The strange loves of Poison Ivy: From Harley Quinn to...Kite Man?
Harley Quinn and Kite Man have a surprising number of commonalities, and none of them have escaped Poison Ivy's notice
On the latest episode of ‘Harley Quinn,’ Poison Ivy (Lake Bell) is revealed to have been dating a minor league Gotham villain with grand ambitions, and an unearned level of confidence that borders on delusional, who dresses in bright colours, does not technically have superpowers, and appears to have no civilian identity. No, it’s not Harley Quinn (Kaley Cuoco) - Poison Ivy’s been seeing Kite Man (Matt Oberg). The two Batvillains have a surprising number of weirdly specific similarities, and you have to wonder - does Poison Ivy have a type?
For a seductress, Poison Ivy’s romantic history in comic book canon is strangely sparse. It’s possible, of course, that the seductress aspect of Poison Ivy is what’s been holding her back from receiving a true romantic storyline. She was initially conceived as a romantic interest for Batman, in a forbidden romance not dissimilar to Batman’s relationship with Catwoman, but the idea never stuck. She instead grew to be a character more interested in plants than people. She’s been seen to be ensnaring quite a few people over the years, yes, but always in that role as a seductress, holding all the cards, and all the power. Even her relationship with Harley Quinn has just been hinted at and only recently made canon.
What is it about Kite Man that has so captivated Poison Ivy? It’s more than just some fling at this point, she has been secretly seeing him since episode 2 of the series. What’s more, it’s obvious that she cares about his feelings - it’s telling that a woman as confident as Ivy never once gives Kite Man a solid no this episode. It’s not for a lack of assertiveness on her part, Ivy appears to be reluctant to do something that would hurt him. She genuinely cares for the guy.
Later in the episode, she reveals a little as to the why. Kite man is earnest. Everything about him is absurd, but he believes in himself with the confidence of someone who doesn’t care what other people think. He doesn’t just accept himself, he celebrates himself, with not care at all as to what’s acceptable, approved of, or even sane. High levels of self-esteem that have no basis in reality appear to be just the kind of thing that Poison Ivy not only admires, but loves.
It’s also something which seems to inspire Ivy to step out of her comfort zone. It’s a hint as to what the relationship between Ivy and a pre-Joker Dr. Quinzel must have been like. Poison Ivy wasn’t just afraid of being seen with Kite Man - she was afraid of lowering her walls enough to commit to human connection.
Harley Quinn and Kite Man are both ridiculous characters whose enthusiasm is undimmed by the judgement of strangers. Either of them seem like odd companions for someone as serious and derisive as Poison Ivy, but when she lets her guard down, it’s easy to see how it all makes perfect sense.
The next episode of ‘Harley Quinn’ airs January 17, on DC Universe