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CSBG Archive

The Abandoned An’ Forsaked – Poison Ivy’s Name is Lillian Rose?!

All throughout December, we will be examining comic book stories and ideas that were not only abandoned, but also had the stories/plots specifically “overturned” by a later writer (as if they were a legal precedent). Click here for an archive of all the previous editions of The Abandoned An’ Forsaked.

Today we look at the original origin for Poison Ivy, as suggested by commenter Mr. Mxyzptlk 52!


Poison Ivy has a familiar origin these days – Pamela Isley, worked with Jason Woodrue, the future Florenic Man, before she became, well, Poison Ivy.

However, that was not her original origin! Gerry Conway gave her her first origin in the pages of World’s Finest Comics #252 (in a Wonder Woman back-up story, of all places)…

That origin (including Lillian Rose for a name – which itself contradicted earlier stories that had Pamela Isley as her real name) stood for nearly a decade until Neil Gaiman came up with a better origin – one that tied her in with the Florenic Man (and eventually also Alec Holland).

So in Secret Origins #36, watch Gaiman eliminate the old origin…

And it is has been Woodrue in her origin ever since! Gaiman alluded to this new origin in Black Orchid before going into greater detail in the Secret Origins issue.


I had no idea Batman & Robin was this adherent to continuity.

I think Gaiman made the link to Woodrue and Holland in the Black Orchid miniseries first, and then on that basis was asked to provide the Ivy story in Secret Origins.

I find it funny how, since Poison Ivy was introduced in 1966, they didn’t include her on the old Batman show. She would’ve been a good fit.

I always assumed that she wasn’t on the ’66 show because she had actual super powers. It’s a weak explanation, but it is the biggest difference between Poison Ivy and the villains they did use on that show.

Ivy didn’t have actual super powers in her 1960s appearances. Really, aside from the poison immunity thing, she didn’t have most of her now-numerous powers until the early 1990s.

@ZZZ – Technically, don’t the Mad Hatter and Mr. Freeze also have “superpowers”?

“I find it funny how, since Poison Ivy was introduced in 1966, they didn’t include her on the old Batman show. She would’ve been a good fit.”

Maybe they already had Louie the Lilac (Milton Berle), so they didn’t bother.

“I had no idea Batman & Robin was this adherent to continuity.”

That movie gets so much unnecessary flack. Of all the live action movies, it seems that it is the most adherent to continuity, the only things that are different are Bane(wasn’t originally Bane) and Barbara Gordon(Gordon was never prominent in the movies). All the character origins are basically the same, and a secret Batgirl costume is something that Alfred would do.

Actually, Forever and Batman & Robin are the only Batman movies with the villain origins correct…

The flack isn’t unnecessary. The movie was a terrible trainwreck and killed the Batman movie franchise for years.

If Poison Ivy had been on the 66 show, she should have totally been played by Ann Margaret.

I’m reasonably certain Poison Ivy’s real name was established as “Pamela Isley” for quite some time before that “Lillian Rose” story saw print. I’d chalk it up to an editorial snafu–like the early-’70s Flash story that changed the Top’s last name from Dillon to Neyle for one–and only one–story. Whoever was editing “Wonder Woman” at the time may not have realized Poison Ivy already had a canonical real name.

Neil is a Nitwit

December 21, 2011 at 7:55 am

Poison Ivy’s powers are stupid and they should’ve stuck with the original concept and name.

Man, that’s some dumb girl this Lilian Rose. She’s at the same level at those crying docile ladies from Charlton’s teen romance comics. A girl who’s turned on by that shallow speech about the Vines of Existence would fall for any gibberish, be it about communism, taxidermy or comic books. And did they have CSI in ancient Egypt? How did they use to detect poisons back then? LOL! Sorry, I’ll keep Pamela Isley as my Ivy, thanks. She is a little more credible as someone that would become that Eve/Lilith mix that is Poison Ivy. Lilian Rose feels like when you learn that Darth Vader was Hayden Christiansen the whole time. You can’t take the character seriously anymore.

I don’t see how the second origin is objectively “better,” Brian. It’s just different, with more fanwank tying in Holland and Woodrue. Or is EVERYTHING Neil Gaiman does automatically “better,” just cuz he’s Neil Gaiman?

Bill Reed

December 9, 2011 at 6:00 pm

I had no idea Batman & Robin was this adherent to continuity.

Then you may never have checked here:



http://batmannrobinonfilm.blogspot.com/ These fellows here also felt it more accurate than later adaptations.



Schumaker actually had an affectation for comic books in his youth, per his 1987 Lost Boys which featured a store selling them.

As the poster Count Karnstein pointed out, those comic books from what I guess as around Schumaker’s youth:
“had giant pennies and stuffed dinosaurs, was wearing caveman, zebra, and rainbow costumes, teamed up with Bat-Mite, split in two, melded with Superman, fought a living #2 pencil, drowned in giant gravy boats and menaced by giant sized water pistols, tennis rackets, and all sorts of insane absurdities long before the Batman movie or tv show were released….Dozier was bringing the characters to the screen in the manner in which they had been portrayed in the comics. Was there ever a silly, absurd, ridiculous Green Hornet comic book? If so, it’s escaped my attention for the better part of 40 years. Did we ever see a Caveman Green Hornet or a Green Hornet in a rainbox/zebra/dayglo red suit? Did we ever see Green Hornet being drowned in a giant gravy boat or being chased by aliens and dinosaurs? Was there ever an Ace the Green Hornet Dog? How about a Hornet-Mite?
No? I didn’t think so. There’s your answer. It’s literally that simple. Dozier was taking characters and putting them on the screen. Green Hornet was always played straight and serious in the comics/strips/radio, so he was done that way for tv. Batman was as absurd, silly, goofy, and ridiculous as anything else that has ever appeared in comics, and so that’s how he appeared on-screen”.

Yeah, but we never got the giant penny in the TV show. I thought we weren’t living under that aegis anymore?

In what issue did Batman split in two?

Mike McAllister

October 12, 2015 at 2:13 pm

In Justice League of America # 111 ( May — June 1974 ), a villain named “Libra” brought together Poison Ivy, the Scarecrow, Tattooed Man, Shadow Thief, Chronos; and Mirror Master to form the Injustice Gang of the World . That same issue included a two page feature that offered profiles of the Injustice Gang members, including their real names, first appearances, powers, and origins . Poison Ivy’s real name was given as “Pamela Isley” . I did read the “Wonder Woman” story where her name was given as “Lillian Rose” . I preferred “Pamela Isley”, because that’s the name I knew first, but I still wondered “Why can’t Lillian Rose be an alias ?” .

[…] if Bettie Page stalked Batman?” The poor girl didn’t even get a proper origin until more than ten years after her debut, and at a different writer’s hands, to […]

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