For the first few years of its existence, Legends of the Dark Knight was a rather distinct title. By embracing an anthology format, it allowed for a varied group of creators to approach Batman from multiple perspectives. While some of these talents were long established names in the industry (Dennis O’Neil, Klaus Janson, Doug Moench and Paul Gulacy) while others were more up-and-coming (the storyline Gothic was probably the first time I ever read Grant Morrison’s work). Issue #37 presented readers with a single issue story entitled “Mercy” written by a then little known team of British writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning. While far afield from the dashing cosmic epics which would make their name nearly a decade later at Marvel, it is a low-key gem typical of the more unsung work from this title.
Pamela Isley, better known as Poison Ivy, debuted fifty years ago in the pages of Batman #181. Originally conceived by Robert Kanigher and Sheldon Moldoff as a Betty Page derived temptress the character steadily gained in prominence over time. As her personality developed so did her motives, shifting from explicitly criminal to greyer areas. As with the Batman himself, she has weathered changes in fans’ taste by successfully adapting herself to different eras. This week DC continues that tradition with the launch of a new Poison Ivy limited series. First, though, I shall revisit “Hothouse” a great Pamela tale from the post-Crisis era.