Poison Ivy
DC Comics, Super of the Week

Super of the Week: Poison Ivy

She’s green and she’s bad. We’re talking about Harley Quinn’s BFF and occasional lover, Poison Ivy!

She’s known as a supervillain, but she is really? This week’s Super of the Week revolves around Poison Ivy, the Batman villain, Harley Quinn’s best friend and a woman who can control plants. She’s been a love interest to Batman and is seen to work with Catwoman and her BFF. In most recent comic stories, Ivy has been deemed an antiheroine and an eco-warrior or in her eyes, an eco terrorist. We prefer to think of her as a metahuman who love plants. 

Full Name:

  • Pamela Lillian Isley (post-Crisis)
  • Lillian Rose (pre-Crisis)

Nickname(s): 

  • Ivy
  • Ive (Harley Quinn series only)

Alias(es):

  • Poison Ivy
  • Paula Irving

Comic Book Franchise: DC Comics

Creator(s): Robert Kanigher and Sheldon Moldoff

First Appearance(s): Batman #181 (June 1966)

Allies:

  • Harley Quinn
  • Suicide Squad
  • Birds of Prey
  • Gotham City Sirens

Powers/Abilities:

  • Trained Botanist
  • Secretion of floral toxins and mind-controlling pheromones
  • Immunity to toxins and pathogens
  • The ability to mentally control the growth of plants via connection to the Green.

Family:

Wealthy parents

Friend(s):

  • Harley Quinn (best friend)
  • Catwoman

Team(s):

  • Birds of Prey
  • Gotham City Sirens
  • Injustice Gang
  • Injustice League
  • Suicide Squad
  • Secret Society of Super Villains
  • S.T.A.R. Labs

BIOGRAPHY

Pre-Crisis

Prior to Crisis on Infinite Earths, Poison Ivy was known as Doctor Lillian Rose, M.D, a botanist who assists a man, Marc LeGrande in stealing an Egyptian artefact which contained ancient herbs.

LeGrande, terrified that Rose would dob him in, attempts to poison her with the same herbs they’d stolen. However, his plan backfires and she learns, via her survival that she’d developed immunity to every type of poison and toxin.

Post-Crisis

After the maxi event Crisis on Infinite Earths, Poison Ivy’s backstory was retconned by Neil Gaiman in Secret origins #36 in 1988. It was here that her true name was Doctor Pamela Isely, PhD a botanist in Gotham City. In this version of her origin, she had wealthy, yet distant parents.

Isely pursued a career in advanced botanical biochemistry alongside Alec Holland (later known as Swamp Thing). They were taught by Doctor Jason Woodrue (Floronic Man). She is seduced by her mentor due to her shyness and is injected with toxins and poisons. This triggers her transformation into what we know her to be now.

Isley begins her time as a criminal by threatening to unleash spores if her demands are not met. She also develops an unhealthy obsession with Batman. before he has her locked up in Arkham Asylum.

PAST MEDIA APPEARANCES

Some of Poison Ivy’s past appearances include:

  • Batman: The Animated Series
  • Batman (1966 live action series)
  • The New Batman Adventures
  • Static Shock
  • Gotham Girls
  • Justice League (animated series)
  • The Batman (animated series)
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold
  • Young Justice
  • DC Superhero Girls
  • Justice League Action
  • Batman & Robin
  • The LEGO Batman Movie
  • Batman and Harley Quinn

RECENT MEDIA APPEARANCES

  • Harley Quinn (animated series)
  • Batman: Hush
  • Gotham (as Ivy “Pamela” Pepper)
  • Gotham by Gaslight

PORTRAYALS – LIVE ACTION

  • Uma Thurman (first live action version of Pamela Isely – Batman & Robin)
  • Clare Foley, Maggie Geha and Peyton List as Ivy Pepper/Poison Ivy – Gotham)

PORTRAYALS – ANIMATION

  • Vanessa Marshall (various projects)
  • Lake Bell (Harley Quinn)
  • Alyssa Milano (Young Justice)
  • Diane Pershing (Batman: The Animated Series)
  • Piera Coppola (The Batman)

cjhawkings

C.J. Hawkings has written for the now-defunct Entertainment website, Movie Pilot. She now writes for FanSided website, Dork Side of the Force and WhatCulture.

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