Harley and Ivy is a followup to Dini and Timm’s Mad Love, a Harley Quinn-centric collection I gave a hearty five stars to only a month ago. While Mad Love was about Harley and Joker, this book follows the hijinks of two of Batman’s more famous villains.
The main story in this collection is a fun around-the-world adventure in which Harley and Ivy cause trouble in Gotham, traipse through an exotic rain forest, and make their debuts in Hollywood. The varied settings provide opportunities for a brighter and more exotic look and color palette than Bat-readers often see. Character-wise, Dini and Timm give us a pitch-perfect Harley. This isn’t surprising, since they created the character (along with Arleen Sorkin’s amazing voicework). Ivy is grumpy, principled, and reluctantly protective of Harley. Harley and Ivy have an interesting dynamic that has been explored more by other writers. I enjoyed this story but found the art frustrating. Timm famously loves drawing his female characters in various states of undress or in suggestive poses. His art in this collection is too much for me. In my mind, you can create intriguing and sexy characters without drawing spread-legged heroes in their underwear. If that’s your thing, this is your book.
This deluxe collection also includes several single issues from other comics. Several of these were fun or well-written. My favorite was Role Models, in which a kidnapped girl escapes her captor and looks for help from a costumed hero. Instead of finding Batgirl or Batman, though, she finds Harley and Ivy.
I enjoyed this collection overall, but as one Goodreads reviewer noted, I would be embarrassed to read this on the bus because of some of the art.