Thursday, February 5, 2009

Batman: The Animated Series

In the year 1992, Batman: The Animated Series premiered on the Fox network. The toon was received positively and so began a new era for Batman and the citizens of Gotham City.

The distinct stylings of Bruce Timm played a large part in this animated history. Timm wasn't new to animation -- but it's safe to say that BTAS put Bruce Timm's name (officially) on the map.

The look was simple yet distinct. With just a few strokes of a pen Timm would recreate the look and style of every single character in the Bat Universe. But most importantly those designs are what brought me to Poison Ivy for the first time.

I was watching BTAS and the episode "Pretty Poison" was being featured. I watched in awe as this plant-themed villainess moved across the screen. Who was this person? I was confused and also a bit annoyed. Mainly because I was hoping for a Catwoman appearance. But as the show progressed I found myself interested in the character. She was new to me and I liked her gimmick. The clingy greens, fiery red hair, and that voice! Could it be? Two bad girls in Gotham City? I immediately began seeking out DC Comics back issues featuring this enchanting woman. My love affair with Poison Ivy had begun...sorry Selina.

Aesthetically, I think the classic Bruce Timm rendered Poison Ivy is stunning. I am reminded of old Hollywood glamour. In the book "Batman Animated", Bruce Timm talks about how he approached artist Lynne Naylor to assist him in getting Ivy's look just right. If you wander over to Lynne's official site you can see her obvious influence over Ivy's final design. A lovely result. I appreciate the way the costume was handled as well. It would have been impossible to animate a leafy (intricate) one-piece garment. So the leaf details became a serration along the top bust line and at the sides of the leg holes. Basic green tights minus the vine trim. Gloves and boots with thorny accents. Perfect.

Batman: The Animated Series was not only revered for its art but also for the voice acting. Kevin Conroy was the perfect match for Batman. Diane Pershing as Poison Ivy -- brilliant! The voice Diane inflects for Ivy is sexy, confident, and smart. A perfect mix of passion and menace. In fact, I recognize Diane's voice in commericals all the time because I adore it so. I've heard stories about Diane Pershing not being the first choice for Ivy -- but the original voice actress didn't work out. Some things are meant to be!

After a successful run, Batman: The Animated Series was ended in the year 1995. However, we are left with at least seven episodes featuring Poison Ivy (in some capacity). Not to mention a rather mixed selection of Ivy related merchandise.

The following is a list featuring every episode that Poison Ivy made an appearance. Whether it was a starring role or a cameo. The titles with active links should take you to an episode summary.

Episode Guide

Pretty Poison

Eternal Youth

Fear of Victory

Dreams in Darkness

Almost Got 'Im

Joker's Wild

Harley & Ivy

Fire From Olympus

House and Garden


Harley's Holiday


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