Throughout the history of comics Poison Ivy has had a number of origin stories, but for this article, we will go with the most recent one that follows the events of FLASHPOINT (2011).
Before she was Poison Ivy she was Pamela Isley. As a child she grew up with a skin condition that kept her hidden from the outside world. In addition to her isolated childhood, she was parented by an abusive father who eventually killed her mother and buried her in the garden. In college, Pamela came across a mind controlling pheromone pill as well as a deadly toxin that could be delivered to victims via her lips. She used the latter on a visit to her father in prison to avenge her mothers tragic death.
She continued to produce mind controlling chemicals as she served an internship to Wayne Enterprises. When her research was discovered she was fired by Bruce Wayne. While being escorted from the building, she spilled a number of chemicals on herself which effectively transformed her into Poison Ivy.
DEFINING MOMENTS & ABILITIES
When it comes to villains in Gotham City, most of them are just criminally insane individuals. Ivy, however is one of the rare few that is actually equipped with impressive powers and abilities. Among those abilities is being able to control plant life and communicate with something called “the green.” This was once described by Catwoman as being similar to using “The Force” in Star Wars. I wonder what color lightsaber she’d have....🤔
Aside from her communication with “The Green,” our girl Pammy is actually a well accomplished scientist. Combining her powers with her intellect, she is able to successfully accomplish transgenic hybridization. In simplified terms, she is able to produce part human / part plant hybrid beings. These beings also possess abilities to manipulate plants as well.
Kiss of Death
Poison Pam giveth and Poison Pam taketh away. This is probably Ivy’s most deadly and most often used finishing move. Her lips are filled with venom causing anyone who comes into contact with them to keel over from a lethal dose of poison. Combine this with her irresistible pheromone charms, and you have one of the deadliest one-two punches in the world of comics.
Powers of Persuasion
Ok so maybe it's less the ability to persuade and more having access to mind controlling pheromones as mentioned above. One of the most impressive uses of this weapon comes in the pages of Hush. In this storyline, Ivy is able to take can control of both Catwoman and even The Man of Steel himself to do her bidding.
Resurrection from the Dead
Due to her elemental influence, Ivy is not only able to produce new life for others, but for herself as well. There have been a few times throughout her history that she has been able to do so. One of the more recent times came in Heroes in Crisis. In this story, Ivy is killed during the sanctuary massacre. Later on she is reborn by means of a planted rose that she gave to Harley Quinn. After her passing, Ivy emerges from the same spot the rose was planted in a giant plant pod. A very similar event happened in the the 1st season of Harley Quinn. Check out the video below.
Friendships & Allies
What maybe makes Ivy stand out among her fellow villains is that she actually maintains genuine friendships with people. Most baddies may team up but few have real relationships with other villains. After a falling out with the Joker, Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy become very close friends and call on each other throughout their comic arc. These BFF’s even form a team in the series Gotham City Sirens that adds Catwoman to the mix.
In the New 52, Ivy is even recruited by Black Canary to join the Birds of Prey. There she forms relationships with Batgirl as well as a few other heroes.
Lastly, she shares a bond with another DC character, Swamp Thing, who also has a similar connection to “The Green.”
Being powerful is one thing, but having powerful allies as well is another. Poison Ivy calls upon her friends on occasion to help her out in situations. She has their back and they have hers.
WHAT TO READ
Cycle of Life and Death by Amy Chu
“Life. Death. Poison Ivy has power over both. But can she keep her friends and hold down a regular job at the same time? As Dr. Pamela Isley, she joins the prestigious plant sciences department at Gotham Botanical Gardens, but things quickly get complicated when a fellow scientist is murdered and it looks like the work of Ivy. Collects the acclaimed six-issue miniseries.”
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