Harley & Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica #2
Writers: Marc Andreyko, Paul Dini
Artist: Laura Braga
Colorist: Arif Prianto
Cover: Emanuela Lupacchino
Publisher: DC Comics
A review by Samantha Pearson
The shit really hits the fan in Harley & Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica #2. The story picks up where issue #1 left off: Ivy-clad Veronica Lodge and Harley-clad Betty Cooper meeting the real Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn at a costume party hosted by Veronica’s dad. With a theme like Heroes and Villains, duplicate costumes are bound to happen, but adding in actual villains makes everything extra kooky.
The hoops Marc Andreyko and Paul Dini had to jump through to make these worlds collide in issue #1 haven’t gotten any less cumbersome in issue #2. While this series has a lot of potential to be a fun, quirky crossover featuring some of comics’ best girlfriends, it struggles to hit its stride. I had faith in things coming together at the end of issue #1, but Harley & Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica #2 is… confusing.
Mistaken identities aside, the introduction of even more Gotham characters makes this issue feel hokier than it should. While I fully support Catwoman being a hardcore Josie and The Pussycats enthusiast, Zatanna’s involvement complicates things unnecessarily. I suppose the series needs a longer arc than Ivy and Harley kidnapping Veronica to convince her dad not to build his new development, but… does it, really? Because I feel like that plot could stretch over a handful of issues and feel natural without adding magic and body-swapping to the mix.
Beyond that, I have some weird feelings about the way this issue treats the Joker… who may or may not be the actual villain?
A lot of confusion could be avoided with clearer art. Laura Braga’s hyper-realistic work is something I enjoy, even in a whimsical book like this one, but there need to be clearer differences between the characters. Betty and Veronica are dressed like Harley and Ivy. Their faces don’t need to be exactly the same. Following issue #2 is really difficult because the characters are almost impossible to tell apart. Even the dialogue is similar.
I’ll stick with Harley & Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica because I’m super curious to see how everything plays out… but I think this issue introduced unnecessary complications to the plot and made things super hard to follow. Hopefully the next issue will clear things up.
As a side note, I would be so down for a magical road trip with Zatanna and Sabrina… just saying.
Wait and see. This issue struggles with plot, but hopefully things will clear up in issue #3. I’d say wait until more issues are out to continue reading this series, or you might find yourself frustrated with the lack of clarity.