Poison Ivy: 6 Things To Know About The Batman Villain Ahead Of Her Batwoman Debut

Poison Ivy from DC Comics

One of the most prominent criminals known to Gotham City is Poison Ivy, who has already had her fair share of exposure in the Batman movies (as played by Uma Thuman in 1997’s Batman & Robin), live action and animated DC TV shows (including Gotham and Batman: The Animated Series), and the Batman Arkham video games, to name a few. However, the villainous vixen is finally making her official Arrowverse debut in Batwoman Season 3, as played by former Jane the Virgin cast member, Bridget Regan.

To prepare for her return to live action television (or for anyone who might need a refresher on the character for whatever reason), the following are some essential and even lesser-known facts about one of the most iconic Batman villains, starting with her life before crime.

Pamela Isley from DC Comics

Poison Ivy Was Originally A Skilled Botanist

Created by Golden Age comic book writer Robert Kanigher and artist Sheldon Moldoff (a frequent uncredited collaborator of Batman co-creator Bob Kane), Poison Ivy made her DC Comics debut in Batman #181 in June 1966. Then, she was only known as Pamela Lillian Isley - a botany expert from Seattle, who originally grew up in Washington as a timid and shy person following the death of her wealthy mother and father, which is something she would unwittingly share in common with her greatest foe. Of course, the seed of her (mostly) adversarial relationship with Batman would be a horrifying incident that turned her in an entirely new person, inside and out.

Pamela Isley and Marc Legrand from DC Comics

Poison Ivy, Ironically, Is The Victim Of An Evil Man’s Seduction

While studying botany in Seattle, Pamela Isley fell in love with her professor, Marc Legrand, who took advantage of her affection and injected her with an experimental toxin derived from plants and animals. It caused her to undergoing a full physical transformation into her mutant alter ego who would come to be known as Poison Ivy. So, basically, it was a man’s seduction that ultimately led to her life as a plant-like, humanoid eco-terrorist, which is an ironic twist considering the fact that seduction is, essentially, one of her most famous and definitive abilities.

Poison Ivy and her plants in DC Comics

Poison Ivy Can Control Plants, Control Men, And More

The already genius-level scientist Pamela Isley emerged from her metamorphosis with a slew of amazing new strengths and just a few weaknesses. For instance, she gained an immunity to all poisons and viruses, naturally toxic skin that was rapidly turning a shade of green, a telekinetic ability to control plants, and occasional mood swings that made her kind and happy one minute, but angry and cruel the next. In addition to her ability to manipulate her green kin, Poison Ivy also has the same effect on humans (particularly of the male gender) and not just by her natural good looks, but through secreting a pheromone that makes her irresistible to any man. Well, there is one man whom her pheromone has proved more infrequently successful on.

Batman and Poison Ivy from DC Comics

Poison Ivy Has A Crush On Batman

Poison Ivy would eventually relocate to Gotham City, where she began her pro-plant, anti-human initiative with the first of many attempts to create a utopia for only her and her plants to co-exist without human interference. This is when she first became acquainted with Batman (aided by Robin at the time), who turned out to be one of the very few men who was, somehow, more rarely susceptible to her pheromonal attraction - which, in a classic switcheroo, ended up making her smitten with the Dark Knight. Of course, there have been times when Batman has failed to resist her charms, leading to an on-and-off romance of sorts between the two enemies that would prove to be not nearly as tight as another one of Ivy’s more prominent relationships in DC Comics.

Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn from DC Comics

Poison Ivy And Harley Quinn Are Good Friends… And Sometimes More

While she has always been closest to her plants, Poison Ivy has been known to form alliances with another one of Gotham City’s most notorious female felons, Harley Quinn, who bonded with the green goddess over their mutual experiences suffering abuse from their romantic partners. The characters’ friendship in the comics has also endured in DC movies (such as 2017’s animated Batman and Harley Quinn) as well as TV shows like the popular animated HBO Max exclusive series Harley Quinn, which sees Kaley Cuoco and Lake Bell’s iterations fall into a romance that will be explored further in the upcoming third season. There is no telling when Harley and Ivy’s friendship will hit live action cinema in the long awaited Gotham City Sirens movie, but at least we can confirm that Harley Quinn actress Margot Robbie is interested in exploring that relationship at some point.

Poison Ivy and the Suicide Squad from DC Comics

Poison Ivy Has Joined The Suicide Squad And Other Teams

In addition to wreaking havoc together in Gotham City Sirens, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn have been members of Task Force X - bad people forced into doing good, otherwise known as the Suicide Squad. Ivy first joined the team in 1989 for the first of many life-threatening missions under Amanda Waller’s command, but most of the other alliances she has joined have been primarily for more unlawful purposes, such as the Injustice Gang (essentially the antithesis of the Justice League) or the Secret Society of Supervillains, which was originally created by Darkseid with a similar anti-Justice League mission statement. In the past, James Gunn dispelled rumors that Poison Ivy would appear in 2021’s The Suicide Squad, but there is still a possibility for her role in the sequel or in a follow-up to the upcoming The Batman from Matt Reeves.

Considering it has been more than 20 years since we have seen Poison Ivy appear in any big screen superhero movies, I truly do hope that there is another DC movie installment with a place reserved for her sometime in the future. Until then, however, it is nice to see her brought back onto the tube in a live action Batwoman role, and portrayed by Bridget Regan - a woman who is no stranger to comic book adaptations after playing Red Room assassin Dottie Underwood on Agent Carter.

Jason Wiese
Content Writer

Jason has been writing since he was able to pick up a washable marker, with which he wrote his debut illustrated children's story, later transitioning to a short-lived comic book series and (very) amateur filmmaking before finally settling on pursuing a career in writing about movies in lieu of making them. Look for his name in almost any article about Batman.