Poison Ivy has taken over the world. But… is that really such a bad thing after all? Your Major Spoilers review of Batman #42 awaits!
Writer: Tom King
Artist: Mikel Janin
Colorist: June Chung
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Editor: Jamie S. Rich
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in Batman: “Poison Ivy has taken control of every man, woman and child on the planet, and only Batman and Catwoman have escaped her influence. But will the pair of them be enough to nip this in the bud?”
SPOILER ALERT: IT IS A BAD THING
This issue opens with a very tense sequence, as Bruce and Selina sit in their beautifully appointed mansion living room watching a vacuous morning show. Well, more vacuous than the usual morning shows, as the news is basically ‘Everything great, everyone is Ivy, and there’s no more conflict anywhere.’ With a sneer, Batman bids his fiancee to join him in heading out into the world, followed closely by a hovering Superman. We follow them through the streets of Gotham to a Bat-Burger restaurant (which has some cleverly named menu items, as long as you don’t think too hard about the marketing behind them) before heading to a specific suburban house, where they are ambushed by the Justice League, Batman is beaten mercilessly (and, Poison Ivy claims, actually KILLED by Superman and resurrected) with two big cliffhanger moments: One where Catwoman confronts Poison Ivy and finds that Ivy believes she can still be redeemed, and another where Batman is pleased to see Ivy’s choice to serve as his neurologist…
SO, ABOUT THAT WHOLE ‘IVY AS HERO’ THING…
I have to say, I’m not sure about this issue. The dialogue and interactions between Batman and Catwoman are quite nice (although I’m not sure I am a fan of Selina’s tone being quite so sharp and contentious) and I can see where seeing the Bat and the Cat take down much of the Justice League is appealing. I found myself put off by seeing Selina take down not one, not TWO but three separate Flashes with her complete lack of super-powers, the thought that Ivy-as-Superman lost control and murdered Batman is disturbing on a number of levels (not the least of which being the knowledge that part of Superman could be aware of what is happening with his body) and the denouement of the issue feels very much like the cliched ‘has a plan for everything’ Batman that makes for so many predictable 90s storylines. I do enjoy Janin’s art in this issue, especially the bit in the fast food joint where our happy couple has their lunch and his rendition of Poison Ivy is superb, even beautiful.
BOTTOM LINE: A VERY ODD ISSUE
I think that this issue’s events kind of throw a wrench in the idea that Ivy is nothing more than a misunderstood hero on the wrong side of environment struggles, though, and I’m torn between worrying that this story WON’T have any consequences and worrying that it WILL. Batman #42 is a little bit of a mixed bag in terms of story, with some lovely art and at least one screech-to-a-halt plot moment that still manages to make for an intense and engaging read, earning 3 out of 5 stars overall.
Here’s hoping that Superman doesn’t remember killing his friend in a fit of rage…