Warning: SPOILERS for Batman: The Knight #9There would be no saving the DC Universe if poison ivy has decided to embrace his true destiny: to fight alongside Ra’s al-Ghul. These two big Batman villains are dangerous enough on their own, and both have been deadly adversaries for the Dark Knight and others. But their goals and worldview are substantially aligned; if Poison Ivy claimed her rightful place alongside Ra, nothing could stop them.
Poison Ivy’s reputation, both among fans and within the DC Universe, has grown over the years from a dangerous eco-terror seductress to something akin to an anti-hero: fairer, well than radical, environmentalist than supervillain. That’s not to say she’s not indulging her more “evil” side yet, just that her end goals of saving the planet are friendlier than ever. Meanwhile, Ra’s al Ghul, the leader of the League of Assassins, has almost always been known as a diehard villain and one of Batman’s most deviously intelligent adversaries. Ra’s goal, however, is much like Ivy’s: to save the world from the destructive hand of humanity. The only downside is his tendency to accept assassination and world domination as the only solutions.
The bond between these two villains is immediately apparent when Ra’s articulates his mission statement in Batman: Knight #9 by Chip Zdarsky, Carmine Di Giandomenico, Ivan Plascencia and Pat Brosseau. This miniseries follows a young Bruce Wayne as he seeks and trains with the various masters who teach him the skills he needs to become Batman. In this issue, Bruce finally meets Ra’s al Ghul and his League of Assassins. During this first meeting, Ra’s tells Bruce what differentiates their two missions: “You […] want to put an end to injustice. To save people. While I… wish to save the world.“
Poison Ivy reflects the perspectives and motivations of Ra’s al Ghul.
“save the worldMeanwhile, in Poison Ivy’s solo series, she set out to kill humanity using a poisonous mushroom in order to save the environment and the planet as a whole. Ivy and Ra’s rarely, if ever ever, been paired in the main continuity or in fan chats, though their goals are absurdly aligned Ra’s often wants Bruce Wayne to take on the role of his heir, but he should really ask botanist extraordinaire and eco-terrorist Pamela Isley to genius, just like Ra’s. Should Poison Ivy ever join forces with the League of Assassins, their joint power would be unstoppable. Ivy could easily end humanity – and save the world, for better or worse – if she adopted the kind of power the League has.
Alas, Ra’s al Ghul and Poison Ivy often take different paths, and even though Ivy’s current plans involve death and destruction, her own humanity, including her love for Harley Quinn, still holds her back. And that doesn’t mean anything, of course, about the fact that Ra’s was killed during the events of Shadow War. Nonetheless, DC Comics should take note: Batman can regularly face and defeat Ra’s al-Ghul and Ivy, but the real challenge for the Universe would come when the two team up. poison ivy would be truly unstoppable.
Check poison ivy #4 and Batman: The Knight #9, available now from DC Comics!