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.
Over the past couple weeks, Nothing But Comics has been providing a variety of coverage on the 2015 New York Comic Con. From the creators to the cosplayers they inspire, we have offered reflections on the different facets of fandom. The last in this series of articles is a compilation of comments from some of the panels attended during the convention.
At the Dark Horse Comics Classified Panel, there were a few announcements, but the main pleasure was hearing the creators discuss their craft. These observations included a healthy sense of humor, such as when Matt Kindt was asked what it was like playing the role of both writer and artist on a series. He replied that collaborating with himself was a pleasure, as “most of my deadlines get along.” For his part, Brian Wood offered that he always wants to be enthusiastic about the art in one of his titles. His wish is to be a “fanboy” of it just like any other reader.
Continue reading NYCC: Panel Roundup
On Sunday I spoke with writer Amy Chu about her plans for the upcoming Poison Ivy: Cycles of Life and Death limited series. I had been intrigued by her comments regarding the series at the previous day’s Bat-Universe panel. Chu explained that she wanted to free Pamela from the rut of psychopathy into which so many of the Bat-Villains fall. Chu prefers to highlight other aspects of Pamela’s personality. For her, Poison Ivy is not a deranged killer. She cares about others in her life. She is also a skillful scientist, a facet which often gets lost in the shuffle. Indeed, Chu feels that she has a large amount of freedom to re-frame Pamela’s story, as this is the character’s first ever solo series. Despite nearly five decades of existence, there is much about Poison Ivy which remains unexplored. As Chu herself put it “you both know her and you don’t.”
Continue reading NYCC: Amy Chu in Artists Alley
In early 2016, DC Comics will be launching several miniseries of some of their own off brand superhero’s, with many of the comics written by the character’s original creators. Lein Wein will be returning to his Swamp Thing creation in addition to writing a new Metal Men series. Marv Wolfman will be writing Raven, Gerry Conway will be writing Firestorm and Mike Barr will be writing Katana. Other series will include a long demanded via twitter Poison Ivy series by Amy Chu, a Metamorpho book Aaron Lopresti & a Sugar & Spike comic by Keith Giffen. More details at USA Today
Long a high-profile member of Batman’s Rogue Gallery, in recent years, Poison Ivy has been shifting to the other side of the equation. At first, she was still a villain, though, one with more sympathetic motives (her eco-terrorist phase in tales such as Face the Face). In 2009, she moved in with reformed criminal Catwoman and whatever-she-is Harley Quinn for Gotham City Sirens. In the beginning, her inclusion in the New 52 revamping of Birds of Prey appeared to confirm Pamela Isley’s new status as heroine until a last minute plot twist proved otherwise (coincidentally or not it was also the moment I gave up on the once promising title). Since leaving Birds of Prey she has popped up here and there, but never in too prominent of a role. This month, DC amends that with the release of Pamela’s first solo title: Cycles of Life and Death. Judging by the initial installment, the mini-series will nudge Poison Ivy more firmly into the hero side of the ledger.