Batman and Catwoman continue to be trapped in a world controlled by Poison Ivy in Batman #42, written by Tom King with art by Mikel Janin. Bruce tries to figure out how Ivy was able to accomplish this, as well as how to free the Earth from her control. They also successfully incapacitate Ivy’s Justice League in amusing and, somewhat, unbelievable ways.
Seeing Bruce and Selina navigate Ivy’s world proves to be very entertaining. This is mostly because of the couple’s dialogue, which has a fun wittiness to it. Bruce’s personality is portrayed very differently when he’s talking to Selina. Bruce is more playful and flirty, a welcome change to the Batman persona which is typically dour. This change is because instead of the typical partnership between Batman and Robin, which has always been a Father/son connection, this is two significant others playfully flirting. It's also cool to see Batman implement an interesting way of incapacitating Superman using his super-hearing against him. On that same note, how Selina takes out the Flashes seems a bit far-fetched.
Poison Ivy’s control of the earth feels reminiscent of old sci-fi movies, such as "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" or "The Stepford Wives". Everyone is Ivy, so its just her having conversations with herself talking about how the world is perfect now under her rule, sometimes giving an unsettling feeling. Ivy’s portrayal here (including her portrayal since Rebirth) is quite fascinating; like any good villain, she believes what she’s doing is just and not in the way that you may think. This story could have been good enough to be its own big arc, akin to Zero Year, but it seems there may be one more issue left. In what may be an interesting easter egg, Bruce and Selina go to a Batman themed restaurant, complete with aptly named meals like KGBLT and Killer Croque Monsieur. The many fans of the seminal Kingdom Come comic may see this as callback to the superhero themed diner featured there.
The art handled by Mikel Janin and June Chung, of course, continues to dazzle the eye. Janin’s unique penciling creates an almost 3D aspect to his character work that brings a depth and roundness to it. His background detail is also great, especially when Ivy is in her plant sanctuary, and this is bolstered by Chung’s excellent coloring.
This arc gives Batman fans a taste of what the Batman dynamic will feel like for the foreseeable future with Selina taking the place of the usual Robin role, resulting in a fresh take of Batman himself. While there is a questionable moment regarding the extent of Catwoman’s abilities, the relationship between her and Bruce is worth the price of admission.