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New 52 Poison Ivy

DC Direct
by yo go re

When she was introduced to the New 52, Ivy was not yet a supervillain - she was an ecoterrorist, and had powers, but that was it. She was first seen as a member of the Birds of Prey before becoming the more villainous Ivy everyone was expecting her to be.

She was also given a new origin. Rather than being soiled by someone else's experiments, her condition was a result of her own work. As a kid, her father abused her mother, and always bought her flowers to apologize after; eventually he killed her and buried her in her garden. In college, Pam sold pheromone pills to her fellow students to study their effects. She graduated with honors, and went to work for Wayne Enterprises' bio-chem division. She pitched Bruce Wayne on her ideas to control consumers' minds, but he declared it unethical and fired her. While grabbing her research notes, she was doused with her own chemical compound, and found she could speak the language of plants and was immune to all poisons.

Ivy was of course redesigned for the New 52, and she looks great! Her costume gets a lot of grief from fanboys who are pissed that she's not naked any more, but it really is one of the best looks the character has ever had. Designer Cully Hamner envisioned her as "a silhouette with leaves blowing across her body," and that definitely comes through. The comics eventually revealed that the plant and human sides of her biology were struggling against each other, so this bio-suit not only super-charges her powers, it's keeping her alive.

She's wearing a skintight black body suit (and if you think that isn't or can't be sexy, well, your opinion is wrong) covered in leaves and vines. Giving her the suit means we no longer have to assume the plants are erupting from her skin, and it allows the specific pattern of leaves to change as the situation requires. Want her classic bathing suit design? She can do that. Naked Earth Mother? That too. Arkham City-style shirt and "planties"? Yep. Whatever design she wants, she can make.

The figure was sculpted by Karen Palinko, which means beautiful, beautiful work. All those vines are sculpted on, and so is her bush. Her face is a bit pointy and austere, but it's not ugly - she's still attractive. Her hair spills down past her waist, and there are a few random leaves poking out here and there. She does seem to suffer a bit from Disney Princess Syndrome, where her hands and feet seem slightly too small for her body.

The paint is very good. Her bio-suit is matte black, but the bright green on the vines and leaves is applied exceedingly cleanly, with very little over- or under-fill. Her skin is pale, with dark tendrils painted on her cheeks.

She has bright green lips and green eyeshadow, but her eyes are white when the comic typically shows them as black. Her hair is a dusty orange, with a darker wash filling the deep crevices. A few of her body leaves have a darker green app than the rest, but if it's meant to make the foliage look more realistic, it's not working.

Sadly, her articulation is rather wanting. Most of it is good, but there are some odd choices made. She has a balljointed head, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, hinged elbows, balljointed hips, swivel thighs, hinged knees, and hinged ankles. She has no wrists, presumably because turning her hands would ruin the sculpt of the vines. The vine running over the top of her right shoulder prevents that arm from raising to the side. The thigh joints are cut straight through the leafy patches, when those could have easy overhung the joints to hide them. Similarly, a torso joint could have been hidden right beneath her breasts, with the plain black suit and the leaves helping disguise the break in the form. On the plus side, her hair is flexible PVC, so her head doesn't get too blocked off.

Swamp Thing is a plant convinced it is a man; Poison Ivy is a woman convinced she's a plant. The New 52 Poison Ivy started out as an anti-hero before drifting into full-on villainy, because of course she did. Heaven forbid the writers do something interesting with her, when they could just send her down the same path as before. At least her new costume is cool, and this toy is a decent representation of it. DCD could even do a repaint in the future - her leaves change color with the seasons, so a brown/orange Ivy would be pretty neat.

-- 05/28/15


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