HARLEY & IVY MEET BETTY & VERONICA #4 by Paul Dini, Marc Andreyko, and Laura Braga
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
A silly addition to an already silly series. If the previous issues were entertaining then this one delivers the exact same level of enjoyment!
85 %
Like The Campy Batman Show But With Women
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So, who would have thought the continual insanity of this comic would keep reaching new highs? I know I sure didn’t. For really, when you think of the good girls of Riverdale suddenly thrust into the bodies of Gotham’s worst, it only makes sense they’d long to be on the right side of the law again. On that same note, Harley and Ivy rediscover the minor inconveniences of living as teen girls. Written by Paul Dini and Marc Andreyko, with art courtesy of Laura Braga, HARLEY & IVY MEET BETTY & VERONICA #4 finally shows the downsides of body-switching.

Being Who You’re Not in HARLEY & IVY MEET BETTY & VERONICA #4

Betty and Veronica find themselves trying to help Reggie Mantel in Gotham City. For this small-town school bully just so happens to think he’s the Crown Prince of Crime: the Joker! Back in Riverdale, Harley and Ivy get harassed by the Blossom twins, Cheryl and Jason. When they think they have finally smoothed things over with the dramatic teens, they discover their troubles are just getting started.

HARLEY & IVY MEET BETTY & VERONICA #4
HARLEY & IVY MEET BETTY & VERONICA #4 page 2. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

It’s interesting to see how this comic is handling the two separate storylines. It splits time between Betty and Veronica having trouble with the law in Gotham with the teen insanity of Riverdale. Yet when you compare the two storylines, one appears much stronger than the other. That, of course, is Harley and Ivy trying to take down Hiram Lodge’s development in Riverdale. They actually face adversity there. While the Blossoms are silly villains, they still present a challenge for the characters. Betty and Veronica must deal with some goons in Gotham as well as the forces of the law, yet it’s so scattered that who they’re fighting often gets lost in the shuffle.

Leading Ladies That’ll Last a Lifetime

Yet, despite this problem, the strong points of the previous HARLEY & IVY MEET BETTY & VERONICA issues are still here. The characters are simply a delight to watch. For example, Veronica continues to act like the rich princess she is back in Riverdale, despite looking nothing like her former self. This leads to a few good laughs as staff from the boutique she and Betty shop in try and figure out why the dangerous Poison Ivy wants a dress from the juniors section. On a similar note, seeing Ivy mercilessly take down high school bullies by both insulting their pettiness and with physical violence was something I didn’t know I needed.

HARLEY & IVY MEET BETTY & VERONICA #4
HARLEY & IVY MEET BETTY & VERONICA #4 page 5. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Styling the City and the Small Town Folks

I have to hand it to Braga, her continued use of expressiveness mixed with realism really helps the art in this comic shine. All of the characters move and act distinctly, even if sometimes the hyperrealism makes them look similar. On that note, you still know who’s in whose body simply by how they carry themselves. Harley as Betty moves in a much lighter way, doing some flips and smiling a lot more than the good girl next door usually does. What’s more, the use of a solid color background helps add some silliness to the comic in a good way. It helps show characters going over the top with rage, jokes, or whatever they wish to express. At the same time, it helps break up the otherwise similar backgrounds of suburbia and the city.

What HARLEY & IVY MEET BETTY & VERONICA #4 lacks in substance, it makes up for in comedy. This comic really shows that it’s okay to let your hair down every once in a while and see a silly concept through. Yes, the villains in Gotham terrify and delight most people; but they’re still just comic book bad guys. Sometimes it’s nice to lean into that and see where it takes you.

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