Poison Ivy

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CHARACTER

Poison Ivy

Whether antihero, ecoterrorist, or femme fatale, Dr. Pamela Lillian Isley uses her scientific genius to champion all plant life.                                                    

Introduction

Aliases: Pamela Lillian Isley
First Appearance: BATMAN vol. 1 #181, 1966

 

 

What happens when you mix betrayal with an undying passion to save the Earth? You get the Batman’s Floral Femme Fatale.


Evil has never been so seductive as it is in the form of Poison Ivy, who uses her own natural pheromones to control whomever she wants. Her additional ability to control the floral life around her gives her an instant army against anyone who tries to stop her, as vines and plants attack whoever is foolish enough to get in her way.


The beautiful villainess is not a criminal in the traditional sense, but an ecoterrorist determined to push mankind out of the way, so plants can rule the planet she believes has long abused them. But Ivy has also proven herself compassionate time and time again, especially toward other women who have been victimized.


No two-dimensional villain, Ivy is one of the most conflicted and complex members of Batman’s rogues gallery.
 

Origin

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Poison Ivy’s first origin saw her begin as the botanist Dr. Pamela Lillian Isley, who was betrayed by her professor, Marc LeGrande. After he gained her help in stealing a rare Egyptian artifact containing ancient herbs, LeGrande decided to poison Pamela to keep her silent. His plan backfired, however, as she developed an immunity to all poisons.

 

When the DC Universe was rebooted after 1985’s CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS, Ivy’s new origin cast her as a botanist who studied in Seattle under Dr. Jason Woodrue. Woodrue seduced the shy Pamela, and experimented on her by injecting her with poisons and toxins. Pamela was driven insane, and was left hospitalized for six months while Woodrue fled justice. Yet Woodrue’s feigned affection may have been the only love she’d ever felt, and when his treachery was discovered, her anger at his betrayal consumed her with rage. 

 

Discovering she had the ability to control plants, influence men through her pheromones, resist all toxins and poisons and kill with a kiss, Pamela ceased being the unassuming doctoral candidate and was transformed into the empowered Poison Ivy.

 

Believing mankind had failed the planet as men had failed her, Pamela sought to restore power to the plants, and to exert her own power over any man who got in her way. After Pamela killed her boyfriend by suffocating him with fungus in his lungs, she left Seattle and set her sights on Gotham City.

 

Her first act was to hold the city for ransom under the threat of poisonous spores. She was defeated by Batman, and Ivy became fascinated with the one man who could resist her charms. The two faced off repeatedly, each encounter ending with her confined to Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane. 

 

When the DC Universe was reimagined following the events of 2011’s FLASHPOINT, Pamela received another new origin. This time, it was revealed that when she was a child, her father regularly beat her mother and eventually killed and buried her in Pamela’s own garden. Years later, as a college student, Pamela used her knowledge of chemistry to kill her father in vengeance. Subsequently, before being fired from her job as an intern at Wayne Enterprises, she was doused with chemicals that gave her the power to control plants. Thus began her career as Poison Ivy.

 

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Powers and Abilities

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Poison Ivy has resistance to most poisons and toxins, which also results in her touch becoming toxic. She usually administers toxins through her lips, kissing her enemies. Ivy’s skin has over time taken on a green hue, which she can lessen by limiting the intensity of poisons in her bloodstream.

 

Poison Ivy’s beauty and seductive personality are supplemented by her ability to produce pheromones, which allow her to control other people.

 

It is Ivy’s chlorokinesis that is her greatest asset. Through a mystical connection to the plant dimension of the Green, Ivy can control plants with her mind. She can, for example, grow vines, which she uses to ensnare her enemies.

 

Poison Ivy must be regularly exposed to sunlight. Without it, she will shrivel and die like any other plant.

Essential Storylines and History

For the Love of Ivy (DETECTIVE COMICS vol. 1 #589, 1988)

 

After serving her time in Arkham, Ivy was released on parole. But it wasn’t long before she returned to villainy. Her next victim was a TV personality who died from a mysterious disease—after legally granting his fortune to Poison Ivy. 

 

Ivy then teamed up with a second-tier criminal known as the Grip in order to seduce other millionaires and gain their fortunes. But she contracted a fatal, contagious disease that used her immunity to poisons against her. When Poison Ivy finally accepted the truth, she let Batman send her to the hospital for a cure and recovery.

 

 

 

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Transplanting (BATMAN: POISON IVY, 1997)

Ivy moved to a tropical island, where she was regarded as a goddess by the natives. Her solitude and happiness were short-lived, however, as the island was firebombed by Russian mercenaries. Determined to avenge the island and its people, Ivy tracked down and killed the inventor of the incendiary gel used to destroy the island, working her way through his network. Her quest for vengeance again caught Batman’s attention.

 

Batman ultimately took a bullet meant for Ivy while apprehending the mastermind. Ivy was once more sent to Arkham Asylum, and grew convinced that Batman held an unspoken love for her.

 

 

 

Ivy and the Orphans (“No Man’s Land,” 1999-2000)

 

After Gotham City was decimated by an earthquake and deemed a disaster area by the U.S. government, it was evacuated and abandoned. Poison Ivy deemed all of Robinson Park her territory. While making the park verdant, Ivy came across 16 earthquake orphans and took care of them. Batman saw her love for the children and left them in her care. When law returned to Gotham, Ivy was forced to surrender to the police. She then became convinced the children were poisoned from long-term exposure to her powers, and had Batman help find a way to restore her full humanity.

 

 

 

Harley Meets Ivy (BATMAN: HARLEY QUINN #1, 1999)

 

During the “No Man’s Land” event, Poison Ivy encountered The Joker’s ex-sidekick Harley Quinn, took her in and befriended her. Even though Harley returned to The Joker, it planted the seeds for a relationship between the two women that usually took the form of friendship. Though sometimes a bit more.

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Hush (BATMAN vol. 1 #608-619, 2002-2003)

 

Poison Ivy attempted to restore her powers via a serum given her by the Super-Villain Hush. While it at first appeared to have killed her, Ivy came back to life in time to help the Riddler with his machinations, and took control of Catwoman and Superman. Eventually, Ivy turned on the Riddler and left him in a catatonic state.

 

Afterward, Ivy’s powers increased, giving her fuller mastery over plant life. She used this newfound ability to wreak havoc in Gotham City.

 

 

 

The Unholy Three (GOTHAM CITY SIRENS #1-26, 2009-2011)

 

After saving Catwoman from the new Super-Villain Boneblaster, Ivy brought her to her lair, where Harley Quinn was already living. United, they became the Sirens, and worked together in one another’s best interests. The group eventually went their separate ways, with Ivy and Harley remaining best friends.

 

 

 

New 52 (2012-2016)

 

Poison Ivy’s first adventures in the New 52 were with the Birds of Prey. She joined the team at the urging of team leader Black Canary, against the wishes of the other Birds. She was apparently killed by Katana, but survived the incident and went on to wreak havoc within the Gotham City underworld.

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Ivy’s New 52 origin saw Pamela Isley growing up with a skin condition that kept her from functioning in the outside world. Her abusive father beat and eventually killed her mother, burying her body in Pamela’s beloved garden. During college, Pamela got hold of a pheromone pill that allowed her to control men’s minds, using it to graduate at the top of her class. She also found a deadly toxin that could be secreted from her lips, and used it on her father during a prison visit. She avenged her mother’s death with a kiss.

 

During an internship at Wayne Enterprises, Pamela tried to convince Bruce Wayne to produce mind-controlling chemicals, prompting him to fire her. She accidentally spilled her experimental chemicals on herself when security tried to escort her out of Wayne’s building, and they granted her powers to control plant life, as well as immunity to all poisons and toxins.

 

 

 

Motherhood (POISON IVY: CYCLE OF LIFE AND DEATH #1-6, 2016)

 

Ivy was working at the Gotham Botanical Gardens when she created two plant-human hybrid children, Rose and Hazel. She took them in and found a third child named Thorn. The three girls grew to adulthood in mere months. Ivy eventually learned that the head of the institute—Dr. Grimley—had become a plant-human hybrid himself and wanted to harvest the girls to cure his own cancer.

 

After Grimley was vanquished by Ivy and Swamp Thing, the girls left Ivy’s care to live out the rest of their accelerated lives.

 

 

 

Rebirth (2016)

 

Poison Ivy’s first adventures after DC’s Rebirth saw her building a portal to a dream dimension in Clark Kent’s farmhouse. It turned out to be a plan by the alien warlord Mongul, whom Ivy helped the Trinity of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman defeat.

 

Ivy and Harley also took their friendship a step further, acknowledging their romantic feelings for each other.

Team Affiliations

  • • Gotham City Sirens
  • • Injustice League
  • • Injustice Gang
  • • Secret Society of Super-Villains
  • • Suicide Squad
  • • Birds of Prey

Appearances In Other Media

Television

 

Main Character Appearances

Live Action:

• Gotham

 

Animation:

Gotham Girls

DC Super Hero Girls

 

Guest Appearances/Cameos

Animation:

Batman: The Animated Series 

The New Batman Adventures

The Batman

Batman: The Brave and the Bold

 

 

 

Film

 

Main Character Appearances

Live Action:

Batman & Robin

 

Animation:

The LEGO Batman Movie

 

 

 

Video Games

 

Batman: The Animated Series 

The Adventures of Batman and Robin

Batman: Chaos in Gotham City

Batman Vengeance

Batman: Dark Tomorrow

LEGO Batman: The Videogame

DC Universe Online

Batman: Arkham Origins (as Dr. Isley)

Batman: Arkham Asylum

Batman: Arkham City

Batman: Arkham Knight