Review: Batman #41

“Everybody Loves Ivy” Part 1

Writer: Tom King

Artist: Mikel Janin

Writer Tom King and artist Mikel Janin reunite to tell a story arc where Poison Ivy gains enough power to take over the world.

The trope of an old villain gaining seemingly new abilities is not new. Fortunately, King does a couple of things right to keep the storyline interesting. One thing he does is dropping the reader in the middle of the story. We are as disoriented as Bruce Wayne as he wakes up and finds that Ivy has already taken over. It is simple, but effective. We are thrown for a loop when Bruce starts attacking his loved ones. Is he the one possessed or is it everybody else? While confusing, it is also intriguing.

The other technique that King does is framing the possession in the form of a pick-up date with Ivy. It is fun, but also character-appropriate for Poison Ivy. Ivy is in full-villain mode here too. She uses her new powers in unique and inventive ways. It is a mystery how she became so powerful and King uses that as the hook to entice readers.

Furthermore, those storytelling tics that King loves to use are at a minimum. The choppy dialogue where characters finish each other’s thoughts are no where to be seen. This issue is a progression of King as a writer. He is able to create more of an individual voice for each character.

This is something that has never been mentioned before in previous reviews, but colorist June Chung does amazing work. Her rich color palette is evidenced in every page. It helps because the majority of the comic takes place in the daylight. It is so bright and vibrant that each page pops. There are also dream sequences with Poison Ivy that look particularly gorgeous. It looks like it is partially because Janin chose to draw in pencil as opposed to inks, but Chung gives those pages a painted quality. It looks lush and effervescent. In fact, those Ivy pages are so effective, they are detrimental to Janin’s pages. It honestly makes the more traditional art look a little stiff.


King writes a flawless script. It has action, intrigue, and a looming sense of dread for our heroes. Only Janin’s art is a little stiff, but that is a fairly minor nitpick in an otherwise flawless issue.

Images courtesy of DC Entertainment

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