Pamela Isley was one of those Batman villains that you could always understand due to their psychological state. I’ve never actually seen Ivy as mentally insane in the same way that Mr. Freeze isn’t insane. Both of these characters do everything just because of a singular drive…Just like Batman himself.
Isley’s origin has changed a few different times over the years but most of the origins involve her being a botanist and due to one of her college professors experimenting on her she becomes Poison Ivy. She had already had a deep love for her plants but after her transformation it became an obsession for her.
My personal favorite Poison Ivy story in the comics is the No Man’s Land/Gotham Central storyline. After a massive earthquake nearly destroys all of Gotham, Ivy takes residence in a park and takes in a group of kids that have all been orphaned due to the earthquake. She watches over them and teaches them how to cultivate the land and grow food for the people of Gotham. Following a fight with Clayface and the city being restored, Batman decides to let the kids stay with Ivy. A few months later, one of them is killed and Ivy takes her revenge on the crooked cops who did it. Poison Ivy always works best as a fellow protector of Gotham in my opinion. She’s technically a villain but she’s much more of an anti-hero to me.
Which leads me to my final point and why she’s on this list. In Batman : Arkham Knight Ivy is one of the earlier villains you apprehend but she’s different due to her refusal to work with Scarecrow on his big plan to ruin Gotham. When scarecrow does release his toxin it’s Ivy who chooses to make the ultimate sacrifice. By merging with an ancient tree beneath Gotham she is able to disperse the toxin and return clean air to the city. The strain is too much for her though but she died a hero with the unforgettable last words : “Nature Always Wins.”
Poison Ivy will always be one of my favorites because no matter what she does she always has a heart for the outcasts and downtrodden. Which is why she’s relatable and why she’s on my top 50.