Knight Terrors: Poison Ivy #2 is published by DC Comics, written by G. Willow Wilson, pencils by Atagun Ilhan, inks by Mark Morales, colors by Arif Prianto, and letters by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou. This is part of the Knight Terrors event. Poison Ivy’s perfect world starts showing imperfections, and it can all come crashing down.
At first glance, this tie-in shouldn’t have some of the most insidious pieces of horror within it, and yet it does. The plot is beautifully haunting. That perception of the charming, quaint cul-de-sac has mostly faded, with the book claustrophobic and haunting. And yet a small detail flicks the switch for Ivy and brings her to her senses. The whole comic feels like a freaky nightmare, understanding and channeling the event superbly. There aren’t major surprises, but the book keeps the tension high the whole time, making it impossible to look away.
The characters and the dialogue in Knight Terrors: Poison Ivy #2 are fascinating, as 90% of them aren’t real. At its core is Ivy, literally surrounded by intrusive and noisy voices. Each one is trying to manipulate and persuade, just seconds away from being nasty. It uses Harley and Ivy’s love for each other as the book’s heart. I love the intimacy of the relationship and how that is used to torment Ivy, making it more painful to read. Also in the little town of nightmares is Janet, a supporting character from Ivy’s ongoing series. Her being ordinary and out of the loop when it comes to superheroes helps her be that beacon for Ivy, although she struggles with the fear that the landscape imposes on her. I felt worse for Janet as it isn’t even her dream that she is forced to fight her way out of.
As great as the writing is, the art truly makes this issue the frantic, terrifying comic it is. Five Nights at Freddy’s was brought up in the review for the previous chapter, and that style is intensified here. The faces and the proportions are even bigger and more extreme, with eyes and mouths that teeter between furious snarls and adoring grins. At the start of the issue, Ivy looks the same as Ivy, indicating that she has submitted. But as she rebels, the faces twist and lose their niceness. These faces also get bigger, the close-ups tighter to them. It pens Ivy and Janet in and makes the book uncomfortable. The line weights are incredibly thick, further taking up space. It’s a style that changes, best represented when the scene changes to show Janet. For a page or two, the lines get smaller, and it gets easier to breathe. It’s a short break before the freaky, glassy-eyed monsters start imposing themselves again. And above all of it, in this devilish toy-town, is the Sun with Insomnia’s face etched in, showing that he is watching over it all.
The colors are awesome. The vibrancy and rich shades of the parts where Ivy is held are brilliant for a purpose, trying to generate the faux-positivity. But then, with Janet locked in her basement, it’s dark and grimy. Because those tones aren’t needed with her, she is just an enemy, an intruder. The colors don’t need to be wasted on her. The lettering is terrific, going through the same changes in size that the art does.
Knight Terrors: Poison Ivy #2 is a confined, claustrophobic comic. The town’s open space is replaced with a few homes and much bigger enemies, making the book an anxiety-causing masterpiece. Every page is unsettling, twisting faces and contorting Ivy further into a corner. It’s noisy, intrusive, and dramatic, building to a warranted and rewarding ending.
Knight Terrors: Poison Ivy #2
Knight Terrors: Poison Ivy #2 is a confined, claustrophobic comic. The town’s open space is replaced with a few homes and much bigger enemies, making the book an anxiety-causing masterpiece.