There's something unusual about Pamela Isley--the girl who hides behind her bright red hair. The girl who won't let anyone inside to see what's lurking behind the curtains. The girl who goes to extreme lengths to care for a few plants. Pamela Isley doesn't trust other people, especially men. They always want something from her that she's not willing to give. When cute goth girl Alice Oh comes into Pamela's life after an accident at the local park, she makes her feel like pulling back the curtains and letting the sunshine in. But there are dark secrets deep within the Isley house. Secrets Pamela's father has warned must remain hidden. Secrets that could turn deadly and destroy the one person who ever cared about Pamela, or as her mom preferred to call her...Ivy. Will Pamela open herself up to the possibilities of love, or will she forever be transformed by the thorny vines of revenge?
Poison Ivy: ThornsFeatured
After Alice moves in, she helps Pamela find her voice and supports her as those around her continually wrong her. Pamela begins to forge her own path- one that exacts revenge and will not let the men around her overpower her any longer.
What I loved: The story is really intriguing, and it deals with thought-provoking themes around harassment, problems with reporting, and abuse. The importance of support and damage of not believing the survivor are clear throughout the story. Pamela is a compelling character, torn between wanting to do the right thing and protect herself. I appreciated the presence of Alice, who can help provide an outside perspective and aid her as she questions those around her. Having someone to trust is truly important.
The art throughout is lovely, using earth-tones and details that really bring the atmosphere to life. The characters are quite emotive throughout, and I appreciated the use of color and details to really set the emotional stage. This is a book that is largely told through the images, and they were spot-on. As such, the story never gets bogged down by too many words, it is always clear who is speaking, and there are never any word-dumps. The book allows the images to speak for themselves when appropriate, making for a more immersive graphic novel.
What left me wanting more: I wanted a bit more to the backstory to fully understand the steps leading to the present. We do get some flashbacks that fill in missing information a bit (around her mother and Brett), but I would have preferred to see these events first to really lead into the rest of the story.
Final verdict: An intriguing origin story, POISON IVY: THORNS is a compelling graphic novel about abuse, harassment, and claiming your own power.
I really liked how Pamela Isley was portrayed in this. While I know Ivy to be a little more charismatic to get into what she wants, her love for the plants really shows in this book. The parts that I really enjoyed was when Pam was portrayed doing experiments. The glee on her face really showed and I think captured her perfectly. Also, the scene in the park with Brett. Ivy is seductive and while she is younger in this story, it shows how she will manipulate in the future. Other than that, I felt like the other characters were one dimensional and very sterotypical. You have the “good guy” jock who really isn’t, the principal who of course will stand up for the guy and blame the girl, and then Alice. While there was nothing wrong with Alice, there was nothing special about her either? Maybe because Pamela is just so interesting, everyone else fails.
Overall, Poison Ivy: Thorns by Kody Keplinger was a good villain origin story. The artwork was absolutely amazing and Sara Kipin did a fantastic job on really creating the perfect atmosphere and portrayal of Pamela. The story itself was good, even though I felt like a little more would have been beneficial. It shows the start of how Pamela becomes Ivy and there were certain scenes that drove that point. I really liked the depiction of Pamela but everyone else just felt flat and predictable. If you enjoy Poison Ivy and the new DC Comic Graphic Novels, I would highly recommend adding this to your collection.