This book has been a long time coming, with all the social media petitions to bring this book to life- and it feels like I have been waiting an inordinate amount of time for this issue to come out. So with all that expectation heaped on this book, when it came out- it was bound to be a book plenty of people talk about.
This book had a lot of promise, and I was hoping that being a limited series it would be jam-packed with action and excitement, but that wasn’t exactly what was delivered. The mercenaries/militiamen who confront and attack Ivy and her African desert guide was a scene that I wasn’t expecting, but I did enjoy reading it. I like the abrupt way that Ivy dealt with the baddies in this scene, using the Living Fossil plant to dispatch them quickly. I would have liked more from that scene, or just a bit longer setup for the discovery of the Living Fossil, because the rest of the book really doesn’t really do much to grab me, story-wise.
We have Ivy working at the Gotham Botanical Gardens, even though she is a supervillain and all-around bad lady, where she is abruptly met by Harley Quinn, in her Dr. Harleen Quinzell guise, which would only make sense to the reader if you were up to date on Harley’s solo book where she is still coco-banana bonkers but puts on her Doctor coat like nothing has changed. I wasn’t sure about the inclusion of Harley into this book, because while Ivy has some backstory with the Sirens (Harley and Catwoman) I was really not looking forward to seeing the same story played out in a different way.
In this book, Harley tries to work her way back into Ivy’s life, they go for a drink, which oh-so-predictably turns into a bar fight. The bar fight turns into two straight biker dudes making out (because whenever Harley and Ivy are together, there has to be some sort of sexual situation shoehorned in). Ivy gets naked, which is only saved from the reader’s eyes by a strategically placed shadow and flower pot (which felt old and tired when Austin Powers did it like 30 years ago…).
The final scene, where Ivy is woken by a buzzing of her cellphone, TO WHICH THERE IS NO NOTIFICATION, and thenthe whole premise of the following five issues is pretty bluntly laid out, was the only good part of the whole issue. I feel like, when I read issues two and three, that I will be able to pick out a handful of necessary pages from each and build it into one decent twenty page story. This issue was well drawn, and the characters were made with the best of intentions, but the story is just lackluster, and I don’t know if this kind of book will really bode well for the next wave of “internet backlash” over the exclusion of characters. I hope that this book turns things around fast, and ascends to great heights, but if the book continues to play on the same tropes that made Ivy a strictly secondary character before, then there will be nothing momentous to take away from this book, and nothing of worth to build on for the next wave of miniseries titles for other, lesser known characters.
I wished there had been more to get excited over with this issue, but it just didn’t give me that feeling like “FINALLY! We have waited SO long for this book, and we tried to do the whole grassroots campaign and it succeeded, and so we are given this stellar and evergreen (pun intended) story that will stand for ages as proof that social media can be a force for good, and that the internet isn’t just a place to dump all your outrage over nothing”. Mostly this book just felt like a rather hollow attempt to appease a pretty vocal group of social media activists, who wont really see that this book hasn’t done much of anything stellar for a character who has the potential to be fantastic.