Tag Archives: poison ivy: cycle of life and death

Around the Tubes


It’s a new week and we’re heading to our Captain Marvel screening(s)! We’ll have our first review tomorrow when the embargo lifts so while you wait for that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

AV Club – West Coast Avengers is a sunny, screwy superhero romp that’s ending too soon – Who’s reading this series? So much fun!

The Beat – Prestigious Literary Writer’s Conference Offers Scholarship for Graphic Narrative Writer of Color – This is awesome to see.

ICv2 – Jillian Tamaki to Edit ‘The Best American Comics of 2019’ – We’re excited for this!

The Beat – A Year of Free Comics: A Curse of Loneliness in Niv Sekar’s Mermaid – Free comics folks!

The Beat – A Year of Free Comics: Josephine Baker by Way of Bianca Xunise – More free comics!


AIPT! – Age of X-Man: X-Tremists #1
Comic Attack –
Bitter Root #4
The Beat –
Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death
The Beat –

Sell-Outs and New Printing Roundup

Check out this week’s announced new printings and sell-outs.

DC Comics

A second printing of Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death #1 is in the pipeline. DC Comics has announced that the series written by Amy Chu with artwork by Clay Mann, Seth Mann and Ulises Arreola, has sold out! A second printing will land in stores on March 2nd, featuring a cover that ups the chlorophyll of Clay Mann and Laura Martin’s original cover with new vibrant green colors!



Valiant has announced that Faith #1 (of 4) – the FIRST ISSUE of the stratospheric new limited series by rising star Jody Houser and artist Francis Portela and Marguerite Savauge – has once again sold out at the distributor level and will return to stores shelves on February 24th alongside Faith #2 (of 4) with the Faith #1 (of 4) Third Printing.


Around the Tubes

Snowblind_002_A_MainIt’s a new week!  We’ve got podcasts, interviews, reviews, and more. For our readers in Iowa that are able to, make sure to get out to caucus tonight! It’s also the first of the month so we have demographic data coming and Black History Month, so expect coverage geared towards that too!

While you await all of that, here’s some comic book news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

Around the Tubes

The Beat – Angoulême Festival manages to get even worse by humiliating cartoonists with “Faux Fauves” – We’re not covering these asshats anymore until they clean house. Not funny. Not cool.

Vail Daily – Mom and daughter explore cruelty of bullying through humor in ‘Out of Bounds’  – Very cool to see this.

Atlanta Blackstar – South African Artist Diversifies the Superhero Universe with ‘Kwezi’ – Diversity is a good thing.

Elle – How Cosplaying as Betty Draper Saved My Self-Esteem – A great read.


Around the Tubes Reviews

Comic Attack – Cyborg #7

Talking Comics – Funk Soul Samurai #1

Talking Comics – The King’s Leap

Talking Comics – Magpie #1

Talking Comics – Monstress #3

Talking Comics – Of Stone Vol. 1-3

Comic Attack – Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death #1

ComiConverse – Snow Blind #2

Talking Comics – Tragic Tales of Horrere #1

Around the Tubes

It was new comic book day yesterday! What’d everone get? What did you really enjoy? Sound off in the comments below!

Around the Tubes

Arts Beat – Next Installment of ‘Star Wars’ Pushed Back to End of 2017 – Shocker?

Kotaku – Mobile Games Website Uses Patreon, Things Get Messy – Why Patreon is risky and gets messy easy.

Newsarama – Spider-Man Reboot Release Date Moved Up – Interesting. Very interesting.

Publishers Weekly – Viz Expands at Walmart, Gets Into Best Buy – Well that’s certainly a good move.

The Outhousers – X-Men Fan Cartoon Yanked From YouTube – How to alienate fans in one move.

Panels – Tales From the Motherland: 4 Comics By African Creators – Some good suggestions.

Panels – The Art of the Start: INSEXTS #1 – A good dissection of some art.


Around the Tubes Reviews

Talking Comics – Adventure Time: Ice King #1

Talking Comics – Amazing Forest #1

Comic Vine – The Astonishing Ant-Man #4

Talking Comics – Batman #48

CBR – Batman #48

Newsarama – Batman #48

Black Nerd Problems – Captain America: Sam Wilson #5

Talking Comics – Captain Marvel #1

Panels – Captain Marvel #1

CBR – Captain Marvel #1

Comic Vine – Captain Marvel #1

Talking Comics – Patsy Walker AKA Hellcat #2

CBR – Pencil Head #1

Comic Vine – Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death #1

CBR – Silver Surfer #1

Comic Vine – Star Wars #15

Review: Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death #1

PIVYCYCLE_Cv1_csFor the first time since her introduction in 1966, the popular Batman villain and sometimes anti-hero Poison Ivy has her own solo series. And writer Amy Chu and artists Clay Mann and Seth Mann take that solo distinction seriously as Ivy becomes increasingly distant from her old friends (especially Harley Quinn) throughout Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death #1 and throws herself into her work at the Gotham Botanical Gardens involving genetic engineering. Poison Ivy is trying to increase the lifespan of human and animals using plants and her own elemental connection to The Green, which may be a reason that she is not interacting with humans as much, with the exception of her co-worker Luisa. The main conflict in Poison Ivy #1 is internal as Ivy tries to balance her human and plant sides, and it reaches a fever pitch in the last few pages, which create the mystery hook for the rest of the miniseries.

I could go either way with the Manns’ art in Poison Ivy #1. Penciler Clay Mann aims at a photorealistic style with his art and succeeds without it looking like it was obviously traced a la Greg Land. Seth Mann uses an extremely clean inking style to draw attention to little details, like the light falling on plants or the background of a biker bar that Harley and Ivy go to after her work day is over. And this semi-painting style works for the slower, more quiet scenes with the help of Ulisses Arreola’s verdant palette, like when Poison Ivy finally gets to unwind, shed the hair tie and lab coat of Dr. Pamela Isley, and just be with her plant babies. There’s something about painted art that creates a feeling of harmony (or fear) of nature with DC’s plant elementals, like Dave McKean’s work on Black Orchid or John Totleben and Stephen Bissette’s Swamp Thing.

However, there’s a reason that McKean has mainly done covers or experimental work, and that Totleben and Bissette did their Swamp Thing interiors in a less representational style. This is because painted, photorealistic art is static and needs some additional storytelling tricks, like quick cuts between panels or an extremely high level of detail, like in Alex Ross’ work on Kingdom Come or Marvels. And every time, the Manns depict action, the story falls flat from the opening scene where Poison Ivy fights diamond thieves in Africa to Harley and Ivy kicking some creepy guys’ asses towards the middle of the comic. Basically, plants come out of the ground in both, and Mann doesn’t distinguish between Ivy’s passionate protection of the “living fossil” in Africa versus the disinterest in picking a fight with random strangers in the bar fight. And the big knock on the art is the lack of emotion in these finely depicted characters for whom cool disinterest seems to be the default expression with the exception of Harley gleefully swinging her hammer, and a close-up on Ivy’s eyes towards the end of the comic.

It’s refreshing that Amy Chu is giving Poison Ivy a kind of redemption arc as she is focusing on her scientific work instead of doing crime or being an eco-terrorist. She also gives Ivy the very relatable problem of loneliness and having difficulty interacting with other people. However, along with being lonely and having trouble fitting in her old friends with her new job and life, Chu makes Ivy kind of a jerk and ruins all the characterization Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner have done with Harley Quinn moving on from the Joker in one mean spirited line of dialogue. This is just to make a point that Ivy is going it alone and comes after the one spot of humor in the book when Ivy shows Harley show one of her new “experiments”. However, the final pages introduce some possible consequences for Ivy’s obsession with her work, but it’s a little too late after this faux pas writing and ending the major relationship in her life.

Unless you’re a huge fan of Poison Ivy and/or annoyed by the character of Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy #1 is worth skipping or trade waiting because its protagonist is less than endearing and her relationship with Harley Quinn is ended in a way that seems rushed and out of character. (There is hope for the pair with a nice panel of Ivy checking her phone for texts from Harley first thing in the morning.) Along with this characterization issue, Clay and Seth Mann’s art would be beautiful as covers or pinups (With the exception of photorealistic Harley Quinn in her roller girl outfit, which is almost as terrifying in an Uncanny Valley way as Alex Ross drawing the Archie gang.), but lacks energy or emotion.

Story: Amy Chu Pencils: Clay Mann Inks: Seth Mann Colors: Ulises Arreola
Story: 5.5 Art: 5 Overall: 5 Recommendation: Pass

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Captain Marvel #1Wednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

We’re bringing back something we haven’t done for a while, what the team thinks. Our contributors are choosing up to five books each week and why they’re choosing the books.

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.


Top Pick: Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior #3 (Valiant) – When a comic is released featuring of one my favourite characters squaring off against the legions of the afterlife alone, how could I not be excited? But beyond that, there is a raw quality to the artwork in this series that lends itself beautifully  to the surprisingly emotional story. Such a great series.

Batman #48 (DC Comics) – The only main Batbook I still read, and that’s entirely because of Scott Snyder. Last issue’s final page has had me counting down the days until #48 was being released. While I’m not a fan of the Robot Bunny Batman suit, I do love where the subplot featuring Bruce is going, and that subplot is the main reason I’m still reading.

Judge Dredd #2 (IDW Publishing) – Dredd was a staple of my childhood growing up in ol’ Blighty, and I’m loving seeing the direction of this new ongoing comic. If you haven’t read the last issue I won’t spoil what’s going on, but it’s not an overly unique idea, but it’s awesome to see it applied to Judge Dredd.

Red Thorn #3 (Vertigo) – This is a superbly illustrated tale about an American girl accidentally wandering into the world of Scottish mythology. Without any preamble, it’s good. Very good, even, and you should read it.



Top Pick: Phonogram: The Immaterial Girl #6 (Image Comics) – It all comes to an end for Emily Aster as well as Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie’s first series together. Basically everything you love about that team grew out of Phonogram and it will be sad to see the series end it swan song. Will it end in death though? Who knows, but this is Gillen, so probably. There’s also been confirmation that the final B-side story is about David Bowie, who passed away last week.

Batgirl #47 (DC Comics) – More Steph and Babs teamups! The first appearance of Bluebird in a Batgirl comic! Perhaps more resolution on what’s keeping Barbara up at night? Well, those first two are promised at least and I am hype.

Captain Marvel #1 (Marvel) – Even though they are the show runners of the amazing Agent Carter, Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters have big shoes to fill being the first ongoing writers for Captain Marvel after Kelly Sue Deconnick’s iconic three year run on the title. With Carol taking up the role of being Earth’s first line of defense with S.W.O.R.D. and Alpha Flight and art by Kris Anka, it seems like they’re up for the task.

Lumberjanes #22 (BOOM! Studios) – The series has been finding new footing since Kat Leyh joined Shannon Watters as cowriter, but the opening to this arc with a werewolf sea captain vs. selkies was just so darn great that it’s hard to think that Leyh hasn’t gained her sea legs yet.

Patsy Walker AKA Hellcat #2 (Marvel) – Kate Leth and Brittney Williams hit it hard out of the gate with the first delightful issue. Now to see if Patsy can survive working in retail to get her business idea up and going.



Top Pick: American Monster #1 (Aftershock Comics) – Brian Azzarello’s new series sounds like a twisted version of Walking Tall. A man with a scarred faced heads to a Midwestern town where he gets rid of the corrupt sheriff and racist arms dealers. But, he’s actually there to take over. Sounds awesome.

Captain Marvel #1 (Marvel) – The Agent Carter team come to comics to take over this top property. I’m intrigued to see what they do.

Carver: A Paris Story #2 (Z2 Comics) – Just a classic revenge tale started because of a misunderstanding. The first issue felt like one of the films from the 70s and 80s I grew up on.

Star Wars #15 (Marvel)Vader Down is over. Now to see what Marvel does next with their line of Star Wars comics. Really looking forward to see what comes next.

Transformers #49 (IDW Publishing) – All sorts of plots come together here as we head in to the big 50th issue next month! IDW’s Transformers line of comics continuously entertains.



Top Pick: Phonogram The Immaterial Girl #6 (Image Comics) – The finale issue of the best comic on the stands. If you are the sort of person who is having a deep emotional response to Bowie’s death then you definitely need this comic. The final back-up story is even about a Bowie song. Go read my essay on why Phonogram is the best thing ever. A comic about fandom, music and growing the fuck up while reconciling your past selves. I cannot over state how much I love this series.

Batgirl #47 (DC Comics) – New Arc! Great creative team. Approachable relatable Babs for the 21st century with art that actually appeals to young people (and also to me because I like things that are pretty)

Captain Marvel #1 (Marvel) – New creative team, the writers on the Agent Carter TV show (yay women in comics) and art by the perfectly matched Chris Anka.

Ms. Marvel #3 (Marvel) – The relaunch has really rejuvenated the already excellent title. The current arc is focusing on issues like gentrification and cooption of your public image as well as what happens when someone you always took for-granted falls for someone else.

Patsy Walker AKA Hellcat #2 (Marvel) – One of the most anticipated titles of the year! Kate Leth’s first issue felt like a Marvel comics version of the Archie revamp but through female eyes. Leth’s stories often deal with the indignities of the exploitative retail economy and I’m sensing those themes will continue. The comic is already doing great things on the diversity front. It’s going to be funny and interesting.



Top Pick: Silver Surfer #1 (Marvel) – Anywhere and everywhere, hang on! Slott’s Surfer definitely lives up to this promise in every way as the once lone sentinel of the starways continues his universe panning, reality hopping adventures with Dawn and Toomee. One of the few series to continue throughout Secret Wars, it was surprising how much it tugged in the heart strings last year despite not having a strictly ‘Last Days’ story like most other series. In the past comic fans have talked about Slott’s bold and very divisive Spider-Man writing, but for my money some of his best stories are right here with the Surfer. It continues to deliver everything a reader could want from a space bound adventure series and after the last arcs jaw dropping Mobius strip issue I’m left wondering where Slott and the Allred’s will take the trio next as they begin with a new number one this month.

Patsy Walker aka Hellcat #2 (Marvel) – After hearing her speak about creating fictional worlds at Thought Bubble last year (and then chickening out of speaking to her outside, sigh!) I’d give any series by Leth a chance but was particularly delighted to see her picking up one of the members from Soule’s interesting cast of She Hulk characters, Hellcat! Beyond the recent Soule series I was a little in the dark about Patsy’s history, but Leth effortlessly gets the reader up to speed in the first issue and captures her impulsive and headstrong character. Along with adorable art from Brittney L. Williams the pair are carving out their own unique little queer space in the Marvel Universe, adding more texture and diversity, with Patsy and newcomer Ian’s visit to ‘Burly Books’ in the first issue being one of many wonderful moments with the whole book harking back to the characters roots in romance comics.

Wolf #5 (Image Comics) – Kot’s supernatural noir thriller continues, picking up five years after the last issue and with a previous Zero collaborator Ricardo Lopez Ortiz taking up the art duties from Matt Taylor. Kot’s comics always make or a challenging and intriguing read, and although a little slow to start it finally felt last issue like the pieces were starting to gel together as the writer hits his stride with his newest series. Fans still hurting over the loss of the original John Constantine might find themselves with a new favorite series to fill that Hellblazer shaped hole in their hearts and bookshelves.



Top Pick: Carver: Paris Story #2 (Z2 Comics) – This is my top pick. It’s the comic book Hemingway would write if he was to be resurrected and forced to use his talents to shore up the literary comic book industry.

American Monster #1 (Aftershock Comics) – Lately it seems that Brian Azzarello has been writing with one hand tied behind his back at DC. He’s now partnered with a new indie outfit to produce a series, with art by Juan Doe, about a horrifically scarred, battle hardened soldier, returning home with questionable motives. I’m hopeful Azzarello goes all out with this new project.

I Hate Fairyland #4 (Image Comics) – This is the comic book I don’t share with friends and family. They’ll just think I’ve finally went over the deep end. It’s crude, rude, and funny in a sweet bloody way. And yes, I do buy both covers.

Ted McKeever’s Pencil Head #1 (Image Comics) – We fans sometimes forget that the comic book people who entertain us weekly are human too. This is suppose to be McKeever’s mostly true, semi-autographical, behind the scenes, tell-all of the absurd comic book industry … with a dead stripper. I’ll have fun trying to separate truth from fiction (I’ll bet the stripper is real).

Sunflower #3 (451 Media) – More cults and crime. Not sure why I continually gravitate toward the darkness. Mallouk and Ewington are working overtime to give me nightmares. I’ve been marked.



Top Pick: Captain Marvel #1 (Marvel) – Captain Marvel returns post-Secret Wars as the leader of the Alpha Flight Space Program. Though Kelly Sue DeConnick left some big shoes to fill, Fazekas and Butters are the showrunners behind Marvel’s Agent Carter and I believe Carol is in capable hands.

Ms. Marvel #3 (Marvel) – Ms. Marvel #3 will draw a three part arc to a close, and leaves Kamala to deal with the villainous Hope Yards Development, the company responsible for brainwashing Jersey City. Ms. Marvel is always a joy to read, and has been one of my favorites since the beginning.

Nowhere Men #7 (Image Comics) – Nowhere Men #7 will begin the long-anticipated second arc, after a hiatus that lasted more than two years. The comic follows the story of four scientists whose amazing work has had the cultural impact of The Beatles, which, to me, is a fascinating concept.

Wolf #5 (Image Comics) – Wolf, a story primarily about myths, and Wolf #5 is begins a new story arc. Ricardo Lopez Ortiz is taking over as the artist for this arc, replacing Matt Taylor (a tactic Ales Kot employs in several of his works). Readers were teased with mentions of the apocalypse but, as with most of Kot’s stories, we also got the sense that Wolf Vol. 1 was just the tip of the iceberg.


Mr. H

Top Pick: Batman #48 (DC Comics) – The clock is winding down and Bruce is soon to be back in the cowl, but before we get to Gordon and Mr. Bloom, we have the tale of two men on a park bench that will change the world forever.

Dragon Age: Magekiller #2 (Dark Horse Comics) – Greg Rucka’s gamer tale continues with the awesome bounty hunting duo of Tessla and Mathias. Fans of the franchise definitely want to check this out and newcomers will find it very accessible too.

Poison Ivy: Circle of Life and Death #1 (DC Comics) – Finally everyone’s favorite botanical temptress in her own title. Ivy is framed for murder and has to clear her name, or will she find it easier to resort to her wicked ways?

Silver Surfer #1 (Marvel Comics) – Dan Slott, Mike Allred in a trippy interstellar tale that leads us to.. Earth? Come see the book everyone is talking about. Grab your board and catch the wave!



Top Pick: Pencil Head #1 (Image Comics) – McKeever’s projects are always so individual and idiosyncratic that you literally never know what to expect.

Clean Room #4 (Vertigo) – Each of the next three series have had strong starts with terrific stories, all with their own individualistic art styles.

Red Thorn #3 (Vertigo)

Lucifer #2 (Vertigo)

Preview: Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death #1

DC Entertainment is itching to debut of one of Gotham’s greatest villains in her own series for the first time—Poison Ivy!

Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death is a new six-issue miniseries launching on January 20th, written by Amy Chu with art and covers by Clay Mann.


A First Look at Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death

Life. Death. Poison Ivy has power over both. But can she keep her friends and hold down a regular job at the same time? As Dr. Pamela Isley, she joins the prestigious plant sciences department at Gotham Botanical Gardens, but things quickly get complicated when a fellow scientist is murdered and it looks like the work of Ivy!

Also, this issue guest-stars none other than Harley Quinn!

DC Comics has released a look at the first three covers for Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death by Clay Mann as well as some interior pages and costume concept sketches also my Mann.