Poison Ivy: Thorns brings the subtle and unnerving element of horror to one of Batman’s oldest nemesis, in an unexpected and rare way.

Poison Ivy: Thorns offers an intense, gothic reinvention of Pamela Isley’s upbringing with a grim, twisted, and compelling origin story that returns the character to her roots. From writer Kody Keplinger, artist Sara Kipin, and colorist Jeremy Lawson, Poison Ivy: Thorns He doesn’t back down from the opportunity to shine a haunting and haunting spotlight on one of Batman’s most famous foes. Thorns stands as an excellent young adult comic and truly sinister horror story, all wrapped up comfortably in one book.

Poison Ivy: Thorns tells the story of a teenage girl Pamela Isley dealing with both unimaginably dire circumstances at home and extremely imaginable and tragically unsurprising cruelty and abuse at school. Keplinger, Kipin, and Lawson bring themes of trust, family, possession, and powerlessness to the forefront in Thornsand gives one of the darkest and most interesting shots of Poison Ivy the character has seen in years.

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It seems clear that author Kody Keplinger took nothing for granted when considering how to tell a great Poison Ivy story. Many recent interpretations of Ivy label her more as an antihero, rather than a cutting and dry villain. Historically, however, Ivy started out as an infamous member of Batman’s rogues gallery, similar to The Penguin or Two-Face. Poison Ivy: Thorns it beautifully fuses these two stories into an impressively complex narrative that treats Ivy not just the villain in someone else’s book. Provoking significant compassion and empathy for his character, without shunning the darkness within him. A darkness that, Keplinger powerfully offers, was instilled in him by the cruelty of others. The cold, twisted world that surrounds and imprisons Ivy is palpably unsettling and isolating, chilled by the book’s true villains, inescapable, and lurking around every corner.

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Sara Kipin’s illustrations and Jeremy Lawson’s colors fit in perfectly with Keplinger’s horror-infused young adult style. Ivy’s powers have a fantastically sinister supernatural undertone, neither the script nor the art attempt to overexplain or diagnose her mysterious relationship to the plant life around her. This mild and welcome take on the more sci-fi elements of the story leaves room for Kipin to spend his time conveying teenage Pamela, rather than Poison Ivy, through excellent illustrations and characterization. Not to mention the dark nature of Ivy’s powers only adds to the fear and discomfort found throughout the pages. Lawson’s colors blend seamlessly with the creative energy of Thorns also, in one of those rare and impressive shows of artist-colourist symbiosis where Kipin’s panels become almost unimaginable without Lawson’s exquisitely gloomy world of color superimposed on them.

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Poison Ivy: Thorns is a young adult comic that offers a heartbreaking and brutally honest reinvention of Pamela Isley’s upbringing. And for a Batman character, attached to a franchise that has geared less and less towards younger fans in recent memory, receiving this level of consideration from a young adult book is extremely exciting. Those who feel that adult ratings always force deeper stories and character treatment now have to explain how one of the best Poison Ivy stories in recent memory comes from a young adult title.

In hindsight, it seems obvious that Poison Ivy would be a perfect character for this treatment, but this is only because of how outstanding she is. Poison Ivy: Thorns sell the idea. This book is recommended for any Ivy fan who is excited to see a new version of the character. Poison Ivy: Thorns It’s primarily a young adult title, but it contains elements of horror and suspense that young readers should be aware of before diving in. Having said that, Poison Ivy: Thorns it’s a fantastic read that has something for both older and younger fans to enjoy.

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