POISON IVY: CYCLE OF LIFE AND DEATH #6 Review and Thoughts
Written by AMY CHU
Art by AL BARRIONUEVO, CLIFF RICHARDS, SANDU FLOREA, and SCOTT HANNA
Cover by CLAY MANN and ULISES ARREOLA
“Life is a full circle, widening until it joins the circle motions of the infinite.”
I’m not a reviewer so this is more a freeform essay. Six months ago Amy Chu started Poison Ivy, Cycle of Life and Death. Poison Ivy’s first series in 50 years. Yesterday the final issue hit the shelves. I can’t say absolutely anything about the plot because everything is a potential spoiler.
Instead I’ll say that this issue (and the series) is incredibly important because it defines who Poison Ivy is and where she belongs in the DC Universe. If you have a character like Batman or Superman or Wonder Woman, you don’t have to define their place in the DC Universe. With Poison Ivy and because she is a character that has suffered from horrifyingly bad writing throughout her history, you have to spend at least six (or more issues) to explain who she is, how she thinks, how she feels.
This is what a lot of reviewers completely missed and ended up giving some aggravatingly bad reviews. They think they know Poison Ivy but they don’t. What is her place in the science world, how smart is she, what is her connection to the Green, why is she violent sometimes and other times she is a frail benevolent force? Very few writers bothered to touch these issues: Gaiman, Rucka, Simone, Layman, Marx, Nocenti and now Amy Chu.
And this issue is her identity. It clears out a lot of misconceptions about her. It reinvents the character by digging deep inside her and answers simple yet important questions. It defines her as an independent character which is something incredibly important. So far we haven’t seen Poison Ivy. What we have seen is a straw character used as a sidekick, lover and punchbag to other characters. But there is more to her. Poison Ivy is more than that.