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Reviews and commentary by Tony Isabella
"America's Most Beloved Comic-Book Writer & Columnist"

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for Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Batman: Harley and Ivy #1

I'm trying something different with TOT the rest of this month and maybe even the rest of the summer. I'm going to alternate the longer columns with much shorter ones, the better to insure that I have something new for you every day. Whether this is a good thing or a crime against humanity is your call.

BATMAN: HARLEY AND IVY is a three-issue mini-series starring the animated versions of Batman foes Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy. Paul Dini and Bruce Timm plotted the series with Dini scripting and Timm providing the art and Shane Glines doing most of the inking in the first two issues.

Ivy's quest/plans for the rare South American "Zombie Root" is the driving force of this series. She and Harley attempt to steal the root in the USA and, when that fails, travel to "Costa Verde" to acquire it. They contend with Batman, a stay at Arkham Asylum, a falling out between friends, Costa Verde's president-for-life and his thugs, and murderous chums Slash and Burn. There is plenty of humor with the action, but be warned that it's somewhat dark humor, suitable for teens, but not for younger readers.

Dini is one of the best writers in comics today. I hope that he continues to resist writing ongoing titles for DC, unless said titles were separate from the DC Universe du jour. I'd gladly buy a Dini-written comic book per week, but I'd hate to see him chained to the ever-mutating mess of the DCU proper.

Timm is one of the best artists in comics today. His sense of storytelling and design just plain delights me. Backed up by inker Glines and colorist Lee Loughridge, his work here is nothing short of outstanding.

BATMAN: HARLEY AND IVY #3 is scheduled to hit the comics shops next Wednesday. If you haven't already bought, read, and enjoyed these first two issues, you have a week to seek them out. They are well worth the effort.

Thanks for visiting. I'll be back tomorrow with a full-sized column. See you then.

Tony Isabella

<< 06/22/2004 | 06/23/2004 | 06/24/2004 >>

Discuss this column with me at my Message Board. Also, read Heroes and Villains: Real and Imagined and view my Amazon Wish List.

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Zero Tonys
ZERO: Burn your money before buying any comic receiving this rating. It doesn't *necessarily* mean there's absolutely nothing of value here - though it *could* - but whatever value it might possess shrinks into insignificance before its overall awfulness.

ONE: Buy something else. Maybe I found something which wasn't completely dreadful in the item, but not enough for me to recommend it when there are better comics available. I only want what's best for you, my children.

TWO: Basic judgment call. I found some value, but not enough to recommend it. My review should give you enough info to decide if you want to take a chance on it. Are you feeling lucky today, punk? Well, are you?

THREE: This denotes something I find perfectly respectable. There are better books out there, but I wouldn't regret buying this item. Based on my review, you should be able to determine if it's of interest to you. Let the Force guide you.

FOUR: I recommend anything earning this rating. Unless you don't like the genre, subject matter, or past work of the creators, I believe you'll enjoy this item. Isn't it uncanny how I can look right into your soul that way?

FIVE: Anything getting this rating is among the best comicdom has to offer. You should buy/read this, even if the genre/subject matter doesn't appeal to you. It's for your own good. Me, I live for comics and books this good...but not in a pathetic "Comic-Book Guy" sort of way.

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