I’m such a big, dumb Batman fan that I subscribe to several Bats-related subreddits and Pinterest boards. After playing Batman: Arkham Knight and enjoying its Poison Ivy storyline, I hit the internet boards to find recommendations for Poison Ivy-centric books. One recommendation was this short trade paperback from 1997. It is out of print, although I believe at least a portion of it is in the recently released Batman Arkham: Poison Ivy. Additionally, you can still find used copies of the book on Amazon. That’s what I did.
The trade itself is small – roughly two issues of a standard comic. The art inside looks like the cover art. Based on how Ivy is drawn, I would’ve pegged the book as late ’80s or early ’90s, but it’s only about twenty years old. It’s not a gorgeous book, but the art is fine.
The main thing is the writing. I like this Ivy – she wants to create, but, as she says, nothing grows in Gotham. She is tired of destruction and so she moves to her own island in southeast North America and cultivates it as her home. Unfortunately, destructive men use the island to test some kind of next generation napalm. This senseless destruction sends Ivy on a mission for revenge, and it sends Batman on a mission to figure out what Ivy has to do with the weapons testing.
While the art is dates, John Francis Moore captures Ivy, Batman, and Bruce Wayne well. While I’m not up to speed fully on modern Ivy, I think she’s kind of in a grey area in terms of being good or bad. In this book she is closer to The Punisher than a villain. I like this portrayal. I also liked the detective-centric focus on Batman. Violence is rarely deployed in the book – he’s more of a gumshoe than anything.
While this story probably isn’t a must-have for anyone, I do think it’s worth a read if you’re an Ivy completionist.