Riverdale and Gotham Combine in Thrilling Issues
If you put Harley Quinn and magic in the mix, just about anything can happen. Paul Dini and Marc Andreyko may have outdone themselves in the six-issue miniseries Harley and Ivy Meet Betty and Veronica. It appears Dini and Andreyko have taken some inspiration from Freaky Friday in this miniseries as it deals with mistaken identity and mind swapping. The mind swapping theme works very well in these issues, especially in issue five, since the majority of the plot deals with high school drama and nostalgia.
Previously, Hiram Lodge announced his plans to drain a nearby swamp in order to build a shopping mall and a college that boasts free education. Once Ivy hears about Lodge’s plans, she devises a plan of her own to stop the tycoon from destroying Sweetwater Swamp. However, during a costume party, things get a little crazy and Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy switch bodies with Veronica Lodge and Betty Cooper thanks to a certain magician and their biggest fan, Sabrina Spellman.
In issue five, Veronica and Betty are on the run from the police. They look to Sabrina for help so they might return to their real bodies. Meanwhile, Harley and Ivy are taking advantage of their dilemma by trying to sabotage Hiram Lodge’s Sweetwater Swamp project. Little do Harley, Ivy, Betty, and Veronica know they are being hunted by a gang the real Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy double-crossed in issue one.
As far as the story goes, this is a well-crafted story. Issue five boasts suspense, humor, and action. It delves a little deeper into some of the psychological problems introduced in the first issue. For example, Harley Quinn – while she enjoys being herself – misses being a normal person. This particular issue also deals with themes of trust, apathy, and friendship.
While the dialogue and story are great, Laura Braga’s art is even better. The art is where Harley and Ivy Meet Betty and Veronica shines, especially in issue five. Dialogue, in some cases, are of no use. Therefore, the characters’ countenances must be understandable for the readers’ sake. Braga expertly illustrates each characters’ expressions clearly. She seems to have added in subtle details to the main characters’ faces, distinguishing each of them clearly. For example, while Poison Ivy is Veronica Lodge, there are minor details that indicate to the reader it’s really Poison Ivy they are looking at. Yet, Veronica Lodge’s features compliment Poison Ivy’s own so well it can be difficult to distinguish them when they share a panel together.
Arif Prianto and Tony Aviña’s colors are also crisp and add great depth to every scene. The color scheme itself compliments both the DC and Archie characters. No shade appears to be out of place in this issue.
While the story itself is cliché in nature, the writers have done a fantastic job at making the story enjoyable. The nature of the plot makes it predictable. However, it is still extremely fun to read due to the antics of the characters. Harley and Ivy Meet Betty and Veronica is a character-driven story that seamlessly blends the “coming of age” themes of Archie with Batman’s psychological themes, which is more clearly realized in issue five. While the miniseries is quite fun, it deals with issues that both teenagers and adults can easily relate.
One particular problem the characters in this issue face is the dilemma of choice. They wish to be what they could have been. However, their own actions and choices have landed them in a dangerous situation that may cost the lives of everyone in Riverdale. It makes readers take a look at themselves and ask if they can make a change in order to avoid tragic consequences.
Harley and Ivy Meet Betty and Veronica #5 is fun escapism with hints of deeper issues at play. However, it never lingers on those issues for very long. It’s the kind of comic one might read in order to relieve stress after a long day. It ends in a way that leaves the reader wanting more. Personally, I cannot wait to see what happens in the concluding chapter of this entertaining miniseries.