Harley Quinn & Poison Ivy #4 – Jody Houser, Writer; Adriana Melo, Penciller; Mark Morales, Wade Von Grawbadger, Inkers; Hi-Fi, Colorist
Ray – 7/10
Ray: Harley and Ivy’s odd road trip has passed the halfway point with Harley Quinn & Poison Ivy #4, and while it’s great to see the girlfriends get a series devoted to their joint adventures, I wish those adventures were as good as the characters.
So far they’re just moving from space to space being tormented by the Floronic Man and assorted Bat-villains. Harley’s impulsiveness causes many of the problems like we see in this issue, where Harley notices an ad for a dinosaur park and insists they visit. They don’t find dinosaurs, of course – instead they find a Z-list supervillain named Dracorex.
An old woman who dresses up like a dinosaur and seems obsessed with keeping people in her park forever, as best I can tell she’s an original character created for this comic. The problem is, she veers wildly in this issue from wacky annoyance to horrible monster with an odd penchant for sadistic murder of her innocent captives. [Corrina’s note: this villain seems to be a parody straight from the Game of Thrones television show.]
What does work better is the part of Harley Quinn & Poison Ivy #4 that deals with Floronic Man. Swamp Thing is usually a gentle giant, so it’s rare to see just how horrific the Green’s abilities can be when used to their full potential. Here we see Woodrue manifest in grotesque ways like through a salad that people ingested, or through plant spores that infect a body part. Essentially a living, intelligent pathogen that can send parts of himself anywhere, he’s a creepy horror villain that takes the tone of the issue in a completely different direction once he arrives.
The last segment of the issue, where Ivy has to make a grim sacrifice (although not a permanent one) to get rid of Woodrue’s connection to her, delivers the issue’s best moment. The problem is, the events that lead up to this are probably the series’ weakest and the series doesn’t feel like it’s really found a firm direction beyond the strong central relationship.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.