Spoilers ahead for Heroes in Crisis #2.
This week’s Heroes in Crisis #2 implied that Poison Ivy is one of the characters murdered at Sanctuary, although the circumstances of her death are left somewhat mysterious.
Not only is Poison Ivy confirmed as one of the patients at Sanctuary (as her “confession” is depicted in the early part of Heroes in Crisis #2), but Ivy is also mentioned as one of the victims by Booster Gold and Harley Quinn (the only two known survivors of the massacre).
However, Poison Ivy’s body has never been shown. And as any good fan knows, if you don’t see the character’s body, there’s probably not a death.
So what’s the evidence for Poison Ivy being dead?
1.) She was at Sanctuary
First, Ivy is confirmed as having been at Sanctuary, and she was the reason Harley was visiting the facility. Since Harley was apparently still at Sanctuary when she witnessed (or committed?) the murders, that means Ivy was probably still there too.
2.) Booster’s Mention
In Heroes in Crisis #2, Booster Gold actually names Ivy in a list of other people who are confirmed dead.
Booster, doing a terrible job of investigating the murder, says something about the “bodies” to Barry Allen.
Barry asks, “What bodies?”
“Y’know, like, everyone who was there when Harley … or maybe I … killed everybody,” Booster says. “Like Arsenal, Blue Jay, Ivy, Wally…”
Blue Jay, Arsenal and Wally were confirmed dead by Superman in Heroes in Crisis #1. So Booster including Ivy on this list means he either knew Ivy was at Sanctuary and assumes she died, or he actually saw her get killed.
But to be clear, Booster listing Ivy among “everyone who was there” is not a confirmation that Booster knows the character is dead.
3.) Harley’s Mention
Harley’s mention of Ivy in #2 is even more odd. As the character is throwing a red rose off a bridge, she appears to be mourning Ivy. But like any Harley Quinn speech, the words are either filled with clues or filled with Harley’s frequent nonsensical rambling.
“I shouldn’t have let anyone hurt you,” she says. “I shouldn’t have followed you to Sanctuary. I shouldn’t have told you to go to Sanctuary. I shouldn’t have loved you. I shouldn’t have met you. I shouldn’t have run from Mr. J. I shouldn’t have loved Mr. J. I shouldn’t have helped Mr. J.”
So… is Harley saying that Ivy was only “hurt” and not dead? Did Harley “let” someone hurt Ivy, as her words seem to imply? Is Harley implicating the Joker? Did she help the Joker come to Sanctuary and “hurt” Ivy and others?
Or is Harley just remembering all the bad crap that happened in her life that led to her loving Poison Ivy?
With a character who tends to ramble about things like Harley Quinn, the answer to those questions is unknown.
4.) Expected death
There’s also the fact that Poison Ivy was mentioned in advertising for Heroes in Crisis that implied she might die. And a lot of fans thought she was one of the prime candidates among those whom DC teased.
So although fans haven’t seen her body yet, it looks like the creators on Heroes in Crisis #2 - namely, Tom King, Clay Mann and Travis Moore - definitely wanted readers to believe Poison Ivy was among the victims at Sanctuary... but chose not to show it.
But Could She Have Lived?
Without a body “on-screen,” it’s probable that there’s more to Poison Ivy’s death than it seems. It’s already been speculated that Wally West could be still alive somehow, since other DC books haven’t acknowledged his death yet. But at least he was confirmed dead by Superman’s super-hearing.
So what could the catch with Poison Ivy be?
As Newsarama has speculated before, it’s possible that - if Poison Ivy died at Sanctuary - Ivy will live on as a new female version of Swamp Thing, or at least a new Avatar of the Green.
In the DCU, the plant kingdom is portrayed as having a deeper, more mystical connection called the Green. All botanical forms of life are connected by the Green, and its mythology includes a pretty extensive cast of characters.
The idea of “The Green” is most associated with Swamp Thing, who is the avatar of The Green. But some other DC characters have been shown to possess a connection to the Green = including Poison Ivy.
Some recent appearances by Swamp Thing in DC comic books suggested that Poison Ivy will soon become a new avatar of the Green, replacing the current Swamp Thing, Alec Holland.
Alec’s In Trouble
In the current Wonder Woman/Justice League Dark crossover “The Witching Hour,” the Parliament of Trees and the Green are in serious danger.
Plus, in August’s Justice League Dark #2, John Constantine sensed that Alec was going to stop being Swamp Thing soon. “Expected you to have a longer run of it,” John said to Swampy, “before you packed it in and joined the Parliament of Trees.”
Swamp Thing doesn’t deny John’s assertion.
“The Green will be better served by a defender who is still rooted in this world,” he replied.
So it has been established that the current Swamp Thing, Alec Holland, is aware that he’s not going to be Swamp Thing much longer.
James Tynion IV, the writer on Justice League Dark, told Newsarama in September: “There is definitely major changes to the status quo of the Green coming up in the stories I’m telling … In ‘The Witching Hour,’ there’s a very, very important sequence to the mythology of Swamp Thing and definitely calls a lot of things in question for the character.”
So with “The Witching Hour” currently depleting the power of the Green, the preparation for Alec’s shift away from his role as Swamp Thing might be happening right now.
OK, so Alec as Swamp Thing is apparently going away, if Justice League Dark is to be believed…
But what makes us think Ivy would take his place?
In Damage #6, Alec Holland came right out and pretty much announced that Poison Ivy is being groomed by the Green to be the new Avatar.
“When my time as avatar is finished, a new one will be chosen,” Alec said. “I fear the Green intends to be more direct. It is asserting influence over Poison Ivy, giving her power, molding her into the warlike avatar that they desire.”
Of course, this is all speculation, but it’s based on some pretty significant evidence. If the events of “The Witching Hour” force Alec Holland to end his service as Avatar and become part of the Parliament of Trees, Poison Ivy could become the new Swamp Thing.
And who knows? Maybe Harley knew her loved one still lived as she tossed a flower into the water and said Ivy was “hurt.”