DC’s Suicide Squad is a series about second chances and for one of Batman’s greatest villains, it could mean redemption on the big screen.
As DC’s rogues’ gallery continues to take center stage and steal the show, Suicide Squad 3 could redeem one of Batman’s best villains. Across superhero cinema, audiences saw several of Batman’s enemies adapted on the big screen. However, while delivering some of the most iconic portrayals of characters like the Joker, the Penguin, and Catwoman, not all of DC’s movies did their characters justice.
Dr. Pamela Isley, or Poison Ivy as she’s better known, has been a beloved Batman antagonist since her debut in 1966. Often portrayed as a manipulative chlorokinetic eco-terrorist, Dr. Isley became one of Batman’s most dangerous villains, occasionally accompanied by her partner-in-crime and sometimes girlfriend, Harley Quinn. Despite taking center stage in the infamous film Batman & Robin, Poison Ivy continued to show up in other DC media for more than half a century.
Suicide Squad 3 Can Show A More Complex And Relatable Poison Ivy
With only one feature film to her name, live-action Poison Ivy’s premiere as a campy pun-slinging villain was far from flattering. By the time Batman & Robin debuted, even Batman: The Animated Series already understood that Ivy was a lot more than the film gave her credit for, just beginning to portray her as an anti-hero and a DC LGBTQ+ icon. Poison Ivy deserves a chance to shine in a blockbuster film, and Suicide Squad 3 can finally explore the complexities of the character.
The Suicide Squad series has a habit of humanizing its cast of rogues, making Suicide Squad 3 perfect for an eco-terrorist like Ivy to show her more sympathetic side. In other media, Poison Ivy comes off as a lot more relatable, whether it’s her environmental mentality, love of her girlfriend, or just being the voice of reason like on the tv series Harley Quinn. The Suicide Squad worked wonders on more offbeat DC characters like Polka-Dot Man and Ratcatcher, making them beloved characters; for Poison Ivy, Suicide Squad 3 could do the same. If anyone can bring out the best in a villain, it’s James Gunn.
Poison Ivy Makes More Sense In A Suicide Squad Sequel Than The Batman 2
The Batman established itself as one of the better adaptations of a DC comic and already gave audiences a memorable cast of criminal masterminds. However, Poison Ivy is better off starring in Suicide Squad 3. Ivy is at her best when she has Harley Quinn to work with, and even before the two officially became a couple, they had great chemistry. The Batman has yet to introduce Harley Quinn, having barely established the Joker. However, Suicide Squad 3 already has Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn to interact with and an opportunity for her to strike up a romance with Poison Ivy, bringing her breakup with the Joker in Birds of Prey full circle.
Between her role in the Harley Quinn series and the enjoyably absurd aspects of her mythology, like the reefer-crazed Floronic Man, Ivy would be better suited to Suicide Squad’s self-aware sense of humor than she would the grim world of The Batman. Although sympathetic, some of Ivy’s best moments came from the writers having fun with the character. Whether a shopping spree with an entranced Bruce Wayne or a girl’s night out with Superman villain Livewire, Suicide Squad 3 provides a perfect platform to showcase her lighthearted side too.
Adapting characters for film often comes with the risk of being lost in translation. Poison Ivy’s role in Batman & Robin may have been ill-framed, but it doesn’t have to define her. James Gunn’s movies are about villains getting an opportunity to redeem themselves, and Suicide Squad 3 is fitting for Ivy’s second chance to show the world who she is as an anti-hero.