Drawing: Poison Ivy Title: Poison Ivy
Poison Ivy
Drawing: Ivy
Sequential art may be abridged or rearranged; for the full version, please turn to the original comics.
May contain spoilers.

A Touch of Poison Ivy. (1966) [Bat181]
Ivy's first appearance establishes her attraction to the Batman. Her original look was based on that of Bettie Page°.

Black Orchid. (1989) [BO]
After Crisis°, Ivy is first reintroduced in Neil Gaiman's Black Orchid. We meet a dark, helpless, hopeless Ivy in a supporting role, Gaiman's writing nicely complemented by Dave McKean's unorthodox visual rendition. The combination sent a shiver up my spine, and I'm almost happy this is not how we usually see her, devoid of hope, looking almost like a stone statue, cold and hard, a gargoyle rather than a topiary.

The Poison Tomorrow. (1992) [TPT]
This story brings Batman and Green Arrow together, trying to uncover one of Ivy's plots. And yet once more, we get a different look for Ivy — and no, I don't know what the marks under her eyes are, either.
The Poison tomorrow foreshadows the later Contagion, with Ivy trying to cull those pesky humans for the good of the planet, hoping to set herself up as a new Eve.

Hot House. (1993) [LDK42]
Hot House brings us a nuanced plot about love, obsession and redemption, and Pamela with a more rigid look that rather surprisingly I really appreciate and am tempted to describe as New England for some reason. Once more, the Batman is affected by her presence, and as things get trippy, the art changes to reflect that, sometimes crossing the line that divides the daring from the outright cheesy.

Year One. (1995) [SB(A)3]
In their (retold after Crisis°) first encounter, a mutual attraction between Poison Ivy and the Batman is obvious right from the start.
With passions such as theirs, and conflicting ones at that, things can but go up in flames in the end...
This is a classic blackmail-the-rich scheme.

Leaves of Grass. (1996) [SB56]
Floronic Man floods Gotham with genetically engineered hashish, offers Poison $1o,ooo,ooo of the proceeds for a genetic sample.
Robin's friends smoke skunk. Floronic man elaborates on the history of the drug, Batman is the anti-drug mouthpiece, and Robin plays the pro/undecided part. Pretty silly all in all, but not as bad as it could be.
On the upside, we get hugs and kisses.

Passion's Fruit. (1997) [Bat(C)9]
While I'm not too happy with the way the characters came out (I'm a sucker for physically beautiful characters, in case you hadn't noticed, particularly where my favourites are concerned) in Hamner's and Campanella's art, their portrayal in Andy Helfer's story is dead on and creates an interesting simile, that of chatelaine Ivy sitting in Arkham Castle waiting for her dark knight to come home.

A Walk in the Park. (2000/2001) [DC751]
After the No Man's Land[SB88] and all the good she did feeding the hungry and saving the children, the Powers that be try to evict Ivy from Robinson Park.
This is one out of a sequence of issues that achieve a very distinct look by choosing just two spot colours (in addition to the obligatory black and white) and sticking to them throughout the whole issue, the only variety introduced by using the first colour more prominently on some pages, and the second on others. This works surprisingly well.

Both Sides Now. (2002)
While the Harley Quinn series brings us art in a variety of styles, issue #16 must be mentioned as outstanding. Jimmy Olsen and Harley Quinn both recount a series of events; Harley's version is drawn by one penciller (in a rather mangaesque style), Olsen's by another, and the background story by yet a third.
Another honourable mention goes to issue #19 for the "new look" — Ivy temporarily trades the "swimsuit" look for a "bikini."
Story-wise, the early issues of Harley Quinn explore the relationship between Poison Ivy and the Joker's ex girl-friend who she physically enhanced during the No Man's Land story arc, originally both out of compassion for another woman wronged by the man she loved beyond everything, and in the hope of attaining a "wildcard" in her truce with the Batman.
Ivy doesn't get to save a lot of trees here; this is Harley's comic, and often, Ivy grudgingly gets dragged along into Harley's joyrides and small-time robberies.

Hush. (2003) [Bat608]
Hush gives us a tour de force through the Batverse, visiting, sometimes reinventing all major players, portraying them in the distinctly superheroic, larger-than-life art of Jim Lee. If you like your leading roles to look like supermodels, this is the Ivy for you.
While this displays a revenge-motif that was overdue after Cat-a-clysm°, it also shows that Ivy isn't necessarily above making money, should the opportunity arise.

Cast Shadows. (2004) [CS]
Cast Shadows° is a beautiful story° that elaborates on the relationship of Ivy and Batman — both with each other and themselves.
The story has a beautiful Romeo and Juliet moment when — assuming Batman dead — Poison Ivy tries to kill herself.
In the end, Poison returns to Arkham to finish her rehabilitation, but some "anonymous benefactor" makes sure her time there isn't as daunting as it might have been.
The art plays with the titular light/shadow motif and dances between "inspired" and "l'art pour l'art". While John van Fleet largely succeeds in presenting attractive images, he mostly fails in presenting physically attractive characters. That said, the book is well worth reading as the story is one more likely to stay with you than most of the Ivy ones.

The City Is... (2004) [BG51]
In the relatively recent Batgirl issues, The City is a Garden and The City is a Jungle, we meet a green Poison Ivy (with shoulder-length hair less curly than that envisioned by Jim Lee) in a two panel-sequence that seems to perfectly sum up years of being in lust with the Batman.
Another reclaiming-the-city plot.
I'd have preferred a more morally ambiguous story, where the Eden Ivy creates actually makes people happy rather than pitting them against each other.

Human Nature. (2005) [GK61]
Human Nature affords us a look at Ivy's softer and, dare we say it, more human side, as it catches up on the lives of the orphans she took care of during the No Man's Land. The art ranges from brightly coloured heroic with clear inking (and sometimes slightly exaggerated expressions, if not nearly as bad as in Batman: Harley Quinn or the abominable Danger Girl) to much softer, almost water-colour-like flashback sequences to almost "tribal" images with a distinct "woodcarving" feel in some panels.

Nature. (2005) [GC32]
Like Human Nature, Nature focuses on Poison as The Mother. The art integrates the general look and garment of Fruit of the Earth[DC735] with the green complexion.

Gotham Girls/Adventures.
The ... Adventures (Batman Adventures etc.) titles as well as the Harley and Ivy and Gotham Girls miniseries were created as tie-ins for the popular Batman animated series. These titles are generally more playful (sometimes to the point of being funny) than the original comics. While Batman Adventures featured the fair-skinned Ivy from The Animated Series, the other lines — Gotham Girls, Harley and Ivy and Batgirl Adventures used a verdant, slightly mangaesque Ivy that seems to combine Jim Lee's green-skinned Ivy with the style of the The New Batman Adventures.

The Batman. (2004)
The new animated series, The Batman, shows an all-new interpretation of the character. Not as openly sensual as her previous incarnation in The Animated Series, the Ivy from The Batman was obviously designed to put more emphasis on "plant" side of things, her hair reminding one of the petals of a rose, making her "look like a pretty flower."

Batman & Robin. (1997)
The 1997 live-action movie starred Uma Thurman as Poison Ivy. This is yet another continuity from that of the comics, and the animated series and their comic tie-ins.

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