with Harley and Ivy. With that crisis resolved, they’re able to talk out their issues in the grand Archie tradition – with shakes at Pop’s diner. It soon becomes clear that Mr. Lodge is in much deeper than thought on the Sweetwater Swamp deal – his chief business partner is Lenny the Lamprey, and the corrupt mastermind has structured the deal for a coup of Lodge Inc.
Lenny the Lamprey debuted in this title as sort of a side character and not a very intimidating villain – especially given how laughable his henchmen were – but in this issue, he actually turns out to be a pretty intimidating foe. Not only does he have the business skills of a Penguin, enough so that he was able to trap Riverdale’s savviest businessman, but he proves himself to be ruthlessly murderous when his intentions are threatened. Harley and Ivy briefly team up to stop him, but that ends quickly when Ivy betrays her new friends to be able to save the swamp more easily. And it’s all for naught as they all wind up captured, in a deathtrap set up by the Lamprey, who intends to bury them with the rest of Sweetwater Swamp. Balancing high-intensity Gotham action with Riverdale antics isn’t an easy task, but the creative team here pulls it off.
Corrina: Yes, it was past time for the ladies to swap back to their regular bodies but, I admit, it was worth the snark from Sabrina to get there.
Lenny the Lamprey. Tomato Head dude. Reggie pretending to be the Joker. The double- and triple-crosses. They’re all great fun. I’m glad this book didn’t go down quite as dark a path as it could have, though there’s enough Gotham in the Riverdale setting to satisfy Harley fans.
How will they escape? Stay tuned!
Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.