Harley’s Crew | Book Club Wks 37 & 38: Spotlight: Poison Ivy

Hey @Harleys-Crew! It’s time for another spotlight on our favorite botanical wizard, Dr. Isley! :poisonivy_hqas::rose: We’ll be digging (pun intended) into a variety of stories…

Fruit of the Earth:
Shadow of the Bat 88
Batman 568
Detective Comics 735

Detective Comics: Poison Ivy 23.1
Gotham Central #32
Leaves of Grass: Shadow of the Bat 56-58

:earth_americas: BONUS: Poison Ivy: Secret Origins 10, (Pg.26)

Read one, read ‘em all—your choice! Or just help us figure out why in the world Ivy doesn’t have an ongoing series yet??

We’ll take the first week (4/26-5/2) to read, then discuss during the second week (5/3-5/9). Did you enjoy them? Have you read them before? Did you do anything in particular for Earth Day or is it 365 days a year for you too? Drop your thoughts below when you’re ready. :diamonds::green_heart: See ya soon!

:harleys_crew: You can join or learn more about Harley’s Crew HERE.

14 Likes

ICYMI: Check these out:

This awesome Sejic Ivy :star_struck:

And another “who would win” poll —Ivy vs. Swamp Thing! :green_heart: Stop by :point_down: here

9 Likes

Started with Detective: Poison Ivy. It’s weird how the personal attachment to the character has grown over the years, in no small part because of her relationship with Harley. @Razzzcat you’ve spoken of Pamela being asexual until she learns some empathy, then finds Harely. I think this story perfectly fits that journey. She’s had any emotional connection with other people stripped away from her through isolation, violence, and loss. When she plays the femme fatal with the dean, she smiles but feels nothing. Now, where this story doesn’t completely work for me is when she goes from disregard for people to contempt. Again, this is something that’s impacted by how I see her today, but it doesn’t feel exactly right to me.

Whenever showing Ivy, how green is always a question. A little green lipstick and eye shade work well.

7 Likes

@msgtv Yes. To me, it’s like she feels nothing, (and perhaps that’s her compartmentalizing). She’s afraid, and buries any human emotion so deep, no one can hurt her and she becomes pessimistic. It starts as disregard, but bury feelings long enough and they become anger and resentment—that sorta thing.
And then there was Harley. :harley_hv_2: An eternal optimist. Ivy can’t help but get some of that positivity on her and be attracted to it. Harley’s like the sun, and Ivy needs light to grow. :wink: :seedling::00_harlivy:

6 Likes

Going Gotham Central next. Gonna get a cup of tea and a cookie, too.

5 Likes

The only problem with reading an isolated issue of Gotham Central is that you then want to read all of Gotham Central. So, in the last comment I was uneasy with a homicidal Ivy. Gotham Central features a homicidal Ivy, and I loved every panel of it. First, Rucka GCPD is so raw and real, it’s The Wire in comic book form. The abuse thrown at Rene and Crispis, the corrupt closing ranks, it’s so very well done. Then we get our girl. No one messes with our girl or those she cares for.


A simpler design and color scape for this series, but boy does that work.

8 Likes

Right?! Definite recommend to all- awesome series. Agree on the artwork. I’d usually think it was too flat, but it :100: works!

As for the story: Even though we don’t see Ivy until the end, it’s a great appearance for her, imo. Captures Ivy’s more maternal instincts—she’s scary and untamed here, yes lol (not unlike nature!), but I understand her motivation. She sometimes protects what and who is often the forgotten or exploited, and I can’t exactly say I don’t empathize. :woman_shrugging:t2: How society treats the weakest among us is who we are, and Ivy definitely doesn’t like it! So she’s got an eye for an eye approach to justice. :poisonivy_hqas: :green_heart:
Ngl, it’s one of my favorite things about her!
(Loved this page)

Anyway. I’m also just a shameless Greg Rucka fan, and I love the way he writes certain characters. He’s great w/ Montoya, Ivy…Diana and Huntress, as well. Read all of his work, everyone! :partying_face:

6 Likes

Ooh, No Man’s Land! :heart:

Do I dare venture back into books I bought and initially read in my high school years? Eh, sure, why not? I’ll just need to find my portable CD player and snag a frosty cold bottle of Fruitopia to complete the experience.

remembers that he sold his high school-era portable CD player years and years ago, and is then informed that Fruitopia, like Gimbels department store, is gone, long gone, in fact

Welp, we’ll always have Paris the comics at least.

4 Likes

@Vroom You can read whichever you like. NO pressure. :purple_heart:

4 Likes

I’ll re-read them, and try to respond in kind in a timely manner.

I am on Harleen #3 though, so I’m finally going to finish that series. Some day. Swear. :slight_smile:

4 Likes

Okay, I’m back: Secret Origins!
Stepjan Sejic was the artist on the this one, so obviously I think it’s gorgeous to look at and the art tells a story all by itself:

Its only about 10 pages, but a lot happens—a crash course in Poison Ivy, and it works.
It manages to capture her general vibe, that she’s not tolerating thoughtlessness or greed at the expense of the Green. She’s calm, cool and collected, which is just part of why I’m a fan, and I thought about that for a beat…
She’s so matter-of-fact about death and murder, I should prbly be bothered by it, but I’m not. :speak_no_evil: Why?! When I was younger, I remember thinking: maybe it’s because she knows, on some level, nothing ever really dies? Everything is linked. :earth_americas: Everything has a place and a part to play in the ecological sphere, so she doesn’t see it as the end?? That’s what a I’ve kept in mind ever since. :green_heart: Anyway.
If they ever get around to giving us this version of Ivy in live-action, it has the potential to be a horror film, honestly. :laughing:One scene in particular made me think of the first episode of Swamp Thing. I’d :100: watch it (or read it), if they ever go for it.

6 Likes

Me, watching scary-Ivy like this :popcorn:

image

Ps. No rush @Vroom. Threads not going anywhere. :stuck_out_tongue: …neither is Harleen. :harleys_crew:

3 Likes

Not Harley-related, but speaking of Mr. Sejic, have you seen this?

5 Likes

GASP! No?!
I know what He-Man is, but I’m not super familiar. That doesn’t mean I can’t admire the cover—Thank you! :purple_heart:

5 Likes

You should check out some of DC’s MOTU books. Sejic did cover art for some of them.

Edit: Evidently, I was wrong. I saw covers for DC-published MOTU books that looked like the art was from Sejic’s hand, but it ultimately wasn’t.

5 Likes

image

@Vroom Lookit who popped up in a gif search. It’s like she’s following me today. :wink:

4 Likes

Nothing wrong with her following ya around.

So long as, you know, she’s not a looney and I doubt Ms. Kemper is.

I also doubted her character’s taste in men on The Office, prior to getting hitched to Andy. Some women just pick odd dudes…

waves to Ellie, then rams into a pew because he was distracted

That…that did not feel good.

Ellie says “Oh, no!” and offers me some butterscotch candy

Ah, sweets from a sweet lady. That makes the leg I unintentionally rammed into the pew feel a lot better. :slight_smile:

shakes off the remaining discomfort as he takes his seat

4 Likes

I will start with Fruit of the Earth because that’s the one I read first:

It was a fun, nostalgic trip revisiting No Man’s Land for a bit (also got to do it with this week’s BoP reading… huh…). Major takeaways from this story revolved around the whole Ivy vs. Clayface angle. Surface level, I have said before and do believe that Ivy is the most powerful bat-villain.I would say Clayface would likely be second on that list, so it’s a good match-up.

On a more abstract level. There has been mention of Ivy’s feelings toward exploitation. It’s certainly not a stretch to say that disgust over exploitation of the planet and it’s natural resources are a major motivating factor for Ivy. Clayface’s actions in this story are pure exploitation both of the orphans he exploits for labor and the Earth that he overtaxes to grow cash-crops that are not natural for that area/climate. He kind of reminds me of a certain institution that shall remain nameless coughglobalcapitalismcough. I can easily say that Ivy would’ve felt Clayface earned what happened to him in the end.

Detective Comics #23.1:
Ah the villain months that seem to pop up every few years now with DC Comics… I remember these issues being much-needed as New 52 continuity was still building and a lot of villain origins had not yet been addressed. I found this to be an interesting take on Ivy’s origin.

My focus here is really on the history surrounding her mother and father. On one hand, I can see how it lead to Ivy’s deep-rooted (heh, heh) anger regarding exploitation and abuse of the weak, and her feelings about the earth as she would associate her mother with the garden. That being said… I’m maybe a little less clear on how that event when she was young lead to her almost-sociopathic disinterest in humanity along with the disregard for free will. I could make guesses/inferences, but it wasn’t the most straight-forward character development. I felt like there were chapters of the story missing that would have filled-in those blanks.

Gotham Central #32:
I also thought of The Wire while reading this one, @msgtv (The Wire- now available on HBOMax!). I don’t know if I have much to add here. I loved the story and it was another great example of how Ivy feels about exploitation and abuse of the weak, as pointed out by @Razzzcat. This is definitely a theme running through most of these stories. I was interested by the character of Jim Corrigan and wondered if and how he had any relation to The Spectre- Jim Corrigan. DC Wiki says no, but… funny coincidence. Maybe a red herring character since Crispus Allen ended up becoming the Spectre.

Leaves of Grass:
Oh boy… I don’t know where to start or what I’m even allowed to say a la Community Guidelines… I was VERY distracted by the themes on marijuana in this story. First, a drug-war over marijuana??? I’m not sure how realistic it was even in the 90’s for gangs to go to war over just weed. It was also really bizarre as the story seemed to be delivering an anti-drug message while also outlining the benefits of marijuana/hemp. Though, that friction was maybe the best material out of this story. Overall, it reminded me of a slightly better informed reefer madness story from the Golden Age/50’s. I feel like it wouldn’t see print in the same form today as the discussion over weed has changed quite a bit.

Oh, yeah, I’m supposed to be talking about Ivy… In this story, Ivy was great. She’s always great.

Secret Origins:
I had to go back and check to remind myself if this story fleshed out Ivy’s origin more than Dectective #23.1 did. …It didn’t. I still feel like there are some missing pieces there, but that’s another reason why Ivy should get her own ongoing. Otherwise great art and loved how she took on a corporation that TOTALLY doesn’t represent an actual, real-life corporation that pulls that kind of garbage on the regular… nope… complete fiction… :wink:

Edit: Having thought about it a bit more Ivy’s disregard for free will in her pitch to Brucie from Detective #23.1 is kind of at odds with her feelings regarding exploitation of the weak. That’s definitely something that needs to be explored a bit more.

7 Likes

Reasons we need Isley…

Agree @TheCosmicMoth, they have that Ivy 101 crash course vibe. They really do need to pull it together and show us more about why she does what she does, rather than relying on readers to fill in the blanks.
Dear DC, I know you like abusing her and other characters as a 1 dimensional n’ all, but it’s boring when you do that, so please just give us a series…w/ a good writer!

I have very similar feelings about Leaves of Grass (was just going back thru it) so I’ll be back! Also: Hi Moth!! :hugs: Glad you came by!:green_heart:

7 Likes

Hey @Razzzcat! :hugs: :green_heart: Sorry I’ve been absent for so long! I’m hoping to be more present moving forward.

And, yes! It would be great to have something like Isley to help us understand Ivy’s motivations a bit better. Plus… being one of Batman’s most popular rogues… I’m still really confused about why it hasn’t happened already.

6 Likes