Date: 2018-01-14 09:34 pm (UTC)
janegray: (Default)
From: [personal profile] janegray
Absolutely loathed this story.

I understand the motivation behind it. At the time, Ivy had been steadily and gradually gone through a lot of character development that made her less and less villainous. Selina was outright a anti-hero. Harley had been growing more and more sympathetic.

The end result was that Batman basically had no real female villains left. This is why, around this time, DC tried importing female villains, like Roxy Rocket. And it's why they tried to turn Ivy back into a full-blown villain. Fair enough. I'm not a fan of the Status Quo Is God mentality, and I would have much preferred it if they had just focused their efforts into introducing and developing new female villains rather than basically rebooting Ivy, but at least I can see their reasoning.

But the execution sucked. It was a total asspull! All of a sudden, in the span of a single out-of-the-blue issue, Ivy snapped back from the three dimensional character she had organically grown into, to a monster so sadistic that even Joker at his worst would be impressed.

Plus the implications of tentacle rape when the police finds her begging for help. Classy.

Date: 2018-01-14 10:27 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] matrix_dragon
The part that annoyed me was how needlessly cruel they made Ivy while she was murdering people. Part of her character is that she puts plants before people, sure, but even if she was killing people, she should at least have a reason you could almost understand, at least when applying her own broken logic. Like if she was using weird science to convert people into plant beings, something she'd see as an improvement and a worthy goal. Instead, we got 'look at me, I'm EEEEEVIIIL!'

Date: 2018-01-14 10:38 pm (UTC)
janegray: (Default)
From: [personal profile] janegray
Seriously -_-

I was so baffled that Dini wrote this. I expected much, much, much better from him.

Then again, Dini also pushed the portrayal of the Mad Hatter as a pedophile, which made him pretty much toxic and unusable as a character for years. Dini has written a ton of stories I love, but he really needs an editor to rein him in, because when he is given free rein to do whatever he wants he goes overboard. I guess this is why he works so well with children's shows, he gets to express his great ideas while being forced to keep to certain standards.

Date: 2018-01-14 11:56 pm (UTC)
alicemacher: Lisa Winklemeyer from the webcomic Penny and Aggie, c2004-2011 G. Lagacé, T Campbell (Default)
From: [personal profile] alicemacher
"Then again, Dini also pushed the portrayal of the Mad Hatter as a pedophile"

Really? Ugh. Morrison portraying him that way in Arkham Asylum, which of course preceded Dini's DC career, I can give a pass. That work was a one-off, out of continuity story. Having pedophilia be part of Tetch's in-continuity characterization, though, I agree would be a poor choice, much as making Dr. Light a rapist in Infinite Crisis was. Makes it difficult and awkward for subsequent writers to portray a villain in a lighter, or at least less viscerally disturbing, way, should they so choose.

And yes, the same goes for making the Joker a nonstop serial killer/mass murderer in regular continuity. Do that enough times, and it becomes harder and harder to do stories in which he commits cartoonishly funny crimes and mostly (or entirely) limits himself to making people scared he'll kill them.

Date: 2018-01-15 12:10 am (UTC)
janegray: (Default)
From: [personal profile] janegray
Yeah. The story where Joker gleefully explains how he boiled a baby alive and forced the father to drink the soup, among other similar stories, have completely soured me on the character. Now me knee-jerk reaction to him is "just shoot him on sight."

Date: 2018-01-15 09:41 am (UTC)
captainbellman: It Was A Boojum... (Default)
From: [personal profile] captainbellman
A smaller bugbear, but the Batman-Zatanna romance did feel a little forced (remember, he knows she wiped his memory that one time), especially given that Dini is married to a very Zatanna-like personage. Seems not dissimilar to that weird nurse character Chuck Austen concocted for his "X-Men" run.

Date: 2018-01-15 11:50 am (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
I'm never sure about it being a romance, but I do like them as old friends.

With Zatanna there was the notion that they'd known each other since they were kids, which made sense, Zatara was a high profile stage magician, so him coming to one of Bruce Wayne's parties seems sound (as does Zatanna coming along to it), and eventually Bruce learning sleight of hand and escapology from Zatara is also a neat idea.

Her mindwiping him was.... just part of the godawful fustercluck which was Identity Crisis, so I have to give as pass to that being removed from the equation ASAP.

Date: 2018-01-14 11:45 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] locuatico
That... explains "Joker's Daughter" and "White Rabbit" during Nu52... have they done anything with Magpie at all?

Maybe they could "Magneto" Ivy. (make her an extremist with noble goals). She kills people... but the people she kills are downright awful (domestic abusers, rapists, white supremacists. Whoever gave the OK to Cassandra's awful mask) and who aren't the kind of cases Batman tends to deal with so she believes it is people batman has failed. That way you keep her character development, but you keep her a Batman villain.

Granted, you could argue she would just be a hero who kills people, but that has to be better than... this...... wonder if he and Clayface ever teamed-up...

Date: 2018-01-15 12:07 am (UTC)
janegray: (Default)
From: [personal profile] janegray
I think the best thing they could do for Ivy (and Catwoman, and Harley) would be to actually commit to focus on new and/or obscure female villains. Otherwise they will always run into the same problem: the three female Big Shots are not allowed to evolve because they are the only ones and thus must remain "iconic" (read: stuck in a loop). Same reason Barbara was downgraded from Oracle to Batgirl, even though Stephanie's book was selling reasonably well.

Want a horrible, vile, sadistic and monstruous female villain? There is Jane Doe! Why can't DC ever remember she exists?

Heck, much as I love Arnold Wesker and was immensely disappointed that he got such a crappy death scene (I'm not against moving on and letting old characters pass the guard, but iconic character should get the dignity of a well-written death scene. Poor Wesker was basically taken out with the trash...), I thought Sugar was a pretty good replacement, and would have liked her to stay. Nope! Once again Status Quo Is God.

Date: 2018-01-15 12:20 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] locuatico
oh, that would be the best. sure. I was more thinking how to salvage this particular idea.

I remember how the Nu52 tried to build Joker's daughter as the new big shot... and it never took off.

Date: 2018-01-15 11:55 am (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
Wesker wasn't even really an old character, he only showed up in 1988 after all. :) (Icon_UK is feeling old)

In terms of female villains, they also tried to give us Nyssa Al Ghul, as the less obsessive, more efficient replacement for Ra's, which immediately ran into the problem that a less obsessively interested in The Detective, more efficient Ra's would have won almost instantly as it was only the obsessiveness with Bats which prevented Ras from achieving all his schemes, so she had to either not be used, or be absurdly ineffective some other way so she was shuffled out of the deck very quickly indeed.

More new and creative female characters would be nice though. I'd like to see Athena again (The one who ran the Network in Batman: Family mini)

Date: 2018-01-15 02:46 pm (UTC)
lucean: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lucean
I think their efforts of with the female Batman villains kind of hit a big problem with both audiences and creators in that there was this push that they somehow need to be sympathetic or understandable, but the moment you take that step to that direction, then they also need to be redeemed.

The Nyssa stuff was weird, but I felt the bigger example of this was Talia where the efforts to establish her as this big threat was instantly met with criticism how she wasn't that cold-hearted or stuff like that. Which would be fine except it happens with all instances they try to drag female villains more in to the darkness.

Not defending this story, but I think there is also a larger contextual difficulty they were struggling with here.

Date: 2018-01-15 03:03 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
We also had that female fear inducing character ("Fright" I think) who turned Scarecrow into a monstrous sidekick, the Scarebeast and who was apparently intended to take over Crane's spot, but I don't think she ever appered again.

Other one-shot wonders included Vox, who listened to the voices in her head, all of them telling her to kill (If you though Golden Age treatment of characters with mental illness were crude, wow they had nothing on the 90's) and Samantha, who IIRC was convinced she was the reincarnation of a witch and tried to kill the descendants of the men who had ordered her death in the 1600's... which was a LOT of people.

Talia is indeed an odd one, though her involvement with Bruce is central to her character, I thought she actually worked better in her one off appearance as a Nightwing villain, where we saw her as the daughter of Ra's which contrasted rather well, thematically, with Dick as the son of Batman.

Date: 2018-01-14 09:36 pm (UTC)
mastiff: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mastiff
Well, that beautifully sums up everything I hate about Batman;

Quirky psychopath tortures and murders people, Batman destroys the victims to protect charismatic evildoer and fulfill his personal vision of justice, ensuring the cycle repeats in a few months while remaining totally oblivious to his part in perpetuating the cycle.

Date: 2018-01-14 11:08 pm (UTC)
mastiff: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mastiff
I get what you're saying, but that sums my problem; "I’ve always liked how Batman looks out for his rogues and tries to rehabilitate them.". Random rogues... not so much. Ivy will remain unpunished, ready to kill again.

These victims aren't much different than Swamp Thing; their consciousness carried over to plant-form. Or Man Bat.

It really comes down to the writers, obviously. Some write better than others. But more broadly, it comes down to 70 year old comic dynasties needing to protect familiar characters from permanent consequences that hurt their recycling options. "Well Ivy, after melting the legs of everyone who annoyed you, and letting them die in fear and agony in a soup of their own dissolved organs, I certainly hope you feel vaguely uncomfortable around fruit for the foreseeable future. Justice is served!"

Edited Date: 2018-01-14 11:11 pm (UTC)

Date: 2018-01-15 08:05 am (UTC)
burkeonthesly: (Default)
From: [personal profile] burkeonthesly
A well-written Flash? Like "Flash and Substance"-grade. Or Squirrel Girl?

Date: 2018-01-15 12:01 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
The "frozen yet conscious" one was a bit of an oddity, as Inertia had been the one to murder Bart (back when "aged up Bart as Flash" was a thing) and so Wally was REALLY not inclined to give him anything like an easy punishment.

Speedsters are notoriously hard to jail, but slowing down his speed to almost absolute zero, whilst being made to perpetually look at images of Bart's heroic career was, I agree, more than a bit troubling.

Date: 2018-01-15 05:28 pm (UTC)
burkeonthesly: (Default)
From: [personal profile] burkeonthesly

Well, that's why I prefaced the Flash with "well-written." Perhaps I should have prefaced it "the Diniverse animated" instead.

Date: 2018-01-15 10:28 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] lego_joker
I dunno, man... I don't think anyone even pretends Arkham "rehabilitates" anyone anymore. As far back as Moench's '90s run Bruce admitted that Arkham only makes his enemies worse, and Living Hell (which came out in '03) pretty much gave everyone a front-row seat to how it does so. At this point, Bruce sending any crook to Arkham is practically an admission that he wants a new/tougher supervillain.

As far as rehabilitating enemies go, Golden Age Wonder Woman had a much higher success rate, though this unfortunately led to Marston rapidly inventing new villains that were basically just reskins of old ones.

Date: 2018-01-15 09:21 am (UTC)
captainbellman: It Was A Boojum... (Default)
From: [personal profile] captainbellman
This story - the one I describe to people as "Poison Ivy gets molested by a haunted tree in 23 pages of glorious technicolour" - made me actively despise Paul Dini.


Date: 2018-01-15 12:19 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
I'm sort of torn, because I can see what they were aiming for, but this isn't what I had hoped for.

I liked the idea of reminding us that Ivy basically isn't a nice person (Her role as "Earth Mother" in NML taking care of kids seemed a little too much of a swing for her), and her role as plant woman and eco-terrorist means than she sees humans as the enemy first and foremost, with a side order of lab animal, and it's not like she's been averse to turning lovers or victims into monsters before even back in the 80's, but at some level I do think this went too far, but I think it went too far in creating Harvest, rather than what it did to Ivy. Her being, from a human POV, completely amoral in her actions makes sense, because it makes sense to her.

Whether that's a viable long term option I'm not sure, given her powers, but I do feel that she had had her dangerous side downplayed too much.

Date: 2018-01-15 07:36 pm (UTC)
pyrrhocorax: It's an edition of the Daily Bugle newspaper, with the headline EVERYTHING AWFUL Oh God Somebody Do Something (everything awful)
From: [personal profile] pyrrhocorax
I think that from the audience’s point of view, there's a difference between a character who kills humans without caring, which I can definitely see Ivy as, and a character who kills humans purely for sadistic pleasure, which I really can't. Ivy hates humans who hurt plants and doesn't care much about the rest, but hasn't ever before (to my knowledge) shown pure sadism.

If those humans she tortured to death were herbicide manufacturers or rainforest logging company owners, the story would make more sense (though imo it would still be revolting for other reasons).

Date: 2018-01-15 08:22 pm (UTC)
zechs80: (Mayuri)
From: [personal profile] zechs80
Agreed. But this was a bad time for female characters in Batman comics. Cassandra was going through her EVIL phase (and her comic canceled because editorial thought there were way too many female Bat comics and her's had to go), Stephanie was still dead, Harley showed up only in the Morrison's Joker story then Dini did what Dini does giving her a three-dimensional story involving her and Ventriloquist (but that was closer to Countdown, another greater Dini misstep), Kate had an ongoing (by Devin Grayson) then suddenly didn't, and Selina had the baby storyline of who the father was, fallout of the Black Mask confrontation, and where the kid goes.

Really the only ones who were unaffected were the BoP. Add to that the meh runs Dick (Bruce Jones then Marv Wolfram) and Tim (Beechen) had. This was a bad time going on in the Bat comics.

Date: 2018-01-16 06:31 pm (UTC)
bradygirl_12: (trees and flowers 1)
From: [personal profile] bradygirl_12
Ugh, the sadism turns me off.

I've always had a sneaking admiration for Ivy with her 'plants first' philosophy, but never agreed with her killing humans to achieve her goals.

My headcanon Ivy will always put her trees and plants first and put the fear of God into despoilers of the environment, but not this. This is despicable and way too Joker-like for my taste.


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