Poison Ivy is struggling to resist a deadly strain of spores she consumed to enhance her waning powers after her fall from extreme heights of power as Queen Ivy. The first few issues feel very classically “Poison Ivy wants to eradicate humanity for the devastation that we have wrecked upon the environment,” but it is rapidly revealed to be a more complex situation and not only because Ivy seems to be being haunted by her mentor/creator.
Ivy is grappling with what seems to be her own impending death and powerlessness while using her toxic spore to leave a trail of death and destruction in her wake, except it doesn’t spread the way she expects and she keeps running into people who she ends up caring about. Her initial desire to purge humanity eventually turns into something else as she gets her own personal catharsis and comes to the realization that she isn’t as powerless as she assumed and maybe it isn’t necessary to wipe out all humanity.
It ends up being a very poignant meditation on climate grief from someone who is deeply connected to nature. Ivy transitions from a hopeless mindset that there is nothing humans can do to save the planet except die to finding hope and regeneration in the ability to do smaller scale things that are within her power, like bringing down someone whose business is polluting local crops. Yes, it’s fiction, but I found my own catharsis in reading it, especially coming on the back of my own climate anxieties brought on by an unsettlingly warm winter.
In addition to her physical struggles with the toxic spores, part of Ivy’s feeling of powerlessness comes from being stripped of the powers associated with her time as Queen Ivy. This event precedes the events of this series, but you are given enough details to get a decent understanding of what happened, including the fact that Harley had something to do with it and this resulted in a falling out.
Fear not, however, there’s a HarlIvy reunion in issue nine and the first six issues are narrated via letters that Ivy has written to Harley. There’s also an incredible amount of other lesbian goings on, including a lesbian orgy in issue 10 in the midst of fake medicine/bullshit environmentalism health and wellness retreat that seems a bit like a parody of Gwennyth Paltrow’s fake medicine/lifestyle brand Goop.
All told, the 2022 “Poison Ivy is a really great series and I would highly recommend heading to your local comic shop to add it to your pull list. Though, as a warning, if you are sensitive to things like parasitic fungus or plant-based body horror, I would recommend proceeding with caution. I do not know when a trade might be coming, but this is my go to site to pick up back issues of comics.
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