12 DAYS OF THE BATMAN! DAY 8: POISON IVY

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Late at night when you’re sleeping, Poison Ivy comes a-creepin’ around.

Pamela Lillian Isley was created by Robert Kanigher and Sheldon Moldoff in 1966’s BATMAN #181. Over the years she’s been portrayed as a vamp, a militant feminist, a mere criminal, and an ecological terrorist. Writer Neil Gaiman and artist Dave McKean created an eerie, extremely-self aware Ivy in their series BLACK ORCHID. Locked in Arkham Asylum’s vaults, she created plant-animal hybrids to keep her company.

Unlike Catwoman, Batman and Ivy don’t share a particularly strong attraction to one another. They seem like genuine antagonists, and Ivy would just as soon be rid of Batman for good.

Once again BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES informs my depiction of Ivy. As designed by Bruce Timm and Lynne Naylor, Poison Ivy is short, curvy, and has some fabulous red hair. I gave her a growing sprig of her namesake vine,  to which- like all poisons- she is immune.

Who will appear in tomorrow’s  installment of 12 Days of the Batman?

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12 DAYS OF THE BATMAN! DAY 2: TWO-FACE

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For the second day of 12 Days of the Batman, who else but Two-Face?

A gangster threw acid in the face of crusading district attorney Harvey Dent, horribly scarring his left side. This fractured the psyche of the already-troubled Dent (who was called Harvey Kent in his first appearance). As Two-Face he committed crimes when he flipped his double-headed dollar coin, also scarred on one side, and it landed bad-side-up. Batman is haunted by his inability to save the man who was once his friend.

My version of Two-Face is informed by his portrayal on BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES, where he not only looked great, but was voiced perfectly by actor Richard Moll. In reality, Moll stands an imposing 6’8″ and sounds like it. As a result, I picture Two-Face big- Frankensteinian– bigger and stronger than Batman himself. I also wanted his unscarred half to look dead-eyed and vacant, no longer a participant in his own actions.

My friend PJ Shapiro wrote a song about Two-Face which reference BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES, Grant Morrison and Dave McKean’s ARKHAM ASYLUM: A SERIOUS HOUSE ON A SERIOUS EARTH, and still manages to work in the phrase “Manichean lapdog.” It’s called E. Pluribus H. Dent. Listen to it here.

Two-Face was also created by Bob Kane and an uncredited Bill Finger and Jerry Robinson in 1942’s DETECTIVE COMICS #66

The curious should return tomorrow for the third installment of 12 Days of the Batman!