Legendary DC character Poison Ivy is having her antihero status meeting an ultimate referendum in her latest era of comics. For years, people have been debating if Poison Ivy could be another antihero in the DC Universe. While she has certainly committed nefarious acts, over the years she's come to be a likable antagonist among readers. This was only doubled when she began dating Harley Quinn, cementing the two as one of the best couples in comics. However, ever since Ivy's break-up with Harley, it's led to fans questioning if she'd be resigning her antihero status.
All of this is being explored in Poison Ivy's latest limited series, created by G. Willow Wilson and Marcio Takara. Finding herself on borrowed time as a deadly Last of Us-like fungus called Ophiocordyceps Lamia courses through her, Ivy is embarking on her most villainous scheme yet. She's making a cross-country road trip from Gotham to the West coast as she works to spread the very thing killing her, putting an end to all of human life. Since she knows that she's dying, she wants to ensure that the Green will not die with her as she tried to protect it most of her life. Wiping out humanity in one fatal blow would also make her go down as the deadliest villain in DC Comics if she succeeds. And yet...she's been displaying some second thoughts.
Poison Ivy has found the titular character coming across various people on her journey. First she encounters a poet named Jenny in Poison Ivy #2 while eating a surprisingly non-vegetarian meal. Seeing a bit of herself in Jenny, Ivy helps her get away. Then, in Poison Ivy #3, she befriends Carrie, the owner of a motel she's staying at through a day of hard yardwork. In both of these meetings, she finds herself questioning the path she's taking. This is shown heavily with Carrie when she's so blown away by the care the motel owner has for the Green that she's frightened when Carrie tries to touch her to help her up, not wanting to spread the fungus to her. Ivy has spent her whole life plotting to put an end to humanity because of what they've done to the world, but now it looks like she's really looking eye-to-eye with individual lives and realizing that her massive death wish plan could be a mistake.
Unfortunately for her though, it could be too late to turn back as Poison Ivy loses her humanity. In Poison Ivy #2, she mentions that in order to gain maximum coverage, she spreads the spores around people and lets them lay dormant until she activates them. That way, they can infect more people around the world like a virus before she officially activates them. In a way, no matter if she saves certain people that she likes, she could still very well kill them because of the epidemic she's spreading. Given Carrie is the owner of a motel, infected people are likely to come by and spread it to her even when Ivy isn't there. Plus, Jenny was right in front of her when she spread the spores in the diner. Even if she wants to save a few select people, she can't stop them from eventually succumbing to death from the fungus.
Clearly, these brief moments of DC's Queen of body horror interacting with humanity is setting her up to make an important choice. With her finger on the button to end it all, she will need to choose if she sacrifices everyone, including the ones she's grown to like, or save everyone to leave those she's cared about to carry on her legacy and prevent humanity from destroying the Green. It's perhaps the most in-depth character study Poison Ivy has received yet, and it will certainly have fans decide once and for all if she's antihero or full-fledged villain.
Poison Ivy #2 and #3 are available now from DC Comics!