It’s been a long and winding road for sometimes villain, sometimes hero Pamela Isley. Poison Ivy once had a blossoming career as a scientist, then she became an ecoterrorist, an anti-hero and a queen. She’s died, come back, been split into two beings and made whole again. Now she’s front and center in a lush new comic book series with a mind-bending first issue from G. Willow Wilson and Marcio Takara.
As we get ready to dive into Poison Ivy #1, let’s take a moment to catch up on where Poison Ivy has been before we get to where she’s going. Neither is a good place.
Minor spoilers for Poison Ivy #1 follow.
Ivy was at the height of her power during the events of “Fear State.”
Batman faced both the Scarecrow and the mysterious organization known as the Magistrate during “Fear State,” a 2021 six-issue Batman event. As a part of this event, and as if the Dark Knight didn’t have his hands full already, Poison Ivy was transformed into Queen Ivy when her soul was divided in two by a super-villain known as the Gardener.
Queen Ivy was unshackled, and she used the full force of her considerable power to wrap the bedrock of Gotham with vines under her complete control. Ivy could topple the entire city with just a thought.
She was made whole again thanks to Harley Quinn and Catwoman.
Poison Ivy’s other half had been separated and placed into a seed by the Gardener after the overwhelming consequences of her actions in “Everyone Loves Ivy.” The seed was cultivated to contain “all of the best of Pamela,” the misguided scientist said in Batman Secret Files: The Gardener #1, “all of her joy and passion and intellect and love.”
Catwoman—with the help of some friends—rescued that innocent part of Ivy’s soul and brought her to Harley. With the help of the Gardener, Harley reunited both halves of Pamela Isley together in Eden, the Queen’s overgrown kingdom in the damp caves beneath Gotham.
Poison Ivy spared Gotham City…
Once she was whole again, Poison Ivy made the choice to leave Gotham intact, even if the corrupted city might deserve annihilation. She used the last remaining part of her overflowing powers to both calm the citizens of Gotham City with her plant pheromones and heal a grievously injured girl named Squeak. Fear State was finally over.
…But Ivy’s new mission isn’t that altruistic.
Poison Ivy wasn’t exactly grateful that the Gardener harvested a part of her without her knowledge or consent. “I will make my own decisions on what I become next,” she tells her former colleague in Batman: Fear State – Omega #1. “Without you.”
In Poison Ivy #1, we find out that what she becomes might be the most terrifying version of her of all. Pamela Isley is once again on a mission to cultivate a thriving natural world, this time through the complete eradication of humanity. Once the planet is freed of its aggressors, Ivy reasons, all plant and animal life can truly begin to flourish. And she has the power and will to do it.
Harley and Ivy are on a break. (We don’t like it either.)
Even as Ivy puts her apocalyptic plan into motion, her thoughts never stray far from Harley Quinn. Hurt that Harley played a part in the Gardener’s meddling with her soul, Ivy left her true love to follow her own path. Creeping, moldering death follows in her wake. Can Poison Ivy’s soul be saved again, or is she on a disastrous journey of destruction that not even Harley can bring her back from?
Poison Ivy #1 by G. Willow Wilson and Marcio Takara is now available in print and as a digital comic book.
Kelly Knox writes about all-ages comics and animation for DCComics.com and her writing can also be seen on IGN, Nerdist and more. Follow her on Twitter at @kelly_knox to talk superheroes, comics and pop culture.
NOTE: The views and opinions expressed in this feature are those of Kelly Knox and do not necessarily reflect those of DC Entertainment or Warner Bros.