A Tribute To Poison Ivy: Best Villainess Ever!

So The Dark Knight Rises will be out soon (totally psyched!), and it got me thinking about some old school Batman–namely the animated TV series.

I should explain that I was never a comic book person, you see.  It just wasn’t part of my “growing up” experience.  More recently I’ve bought some, but it’s still a pretty rare occurrence.  So essentially, everything I do know about Batman has come from the animated series that used to air (on WB, if I’m not mistaken).

Anyway, for some reason I’ve also been thinking about villains lately.  When it comes to the more recent Christopher Nolan movies the Joker inevitably comes to mind…for reasons I hope I need not explain!  (Another one of my favorite villains is the Operative from Serenity.  He was very intelligent and a skilled martial artist but also very unconventional–I mean the combination of his sword, the inflicted paralysis upon his opponents and the archaic fall-on-said-sword ritual in a futuristic sci-fi setting was just mind-blowingly awesome, imo.)  When I think back to the TV show, however, the villain that most stood out to me was actually…

Poison Ivy

Why her, you may ask?  Um, well let’s see… She’s:

  1. beautiful
  2. graceful
  3. seductive
  4. hard to resist (we won’t mention those *ehem* noxious toxins…)
  5. has this weird but completely awesome obsession with plants & the mad ability to control them (she’d fit in nicely with the world of Element 7, actually)

…BUT…once you get past all those things, she is still pretty evil–the only reason Batman was able to resist, imo.  (I always thought they should get together, but t’was not meant to be.)

Le sigh.

I love her so much that she has been somewhat of an inspiration for one of my characters–you know, that traitorous double agent I’ve written once or twice about.  (She’s reported dead but still an important part of the story.)

Anyway, you should totally check out this 2min. YouTube video featuring Poison Ivy and relive the wicked glory that was she.

Who are some of your favorite villains/villainesses?

How come?


9 thoughts on “A Tribute To Poison Ivy: Best Villainess Ever!

  1. Whee, villains! While we talking Gotham, I thought the Riddler on “The Batman” (a later WB series, I think) was really cool; a more brooding, sympathetic figure than, say, the Joker or Penguin.
    I also loved Venom in “The Spectacular Spider-Man” series — actually loved him more before the alien symbiote got him, when he was just awesome, big-brotherly Eddie Brock, but you could tell he was slowly slipping toward the dark side near the end of Season 1, so it was just as well he went full Venom.
    And then there’s a long lineup of Disney villains — Ursula (“Little Mermaid”), Jafar (“Aladdin”), Yzma (“The Emperor’s New Groove”), Dr. Faciller (“The Princess and the Frog”), Ian Howe (“National Treasure”), Captian Barbossa, Davy Jones, and Lord Beckett (“Pirates of the Caribbean”)… I seriously have to write a blog post on villains, one of these days, because I could just go on. X)


  2. Damn. Villains. Quite a topic.

    (I’m glad I’m not the only person who’s influenced by comic books, BTW. Two characters in my last story were inspired by comic book characters. 🙂 )

    In the Firerfly world, there’s also Saffron, and Jubal (the bounty hunter).

    But my favorite villains in recenty years have been the Secret Six, in the comic book of the same name. Basically villains, they were sort of the heroes of the book because the continually ran into villains who were more vile than they were. They were a wonderfully dysfunctional group. Bane was one of them, and I wonder if he’s as interesting in the Batman movie as he was in the comic.

    As for more villainous villains… Darth Vader (in the original Star Wars). I thought Kevin Bacon was great as Sebastian Shaw in the last X-Men movie (though they completely bungled Emma Frost.). Nicole Kidman as Mrs. Coulter in The Golden Compass.

    The problem with a lot of the great comic book villains is that they get overused and misused and loose their edge over time. But some of them (Dr. Doom, for example) were pretty great at the beginning.


    • Oh yes! Comic books, movies, video games… Influence from everywhere!

      I remember Saffron. 🙂 She was a tricky little something, huh? And you’re teaching me more about the Batman universe; I know nothing of Bane’s past.

      I also loved Kidman as Mrs. Coulter–so elegant and lovely yet wicked. I thought all of the main characters in that movie were perfectly cast. (It’s just too bad it didn’t do as well as hoped.)

      Villains, in general, seem to be the hardest characters to get right, for me. It’s so easy to fall into cliches and get hokey when writing them, so I’ve really been paying attention to re-thinking my “bad guy” in my edits. I don’t know that I’ll get him to be as iconic as some of the ones everyone’s listed so far, heh, (I don’t think he has the personality for it, to be honest) but hopefully he’ll at least be perceived as a worthy foe.


      • I think the best thing you can do with a villain is hold him (or her) back. The audience should get a thrill when the villain shows up. I think of the movie Lone Star, where the Sherriff is in very few scenes, but he completely dominates the scenes he’s in (and he’s obviously having a great time being evil). The Operative is not in a lot of scenes in Serenity, but you pay attention the minute he shows up (this doesn’t apply in situations, like with Saffron, where you don’t know the villain is the villain — which is true of most murder mysteries, of course).


        • That’s true. Gives the story a chance to build up the stakes. Then the bad guy comes in and you’re like, “OMG, I can’t take any more craziness!”

          Or something like that. 😛

          I guess, for me, the real challenge with villains is more developing an original personality who can be both likable or admirable in some way but also sinister enough to make readers wary of him when he finally does show up in a scene…without falling back on cliches and typical conventions.

          Like Nero in the recent Star Trek movie just didn’t appeal to me. He wasn’t all that scary imo, even though he went around killing people all the time. He had a reason for what he did, visually he was interesting…but he just didn’t have that “it” factor and I’m not sure why or what could have made him a better antagonist. (And for some reason that bugs me, lol.)

          Hmm…maybe I should make another post about this, eh? Call it “Nero: Worst Villain Ever!”


          • It’s funny. I saw the Star Trek movie, and I have no memory of the villain at all. I think that’s partly because it was kind of like The Avengers — a movie were the real point is the heroes and their relationships with each other, where the vllain is there mostly because there has to be a villain (unlike Star Wars or X-Men, for example).

            How many people the villain kills really doesn’t matter. That’s not what makes a great villain. The villain (well, he’s the most visible villain) in my novel U-town doesn’t kill anybody, at least that we see. But he has a way of coming into scenes and dominating them, and he always knows more about what’s going on than he should. Theres clearly always a threat when he’s there, but he doesn’t need to kill people to show that he’s in charge. Near the end of the book, he admits that he enjoys going into situations where everybody hates him but none of them can do anything about it.


  3. Poison Ivy!!!

    They really messed up that character in the Batman & Robin movie. That was just terrible, and even Uma couldn’t save that flick. I’m also a big fan of Catwoman. Loved how her character was more ambiguous – she could be heroic and a villain all in the same story.


    • Luckily I haven’t seen that movie, lol, having heard how bad it was. 😀

      I like Catwoman, too, for her ambiguousness. I never really knew what to categorize her as! (Also, I think Anne Hathaway did a fantastic job as playing her in TDKR. I was surprised she could pull it off, lol, to be honest–not because I don’t think she can act but because it seems so different from anything she’s done before.)


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