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Quote1 Life endures. It adjusts and grows stronger. The weeds you try to kill become super-weeds, immune to your poison. And so you increase your toxins and poison the world in a cycle of madness. I call it forth, the power of the plants, even from the terminator seeds that should not grow. I am the guardian of the Green. I am Poison Ivy. Quote2
-- Poison Ivy src

Early Life

Pamela Isley was born with a skin condition - an aversion to sunlight. Though the doctor had prescribed her a lotion to protect her, little Pamela's abusive father had forbade her from going outside at all. On one occasion, when her mother allowed her to play outside, he had angrily punched her in the face, giving her a black eye. As if nothing had happened, Pamela's mother stepped outside and began gardening. Seeing her daughter there, she explained that she liked gardening because the flowers listen to her, and sometimes, if she stays very quiet, they speak back to her. When Pamela had asked about the black eye, her mother had assured her it was nothing to worry about. The abuse continued. Every time he hit her, Pamela's father bought his wife's forgiveness with flowers, and her garden would grow. That was how Pamela learned that flowers could manipulate people. However, she also learned of human cruelty when her father murdered her mother in cold blood, having had enough of her disobedience to him. He buried his now ex-wife under her own garden—her flesh decaying and now feeding the very flowers she planted—before being arrested by the police. At the trial, he was found guilty of domestic violence and murder, and sentenced to life in prison. Pamela was then sent to live with a relative.

In college, Pamela created designer drugs, doling pheromone pills out in order to study their effects. The University learned of her activities, and she was expelled and put in jail pending a criminal indictment. However, she had already used her pills to get the Dean under her thumb. Charges were dropped, and she graduated Summa Cum Laude. After graduating, Pamela visited her father in prison for the first time since the murder of her mother. He had stubbornly sat in silence, just staring at her and waiting for her to make the first move. After a time, she decided to do what made the most sense. She leapt up out of her seat and kissed him on the lips. By the next morning, he was dead, and the toxin used to kill him was untraceable.[2]

The Dean secured Pamela an internship at Wayne Enterprises straight out of College at their R&D site just after the merger with Kane Chemical. She helped to develop pharmaceuticals and cosmetic applications, but she had greater aspirations.[3][2]

The Zero Year

Pamela became a research assistant at Wayne Enterprises, helping a man named Dr. Paji create a project that would allow plants to grow at an incredibly advanced rate. During the event that would be dubbed "Zero Year" by Bruce Wayne, a terrorist known as the Riddler partnered with a scientist named Dr. Karl Helfern to steal Pamela's experiment.[4] The Riddler turned off the power in Gotham City, turning the city into a savage cesspit. The villain then spread Pamela's project throughout the city, turning the once proud and advanced city of Gotham into a literal urban jungle because of the incredible plant growth.[5] However, both the Riddler and Hellfern were defeated by the new hero known as the Batman, and Gotham City began a rebuilding process, getting rid of all the plants that Pamela's stolen research had caused. [6]

Becoming Poison Ivy

With the city back to normal, Bruce Wayne came to look in on Pamela's division when she took the opportunity to present him with a business project that would cut his advertising division by 100%. In fact, she had used pheromones to get the meeting with him, and this was her proof that Wayne Enterprises could use pheromones to target clients, and modify their behaviour to the company's benefit. Wayne refused her pitch on the grounds that it amounted to brainwashing, and removed free choice from the equation. Ethically opposed to her idea, Bruce Wayne fired her on the spot, warning that his company owned any research she had done, so she would not be able to pitch her idea elsewhere.

Angrily, she had rushed past security to steal what she could of her work back, specifically a plant serum that she had made from all of her knowledge in botanical research, which she alone knew how to make.[3] Unfortunately, in the process, she was doused with her own chemicals. The chemicals changed her, making her immune to poisons and viruses, giving her command over any plant, and connecting her inexorably to The Green as well as giving her immunity to poisons and viruses and innate control of pheromones.[3] She became something of an eco-terrorist, using her abilities to strike back at those who struck out at the Green.[2]

Birds of Prey

Ivy and the Birds of Prey

Ivy and the Birds of Prey
Ivy still lived in Gotham City, but had been asked by Black Canary to join the Birds of Prey, despite her tendency toward criminal activity. Ivy accepted, but her new teammates Starling and Katana weren't very happy about it.[7] They grew to trust her, begrudgingly, while investigating a mind-controlling criminal called Choke, who was using unsuspecting people as sleeper agents, and implanting them with bombs triggered by mnemonic queues.

After a battle with one of the Court of Owls' Talons, Ivy sacrificed her health in order to trap him within the refrigerated car of a train, knowing that only severe cold could stop him.[8] She had made Black Canary promise to take her to the Amazon Basin, should she ever become injured, and following the Talon's capture, the Birds of Prey made good on that promise, but were attacked by plant-monsters when they arrived. As it turned out, Ivy had betrayed them, having secretly poisoned them, and intended to coerce them into helping her in her eco-terrorist crusades against polluting corporations.[9] When it became clear that Batman could cure their poisoning, Katana near-fatally injured Ivy, resulting in her being dropped from the team.[10]

Criminal Career

A free-agent in Gotham, Ivy broke Clayface out of Arkham Asylum, manipulating him into becoming her husband - and therefore her bodyguard.[11] Batman intervened for her sake, mainly because the locations she attacked were the Penguin's properties, and he had put a bounty on her head. Unfortunately, Ivy was captured by Penguin's men, and buried alive. However, she survived long enough for Penguin's over-ambitious second-in-command Ogilvy to rescue her as part of his plan to take over Penguin's business, since his boss had gone missing thanks to the return of the Joker.[12] She repaid her debt to him by supplying him with a means to chemically enhance himself enough to become a match for the Batman,[13] which ended up giving his skin a consistency akin to that of bark.[14]

Arkham War

When the Crime Syndicate took over the world and seemingly killed the Justice League, the villains of Gotham took rule over it. Poison Ivy, among them, took control of a section of Gotham for herself, primarily being concerned with her plants. [15] When Bane returned to Gotham in order to claim it for himself, Ivy joined Scarecrow's army of Arkhamites to combat Bane's battalion of prisoners from Blackgate Penitentiary in what would later be named "the Arkham War". [16]

Participating in several battles against the Bane's army, Scarecrow eventually pulled out all the stops in order to win the city by secretly drugging all the Arkhamites, including Isley, with a derivative of Bane's precious Venom, but, despite their temporary super strength, the Arkhamites were still defeated by Bane, who declared himself the victor of the Arkham War. [17]

Batman Eternal

After the fall of the Crime Syndicate and return of the Justice League, Poison Ivy began operating with the Calabrese crime family, being led by her friend Selina Kyle.[18]

Cycle of Life and Death

Ivy and her "babies", Hazel and Rose

Ivy and her "babies", Hazel and Rose

Some time later, Ivy began working for the Gotham Botanical Gardens, working under her real identity Dr. Pamela Isley. She became fascinated with the idea of combining human and plant DNA, and used the resources at the gardens to develop her research.[19] She soon succeeded in merging genetic information from both humans and plants, and began growing human/plant hybrids that she referred to as "sporelings". Ivy successfully delivered her two sporelings in secret, naming them Rose and Hazel. However, she became concerned that someone was aware of her research after her colleagues Luisa Cruz and Albertus Eric Grimley were murdered.[20] Ivy decided she needed to retrieve her research from the botanical gardens to prevent whoever was onto her from gaining access to it. Ivy recruited Catwoman to help her get inside the building undetected,[21] and inside a laboratory she discovered that someone had stolen her research and used it to develop their own sporelings. Ivy found a live hybrid that she named Thorn. In fear, Thorn had used her unique ability to transmute flesh into plant material to kill the scientists that experimented on her. Ivy discovered another colleague, Victor Lee, dying and realized he had been working against her and was responsible for the murders of her colleagues. She destroyed the facility and rescued Thorn, taking her back to her apartment to join Rose and Hazel.[22]

Ivy's "babies" developed rapidly and reached adolescence in a matter of months, and Ivy became increasingly protective of them. She was attacked by a creature that called itself the Grim, and was shocked to discover the creature was her colleague Albertus Grimley, who was thought to have been murdered.[23] Grimley told Ivy that he and Victor Lee had been obsessed with the idea of immortality and believed the answer was hidden in botany. Grimley was dying of cancer and was determined to become immortal before he died, and when he happened upon Ivy's research he saw a potential to exploit it. He faked his death, then grew his own hybrids and used their stem cells to replenish his body, transforming himself into a gruesome creature in the process. The cancer continued to return, however, and after Ivy destroyed his facility he needed new sporelings to use, leading him to attack Ivy and her children. They fought the Grim, but his resistance to their plant-based powers made him a difficult foe. Swamp Thing heard Ivy's calls through the Green, and together they managed to kill the Grim. Wanting to see the world for themselves, Rose, Hazel and Thorn left Gotham City, leaving Ivy alone.[24]

Everyone Loves Ivy

Ivy vs. Batman and Catwoman

Ivy vs. Batman and Catwoman

Through her control over all of Earth's plant life, Poison Ivy was able to manipulate vegetation on a global scale, leaving the entire planet's population, including its metahumans, subservient to her. She hoped that with her guidance, humanity would be forced to become a peaceful species and live in harmony with nature, effectively saving the world from its inevitable destruction at the hands of humans. When Batman realized what was going on, he was able to resist Ivy's mind control long enough to inject himself and Catwoman with a special plant-based substance which counteracted Ivy's toxins, leaving the duo the only people in the world unaffected.[25]

Ivy's mission proved successful; humanity was finally living in peace and harmony, albeit without their free will. She used metahumans such as Superman and Wonder Woman to monitor Bruce and Selina to ensure they did not come in the way of her plans. Batman theorized that Ivy's control was rooted in the vegetation that people had been eating, and attempted to contact a boy named Johnny Suntres, who had a rare allergy to all plant-based foods, believing he too may be unaffected. Ivy ensured that Batman would not get to him and had Superman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern restrain him and Catwoman. While he was tied, Batman taunted Ivy, forcing her to question the morality of what she had done. In anger, Ivy forced Superman to punch Batman, killing him. She was regretful over taking Batman's life and used individuals she was controlling, such as magicians, doctors and surgeons, to restore him back to life. She also revealed to Catwoman that she regretted taking human lives in the past, particularly those she killed during the War of Jokes and Riddles. Nonetheless, Ivy remained determined to succeed with her plan to save the planet and humanity.[26]

Batman awoke in hospital under the care of Harley Quinn. Aware of Ivy's genuine love and care for Harley, Batman believed that Ivy's control over her wasn't as strong as that of the rest of humanity, and he managed to get through to Harley, relinquishing her of Ivy's mind control. Batman drove Harley to the base Ivy had created in the Gotham Park, and Harley comforted the emotionally distressed Ivy. Upon hearing of Ivy's regret over killing the men during the War of Jokes and Riddles, Batman informed Ivy that she wasn't responsible for their deaths; in truth, the Riddler killed them and placed the blame upon her. Harley managed to talk Ivy into restoring humanity's free will, putting an end to the peaceful utopia she had created, but Harley assured Ivy that one day she would succeed in her goal of saving the planet.[27]

Heroes in Crisis

At Harley's request, Ivy checked in to the superhero mental health facility known as Sanctuary. Ivy was apparently one of the many killed during a massacre at Sanctuary.[28]

Powers

  • Chlorokinesis: Semi-mystical connection to the plant world through a force called the Green. She was able to manipulate and animate plants, using roots to form supports for a tunnel. She controlled an entire tree to come down on Clayface, ensnaring him in its branches. She once brought a whole skyscraper down with giant vines. Ivy's control over plant life is on a global scale; she was once able to manipulate the entire planet's vegetation in order to make humanity submissive to her will.[26]
    • Pheromone Control: Ivy is known to be able to seduce men and women alike, often using pheromones to do so, but even without the pheromones, her beauty is still an asset that can she can use to seduce.[29]
  • Toxikinesis: A deliberate overdose of plant and animal based toxins into her blood stream that make her touch deadly. Ivy can create the most potently powerful floral toxins in Gotham City. Often these are secreted from her lips and administered via a kiss. They come in a number of varieties, from mind controlling drugs to instantly fatal necrotics. Her skin is toxic as well, although contact with it is usually not fatal.

Abilities

  • Botany: Dr. Isley was a renowned scientist with a career in Gotham City. She has always had a fascination with plants and they've been the major direction in her life even after her accident. Her knowledge of botany allows her to better manipulate her plants.
    • Toxicology: Pamela's specialization in Botany was Toxicology, at first she used her knowledge for perfumes, make-up and medicine. After her accident, she used her knowledge to grow thorny plants and poisonous traps for her enemies.
    • Genetics: Isley has an extensive knowledge of Genetics and was even able to splice plant and human DNA, creating hybrids she referred to as "sporelings".
  • Seduction: Pamela Isley has always been a beautiful woman but she never used her looks or talents for personal gain until she became Poison Ivy. She taunts her trapped opponents with their human desires and can even infatuate thugs to her cause through her plants or her own means.
  • Hand-to-Hand Combat (Basic): Poison Ivy's athletic abilities have grown over the course of her career. She has learned a limited style of martial arts fighting, is proficient at climbing and leaping, and is a strong and fast swimmer.

Weaknesses

  • Vulnerability to Darkness: Poison Ivy requires substantial amounts of solar energy to live.
  • Mental Instability: Poison Ivy has been committed to Arkham Asylum on a regular basis. She speaks to her plants, finds extreme rage towards males and at a certain point sought out the destruction of the human race so only she and her plants would live. She has also been described by both herself and Batgirl as having "seasonal effective disorder", a mental condition that causes her emotions to change with the seasons, from manic (spring) to euphoric (summer) to apathetic (autumn) to depressed (winter).[30]
  • Skin Condition (Formerly): Ever since she was a child, Isley had a skin condition that prevented her from going into direct sunlight without the proper lotion on. This condition most likely went away when she became Poison Ivy, as a requirement to avoid direct sunlight is counter intuitive to her need to be around plants, and she developed various immunities.[2]

Related


Footnotes


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