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1 Unexpected Batman Rogue Knows the Key to Making Supervillain Team-Ups Work


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Warning: Spoilers for Poison Ivy #18!


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Summary

  • Poison Ivy cracks the code for successful supervillain team-ups, exploiting their vanity and survival instincts.
  • Villains are quick to team up because their self-interests make them exploitable.
  • Poison Ivy’s explanation re-contextualizes previous supervillain team-ups, making sense of past and future collaborations.

One iconic Batman villain knows the secret behind how to make a supervillain team-up work — and she’s secretly great at it. It has become a staple of Batman storylines for Gotham’s most misunderstood rogues to join forces just to dispose of the Dark Knight. Given all that history, Poison Ivy knows exactly why these unexpected allyships really work.

Poison Ivy cracks the code for how “baddie” team-ups can work in Poison Ivy #18 by G. Willow Wilson and Luana Vecchio. As Poison Ivy tries to create an antidote to stop an incoming horde of Last of Us-esque zombies, she forms the ultimate Gotham team-up between herself and Killer Croc — with the new addition of Solomon Grundy.

Comic book panels: Poison Ivy and Solomon Grundy in a swamp.

When the dust settles, Poison Ivy narrates how supervillain team-ups like this work so well in spite of the villains’ negative qualities. By tapping into that same kind of vanity that makes them villains to begin with, Ivy and other manipulative villains can make their comrades work for them — literally.

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Poison Ivy Theorizes that Villains Use Vanity and Survival Instincts to Team-Up

Comic book panel: Poison Ivy Solomon Grundy and Killer Croc fight zombies

Poison Ivy #17, the previous issue, ends with the title character and her dear friend, Killer Croc, in Slaughter Swamp collaborating on creating an antidote to stop a zombie infestation that Poison Ivy regrettably started. They are unexpectedly attacked by some of those zombies, receiving some unexpected help from another resident of the swamp, Solomon Grundy. Once all the zombies are eradicated, Grundy starts to go on his way, but Ivy urges that she still needs his help. She doesn’t have anything specific in mind but feels she needs all the help she can find.

Grundy seems disinterested at first, until Ivy points out that as zombies continue to infest the swamp he lives in, she can help him fight back. Ivy then points out how villains are selfish in a way that can be exploited. “You can get us to do what you want if you appeal to one of two things – Our vanity … or our highly developed survival instincts.” By focusing in on both of those qualities, she is able to successfully recruit Solomon Grundy into her ever-growing team.

Poison Ivy Knows How DC Villains Exploit Each Other for Team-Ups

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This gives readers a firm reason for why villains are so quick to team-up with each other, despite how the idea kind of goes against their self-interest. It’s those self-interests that make them exploitable in the first place. Grundy wanting to protect and survive in his home is the only reason he wants to join Ivy and Croc. This explanation from Poison Ivy may even help re-contextualize previous supervillain team-ups against the likes of superheroes such as Batman, making sense of team-ups from the past and future.

Poison Ivy #18 is available now from DC Comics.

POISON IVY #18 (2022)

Poison Ivy 18 Main Cover: a monster holds a pregnant Poison Ivy.

  • Writer: G. Willow Wilson
  • Artist: Luana Vecchio
  • Colorist: Arif Prianto
  • Letterer: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
  • Cover Artist: Jessica Fong

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