Theresa Campagna's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Batman-News Reviews: 25
4.9Avg. Review Rating

Despite a few flaws, G. Willow Wilson's Poison Ivy is a really satisfying read, and a good compensation for one of DC's most misused characters. It's so enjoyable to read about one of Batman's most famous female rogues, and have her allowed to BE a rogue. I really hope it continues to be this good and that DC makes a firm stand as to who this character really is.

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If you're not reading G. Willow Wilson's Poison Ivy, you should be. It is a diamond in the rough of DC comic books coming out in this day and age. It's taken a character whose personality was lost and given her definition and complexity again. I don't know if issue #6 will stick the landing as a conclusion to Ivy's first arc, but for now, I'm incredibly happy with this series.Score: 9/10

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This issue is an entertaining installment to Sean Gordon Murphy's White Knight universe, and is sure to please fans of the Batman Beyond cartoon, even if I'm a bit concerned as to where certain elements of the story are going.

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The DC Vs. Vampires Hunted one-shot is an imperfect yet fun read that primarily focuses on a conflict within the Batfamily. It's an interesting continuation of the twist at the end of the DC Vs. Vampires miniseries, but does a decent job of standing on its own. It's got some great action and is a good little read if you are also into vampires. However, it might not be the best read for Dick Grayson fans.

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Poison Ivy #2 is less a big advancement to the story and more of a musing over who Ivy's character is, taking into consideration how she's seen by many today. Wilson still generally has a good voice for Ivy, but some story missteps make me wonder if this miniseries will ultimately be worthwhile.

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I'm pleased with how G. Willow Wilson has improved on the last couple of issues for this story. So far, I think expanding her work on the series for 12 issues is well deserved. I really appreciate seeing all these elements of Ivy's character that had been cast aside brought back into the forefront again. That said, the portrayal of the Harley and Ivy "romance keeps getting worse, and I really wish it would be cast aside.

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This chapter is a mixed bag for me. There's definitely stuff to like about Sean Gordon Murphy's universe, and I love how he writes Terry and the rest of the Batman Beyond cast. Often times, the massive changes to the main Batman cast make this feel like an original action/drama book, rather than a Batman book.

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I still don't think G. Willow Wilson's Poison Ivy is a bad book. There's definitely entertaining elements here. It's just that I think this book could be so much more. Poison Ivy has so much potential to be a complex, sympathetic character, but you have to do the work to make that happen and not confuse complexity with things that are contradictory.

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Joker: The Man Who Stopped Laughing isn't a bad book, but I am used to a lot more from stories that include the Clown Prince of Crime. I think that the character would be represented a lot better if DC continued to focus on giving him arcs in the main Batman book and under the Black Label, and I'll probably keep that opinion until something really spectacular happens in this run.

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While the artist change-up for Stephanie Phillips' run of Harley Quinn probably won't save the series at this point, it does make the book a lot more palatable than before. I still think it was a bad choice to make this book go monthly though, since I don't think it has the clout or substance behind it to handle that.

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I continue to be unimpressed as Beyond the White Knight goes on. It almost reminds me of a film series that had one initial movie everyone liked, only to spawn a half a dozen bad sequels.

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There are some elements to this book that remind me Stephanie Phillips does have talent as a writer, but those talents don't lie in writing a good Harley Quinn. It's sad how unreadable the character has become with no change. This is not character evolution, development, growth, or whatever you want to call it. It never was.

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DC vs. Vampires: Killers takes another big step in moving DC vs. Vampires' story forward. However, some poor artwork, dialogue, and continued wonky characterization for Harley make it so I can't call this comic good.

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I didn't hate this issue like I did the last one, but a lot of problems still persist in this book, and in the general writing of Harley Quinn at DC Comics. I swear, I'm not saying any of this to attack Stephanie Phillips. I also swear I'm not some Harley Quinn hater who secretly posed as a fan to get this review gig. I just have to call it as I see it, and if you're looking for a quality book to follow, I'm afraid this isn't the one right now.Score: 4.5/10

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I've just had to come to the realization that I just don't love the world of White Knight as much as I thought I did when it started. So much mischaracterization and drama has been drawn out for, I think, a lot longer than it should have been. This series is going on a hiatus now, but hopefully the second half will finally reconcile the political Gotham that Murphy has been dealing with and bring this entire universe to a final conclusion. Score: 4/10

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The Verdict storyline picks up in this issue, and I found myself more curious, but it's not enough to compensate for the core problems of the book.

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Task Force XX is a subpar series thus far. It seems like a definite case of quantity over quality in terms of DC capitalizing off of Dark Crisis and Harley Quinn's 30th Anniversary. However, for a character getting ready to celebrate 3 decades of existing, I'm not seeing the love for Harley in this writing. She has no purpose on this mission so far. Her writing is insufferable and completely devoid of anything I ever liked about the character. If I was first introduced to Harley with her being written like this, I'd have never become a fan in the first place.

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This entire Task Force XX plot line is a disappointing series to do for Harley's 30th Anniversary. The Luke Fox plot feels forced, the tone is all over the place, the jokes are terrible, and Harley doesn't even feel like the protagonist. I'm really looking forward to Harley's 30th Anniversary special, hoping it provides some better stories to celebrate the character. Meanwhile, I think we've hit rock bottom in terms of her writing in this solo.Score: 3.5/10

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Phew! Reviewing this book has been quite an undertaking. It's like I have to give myself a harsh examination to remember what happened in each issue. This entire arc is really about Luke Fox, even though his story feels underdeveloped. It continues to show a lack of interest and understanding for its titular protagonist, even with some half-baked attempts to finally allow Harley to influence the story.

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I'm truly exhausted by this comic at this point. What makes it all the worse is that I feel I'm the only one reading this book at this point. This is why it was such a bad idea to make this one weekly. I really don't know how it can last after the next arc, but what would happen if it got canceled? Would we just get yet another writer who gives the character a bad voice and doesn't really know what to do with her?

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Suicide Squad: Get Joker winds up being a meaningless, forgettable tie-in to a movie that's over a half a year old. No offense to Brian Azzerello and all he's accomplished as a comic book writer, but this is a book that I can see overlooked and spending the rest of its days at comic shops and convention stands, unable to be sold.

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There's not a whole lot to say about this issue. It's just a little set up and filler for a new storyline with an already predictable ending. If Stephanie Phillips subverts my expectations and brings this arc to a different conclusion, I'll be happy.

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Neither the story or the characters make sense or have consistency. The storytelling pretends to have depth through some occasional monologues, though everything is actually very shallow.

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For what it's worth, I told everyone I knew that was going to buy a copy of this comic to avoid it. I myself saved about $20 on it. It's not worth it. Even with the couple of stories that show a little sign of the actual Harley Quinn character, you'd be better off just looking at older material.

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This entire book was just frustrating for me to read. All the elements I like about Stephanie Phillips' Harley seem to be missing. The comedy doesn't work, and the one time we are treated to any character depth for Harley, we are given a monologue that doesn't make sense. On top of that, the overall arc is as predictable as it comes. Come on, DC. I know you can do better for Harley.

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