Vol 1: The Virtuous Cycle, illustrated by Marcio Takara, colored by Arif Prianto, lettered by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Ivy feels betrayed by her partner and long-time friend, Harley Quinn, who recently helped save her life but diminished her powers. She's never been a fan of how humanity has run rampant over the earth, so she's taking matters into her own hands once again. Ivy has decided to take the poisonous spores of Lamia that are growing inside her and distribute them throughout the country as she journeys back to her hometown of Seattle. Ivy stops along the way at a diner and tries to infect as many people as possible, as well as at a packing plant where she can spread the spoors on the packages that are being mailed out across the country. She can feel the level of toxins rising in her, so she must hurry to get to Seattle if she's going to confront the Green Man before the lamia takes over her entirely.
This is a very sophisticated comic for a superhero story. Ivy is tackling some really big items in this - as always, she's looking out for the environment and besmirching the humans who have done wrong to the planet, but we also get a rail against consumerism and some commentary on the state of humanity in the United States as she makes her way across the country. There are factory workers who are worked to the bone as slaves and abused by their boss, as well as some thought paid to the standard of living a working family can achieve. Ivy has a lot of pain going into this book, which is not necessarily resolved by the end of it, so, although she's killing people as she makes her trek, there's also a piece of me that sees everything of where she's coming from.
The illustrations in this book are some of my favorite. They're on par with the amount of detail Sana Takeda puts in her books. There were so many plants and vibrant colors in every scene, and I ate up each panel. The team did a fantastic job of animating the plant life and Ivy in a way that isn't always required of comics. There weren't explosions and fancy action sequences - instead, there was tons of growth and greenery.
There is a scene between Ivy and one of the factory workers where it's very clear they're sleeping together, but nothing is fully seen on the page. With this and the more mature topics under discussion, this would be much better suited to older teens and adults.
Sara's Rating: 9/10
Suitability Level: Grades 11-Adult
Publisher: DC Comics
Publication Date: May 16, 2023
ISBN: 9781779518491 (Hardcover)
Tags: Rating: 9/10, Suitability: High School, Suitability: Adult, Comicbooks, Suspense, Superheroes, DC Comics
I've been reading manga and comicbooks for years. Now, I write reviews and other helpful things for School Librarians, teachers, parents, and students.
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