Among the characters killed in Heroes in Crisis, one high-profile character experienced a resurrection that might be guiding her into a significant future in the DCU.
Poison Ivy, the plant-focused alter ego of Pamela Lillian Isley, died during the events of the high-profile DC event. While she was a patient at the superhero-run Sanctuary treatment facility, Ivy was accidentally killed when speedster Wally West lost control of his powers during a mental breakdown.
By the end of Heroes in Crisis, however, Wally found a way to bring Ivy back to life by tapping into the power of the Green, the mystical connection behind all plant life in the DCU - including Swamp Thing.
And although her future in the DCU hasn’t been clarified, there have been hints about what might be coming next for Poison Ivy.
Avatar of The Green
Before Heroes in Crisis even started, Newsarama already speculated that if Poison Ivy died in the limited series, she would be resurrected in plant form by the Green.
In DC stories, all botanical forms of life are connected by the Green, and its mythology includes an extensive cast of characters. But its official Avatar — or manifested representative, so to speak — is usually Swamp Thing.
For the past year, DC stories have been teasing that Swamp Thing will no longer be the Avatar of the Green, as his connection to the Parliament of Trees was severed in a storyline in Justice League Dark.
And July 31's Justice League Dark Annual #1 confirmed that the Green has a new guardian — a “Floronic Man” (a new evolution of the former Swamp Thing character known as Seeder).
But there have also been hints that the Green would prefer Poison Ivy be its new Avatar. In 2018’s Damage #6, Swamp Thing stated that the Green was “asserting influence over Poison Ivy,” molding her into its new Avatar.
And now, October’s solicitation for Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy #2 (more on this series later), makes it clear that Poison Ivy will still be pursued by the Green in upcoming stories. This time, it’s the new Floronic Man who is chasing Ivy, “desperate for Poison Ivy to understand her connection to the Green” and asking her to join his new "Parliament of Flowers."
So, is DC setting up Poison Ivy as a solo character that will become the new Avatar of the Green?
Maybe. But then again, probably not…
Ivy’s new role in the DCU, at least temporarily, appears to be linked to Harley Quinn, a character who’s seen a resurgence in popularity the last few years with the "New 52" relaunch and then Margot Robbie's portrayal of her in the Suicide Squad movie.
Throughout her history, Poison Ivy was portrayed as a villainous character who was infatuated with Batman — with some stories even positioning her as a potential love interest for the Caped Crusader.
These days, however, she’s paired more frequently with Harley Quinn, as a friend and sometimes lover.
In Heroes in Crisis, the relationship between Harley and Ivy was emphasized throughout the book, with Ivy’s resurrection hinging on a flower she had lovingly given to Harley.
Modern stories have also turned Ivy more and more toward heroism, even teaming her for some time with the all-female-superheroes group Birds of Prey. Despite her love interests, writers always emphasized that Poison Ivy’s first love was plant life, and in current continuity, her law-breaking has almost always been linked to an effort to save the planetary environment.
This fall, DC is following up Ivy’s post-Heroes in Crisis status as a plant-based creature by launching the Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy six-issue series by Jody Houser and Adriana Melo.
According to solicits for the series, Harley and Ivy are “taking their show on the road” to “explore their relationship and unpack their time and experiences at Sanctuary.”
Although the aforementioned visit from the Floronic Man will reinforce Ivy’s connection to the power of the Green, it’s unlikely that Ivy will separate herself as a solo Avatar of the Green right while she’s paired with an uber-popular character like Harley Quinn. (In fact, the cover of issue #2 seems to downplay her new plant-based form, giving her skin and a costume again.)
However, readers should expect Ivy to be reinforced as a hero in the series, as her final scenes in Heroes in Crisis had her emphasizing that she did “terrible things” and will “now forever try to make up for that harm.”
There’s one more place that readers might see Ivy show up soon, but keep in min that this is only speculation — and it’s a long shot.
There’s a mysterious character who’s been teased for a major event that kind of looks like Poison Ivy.
In September, Brian Michael Bendis and Ryan Sook are launching an event called Millennium, in which one character experiences an entire millennium, taking readers along for the ride. The book will allow DC to unify the future of its universe while revamping futuristic characters like the Legion of Super-Heroes.
Although Bendis has teased that the character is someone he’s writing right now (and, unless we’re mistaken, he isn’t writing Poison Ivy), the promotional image for Millennium features a female, and she appears to have long red hair. She also looks like she’s got some strange appendages coming from her — something that a plant-based character might be able to accomplish.
Bendis also indicated that the character’s morality shifts, which sounds like someone who is sometimes good, or sometimes bad.
Solicitations indicate she’s “wrestling with her own inner demons and desperately trying to find her purpose in an ever-changing world.”
According to Bendis’ interview with ComicBook, the protagonist will also be “a familiar face to DC fans who finds herself suddenly immortal.” With Ivy’s recent resurrection and connection to the Green, it’s probable that, like Swamp Thing, she’s now immortal (as long as there is plant life on Earth). And the change was rather sudden.
OK, OK, it’s a stretch, perhaps - especially with a brand new Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy series launching the same month as Millennium. But whenever a long-haired redhead shows up as a mystery character, it’s always worth taking a stab at her being Poison Ivy.
Whatever her long-term future, Ivy does appear to have a greater connection to the Green, the opportunity to be a new high-powered Avatar at some point, and the promise of at least a few zany adventures with Harley during the coming months.