1 of the Best Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy Scenes Actually Comes From a Batman Movie
The most recent animated Harley Quinn show on HBO Max, is probably a lot of fans’ favorite portrayal of Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy. Not only are they the quintessential forms of their DC Comic characters, but they get to fall in love on-screen along with be raunchy and silly. Not to mention, the storylines and arcs make any comic-fan’s heart soar. However, there’s one scene from Batman and Harley Quinn that is actually one of the best representations of Harley and Ivy’s relationship.
Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy met in the 1990s show ‘Batman: The Animated Series’
Poison Ivy appeared first in 1966, and became a bombshell villain ever since. But it was in the 1990s that she and Harley Quinn first met. In the Batman: The Animated Series episode “Joker’s Favor,” Harley came onto the scene as Joker’s girlfriend and lackey, though she’s highly skilled.
Several episodes later, in “Harley and Ivy,” the two finally meet for the first time. Joker fires Harley Quinn and to prove she can “do crime,” she plans her own heist at a museum. Of course, who else is there? Poison Ivy.
Ivy has to step in to help them both escape from authorities and they run to Poison Ivy’s hideout house in Toxic Acres. It’s an abandon neighborhood full of toxins that only Ivy can withstand and she injects Harley with some stuff to help her survive it too.
In ‘Batman and Harley Quinn,’ Harley teams up with Batman to take down Ivy
Since that episode, the two have been inseparable in their various appearances together. And while they haven’t been overt girlfriends and lovers until recently, the subtext has always been there. Even back in their first ‘90s appearance, the spark and chemistry were visible.
2019’s Harley Quinn animated series was the most upfront about Harlivy being a couple in animated TV form and gave a really nuanced storyline of their progression from best friends to lovers. But one scene that really sticks out and shows their deep, deep bond is from the 2017 movie, Batman and Harley Quinn.
Yes, Batman and Harley Quinn is a bit of a deep cut, and it wasn’t universally liked, but hear us out.
In the movie, the Caped Crusader has to ask Harley Quinn for help defeating Poison Ivy, who’s teamed up with the Floronic Man to turn everyone into plant people. Poison Ivy canonically hates all humans, and adores plants, so this is an ideal way in her head to cure the Earth’s pollution problems and her people hating problems. The Floronic Man is kind of just evil and mind controls her a bit too.
Harley does end up helping and it culminates in a fight scene between Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy. This is the scene that really shows off their connection. It’s full of negative emotion since Harley is (interestingly) trying to save the world, but also full of passion. She knows Ivy isn’t someone to kill humankind, and appeals to her best friend’s most vulnerable part. The part that can’t bear to see Harley cry.
It’s sweet, it’s silly, and it saves the world. A chef’s kiss Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy moment, if you will.
But, the movie portrayed Harley poorly in other ways
While the movie definitely has that great moment and a really great look at these characters overall, it does suffer from (what feels like) the age-old problem of women being oversexualized in comics.
There’s a scene between Harley and Nightwing where she ties him up on the bed, changes in front of him, and it’s insinuated that they do adult activies. While Bruce Tim, who wrote the screenplay, told SyFyWire in 2017, pointed out that “Harley being sexually aggressive and sexually active” isn’t new, that’s not the issue people had with how she’s portrayed here. That’s 100 percent her M.O., as Timm said.
As people on the internet wrote, it has a bit more to do with how she’s drawn, as Jessica Rabbit might say.
There are several instances where women are drawn in an oversexualized way, as Beth Elderkin wrote in some tweets back in 2017. The former writer for io9 shared a screengrab from the scene when Harley’s bum is up in the air, in just underwear.
“This is what happens when men have creative control. A butt crack on top of another butt crack,” she wrote.
This goes back to the constant conversation about men drawing female comic book characters how they want women to look, regardless of proper anatomy. Only emphasis on big proportions and how they’re showing them off. Kind of like comparing how Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn dressed in Suicide Squad (2016) as opposed to Birds of Prey (2020).
Regardless, between the voice acting and that final scene, Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy pulled through in that movie.