Poison Ivy League

“She’s pretty as a daisy but look out man she’s crazy, She’ll really do you in, Now if you let her under your skin, Poison Ivyyy…”  Apparently female scientists become mad much faster than their male counterparts in comic books, because it seems a lot of them don’t lead peaceful lives (refer to yesterday’s featured Comic-Con character Dr. Jean Grey).  Poison Ivy started out her life as Pamela Lillian Isley.  She first appeared in Batman #181 in 1966 (pictured, left).  Pamela was an orphaned botanist from Seattle seduced by a thief who steals an ancient Egyptian artifact full of herbs.  Fearing she will tell, he tries to poison her with the deadly plants, but instead she builds immunity to all natural disease and toxins.  Her early biography is changed later in the Batman comics to being seduced by a professor while she’s studying advanced biochemistry.  In an experiment, the professor injects her with poison on several occasions, which almost kills her, but she’s driven insane by the tests.  This makes her have violent mood swings and she drops out of college (bad move).  Leaving Seattle, she goes to Gotham City to basically become an eco-terrorist.  Poison Ivy interests include protecting the environment, growing plants in unexpected places and bothering Batman.  In some issues, she actually has a romantic relationship with Batman – but beware!  Her kiss can literally kill people!  (Hmm… sounds like someone had a bad breakup with their hippie girlfriend in college when this was written!)  Even though she’s generally evil, growing lovely green plants do help beautify the bad parts of Gotham and taking in 16 orphaned children to raise, due to her own tragic childhood, are some of the complex, compassionate characteristics of this villainess.  On screen, she is portrayed in a far more evil light (ironic, considering the live-action film is more cartoonish than the cartoon…)  Played by Uma Thurman in the 1997 box-office bomb, Batman and Robin, she is definitely the most interesting part of the movie.  Also poisoned by an evil professor in the beginning of the film, Pamela Isley turns from a frumpy tree-hugger into a gorgeous chlorophyll-ed sexpot.  She is generally dressed in shades of emerald, lime, pine, fresh-cut grass, and of course, vines of ivy.  Her vibrant red hair is always nicely-complemented by her affinity for the color green.  Her sexy appearance is due to the fact that her image was based on Bettie Page.  Casting Uma Thurman would have been an odd-choice, considering she was generally a blonde waif in the 1990s, but she actually does have a gorgeous hourglass figure, so it was a natural fit.  Poison Ivy’s lethal combination of sex, evil and nature makes us think she was based on another garden girl… named Eve?  Ah, maybe religious roots and deep-seated sexism is a little too serious for this fashion blog!  But Ivy does have some kick-ass digs.  Her green tights, capes, bodysuits, vibrant scarlet hair and floral accessories make Poison Ivy one of the best-dressed girls of Gotham!  This botanic babe’s movie wardrobe is one of the closest transitions from graphic novel to film screen.  Even though she isn’t the nicest person, her clothing, confidence and chlorophyll make her one of our favorite comic book antagonists!


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