Poison Ivy gets a fresh take in January when Amy Chu gets her hands on the character for Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death.
Featuring art by Clay Mann, the six-issue series will emphasize not only the villain's super-sexiness, but also her super-smarts. And as the title indicates, Chu will explore Poison Ivy's power to bring things to life, yet also kill.
Following up on our interview with Mann about the series, Newsarama talked to Chu about the new mini-series, how her work on Sensation Comics Wonder Woman caught DC's eye, and what readers can expect from her portrayal of Poison Ivy.
Newsarama: Amy, there have been a lot of stories about Poison Ivy over the years. What are you hoping to bring to the character and her story that's original?
Amy Chu: Actually there's surprisingly little done with Poison Ivy given how long she's been around as a character. It's strange to me. She's super sexy, super smart — like Lex Luthor smart — and she can pretty much take over Gotham if she wanted. I'm trying to bring the emotional depth and character recognition to her that she deserves. She's not just some sidekick that kisses guys to death.
Nrama: How would you describe Poison Ivy as you're writing her?
Chu: Ivy's a very complicated and conflicted character. She's half plant and half human. She's caught between two worlds. Her allegiance is to the plant world, but she's also loyal to her human friends.
Nrama: So do you see her as a villain?
Chu: It's all a matter of perspective, right? Especially in today's world there's a grey area for everything. One person's hero is another's villain. Ivy is a protector of the plant world, but she also still has some human in her. You may agree with her perspective but not her methods. Does that make her a villain?
Nrama: How would you describe the series overall? Is it horror, humor, mystery….?
Chu: I would call it more action/mystery with a few moments of humor sprinkled in.
Nrama: For DC readers not familiar with all your indie and Vertigo work, how would you describe your comics career? How did you get started, and what led you to the point where you're writing a Poison Ivy mini-series?
Chu: I got my start self-publishing my own anthology series Girls Night Out and that began to get some attention. My big break was doing a story in Vertigo's CMYK Quarterly and I believe it was my Sensation Comics Wonder Woman story that led to being asked to pitch for Poison Ivy.
Nrama: You're working with Clay Mann on art, whom we talked to last week What does his work bring to your story?
Chu: Clay has a wonderful organic style that works with well with Ivy's world. Everything is very natural and sensual.
Nrama: Were you familiar with his art? Did you write with it in mind at all?
Chu: Clay's actually a friend so that's nice. It doesn't always work out that way with writer/artist team-ups. But in general, if I know who the artist is, I write to the artist's strengths and interests. It's a win win for everyone — I think it makes for a better book for the reader.
Nrama: Is there anything else you want to tell potential readers of Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death?
Chu: Clay and I worked really hard to build whole Ivy world with new characters so I hope people are as excited about it as I am!