Poison Ivy has just become the most dangerous threat the world has ever faced. In this week's Batman #41, she's actually conquered the world.
Writer Tom King has been penning the most unusual Batman saga to date. A psychologist by trade, King has been diving deep inside the Dark Knight's mind, exploring just what it is that makes Bruce Wayne the Batman. Along the way, he's taken Batman's relationship with Catwoman to the next level. The two are now engaged, although the world's superheroes are still trying to work out what to make of that fact.
Batman #41 launches King's next arc, "Everybody Loves Ivy." It kicks off with Ivy somehow amplifying her power, reaching out across the globe and causing the entire world to fall under her thrall. Only two people are free; Batman and Catwoman. Two superheroes, against a woman who now literally rules the world. Even more chilling, although Batman has possession of an antidote that can block Ivy's control, he doesn't know of any way to reverse it.
This time, Batman is too late. As Ivy explains:
"Every person holding a gun. Every army, waiting for orders. Every man with a missile, every woman with a bomb. Every superhero. Every super-villain. Every master of magic, explorer of the infinite, the smartest alive. Every human attempting to be a god. Everyone. They all love me."
It's a chilling opening to what already promises to be one of the strongest Batman arcs to date. This is literally Batman and Catwoman against the world. All his secrets have been stripped bare; even the Bat-Computer is accessible to Ivy through Alfred and Cyborg. Should Batman cause problems for the world's new ruler, she can turn the entire planet against him with but a thought. Worse still, it's implied that Ivy even has access to all the knowledge of her victims. Batman has always reveled in his intelligence, but Ivy has the sum total of human knowledge to call upon. This time, the Dark Knight may well be out of his depth.
The issue is complemented by some of the most beautiful art in comics today. Artist Mikel Janin and colorist June Chung create some stunning panoramas, capturing Ivy's terrible beauty in a way few creative teams have managed. They render some incredible scenes, as Ivy sits atop a throne of vegetation, flexing her mental muscles as she warns Bruce Wayne; he may be free from her control, but he is no threat to her. This conversation is the only real interest she has in Batman right now.
After all, she's already won.
You can pick up Batman #41 at your local comic store or via ComiXology.
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