Warning: SPOILERS for Heroes in Crisis #2
The death toll of DC Comics’ first mass shooting keeps growing, with Poison Ivy confirmed as one of the characters killed. And as Harley Quinn says her goodbyes to her longtime lover and friend, the question of who’s really to blame isn’t as easy as obvious as it once seemed.
This news will come as a shock to those who missed out on the start of DC’s new event miniseries, Heroes in Crisis. Starting with a tragic mass shooting at the superhero retreat Sanctuary, the series wasted little time in killing off beloved heroes. But even if fans have read that first issue, the death of Poison Ivy wasn’t revealed. Only in Issue #2 does Booster Gold mention Ivy as one of the heroes who fell, and as Harley is hardened in the fallout, the true victims of the slaughter, like the culprits, are still a mystery.
- This Page: Poison Ivy’s Death Changes Harley Quinn
- Next Page: WHO is Responsible for Killing Ivy?
Poison Ivy is Revealed as a Sanctuary Victim
The first issue of Tom King and Clay Mann’s series dealt an emotional blow by not just having a real-world form of mass violence strike the DCU, but by juxtaposing the crime scene with testimonials – recorded by the victims, upon their arrival to Sanctuary. As part of their healing process, the guests checked in to the facility bare their weaknesses. It was how Heroes in Crisis #1 revealed the first, lesser-known casualties of the attack, and in Issue #2, it’s how readers learn that Poison Ivy was also a patient when the attacks took place.
Previous testimonials focused on the emotional, mental, or physical afflictions plaguing DC’s heroes, often the ways in which these ‘unbreakable’ do-gooders actually do break down in private. But in Ivy’s case, this testimonial highlights Harley Quinn’s arrival to Sanctuary right alongside her partner/friend/girlfriend/soul mate. What may look to some as classic Harley mania, stealing the spotlight and failing to remain grounded is revealed as something more, as her playful teasing of Ivy earns a smirk. Harley’s there to make sure Ivy gets help, and as always, Ivy sees through the hysterics to the heart. At least, she used to…
Harley Quinn Mourns Poison Ivy Alone
Fans are spared actually seeing Ivy’s death, or any visual “evidence” that she was among the victims (the first issue showed plenty, setting the tone of shock and demand for answers that is clearly going to continue in the series). But as her name is listed elsewhere among the dead, Harley returns to her classic jester costume – the one she more than likely would have been sporting in her earlier days alongside Ivy as a “Gotham City Siren” – and says a few words to her lost love. Perched atop a bridge, Harley voices her regrets at telling Ivy to go to Sanctuary for help (she won’t be alone in that regard) and drops a rose as she apologizes for not being stronger for both Ivy, and herself.
But beyond just more heartbreaking goodbyes, Harley’s regret at joining Ivy at Sanctuary is going to deserve some extra scrutiny. Because the actual hero, villain, or person who carried out the attack may still be up for debate. And this early in the investigation, one of the prime candidates who may have murdered Poison Ivy and countless others… is Harley Quinn herself.
Page 2 of 2: Who’s Really To Blame For Killing Poison Ivy?
Booster Gold Confirms Ivy’s Dead, But Not The Killer…
Hard as it may be to believe, the identity of the killer is still completely unknown, even as the first issue seemed to confirm that Booster Gold killed dozens of DC heroes due to a psychotic break after a seriously rough couple of years. Originally, Booster and Harley Quinn each pointed the finger at the other for the deaths, as the only two patients who managed to escape Sanctuary with their lives. Harley informed Booster that he perpetrated the attacks, whether he realized it or not. And to her point, Booster has gone through enough mental trauma to concede that he may have actually been the killer. And now, that includes Poison Ivy, too.
Despite Booster’s trusty robotic sidekick Skeets recommending that he shut up about his possible role in the murders of Wally West, Roy Harper, and others, he can’t keep it bottled up. And as Booster rattles off the names of the dead that Harley, or maybe HE killed, all but one of them is known beforehand. Both Wally West and Roy Harper a.k.a. Arsenal were found next to one another, shortly after Blue Jay’s death and testimonial started the issue. But Booster adds “Ivy” into the group of confirmed dead he witnessed before making his escape.
Just that quickly, confirming that the slow and horrible stream of details and confirmed casualties that come with any tragedy apply to the superhero community, too. And as for assigning responsibility for it happening in the first place… well nobody is going to have a tougher time with that question than Batman.
Batman May Bear The Blame For Ivy, Too
With Booster Gold a prime suspect, and Harley Quinn too distraught to plead her case either way, Batman is working the crime scene. And based on his reaction to the Sanctuary shooting in the first issue, he’s putting much of the blame for the tragedy on his own shoulders, along with those of Wonder Woman and Superman. It was their idea to give the heroes of the DC Universe a place to be vulnerable – and they died because of it. But when it comes to Poison Ivy, he was one of the foremost supporters of the idea that she be admitted to the facility, despite recently taking over the world and controlling every person on it.
The storyline was told in the pages of the main Batman series, and included some truly incredible moments of villainous manipulation – the most memorable being when Superman killed Batman with a punch, before Ivy brought him back to life, obviously. In the end. Batman turned to Harley Quinn for help calming Ivy down, ultimately agreeing that she was no villain… she just needed some help. And because of that mercy, she’s now dead along with who knows how many other characters. That’s not the kind of blindside that Batman ever responds to positively.
Hopefully he’ll actually have the downtime to work through his guilt over the issue, since the main plot of the issue now hinges on Batman possibly letting Superman’s secret identity slip. All fans have are questions and mysteries for now, so it’s possible to hold out hope that Poison Ivy yet lives. But with Booster naming her among the dead, and Harley mourning her too… we wouldn’t bet on it.
Heroes in Crisis #2 is available now from DC Comics.