ByDiego M. Sieiro, writer at Creators.co
Rewrite the rewrite, everywhere.
Diego M. Sieiro

Poison Ivy is perhaps the sexiest female character in comics. Join us in the sexiest exploration of the fiercest redhead in comic-dom. Her sensuality and much more will be revealed. She is indeed special, but does this have to do with the pheromones she commands? Her favorite way of killing is by kissing, and her wardrobe—it could be called a drawer as the clothes are so tiny, is to say the least: Alluring.

What is it about her that makes everyone, Batman included, go crazy? It's actually more than just mind control, so lets review it.

Art: Devin Lawson Poison Ivy Copyright DC Comics
Art: Devin Lawson Poison Ivy Copyright DC Comics

She is a red-head, less than two percent of the world’s population have red hair. Thus, she has the scarcity points going on, sort of, as Wikipedia says:

“In the United States, it is estimated that 2–6% of the population has red hair. This would give the U.S. the largest population of redheads in the world, at 6 to 18 million, compared to approximately 650,000 in Scotland and 420,000 in Ireland.”
Art: Michael Turner and Joe Weems Poison Ivy Copyright DC Comics
Art: Michael Turner and Joe Weems Poison Ivy Copyright DC Comics

The above was not sufficient to make the fiery hair point, the scarcity factor refuted, so I went to dark corners of the internet never visited before in search of an answer, quoting Cosmopolitan:

“Lucky red head women have more sex: That's according to a study by a German sex researcher who found that women with red hair had sex more often. A similar English study found that redhead gals had sex an average of three times a week, while our blonde and brunette counterparts have it twice a week. Shame the fellas weren't questioned, too.”
Art: Stephen Moldoff Copyright DC Comics
Art: Stephen Moldoff Copyright DC Comics

Now we are rolling! Add them mind-controlling pheromones to the red hair enhanced sensuality and we got us a point. Sorry Harley, it appears gentlemen might not prefer them blonde after all. Although it would depend on who you ask, again from Wikipedia:

“Among the most common variants of this paraphilia (Tricophilia- Hair fetishism) are excitation by long hair and short hair, the excitement of blonde hair (blonde fetishism) and red hair (redhead fetishism) and the excitement of the different textures of hair (straight, curly, wavy, etc.).”
Art: Adam Hughes Character Copyright DC Comics
Art: Adam Hughes Character Copyright DC Comics

So blonde hair and red hair generate fetishes? Imagine if they were to be combined, more on that below! Keep on reading.

Once again, Wikipedia gives us context:

“Creator Robert Kanigher (Sheldon Moldoff was the other co-creator) modeled Poison Ivy after Bettie Page, giving her the same haircut and Southern drawl as Page. In her first appearances in 1966, no origin was developed; she was merely a temptress. When she first arrived in Gotham City, her costume was a one-piece, strapless green bathing suit, covered with leaves. Leaves also formed her bracelets, necklace, and crown. She wore green high heels and yellow-green nylon stockings with leaves painted on them.”
First Ivy: Batman #181 (Jun, 1966). Art by Carmine Infantino, pencils, and Murphy Anderson, inks copyright DC comics
First Ivy: Batman #181 (Jun, 1966). Art by Carmine Infantino, pencils, and Murphy Anderson, inks copyright DC comics

Redhead plus Bettie Page is a winning combination! (Not mentioning anything about the high heels and stockings bit).

Bettie page, Copyright Alami  / Poison Ivy Art: Ant Lucia Copyright DC Comics
Bettie page, Copyright Alami / Poison Ivy Art: Ant Lucia Copyright DC Comics

Also, Poison Ivy has been part-plant since the late eighties, when Neil Gaiman linked her to the Swamp thing and Black Orchid. In comics, tv shows and films, Ivy got her powers from plant and animal based toxins injections that make her touch deadly while also allowing her to boost her immunity to all poisons, viruses, bacteria, and fungi. This also made her skin green—the color of money! After years of practice though, she has the ability to consciously control her appearance, restoring herself to an almost fully human facade, with only her lips and eyes tinted a bright shade of green.

Ivy is thus a femme fatale (or plant fatale).

“a mysterious and seductive woman whose charms ensnare her lovers, often leading them into compromising, dangerous, and deadly situations. A femme fatale tries to achieve her hidden purpose by using feminine wiles such as beauty, charm, and sexual allure.”
art: Guillem March  Copyright DC Comics
art: Guillem March Copyright DC Comics

She is also the only villain in the Batman rogues gallery to have superpowers, such as: toxin generation, use of vegetable life as weapons and pheromone mind control. We all know how scantily clad super-heroines affect the mind of teenagers, actually doesn’t affect it, it totally controls it. Thus she has this attire in the videogames, whose main market are teens:

Arkham Knight Poison Ivy. Copyright DC Entertainment.
Arkham Knight Poison Ivy. Copyright DC Entertainment.

Following the vein of things that teenagers, and not only them, really like, we get to Ivy’s sexuality. She is an eco-terrorist, but she has not a plant fetish (Dendrophilia). Pamela Lillian Isley—her civilian name, shares a romantic relationship with Harley Quinn. Thus in many images they are together, bringing their beauty and sensuality a notch up via synergy: the total is stronger than the parts, one plus ones equals three, etc. Plus, remember the hair fetish paragraph above, when those two are together they cover all bases of that paraphilia — plus they look really cute together.

Art: Artist Abe http://artistabe.deviantart.com/ Characters Copyright DC Comics
Art: Artist Abe http://artistabe.deviantart.com/ Characters Copyright DC Comics

Finally, her attire, from high heels and stockings, to leaf bikini, to red shirt and that’s it, to Uma Thurman green delight jumpsuit. Ivy rocks everything she wears, half wears or doesn’t wear. In the end, luscious green skin goes with anything!

Uma Thurman as Poison Ivy Copyright DC Entertainment
Uma Thurman as Poison Ivy Copyright DC Entertainment

Injury time comment: She is bad, but she is also good! She does look after Harley, protecting her from the abuse of the Joker. A life of crime calls to her, but ultimately she fights for the well-being of the planet. Once again, she comes through not just sexy, sensual, beautiful, interesting but as a through femme fatale, the most irresistible of women:

“Although typically villainous, or at least morally ambiguous, and always associated with a sense of mystification and unease, femme fatales have also appeared as anti-heroine characters in some stories, and some even repent and become true heroines by the end of the tale. Some stories even feature benevolent and heroic femme fatales who use their wiles to snare the villain for the greater good.” (Wikipedia, you are almost as nice as Ivy!)

In the end, Poison Ivy is so attractive because she is her own woman. A strong feminine figure, who stands for her convictions, and protects her girlfriend (or keeps her back, as Harley doesn’t really need to be protected). She is empowered in her sensuality, thorough in her decisions, and stands firm as the most robust of trees.

Art: SpacecaptainSteve http://www.spacecaptainsteve.com/ Copyright DC Comics
Art: SpacecaptainSteve http://www.spacecaptainsteve.com/ Copyright DC Comics

Twitter: @diego_sieiro

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