Poison Ivy #5 – G. Willow Wilson, Writer; Marcio Takara, Brian Level/Stefano Gaudiano, Artists; Arif Prianto, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: This continues to be one of the darkest Poison Ivy stories ever told, as G. Willow Wilson takes us deep inside the twisted psyche of Pamela Isley like never before. As Ivy travels the nation spreading the toxic fungus she intends to use to end humanity’s impact on Earth, the spores start working on her own still-human mind as well—slowly driving her insane and uncovering twisted, long-buried secrets. Brian Level joins the art team for the first eight pages here, a delirious hallucination segment as Ivy recalls the tortures that Jason Woodrue, aka the Floronic Man or “The Green Man” put her through as a college student. But as the dream fades, Ivy still isn’t alone—she finds herself haunted by a dryly sarcastic version of Batman, who seems to be commenting on the flaws in her plan and trying to get her to see what’s happening to her—something she’s thoroughly uninterested in exploring right now.
That’s because she’s finally tracked down Woodrue, and there’s only one thing on her mind—revenge. Wilson has taken this chapter of Ivy’s past, which was explored by multiple writers on Batman and Swamp Thing-related books, and given it a whole new tone of horror. Woodrue’s cruel manipulation of his mentee has never been so clear, and even now—supervillainess to hideous mutated monster—his contempt for her is still obvious as he taunts her and fails to view her as a threat. Wilson has chosen her art team well for the focus on body horror, as Woodrue might be the most disturbing character in the book yet. Even covered in mutations, seeming less human than ever, he’s still so clearly petty and cruel, coming off less as a villain than an abuser. That sets the emotional stakes for this series sky-high—and makes the eventual dark twist all the more shocking. DC definitely made the right choice extending this series for as long as Wilson wants it.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.