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  1. #121
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjn View Post
    With Ivy, I think you have the causality backwards. I think Ivy became a lot more popular among new groups as her motivations and characterisation was deepened, and she became more of a tragic hero.
    No, that's what I'm saying. Did Ivy start making this shift because that's what DC does with popular female villains, or was it in response to Harls?

    I'm inclined to think that Ivy was headed for "anti-hero" stature anyway, Harley just made it easier for DC to pull off, and maybe made it happen a lil' faster.
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  2. #122
    Astonishing Member Robanker's Avatar
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    She made the turn because she's popular and they want her appearing more since she sells books. Going anti hero means she can be in teams. Simple as that.

    I don't know why we need to redeem villains instead of, you know, bringing back Secret Six or the Sirens. But hey, why not. They did it with Killer Frost and Cheetah too, though the latter they walked back on.

    It just leads to creator pets that get abandoned and don't last, most of which make you miss the classics. What's the new Batman villain of the last decade with the biggest impact, Pyg?

    For what it's worth, Red Hood is a male example of what happened with Harley, Ivy and Killer Frost. Too popular to appear only as a sporadic adversary.

  3. #123
    Astonishing Member kjn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    No, that's what I'm saying. Did Ivy start making this shift because that's what DC does with popular female villains, or was it in response to Harls?

    I'm inclined to think that Ivy was headed for "anti-hero" stature anyway, Harley just made it easier for DC to pull off, and maybe made it happen a lil' faster.
    Oh, Ivy started to gain a dedicated following and become less of a one-dimensional villain before Harley Quinn became pushed into her current status as "hero". "Pavane" (1988) started to look closer at her personality. Batman: Poison Ivy #1 from 1997 made her into a full Circe-like character, further explored by Ann Nocenti in "Cast Shadows". Or look at the role Ivy plays in No Man's Land or Gotham Central #32.

    Is she a "hero" in all of these stories? No. But neither is she pure villain.

    Now, I think both Ivy and Harley has influenced each other during this process, but it has by no means been one-way. And I think the presence of Ivy was really important to help Harley gain in popularity.
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  4. #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    No, that's what I'm saying. Did Ivy start making this shift because that's what DC does with popular female villains, or was it in response to Harls?

    I'm inclined to think that Ivy was headed for "anti-hero" stature anyway, Harley just made it easier for DC to pull off, and maybe made it happen a lil' faster.
    Quote Originally Posted by kjn View Post
    Oh, Ivy started to gain a dedicated following and become less of a one-dimensional villain before Harley Quinn became pushed into her current status as "hero". "Pavane" (1988) started to look closer at her personality. Batman: Poison Ivy #1 from 1997 made her into a full Circe-like character, further explored by Ann Nocenti in "Cast Shadows". Or look at the role Ivy plays in No Man's Land or Gotham Central #32.

    Is she a "hero" in all of these stories? No. But neither is she pure villain.

    Now, I think both Ivy and Harley has influenced each other during this process, but it has by no means been one-way. And I think the presence of Ivy was really important to help Harley gain in popularity.
    Harley and Ivy honestly probably acted as “Force multipliers” towards each other in terms of getting fans who wanted them to not be straight-up villains. They both combine a certain nuance in their motivation for being supervillains, and those nuances have become more sympathetic as time has gone on... and then they started be paired together as friends and lovers.

    And honestly, the fact that Harley paired with Ivy pulled her away from Joker had a pretty big impact on both of them, especially once their usual interactions were defined as being much healthier than Harley’s interactions with Joker, and in comics it only got was more powerful given Ivy being a victim of Woodrue. I mean, that kind of naturally incorporated an element of recovery and positivity into their partnership. Harley looks like she’s on the upswing and has her victimization by the Joker emphasized as something bad she’s getting over, and Ivy’s now someone who’s helping a friend/something more recover from a bad relationship.

    ...I think this might also be why it’s easier to handle Harley as an anti-heroine/anti-villain if she’s partnered with Ivy as an anti-hero/anti-villain than she is whenever they stick her outright heroes: you keep an arguably better sympathetic edge, and if Harley is aligned with Ivy’s more understandable brand of “Knight Templar” villainy that can *also* be naturally anti-heroic simply by putting a worse villain in front of them, and without making it questionable why Harley’s getting a pass.
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  5. #125
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    My thing is, all the talk in recent years about Harley being made into a hero....it's not there. At least not that I've seen. She's not on any hero's most wanted list anymore, and she's run across some heroes here and there who really wish it were anyone but Harls....but she's not a hero and has not done heroic things. Fans just seem to think "she's a solo act now and isn't being actively hunted by Batman so she must be a hero!" which is largely just BS, when you look at what Harls has done since leaving Joker. But running with the Birds? That's heroic, and that's stepping over the line for me.
    I don't think it's just that but that DC corporately seems to want to paint her as a hero or as someone who can comfortably slip into the heroes' side or group against all logic.
    Quote Originally Posted by kjn View Post
    With Ivy, I think you have the causality backwards. I think Ivy became a lot more popular among new groups as her motivations and characterisation was deepened, and she became more of a tragic hero.
    I think it was definitely giving her a more sympathetic and deeper characterization that helped, just not in the sense of trying to depict her as a "tragic hero." She was definitely not a hero in stuff like "Pretty Poison."
    Quote Originally Posted by Robanker View Post
    She made the turn because she's popular and they want her appearing more since she sells books. Going anti hero means she can be in teams. Simple as that.

    I don't know why we need to redeem villains instead of, you know, bringing back Secret Six or the Sirens. But hey, why not. They did it with Killer Frost and Cheetah too, though the latter they walked back on.
    It kind of surprises me how little DC has done with the Gotham City Sirens as a concept aside from the occasional Selina/Ivy/Harley adventure.

    Ivy was pretty dull in the last BoP in my opinion, which probably had her at her most generically heroic.
    It just leads to creator pets that get abandoned and don't last, most of which make you miss the classics. What's the new Batman villain of the last decade with the biggest impact, Pyg?
    Court of Owls?
    Quote Originally Posted by godisawesome View Post
    Harley and Ivy honestly probably acted as “Force multipliers” towards each other in terms of getting fans who wanted them to not be straight-up villains. They both combine a certain nuance in their motivation for being supervillains, and those nuances have become more sympathetic as time has gone on... and then they started be paired together as friends and lovers.

    And honestly, the fact that Harley paired with Ivy pulled her away from Joker had a pretty big impact on both of them, especially once their usual interactions were defined as being much healthier than Harley’s interactions with Joker, and in comics it only got was more powerful given Ivy being a victim of Woodrue. I mean, that kind of naturally incorporated an element of recovery and positivity into their partnership. Harley looks like she’s on the upswing and has her victimization by the Joker emphasized as something bad she’s getting over, and Ivy’s now someone who’s helping a friend/something more recover from a bad relationship.

    ...I think this might also be why it’s easier to handle Harley as an anti-heroine/anti-villain if she’s partnered with Ivy as an anti-hero/anti-villain than she is whenever they stick her outright heroes: you keep an arguably better sympathetic edge, and if Harley is aligned with Ivy’s more understandable brand of “Knight Templar” villainy that can *also* be naturally anti-heroic simply by putting a worse villain in front of them, and without making it questionable why Harley’s getting a pass.
    Which is kind of ironic in light of the fact that the famous "Harley and Ivy" episode that paired them together depicted them as the new queens of crime who went on a massive crime spree before they ended up being stopped by a woman (Montoya).

  6. #126
    Astonishing Member kjn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    I think it was definitely giving her a more sympathetic and deeper characterization that helped, just not in the sense of trying to depict her as a "tragic hero." She was definitely not a hero in stuff like "Pretty Poison."
    I don't believe that Ivy's more sympathetic sides were developed with any form of plan from DC's editorial. Instead, different writers picked up different elements and developed them, and made the character a lot more popular. But I also believe that the movers and shakers at DC couldn't understand how or why the character became popular. Especially when the elements that made her popular among some people firmly placed her at odds with Batman, who was on the rise as the Batgod and as the character whose morals must not be questioned.

    At least that dynamic explains why DC is so absolutely schizophrenic about how to treat Ivy, but also why some people of DC seems so dead set on separating Harley and Ivy—because they get and can understand Harley on some level.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    It kind of surprises me how little DC has done with the Gotham City Sirens as a concept aside from the occasional Selina/Ivy/Harley adventure.

    Ivy was pretty dull in the last BoP in my opinion, which probably had her at her most generically heroic.
    I think of the three Sirens, Catwoman is the one who best fits into the Birds of Prey. A street-level cat burglar in a team of street level crime and spying characters? Purrfect! Ivy and Harley don't fit as well, at least not for regular stuff (you can always make it work with individual stories, with the right writers).

    And yeah, Gotham City Sirens needs to make a return. The concept is great, even if the first execution of it is badly dated due to extreme sexism. I don't view them as a permanent teamup, but their personalities and characters complement each other very well.
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  7. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post

    It kind of surprises me how little DC has done with the Gotham City Sirens as a concept aside from the occasional Selina/Ivy/Harley adventure.

    Which is kind of ironic in light of the fact that the famous "Harley and Ivy" episode that paired them together depicted them as the new queens of crime who went on a massive crime spree before they ended up being stopped by a woman (Montoya).
    Considering how Catwoman herself is already an anti-hero/anti-villain, it is *really* weird that they haven’t embraced the Sirens idea for all three characters when trying to make Harley more of a protagonist.

    There’s a part of me that sometimes wonders if the traditional chemistry of that trio is behind it not being favored - Catwoman adds another “straight man” to the cast above Harley, and she’s generally more outright heroic herself, so it’s perhaps harder to have Harley be the central attraction when the ensemble has her placed slightly more as “the fool” of a trio, and where Catwoman herself may have a similar “this character is too clearly heroic to follow our mad jester as a supporting character if we adapt her more faithfully” that Black Canary has in Birds of Prey.

    I mean, I am a bit suspicious about how the Harley Quinn cartoon went with a blandly villainous and jerk Catwoman; that feels like another case of tailoring “down” an arguably more “conventionally” appealing character to try and protect Harley’s more “unconventional” appeal.

    Oh, and on the “Harley and Ivy” episode, I think that the episode, while focused on keeping them as Batman villains, also proved they could work as protagonists together (something that I think Ivy didn’t really do without Harley’s help on that show)... and with Joker as an antagonist for them.

    A Harley and Ivy episode generally meant a more fun and closer-to-lighthearted conflict than Joker episodes, and since Joker often came off worse when deliberate compared to both Harley and Ivy, it definitely moved them as a partnership to a grayer area than Ivy herself was at alone.
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  8. #128
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjn View Post
    I don't believe that Ivy's more sympathetic sides were developed with any form of plan from DC's editorial. Instead, different writers picked up different elements and developed them, and made the character a lot more popular. But I also believe that the movers and shakers at DC couldn't understand how or why the character became popular. Especially when the elements that made her popular among some people firmly placed her at odds with Batman, who was on the rise as the Batgod and as the character whose morals must not be questioned.

    At least that dynamic explains why DC is so absolutely schizophrenic about how to treat Ivy, but also why some people of DC seems so dead set on separating Harley and Ivy—because they get and can understand Harley on some level.
    Admittedly I think part of the problem is that even fans seem mixed on what it is about the character that appeals to them. I think that has as much of an impact on all the different depictions on Ivy as different writers/editorials having their own idea on the character.

    Of course I think this is probably true for a lot of DC's female villains.
    I think of the three Sirens, Catwoman is the one who best fits into the Birds of Prey. A street-level cat burglar in a team of street level crime and spying characters? Purrfect! Ivy and Harley don't fit as well, at least not for regular stuff (you can always make it work with individual stories, with the right writers).
    There's a reason Selina has always been on the periphery of the group one way or another.
    Quote Originally Posted by godisawesome View Post
    I mean, I am a bit suspicious about how the Harley Quinn cartoon went with a blandly villainous and jerk Catwoman; that feels like another case of tailoring “down” an arguably more “conventionally” appealing character to try and protect Harley’s more “unconventional” appeal.
    I think the cartoon was just trying to go for an extremely sassy, cool, "above it all" Catwoman whose only in it for the loot then the people. I don't know if it was to prop up Harley but I think her characterization in that episode did have some roots in past depictions of her character.
    Oh, and on the “Harley and Ivy” episode, I think that the episode, while focused on keeping them as Batman villains, also proved they could work as protagonists together (something that I think Ivy didn’t really do without Harley’s help on that show)... and with Joker as an antagonist for them.

    A Harley and Ivy episode generally meant a more fun and closer-to-lighthearted conflict than Joker episodes, and since Joker often came off worse when deliberate compared to both Harley and Ivy, it definitely moved them as a partnership to a grayer area than Ivy herself was at alone.
    Well, protagonists while still being unabashed criminals. Even if they're not as bad as The Joker that still felt pretty clear within the episode.

  9. #129
    Astonishing Member Robanker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    I don't think it's just that but that DC corporately seems to want to paint her as a hero or as someone who can comfortably slip into the heroes' side or group against all logic.

    I think it was definitely giving her a more sympathetic and deeper characterization that helped, just not in the sense of trying to depict her as a "tragic hero." She was definitely not a hero in stuff like "Pretty Poison."

    It kind of surprises me how little DC has done with the Gotham City Sirens as a concept aside from the occasional Selina/Ivy/Harley adventure.

    Ivy was pretty dull in the last BoP in my opinion, which probably had her at her most generically heroic.

    Court of Owls?

    Which is kind of ironic in light of the fact that the famous "Harley and Ivy" episode that paired them together depicted them as the new queens of crime who went on a massive crime spree before they ended up being stopped by a woman (Montoya).
    A heroic Ivy is a neutered Ivy. She's at her best when she serves her interests and hers alone.

  10. #130
    Astonishing Member kjn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    Admittedly I think part of the problem is that even fans seem mixed on what it is about the character (Ivy) that appeals to them. I think that has as much of an impact on all the different depictions on Ivy as different writers/editorials having their own idea on the character.

    Of course I think this is probably true for a lot of DC's female villains.
    It's arguably true for a lot of DC's characters overall (see all the complaints about Batgod). The difference is, I think, rather that Ivy has a dedicated fanbase that DC refuses to listen to.
    «Speaking generally, it is because of the desire of the tragic poets for the marvellous that so varied and inconsistent an account of Medea has been given out» (Diodorus Siculus, The Library of History [4.56.1])

  11. #131
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjn View Post
    It's arguably true for a lot of DC's characters overall (see all the complaints about Batgod). The difference is, I think, rather that Ivy has a dedicated fanbase that DC refuses to listen to.
    I think she definitely got a strong fanbase...but beyond giving her character more spotlight, is there a consistency in what said fanbase wants for the character?

  12. #132
    Astonishing Member kjn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    I think she definitely got a strong fanbase...but beyond giving her character more spotlight, is there a consistency in what said fanbase wants for the character?
    From what I can tell, the part of Ivy's fanbase that DC refuses (or can't) listen to is rather diverse, but they have a couple shared elements, like various forms of ecofeminism and queerness. The Vines-n-Roses "who we are" page points out a couple of the themes, but note that I doubt anyone cares about all of them.
    «Speaking generally, it is because of the desire of the tragic poets for the marvellous that so varied and inconsistent an account of Medea has been given out» (Diodorus Siculus, The Library of History [4.56.1])

  13. #133
    Extraordinary Member SiegePerilous02's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by godisawesome View Post
    And honestly, the fact that Harley paired with Ivy pulled her away from Joker had a pretty big impact on both of them, especially once their usual interactions were defined as being much healthier than Harley’s interactions with Joker, and in comics it only got was more powerful given Ivy being a victim of Woodrue. I mean, that kind of naturally incorporated an element of recovery and positivity into their partnership. Harley looks like she’s on the upswing and has her victimization by the Joker emphasized as something bad she’s getting over, and Ivy’s now someone who’s helping a friend/something more recover from a bad relationship.
    I think Ivy's dynamic with Harley has always been healthier than with the Joker (low bar to clear), but I think fans have a tendency oversell how much healthier it is. Not you, I'm saying in general, your post just reminded me of it

    At least in the stories that created their dynamic, Ivy has a tendency to belittle and emotionally abuse Harley and sometimes hit her as well. Just not anywhere near to the same extent as the Joker. She even seems to have much less respect for Harley's competence than the Joker does, who always places a lot of trust in Harley to carry out his schemes and add her own embellishments as long as she doesn't dare upstage him. And that leads to Harley's characterization, she actually deliberately play up the "ditzy" persona around Ivy more than the Joker, perhaps because Red has a higher tolerance for it. There are clues in their DCAU incarnations where this originates from (both in the shows and the tie in comics) that Harley is an enthusiastic submissive personality who seeks out domineering partners. And considering her background, she knows how to subtly manipulate them to make them think they are fully in charge, because that's what they crave. But she can scheme against them, sometimes react quite violently, when she isn't getting what she wants. DCAU Harley has canonically lashed out violently at the Joker, the Joker has expressed genuine unease at getting her mad at him, and she suffers no real immediate repercussions for it from him. Their dynamic is abusive and unhealthy and not remotely something to aspire towards, but I've always found the "Ivy saves Harley from the Joker and there are no abusive elements in their own relationship" takes as kind of boring. She's the lesser of two evils, but it's still not a healthy dynamic without abuse...if Harley even really wants that.

    Ivy is more than just her cause. The basics of her cause and what she fights for have merit, Batman and the other superheroes have no issue with her trying to save the planet, it's more the casually bumping off the meat sacks that get in her way that they have an issue with (as anyone should). She has altruistic moments like with the orphans in NML, but a lot of Batman's major villains save for the Joker and Scarecrow have their softer sides. But when people freaked out on Twitter about her killing some mafia guys who were threatening her, that to me was going too far with what to expect from her. She's not pure evil, but she isn't a stable good person either.

  14. #134
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    Quote Originally Posted by SiegePerilous02 View Post
    I think Ivy's dynamic with Harley has always been healthier than with the Joker (low bar to clear), but I think fans have a tendency oversell how much healthier it is. Not you, I'm saying in general, your post just reminded me of it

    At least in the stories that created their dynamic, Ivy has a tendency to belittle and emotionally abuse Harley and sometimes hit her as well. Just not anywhere near to the same extent as the Joker. She even seems to have much less respect for Harley's competence than the Joker does, who always places a lot of trust in Harley to carry out his schemes and add her own embellishments as long as she doesn't dare upstage him. And that leads to Harley's characterization, she actually deliberately play up the "ditzy" persona around Ivy more than the Joker, perhaps because Red has a higher tolerance for it. There are clues in their DCAU incarnations where this originates from (both in the shows and the tie in comics) that Harley is an enthusiastic submissive personality who seeks out domineering partners. And considering her background, she knows how to subtly manipulate them to make them think they are fully in charge, because that's what they crave. But she can scheme against them, sometimes react quite violently, when she isn't getting what she wants. DCAU Harley has canonically lashed out violently at the Joker, the Joker has expressed genuine unease at getting her mad at him, and she suffers no real immediate repercussions for it from him. Their dynamic is abusive and unhealthy and not remotely something to aspire towards, but I've always found the "Ivy saves Harley from the Joker and there are no abusive elements in their own relationship" takes as kind of boring. She's the lesser of two evils, but it's still not a healthy dynamic without abuse...if Harley even really wants that.
    YES!! That is how I have ALWAYS seen her. That to me is the essence of her character and the only way she really makes sense.

  15. #135
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SiegePerilous02 View Post
    But when people freaked out on Twitter about her killing some mafia guys who were threatening her, that to me was going too far with what to expect from her. She's not pure evil, but she isn't a stable good person either.
    And King bending over backwards to explain it away was too much of a step in the opposite direction in my opinion (a person named Poison Ivy has never killed anyone? Seriously?).

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