As Ivy recovers from her latest bout, her thoughts are strangely drawn to a person whose life she ruined. It’s time to meet Chuck: an absolutely ordinary, everyday family man who is about to discover he has a higher calling in life.
COMICONThe sins of the past almost always have a way of visiting the present, as ‘Poison Ivy’ #16 shows in a truly tragic way. The series ec0-horror spotlight changes its focus just a bit as the team brings us something riveting as it is emotionally devastating.
ComicBook.comPoison Ivy #16 finally connects things back to the start of this series and Ivy's journey across the United States and her original plan to spread the lamia spores and bring about the end of the world, as it were and while the narrative deftly sets the stage for the next major battle she must face—what appears to be an army of her fungal zombies coming towards Gotham and entirely out of her control—what the issue genuinely excels at is its eloquent and gut-wrenching commentary of our late-capitalist society. Much of the issue follows a regular, blue collar man named Chuck who is already overworked and underpaid who keeps pushing on when he gets sick and really should seek medical care but simply can't because we live in a world where that's just not possible, where one has to choose between surviving the day and actually being alive. It's subtle, but notable that the narrative is truly discussing two types of sickness: the one on the page and the one within our society and itself. Wilson does a fantastic job of balancing both of these things in this issue while digging even deeper into Ivy as a character and paired with Takara's art and Prianto's colors, is beautiful even if it is a nightmare.
Comic WatchPoison Ivy #16 brings us face-to-face with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in nauseating psychedelic technicolor. While the central metaphor struggles to convey real-world nuances, the comic remains vital and poignant.
Geek DadIt’s a risky move to take a lead character and immerse us in the pain she’s caused and the people she’s hurt, but I think it works—this series has a lot of confidence in its readers to embrace a very complex lead character with flaws. But as the issue ends and we see Chuck’s final act, we discover that he’s not all gone—and neither is any of Ivy’s victims, as they make a move on the happy little life she’s built in Slaughter Swamp. It feels like this is what the entire series has been building to, and the final page is genuinely chilling.
The Super Powered FancastThe Story: I found this chapter to be particularly heart rendering and thought provoking. Wilson’s narrative regarding the life of Chuck is both terrible and relatable. His eventual demise from the lamia spores can be compared with the victims of Covid-19. In a pandemic there are always tales of regular individuals who suffer tremendous loss and pain. I was especially taken by Chuck’s inability, or unwillingness, to take time off work to deal with his condition. As well as his wife’s need to carry on with her daily tasks regardless of her worry for her missing husband. These reactions speak to society at large and makes a statement on what we as a collective hold dear. Poison Ivy’s growth in this series has been interesting to watch and I am curious to know how she handles even greater challenges in the future. The Art: This issue uses traditional comic styling based on realism. The attention to detail in both character and locale setting does much to emotionally connect the reader to the tale. Although there is a lot of world building and relationship oriented art, there are some really interesting panels that hold a nightmarish quality to them. Overall, I found the creative team did an excellent job with matching the illustrations with the tone of the story.
AIPTG. Willow Wilson’s Poison Ivy #16 is a beautifully written tragedy of an innocent man and the sins that are coming to collect their due from Ivy. With magnificent art from Marcio Takara and Arif Prianto, that makes the issue a joy to read from the first page to the last, it is well worth your time and the perfect setup for Ivy’s next major confrontation.
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Dark Knight NewsPoison Ivy #16 truly furthers the storyline, mostly with some excellent character development. The plot, however, seems to have stagnated slightly. However, this means nothing when considering the amazing work of Wilson and the team. Every page is thrilling, and I keep wanted to explore more of the amazing world they are creating.
Batman-NewsI suppose the most positive thing I can say about Poison Ivy is that it’s the best book on the stands right now in terms of having a cohesive story, for the most part, and in terms of having some artistic merit. But honestly, that’s not a high bar. I wish that this series would pick up and live up to being one of the top selling DC books as it currently is.