Thursday, June 23, 2011

History Repeating

Where do I even start?

If you're a DC Comics fan then you are most likely aware of the upcoming changes to the DC Universe. Basically DC is rebooting the entire DC Universe by retooling certain titles, creating new books, and cancelling the less successful offerings. It should come as no surprise that Gotham City Sirens will be ending after issue #26. It never found its footing. Of course there has been no official announcement but it's not listed as being one of the "new" 52 monthlies.

The official description for #26 reads as: A secret that goes back to the very first issue of GOTHAM CITY SIRENS will be revealed at last! But will it spell the end of the Sirens? One thing is certain – none of them will be the same! 

The cover for this issue pretty much speaks for itself. It shows all three Sirens walking in opposite directions as they hold each other's accessories. A creative touch I'm sure. I've got to say I'm disappointed that Gotham City Sirens never lived up to it's potential and that's one of the reasons I stopped doing full reviews (for every issue). Though I'll be sure to discuss the ending of Sirens come August. So what does that mean for our Gotham Gals?

Apparently Catwoman is once again worthy of her own monthly title. Welcomed news by Selina Kyle fans I'm sure. I don't think I could bear another day of whining on the DC Message Boards about how she's "too good" for Sirens. Frankly, they all were.

Meet Catwoman. She's addicted to the night. Addicted to shiny objects. Addicted to Batman. Most of all, Catwoman is addicted to danger. She can't help herself, and the truth is – she doesn't want to. She's good at being bad, and very bad at being good. Find out more about what makes Catwoman tick in this new series from writer Judd Winick (BATMAN: UNDER THE HOOD) and artist Guillem March (GOTHAM CITY SIRENS)!


Harley Quinn has been ushered over into the new Suicide Squad title and I'm actually okay with this decision. THAT costume on the other hand...

They're a team of death-row super villains recruited by the government to take on missions so dangerous – they're sheer suicide! Harley Quinn! Deadshot! King Shark! Defeated and imprisoned, they're being interrogated about their mission – and about who's pulling the strings behind this illegal operation. Who will be the first to crack under the pressure?

Now...let's get into the main reason for this post. What is happening to Poison Ivy!? She's being sent over to be in the new Birds of Prey monthly. Say what? I wish I had more information than what is being provided. All I know is that she will be featured in this book. I don't know if it's a regularly occurring role or if her status is anti-hero or villain. The following bit of information isn't of much help either.

Birds of Prey #1
One is wanted for a murder she didn't commit. The other is on the run because she knows too much. They are Dinah Laurel Lance and Ev Crawford – a.k.a. Black Canary and Starling – and together, as Gotham City's covert ops team, they're taking down the villains other heroes can't touch. But now they've attracted the attention of a grizzled newspaper reporter who wants to expose them, as well as a creepy, chameleon-like strike team that's out to kill them.

I'm attempting to reserve judgment until the book finally hits the stands. This could be genius casting or this could be a complete disaster. (I know that Birds of Prey fans are not in the least bit happy about this retooling. I'm sure much of their scorn relates to DC getting rid of Oracle and placing Barbara Gordon back in the role of Batgirl.) However I will gladly shout from every mountain top that Poison Ivy's new costume is just plain awful.

The first thing that I noticed, and what saddened me the most, is that Poison Ivy's green skin tone is GONE. Devastating. One of the true other worldly attributes gifted to this character is no more.

This new Poison Ivy is also not afforded the comforts of her classic leaf adorned "swimsuit". Instead we get to see her (maybe) terrorizing Gotham City in a leafy catsuit. A CATSUIT! I don't understand how Jim Lee gave us a gorgeous Poison Ivy during the Hush era but later manages to cough this up.

Oh wait...where have I seen this look before? Halo is that you? If you're not familiar with Gabrielle Doe, a.k.a Halo, she is a character I first discovered in the pages of The Outsiders. Sigh. The fact that I have to think of this (now) fairly obscure character and her tacky 80s unitard everytime I look at Poison Ivy really bothers me. Baby I can see your halo-o-o...

Poison Ivy has never been ashamed of her body or her sensuality. It's one of her defining characteristics. Heck it's one of her greatest weapons. Now she wears more "clothes" than even Wonder Woman. (Some have speculated that the black parts of the costume are merely shadows but that is not likely. Otherwise that would leave one of her breasts exposed.) This is a woman who is in commune with nature. An ultra-femme elemental who has no business being hidden away from the world. They've tried this once before and it did not work. I suspect it will fail a second time. No green skin. Bad hair. Bad costume. No thanks.

I accept the idea that DC Comics wants to attract a new audience by toning down the more revealing costumes. It's actually a company wide decision. But this was completely unnecessary. Clearly the policy was used at random because characters like Starfire don't seem as affected. Take one look at Harley Quinn's new costume and it's obvious they were willing to go in the complete opposite direction. She wears practically nothing now.

Look...I'm a very proud collector of DC Comics. I've had plenty of beer infused DC vs Marvel debates and arguments with many a fanboy. But this might be a step too far for my tastes. I'm not giving up on Miss Isley. No worries. But I'm fully prepared to wag these fingers in all the right faces when necessary.

I now leave you with a video by The Propellerheads ft. Shirley Bassey. The song is called "History Repeating" and it's quite swinging. Why you ask? Because it's been stuck in my head ever since I chose the title for this post. Enjoy!

UPDATE: Cully Hamner takes credit for this redesign. His quote from Comic Book Resources: Explaining Poison Ivy's new look in "Suicide Squad," Hamner said the design is "pretty much mine... I wanted to make her almost a silhouette with leaves blowing across her body." The idea is that the leaves will change colors like the seasons from green to orange to brown.


Anonymous said...

Totally agree...

Is very dumb, but the hair really bothers me. Almots more than the oufit.

Anonymous said...

I actually like the new outfit. Its something new for icy dans af may generate more ivy fans. Lets face it ivy has been sadly left on the back burner for a long time. Im glad she is getting some attention and will appeal to a wider audience as harley quinn has. But yeah the hair is bad
she looks like the batman and robin movie poison ivy action figure.

Deadly Garden said...

In some ways I am being a bit harsh. I say that because I haven't seen the new costume beyond this cover. They've released no sketches (etc) like they've done with other characters. Hell, even Katana has been discussed in more detail.

At best I say that the costume isn't bad, per se, it's just not something I want for Poison Ivy. However, I will not, at any point, relent on the green skin. It's now such a part of her character that she looks weird without it there.

Anonymous said...

Glad I am not the only one who isn't too excited about this new costume. Seriously, it makes Poison Ivy appear as if she's afflicted with some kind of luminescent leucoderma. And the face and hair is too.. I dunno, 90s' Pamela Anderson? Angelica Bridges? The entire look is too Baywatch for me!

Another point to be noted is that Ivy may not appear in the first issue itself despite featuring on the cover. Wonder Woman, Flash and Aquaman didn't appear in Justice League #1 and Superman just made a cameo at the end even though the cover featured all of them. I think Ivy may debut in the third issue of Birds of Prey as that's when the solicitation synopsis first refers to her presence. So if anyone plans to buy the books just for Ivy's sake, its better that you confirm online or with pals whether she appears in any capacity in the first two issues or not. Unless you don't mind shelling over the extra bucks to keep abreast of the plotline of course.

Anonymous said...

My PI is a green, practically nude goddess wearing plants. That's what I loved about her, that she embraced and used her sexuality to get what she wanted (in a classy way, natch!)

This just makes me sad. I hope they bring back the green skin at least!

Anonymous said...

The first time that I saw that costume, I freaked out. However, I did buy the first three books, and I really liked how they showed off Ivy's powers, but the outfit... I can't warm up to it just yet. The hair... well, it's like taking a bad picture. I think that the hair looks fabulous on the cover of the January 2012 book, though. I'm going to give it a bit more time for Ivy to be more of a character, though. But man, I feel sorry for all of the Harley fans. Absolutely atrocious!

HarleyQuinn said...

what i'm about to say will confirm everything you all said:
I didnt recognize her when i saw the promo poster in august

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