*Warning: This article contains spoilers for Poison Ivy #9*
Love is in the air this time of year. G. Willow Wilson’s Poison Ivy run from DC has been an absolute hit, so much so, that DC extended the initial six-issue series to 12 back in August. This series sees Dr. Pam Isley, aka Poison Ivy, take down her nemesis and return to her roots as a villain in a truly gruesome way. It’s been a breath of fresh air, and each subsequent issue has been superb. To celebrate the aura of romance, Poison Ivy #9 from G. Willow Wilson, Marcio Takara and Arif Prianto, pulls out all the stops by finally bringing in Ivy’s long awaited lover—Harley Quinn.
A surprise guest at the door
Throughout this run, we are teased with the appearance of one Harley Quinn. The initial arc sees Ivy writing letters to Harley, explaining that everything she is doing (going on a road trip and brutally murdering the townsfolk with parasitic fungus—classic villain stuff) has been for her. Pam has found some flickers of romance along the way, but no matter what, it always comes back to Harley. As Ivy is enjoying a coffee, looking over the beautiful skyline of Seattle, it’s Harley who makes a shocking appearance at the door.
Wilson reminds us how special the relationship between Harley and Ivy is. Unlike actual poison ivy, this bond is anything but toxic. The two bring out the best in each other in every way.
Harley knows everything Ivy is going through during this series from reading her letters. Ivy is currently using lamia spores as a source for her power, and to connect to the green. What makes this different is that the spores are a parasitic fungus, difficult to control and extraordinarily dangerous if she lets them overcome her. Fairly timely with The Last of Us taking the world by storm.
Harley wants to see the world through Ivy’s eyes, through the spores. Ivy allows this and, naturally, Harley, instead of being petrified, becomes fascinated by these twisted visions of the green. It’s in Harley’s nature to see the world without judgement and without fear. The two share a beautiful day, walking through the parks as Harley takes in everything the green is showing her.
Ivy and Harley are the perfect duo
Ever since Ivy lost her power during Fear State, the spores are a way for her to get her power levels back to where they once were—though, this new method isn’t perfect. Ivy feels that they boost her power to the point that she is upset she can’t do the little things, like grow a small sapling to a tree.
Harley, full of excitement, shows Ivy a photo she took on her way to Seattle. A small garden that Ivy planted in Montana (from an earlier issue) grew into a beautiful oasis. Ivy, absolutely stunned, looks at every possible reason except the obvious.
Is it possible that your regular-schmegular powers can grow back? Like you know… a plant?Harley Quinn to Ivy in Poison Ivy #9
Poison Ivy #9: Issue of the year nominee?
Everything in this issue is a beautiful ode to why Ivy and Harley work so well. When Ivy needs a pick-me-up, Harley is there. When Ivy just needs to be seen, and understood, nobody gets her more than Harley. If Harley needs to be defended from some loud mouth roommate of Ivy, Pam is the first one to step up.
This issue stands out as extraordinarily special for two reasons. If you are a fan of the Harley Quinn animated series on HBO Max, I really think you will enjoy this story. The relationship between the two fits perfectly in DC canon, but also plays from screen to page very nicely. The banter that Wilson writes between the two is witty and beautiful. Harley’s dialogue and motives come across wonderfully and, most importantly, their relationship fits in place naturally.
Poison Ivy #9 is a stand-alone issue in this limited series. This is a great issue to pick up if you are just looking to see the relationship between Ivy and Harley. It won’t be confusing if this is the only issue in the series you read. This is partially due to the issue being a bridge between a story arc. The story in this issue serves a purpose—Ivy has her powers back.
The art here from Marcio Takara is drop-dead gorgeous. Ivy’s casual look is jaw dropping on the opening page. Sometimes I think Harley’s overall “look” can be a lot to take in other series, depending on her outfit, but Takara nails it on every page. Prianto’s colors, once again, are a total stand out. The blends of greens, reds, and yellows when showing the green puts the reader on an insane psychedelic trip, while Harley’s makeup and hair dye vividly pop off the page against her acid bleached skin.
This series from G. Willow Wilson has already been called an all-time Poison Ivy series. Now, with visual work from Takara and Prianto, we have received the all-time Harley and Ivy issue.