On Saturday, I walked into my local comic book store knowing what comic I wanted to read. I'm walking around and then I saw it. DC did a new series called Forever Evil. Basically all the villains in the DC world get their own comic. I flipped my bricks when I saw this. My bricks were flipped very much that day. So if you know me, you know what villain I picked up. :)
SPOILER ALERT BELOW!
The comic opens with Poison Ivy walking around Gotham telling us that all the villains are running amok and Batman is nowhere to be found. She is just walking around in the city like a normal person would, except in her usual fashion, she leaves a path of vines and overgrowth in her wake. She is gently walking by people and touching them, causing a very onset chemical reaction… death. While she is causing all this chaos, she is telling us the reader how she became the villain she is today.
In the flash back, we found out that Pamela is actually born with a skin condition and she was really not allowed outside unless she went to her garden. In this comic she did not have the best of childhoods. She came from an abusive home. Her father beats her mother on daily basis and makes up with it by bringing her flowers for their garden. There is one scene in the book where Pamela is talking with her mother about the garden. Her mother tells her why the garden is her favorite place. “The flowers listen and sometimes, if you're quiet enough, they'll even speak to you." I don't know why, but I thought that was a cool allusion to why little Pamela becomes the super villain I know and love. After this scene, you find out that her father killed her mother and buried her in the garden. There is quote in the book that put chills down my spine: "In order to control those around me, I must never lose control of myself".
The comic does a flashback to today and shows us all damage and deaths she is causing. She puts an abusive man into a stranglehold of vines and tells him that they will continue to constrict until there is nothing left. She then turns to the battered woman and tells her that she could just walk away and leave the man to his fate. Holy crap!!
There are more flashbacks in the comic. We see her meeting Bruce Wayne for the first time and trying to convince him to make chemicals that trigger social or behavioral responses (Brain washing). He then fires her and as she is being escorted out, she accidentally spills the chemicals she was working with on herself, thus giving her powers to control plant life and immunity to virtually all poisons.
The comic ends with Poison Ivy saying that with no one in her way, Gotham will become what it was meant to be… HER green kingdom.
For this only being a single issue that gives us some insight into the childhood origins of Pamela Isley, it leaves me wanting more.
I adored this comic!!
I loved the story. Derek Fridolfs did an awesome job on the writing. I loved the concept. For every event shown in the past, it gives us a situation to compare it to in the present. It shows direct cause and effect between traumatic events in her childhood, to her personality traits as an adult… albeit an adult who happens to be botanical terrorist.
Javier Pina created wonderful illustrations for this issue. The art in the present scenes was very dark and used saturated palette. The dreary colors and sharp edges lent itself to defining all chaos that was happening in each panel. The flash back panels were quite the opposite, with many light hues and an almost watercolor aesthetic to them. The art direction gave an easy distinction on whether we were viewing past or present. I find that I am very picky when it comes to the art direction of my comics that I choose to read. And for someone as picky as me, I was most impressed.
This comic is definitely a must read!!
So if you enjoy Batman, the crazy world of Gotham, or like me… just love Poison Ivy, go ahead and pick this up. You will not be disappointed.