Batman: Secret Files: The Gardener #1
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Batman: Secret Files: The Gardener #1

Writer: James Tynion IV Artist: Christian Ward Publisher: DC Comics Release Date: November 17, 2021 Cover Price: $4.99 Critic Reviews: 8 User Reviews: 17
8.2Critic Rating
6.3User Rating

She is shrouded in mystery, her motives a secret, and one cannot help but ask: Who is Bella Garten, a.k.a. the Gardener, really? Green-thumbed storytellers James Tynion IV and Christian Ward dig deep into her past and unearth the secret origin of the latest addition to Batman’s rogues gallery. Learn not only how Bella Garten came to know Pamela Isley, but how she was integral to the origin of the woman who would one day be known to all as Poison Ivy.

  • 10 - Jenna Anderson Nov 17, 2021

    This issue is a must-read for fans of Bella, Ivy, and even Harley"and also fans of the stunning ways superhero comics can tell a story. Read Full Review

  • 10
    Comic Crusaders - Johnny "The Machine" Hughes Nov 18, 2021

    Lost amid the Fear State books, this is a little gem of a book, reminiscent of Fear State Alpha with its unusual designs. Tynion has gone a long way to ensuring that fans get what they have been calling for; no, make that what readers and Ivy and Harley themselves deserve. Recognition of how important they are to each other, and how important their love and relationship is to the DC Universe. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Geek Dad - Ray Goldfield Nov 16, 2021

    In lesser hands, it could have been a throwaway tie-in, but with Tynion and Ward at the helm it delivers a smooth and compelling story. I'm hoping writers continue to explore the Gardner and Tynion's other originals after he departs. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    But Why Tho? - William Tucker Nov 16, 2021

    Batman Secret Files: The Gardener #1 is a gorgeous comic. The story is investing and the reader will come away with so much more knowledge on the strongest characters this universe has to offer. There is more in than just backstory, with politics rife towards the end. But the issue is just simply bewildering to look at. Wards art style is achingly lovely and so fitting for a character reveling in nature. It allows for this incredible display of affection and beauty. There will not be a prettier comic out this week. Read Full Review

  • 8.6
    Comic Watch - Duna Haller Nov 16, 2021

    A gorgeous work of art, narrating an intriguing story and the equally intriguing psyche of captivating characters. Sometimes too much of a work of art, other times perfectly there, but with both a set up and a conclusion that are more than satisfying. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Dark Knight News - Sharna Jahangir Nov 20, 2021

    This was an interesting read, and seeing more of DC's icons is always lovely. Read Full Review

  • 6.5
    Weird Science - Eric Shea Nov 16, 2021

    If you're looking for some serious new information about The Gardener, I feel like you're not going to find it here but more of a recap of Poison Ivy and a strange explanation by the end that feels like it retcons previous events to tell us why there are two Ivys. The art is decent but the way that the writing and the art merge to tell a story comes off pretty bland overall. Read Full Review

  • 4.5
    Batman-News - Casper Rudolph Nov 16, 2021

    Since the comic relies heavily on exposition instead of showing the events, and with this being a story about Ivy as told by Gardener rather than a story about Gardener herself, it's hard to engage with the content. The artwork is fantastic, though, and definitely a reason to consider buying this issue. That said, I don't recommend this comic"it just doesn't cut it for me. Read Full Review

  • 10
    cincyfan Nov 20, 2021

    Wow this is phenomenal!!! I loved everything about this story and wow the artwork was amazing! 10 all day

  • 9.0
    UxasIs Nov 23, 2021

    What a beautiful issue! Its a shame we don't see much painted art like this anymore in comics

    This issue is definitely going to make the continuity geeks throw tantrums

  • 5.0
    Reaper74 Oct 5, 2022

    Ok book. It did nothing to share the Gardener in any way. It was more an Ivy book told by the Gardener. And what is with Batman being so ambivalent with villains.

  • 4.5
    Amazing Psycamorean Nov 29, 2021

    Maybe I should take time out to respond to the lunacy in Merlyn's review and the comment below, but I don't think it's worth responding to. Merlyn doesn't know how to read, and that Bats guy reminds me of those lunatics you see preaching on college campuses after their first philosophy course. They say so much that means so little, and you're often confused as the point has been thoroughly obscured. Why am I so focused on that review instead of the issue? Because this issue is a waste of time and boring as fuck. I did not care about the Gardener before reading this, and I still don't care. She's such a waste of space. She didn't need to exist, she will promptly be forgotten soon enough. The Ivy stuff is *fine* but I've seen more than enough more

    + LikeComments (8)
  • 4.5
    hesfkshgf Nov 20, 2021

    Calling this a Gardener issue is so misleading! It’s about Ivy and not much more, plus James a Tynion changes the whole origin of the 2 ivy’s set up in the Harley/Ivy mini-series only to shoehorn his character into the story

  • 4.0
    Merlyn Nov 16, 2021

    Not as awful as I would have expected but I'm getting sick and tired of this environmentalism wave in comics that tries to present mass murderers as victims of society, so yeah, Tynion "does it again". Ivy is not a victim of "other men". She is an insane supervillain who thinks killing innocent people will make the world better. Anyone who tries to justify this needs a visit to a psychiatrist.

    + LikeComments (2)
  • 3.0
    retcon_D Dec 19, 2021


  • 8.5
    wesshamu Dec 23, 2021

  • 8.0
    Swanktub Nov 21, 2021

  • 8.0
    arsenicBR Nov 20, 2021

  • 7.5
    Watchtower022 Nov 25, 2021

  • 7.5
    KittyNone Nov 20, 2021

  • 7.5
    daspidaboy Nov 20, 2021

  • 7.5
    tonpas1989 Nov 16, 2021

  • 6.5
    Adsun22 May 28, 2023

  • 4.5
    SenpaifenixJäger Nov 18, 2021

  • 1.0
    TheBest Nov 18, 2021

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