Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Gotham City Sirens #1

Highslide JSToday is the day to snag your copy of Gotham City Sirens #1. Hmmm, I've been referring to this title as "Gotham Sirens" all this time (oops). Of course I have my copy in hand - or rather on my desk.

My reaction is mixed. But that's mostly because I'd seen so many preview pages that I felt as if I'd actually read most of the book. As expected, Guillem March's designs are lively and lovely. It still boggles my mind that some people feel his style is not a good fit for this title. I disagree and believe it's going to help move copies.

Paul Dini seems comfortable (as he should) writing for these characters. The three ladies seem not unlike their DCAU counterparts. Gotham City Sirens #1 could easily play out in the animated universe.
Written by Paul Dini; Art and Cover by Guillem March; Variant Cover by JG Jones

This all-new series features the bad girls of Gotham City! Catwoman, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn are tired of playing by other people's rules regardless of which side of the law they're on. These tough ladies have a new agenda that's all their own, and they'll use any means necessary to pursue it. But can they get along and work as a team? And who will get hurt along the way? DETECTIVE COMICS and STREETS OF GOTHAM writer Paul Dini kicks off this brand-new ongoing series with amazing artwork by Guillem March (JOKER'S ASYLUM: POISON IVY, GOTHAM GAZETTE).

On Sale June 24, 2009

Poison Ivy is very much the venomous vamp. Harley Quinn brings the comedic relief. As for Catwoman...well, she's playing along for now. Out of the three I'd say Ivy seems to be the one calling the shots. Much to the chagrin of Selina fans I'm sure. (Don't even get them started on Catwoman's placement cover wise. Meow!)

Highslide JSOverall I can't say there were too many surprises. But it was still fun. There's a new goon running around Gotham City who goes by the name Boneblaster (ahem). Apparently he can turn bone to splinters with his fancy robot arms. Catwoman struggles to defeat Boneblaster but he's easily handled by Ivy's giant roots. They return to Edward Nigma's apartment and discuss their fiendish union (complete with new hideout). That is - after round two with Boneblaster. A later scene with Zatanna is hilarious. Poison Ivy "telepathically" controls a rose bush that sits in Zatanna's jacuzzi room. The roots form the head of Ivy and she proceeds to ask Zatanna about Catwoman's mental and physical stability. Every time Zatanna tries to cast a spell Ivy dunks her under water. More please! Also, check out the alternate cover done by J.G. Jones.

There is a preview for issue #1 at the DCU Blog here: Have a little GOTHAM CITY SIRENS on Wednesday.

Also, wander over to Comic Vine and check out G-Man's video review of Gotham City Sirens #1 here: Gotham City Sirens #1 Reviewed. The premiere issue receives a fairly positive review. For laughs look up G-Man's take on the new"Marvel Divas" series.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Poison Ivy Costume : Secret Wishes (889103)

This is an officially licensed ready made (out of the bag) Poison Ivy costume produced by "Secret Wishes"; they are a sexier (see: Leg Avenue) sub-brand of Rubies. The latter company is an industry giant and they often score the licensing rights to many trademarked characters.

Rubie's is known for putting out trendy mass produced goods. The costume details and accessories are quite often already attached (sewn or printed). So all one has to do is step inside and away you go. Though the Secret Wishes line seems to have more thoughtful and quality craftsmanship.

This offering appears a bit plain in detail; it doesn't exactly scream Poison Ivy. The dress comes in a shade of muted forest green. There's a lime green trim across the bust line and a sheer greenish fringe detail at the bottom. Elbow length fingerless "gloves" and boot covers complete the look. The item list at the official site doesn't include the ivy leaves. But those are a dime a dozen at a craft store near you. I suggest getting them otherwise you might get mistaken for Tinkerbell (or any other garden variety fairy or nymph).

I wouldn't say this is terrible just bare. There is a lot of potential for creating something a bit more sensational with this five piece costume (especially if used as a base). Perhaps adding some sparkle with sequins or rhinestones. Of course using dramatic makeup details and truly red hair would seal the deal. That brown hair on the model will never do! Consider flowers too.

Expect this costume to be available for purchase before the 2009 Halloween season.

Poison Envy (Ivy) Costume : Charades 01514

Charades costumes are a mixed bag. The quality is there - but sometimes the ideas behind them tread into goofy territory. However, Poison Envy here is a nice ensemble. Okay, for the rest of this post I'm referring to this costume as Poison Ivy. Clearly that is what the manufacturer intended. They did not get an official license to produce Poison Ivy costumes so they created something "in the spirit of" to avoid lawsuits.

The Charades package includes a leotard, arm sheathes, boot covers, and a cape. All done in green lame (metallic fabric). I know that seems a bit too disco fever-ish for some people but it's actually quite stunning in person. The only questionable piece is the leotard - it rarely fits as needed. There's no real bust support so it fits like a tube top (lots of slippage). I'd recommend retrofitting the top half with either flesh toned straps or perhaps boning for the ambitious. You'll have to supply your own hair leaves and fence net stockings. They are not included!

I think it's safe to say this is a nod to the Poison Ivy costumes in "Batman and Robin" as done by Robert Turturice. What a strange and varied resume, Mr. Turturice.

Poison Ivy Costume : Gotham Girls (Rubie's 888104)

Okay, I cannot tell a lie. I think this costume is adorable. It is certainly on the cartoon side of things -- but that's the point. This Poison Ivy costume is part of a series called "Gotham Girls" (of course). It is supplied by Rubie's. The remaining three characters in this series are Harley Quinn, Catwoman, and Batgirl.

The greens are bold and fabulous! I love the small details like the leaf on the leotard. But also the spiraling tendrils on the arm sheaths and boot covers. Speaking of boot covers -- they are basically sturdy sock like devices that slip (or rest) over your shoes to create the appearance of boots. In case you didn't know.

A bonus feature for this costume is the included wig. However, I think the wig seems rather poorly conceived. Both in design and materials. There are a few wig companies that feature better wigs befitting of Poison Ivy -- both in hairstyle and color. I would certainly stick with this shade of red. But a less play-time like wig would really make this outfit pop.

As for customizing...I would say add some construction elements. Perhaps lining the leotard -- it's thin and can you see through the fabric (look at the promo pic). Or do something bold like remove the lime green tee-shirt quality of the upper half. This cover-it-all aspect is certainly suitable for the child sizes of this costume. But this top feature in the adult line veers into pajama territory. Just be sure to reinforce that bust line to avoid wardrobe malfunctions. Oh, and you have to supply your own darn lilies.

Here's a preview of the remaining costumes in this line. Very charming reproductions of some familiar faces. Gotham Sirens anyone? All of these costumes can be found at Rubie's official site.

Poison Ivy Costume : Batman and Robin (Rubie's)

The creators of Batman and Robin partnered with Rubie's to recreate many of the costumes that appeared in the film. These were the variants offered for Poison Ivy's first costume in the Botanical Gardens scene.

Rubie's Poison Ivy CostumesThe first costume on the left is the standard (cost effective) version. I prefer the leaf print on the standard because it is more in keeping with the leotard leaf detail from the film. The second and third from the left are the adult and child "deluxe" Poison Ivy costumes. I suppose by deluxe they mean sequined details along the bust line and on the arm sheaths. These two costumes did offer a slightly more finished look. Including ivy vine details on the tights and finger loops on the arm sheaths - but let's get real. These are not that great. Once again, the odd proportions and seams make this costume look a tad goofy. (Though I did purchase two of the standard costumes and used the leaf fabric to create something much like the official movie version.)

Rubie's Poison Ivy Child's WigAll these costumes included a sequined eye mask to double as Uma Thurman's more fanciful prosthetics. Not pictured here is the child's standard costume. But it was essentially the same outfit. A few "official" Poison Ivy wigs were released to go with these outfits. I bought one (okay two), but it looks absolutely nothing like the models wigs. The wig I (still) own is made of a really bad synthetic ruby colored fiber that tangles if you so much as breathe on it too hard. I'll take a photo of it when I have time. But in the mean time check out the child version. Which, again, looks nothing like the wigs I own or the ones on the models.

As I stated before, these aren't great. In fact, I don't recall ever seeing anybody wearing one (awful fit). But they do lend to nostalgia for better or worse. Though I can say this; Batman and Robin encouraged countless fans to create many customized Poison Ivy costumes. And that's a good thing.

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