Postscript: Batman: Green Dawn in light of The Dark Knight

Warning: spoilers for movie below

Greetings, Ivy fans! By now most of you have undoubtedly seen The Dark Knight. As superior as Batman Begins was to the previous films, I think The Dark Knight rises above even its great predecessor to the same degree. It truly might be "the greatest Batman story ever told"!

Batman: Green Dawn was written not only to be a Poison Ivy story worthy of the character, but as a 'bridge' story between BB and TDK. As it turns out, Gotham Knights is an official attempt at that; I have not yet seen it, though I want to. My story was meant as a bridge story not only chronologically, but thematically: BB clearly ended on a cautionary note, with the idea that Batman himself might provoke an extreme and escalating reaction. That happened in spades in TDK, so much so I genuinely wonder whether Batman as a figure or person will survive the third movie (if there is one!)

I wanted to lead into that by exploring as the main theme the issue of ends versus means. Poison Ivy is a very good villain to exemplify that, as she has wonderful goals, but has been twisted by her personal experiences to use truly terrible means to achieve them. In my story, this dilemma is not really played out for Batman, because he does not engage in any actions which might cross the line, but it exists as an ever-present background factor. We tend to be so enamored of his skills that often we do not stop to think that, objectively, his actions are very troubling. After all, if it's okay for Bruce Wayne to be Batman, why not Brian Douglass (from TDK)? And what does that imply for law and order? If the ends justify the means, is Ivy right? Or Ra's? Or even the Joker?

I've been rereading the story since TDK. Of course, there are many inconsistencies: Dent is not from Chicago; my Mayor 'Limpseed' is nothing like the one in the movie. One thing I think I missed (to my great surprise) is how strongly Bruce seems to want a relationship with Rachel in TDK. In Green Dawn, while Bruce's friendship is stronger than ever, I deliberately left Bruce in a state of mind where he was beginning to embrace his dark side, and would eventually seek female companions who were closer to that end—but not as dark and evil as Poison Ivy! This would mean Catwoman, of course, and Talia al'Gul if they ever wanted to go back to the League of Shadows. Perhaps the rise of Dent and the continued grind of fighting crime at Batman caused a change of heart. One thing I like about Begins and TDK is that they hint at the idea that Bruce wants a normal life, even as much as he needs or enjoys being Batman. This is probably not a popular thought (after all, then there would be no more Batman!) but I think it makes Bruce a more complex, interesting character.

Of course, Bruce Wayne's relationship arc is now completely up in the air. I strongly believed Rachel would eventually die onscreen (see my fanfic Rebirth), but I thought Rachel would die in the third movie, not the second.

Some things are closer: the idea of Bruce and Alfred living in an apartment (nothing so grandiose as the movie!) and having a Batcycle as opposed to a BatPod. I also hinted occasionally at the idea that Bruce might want to put down the mantle of Batman, but not as much as TDK played with. In terms of leading up to TDK, I think the last chapter, of Batman and Gordon speaking, really does a nice job of hinting at what would lie in store for both men in TDK. Bruce as Batman might do a little too much smiling in this scene and elsewhere in the story (a criticism I received from someone which I think has validity), but I did want Batman to hint, at least a little, that he had a human side when he confessed (more or less) to being in the League of Shadows. Please reread and see for yourselves!

One last thing: I did predict back in October 2006 they'd make Rachel Harvey's girlfriend (although I did not guess they'd make her his fiancee). Kudos for me! :-)

So what does TDK suggest for Poison Ivy actually being in the third Batman film in this series? Unfortunately, an appearance by Ivy is still very unlikely at best. Ivy is a little too similar to Ra's, which would make her inclusion somewhat repetitive. And Green Dawn to the contrary, she probably can't carry a movie on her own. There are a few hopes, however. One, we may see another future Gotham Knights—type production which includes more of the minor villains (as GK included Deadshot, Killer Croc, and even Man-Bat!). If they want to use Green Dawn as a template, WB is free to do so! :-)

More distant, but still possible, is an idea I've run across in online forums for the third movie: in the wake of the Joker's actions, Gotham City is taken over by the freaks, and Batman and Gordon have their hands full dealing with them. In such a movie, there would be little to no exposition of villain backstories, but they would hit the ground running. A movie like that could definitely have a live-action Poison Ivy in it. Let's keep our fingers crossed!

In the meantime, I announce my return to Batman fanfics by rewarding you loyal readers with a preview from a coming story, a preview that includes Poison Ivy! While her appearance will be more of a minor/cameo-type role, it will be memorable, and more importantly, pose a great challenge to Bruce Wayne/Batman.

Please read and enjoy the following excerpt!

- August 21, 2008

He was running after her, chasing her through the garden. He yelled for her to stop, but she was nowhere to be seen. He had lost her…

He ran, faster than ever: desperate to catch her… fearful of what would happen if he did…

With no warning, he fell. No, he had tripped over something. Painfully he got to his feet—and was stuck. "What the hell?"

Something had wrapped itself around his left leg. It took a while before he noticed it was a green, leafy vine. How did that happen? Irritated, he reached down and tried to pull it apart; it didn't rip, not even a tiny bit. Puzzled, he hardly noticed until he saw it: another green vine had wrapped itself around his right leg.

What he saw was simply impossible. With astonishing speed, vines erupted from the ground, more and more of them, wrapping themselves around every part of his body. He almost yelled in pain; some of them had sharp bristles and thorns, while others seemed to burn at the touch.

Fighting back panic, he struggled uselessly as these impossible vines lifted him off the ground and held him, spread-eagled and hunched over, until he could not move an inch. Such immobility was terrifying, for now he was helpless.

At last, the brush ahead stirred—someone was coming. He dreaded it, hoping against hope it wouldn't be who he thought it was, but knowing that there was but one candidate…

She did not disappoint. The tall woman strode towards him, pale as a ghost, dressed as he remembered to this day: a short dark green skirt and open-blouse, showing off her fishnet-clad legs and black-bra'd bosom to maximum effect. Long dark gloves covered her slender hands and forearms…

Almost touching, the face of an angel stared at him with placid curiosity. Long red hair partially covered her blazing green eyes. There was a slight smile on her dark-green lips.

"Hello, darling," Poison Ivy said seductively. "You've come back to me. I'm so grateful!"