Cut to the chase. This is a really well drawn, but ultimately poorly written issue.
Bats is in the hospital. He gets through to remote-controlled Harley while Cats gets close enough to Ivy, saying she didn't kill five people in War of the Jokes and Riddles, so don't feel guilty. While you ponder that, I'll kick you in the face.
That gives Bats 15 seconds to preach the Power of LOVE to Harley, who fights through the haze and becomes herself. She goes to Ivy says, indirectly, I LUVs ya. Ivy gives up and will be taken to the Sanctuary for just needs hugs villains.
That's the whole issue. Could have been told in the kids stayed off my lawn days of old-school comic story telling.
This issue is about LOVE. I guess now it's official Harley and Ivy just aren't friends, they're lovers. OK, no skin off my nose.
But let's face it, Harley and Ivy within the past few years have been portrayed as mass murderers. What's canon? Because these two should be in prison cells for 23 hours a day, given the body counts they've racked up over the years.
That's King's problem. He write characters his way. So the Riddler looks like Bill Sykes and is buff as hell and can catch a thrown knife between two fingers. (Something that is totally impossible in real life).
Joker has depression issues. (Whatever). Now Ivy is consumed by guilt and wants to save the world by controlling everything. Harley now has three PhDs, and an MD. She is not the creation of emotional abuse by a psycho killer. We certainly don't get the notion that Harley has helped Joker kill hundreds, and killed kids with booby-trapped toys and later killed a bunch of Joker look-alike with Harley fetishes. (All this happened in the last five years).
Is Ivy just mixed up and has a plant fixation, or is she willing to kill and has killed people because they make really great plant fertilizer.
This is a three-issue story arc that really could have been told in one issue. The art was great. But the story was sooo slllooowww. Talk about decompressed.
Look, I like that King is unafraid to have Bruce couple up with Selina. It's about time. Every time they try to "return Batman to his Roots" and get rid of the 47 sidekicks he's acquired over the years, it fails. As Glenn Weldon and Chris Sims have pointed out, Robin was introduced less than a year after Detective 27. So Bats has always been about partnerships and being with others. Might as well be a competent grown up woman and not a 12-year-old boy wearing no pants.
But a lot of what King writes is overly plotted and uses characters in a way inconsistent with the rest of the DC universe. It doesn't always work.
I am looking forward to the wedding, but there is a lot of room for improvement with King.
Or I could be wrong.
From reading your review (I haven't read the issue, just previews and some scans here.), this doesn't seem that much of a stretch for Ivy. She's really been written VERY inconsistently over the past decade or so (As has The Penguin.)! Sometimes it seems like she's a full-time villain and eco- terrorist, sometimes she's neutral, sometimes she's on the good guys side (Didn't she go straight under Paul Dini?), sometimes she's an anti-villain, and so on. What was she when she joined the Birds Of Prey? So, Ivy is portrayed all kinds of ways. I don't think that this is a failure of King, I think that this has to do with Ivy being written very inconsistently. I like her a lot as a character, but I don't think that she makes a good Batman villain for this reason.