Pamela Lillian Isley (Poison Ivy)

poisonivyfilmLast character appeared in Gotham trailer, and this was quite an unexpected one: at the every end of the trailer, when we’re given a collection of future appearances, we see a red-haired girl, accompanied by the notice “Before Poison Ivy“: it is clearly Pamela Isley (even if some sources claim she’ll be renamed Ivy Pepper in the show, but I keep hoping it’s just a joke), portrayed by young Clare Foley. As for now, it’s unknown what kind of role she’ll have in the show, or even if she’ll be a recurring character or not. We can hope this appearance will be better than her previous live action one: in Batman & Robin, she was portrayed by Uma Thurman in quite a campy and idiotic way, a scientist almost killed by her colleague Jason Woodrue, but actually transformed into a poisonous femme fatale who formed an alliance with Mr. Freeze to conquer Gotham City and destroy Batman and Robin. She’s defeated by Batgirl at the end of the movie, along with her slave, a brainless Bane. Don’t worry, the comics version is much better: let’s see together.

Pamela Lillian Isley was born in Seattle from very unemotional and distant parents: this difficult familiar situation brought her to be craving for affection even during adulthood, making her easily manipulable by men without scruples. During her childhood poisonivycomics1and adolescence, she grew quite a fondness for plants, the only living beings she didn’t feel rejected by, and she studied to become a renowned botanist. In her first origin story, she was seduced by robber Marc LeGrande, and helped him steal an ancient Egyptian artifact containing mystical herbs; LeGrande, however, didn’t want witnesses, and tried to poison her using the herbs. Pamela survived, and she found out she had become immune to any poison or toxin; embittered towards men, she started a feminist crusade against males as Poison Ivy. In the second, and currently acknowledged one, Pamela entered university to study under Dr. Jason Woodrue’s tutelage. The older professor exploited the brilliant student’s need of affection, seduced her, and forced her to be a guinea pig for his deranged experiments: he repeatedly infected her with plant toxins, venoms and poisons, proceeding in his own research of a man-plant hybridation. The experiments soon became more similar to tortures, and Isley nearly died a couple of times, spending in hospitals nearly a year. When Pamela’s condition was discovered, Woodrue became wanted from police, and escaped. Feeling betrayed, Pamela tried to start a new life, and began dating a boy her age, but her phisiology had been drastically mutated, and her new boyfriend’s lungs ended up being suddenly covered by mushrooms. Pamela left school, and studied her new body and abilities. Driven insane by Woodrue’s experiments and the effect these had on her life, she slowly embraced an identity that made her closer to her beloved plants than to humans, and she became known as Poison Ivy.

Poison Ivy discovered she was able to control any man using naturally-produced pheromones, and she was also psychically bonded to every plant (having become barren after Woodrue’s experiments, she treated plants and flowers like her children). poisonivycomics2Following the “screams” of plants, Pamela arrived in Gotham City, one of the world’s most urbanized and polluted environments: she threatened the entire city with lethal spores, demanding better rights for plants, but she was ultimately defeated by the city’s new vigilante, Batman. She was locked into Arkham Asylum, a place that would have become her second home. She escaped soon after, and she settled on a desert Caribbean island, where she used both her powers and her botanical knowledge to create the green paradise she had always dreamt of. Unfortunately, a weapon corporation decided to test their new armament on that very island, and Pamela’s paradise was burnt to ashes by a bombardment. Saddened and enraged, merely alive, Poison Ivy came back to Gotham, and killed the owners of the company and the ones who had decided the target of the test; when her killing spree ended, she let herself be captured by Batman, and brought back to Arkham. The experience taught her that the world wasn’t a safe place for plants anymore, and that she would have never left Gotham again before she had “purified” it. She became one of the world’s most notorious and dangerous ecoterrorist on the planet. With her powers constantly evolving, Ivy soon became far too a dangerous menace for Batman to face alone, and the entire Justice League learnt to fear her, especially when she entered the Injustice Gang…of course, for the sake of the planet only.

Pamela Isley started as a deeply insecure woman, but her thirst of affection evolved into a blind rage towards men and their deceits, and into a will of payback made possible by her newfound powers. She can be very empathic and sweet sometimes, but cold and cruel some others, an emotional instability that is part of the legacy from the experiments she went through. As Poison Ivy, she’s a lethal plant protector, able to manipulate and control plants, forcing them to obey her will; she also emits powerful pheromones able to mind-control men and women alike. Aside from being immune to any known toxin or poison, Poison Ivy is poisonous herself: she can transmit powerful venom through her skin, and she usually prefers to use her lips, performing what ends up being an actual killer kiss. A proficient hand-to-hand combatant and a genius botanist, Ivy feeds on light and water, becoming with time more and more similar to the plants she loves: from her point of view, that’s quite an evolution.

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13 Comments

  1. For Gaea’s sake I hope Pamela will show her true colors, not this Ivy Pepper. Unless they can play it off well.

    • As for now, the show makes good promises. Let’s see if even Ivy will have a good treatment…

  2. […] body”, thus making Bruce believe The Joker had killed his old friend; than he had Poison Ivy use her mind-controlling pheromones to have Catwoman and even Superman battle Batman. He also […]

  3. […] one could bend the wills of criminals such as Deadshot, Count Vertigo, Dr. Light, Poison Ivy, Bane and many others, and in this sense Amanda is the most suitable asset for her task. However, […]

  4. […] depending on Batman’s help (in Batman & Robin he was also seduced and almost killed by Poison Ivy). Finally, we have a much more independent and tough version of the character in Christopher […]

  5. […] Woodrue into a massive brute who can barely speak, a hulking, idiotic minion for the villainous Poison Ivy. He received a better portrayal in the recent The Dark Knight Rises, in which he’s […]

  6. […] some unique toxins in his body, which allow him to resist to most of plant-based powers (as Poison Ivy discovered when she tried to mind-control him with her hypnotic kiss, being knocked out in result) […]

  7. […] her, and started a solo career; she became a close friend of another psycho, the ecoterrorist Poison Ivy, who became more than a friend in some occasions. She founded a gang on her own, The Quintets, and […]

  8. […] from the wedding videos Freeze watches over and over). She’s even nearly killed by a jealous Poison Ivy, but she’s then saved by Batman. Now, let’s see together who this beloved and loving […]

  9. […] had been destroyed, Stirk was sent to Blackgate Penitentiary. Monsters like him, Amygdala and Poison Ivy were locked with normal criminals, and the prison’s direction desperately tried to find a […]

  10. […] leader, Choke. The Birds needed help, and Black Canary found another team member in the reformed Poison Ivy…something that Starling didn’t like at all, as she didn’t trust the former (?) […]

  11. […] for Gotham, as in The Executioner some new character from the comics was introduced. When Ivy robs the wrong man, she finds out she’s been followed by a bunch of guys with an iron mask […]

  12. […] Woodrue prior to his transformation, a mad scientist who uses the research of his colleague Pamela Isley to create the super-soldier Bane; he also tries to kill Isley when he’s busted, with the […]


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