It may be the end of the affair between Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy in the comics. Furthermore, the restructuring at WarnerMedia – i.e., the Bloodbath – is getting blamed.
Bleeding Cool accuses the changes happening across the board at Warner, which come with mass layoffs, of altering DC editorial policy. And the site presents as proof the retrograde of the torrid parts of the Harley/Ivy dynamic.
Labeling it “straightwashing,” BC points to the cooling down of the relationship in the comics as well as the rebranding of merchandise.
Harley has been dating Booster Gold in her main, eponymous series and the Harley Quinn & Poison Ivy mini-series turned them into Thelma and Louise – which is how it was in Batman: The Animated Series.
The miniseries ended with a panel of Ivy giving Harley a peck on the forehead.
It was also revealed that the Poison Ivy that had been palling around with Harley Quinn was just “a fragment of the larger whole.”
Nevertheless, Harley still told Ivy, “I love you.”
Harley and Ivy were presented in February as single in Valentine’s Day social media posts. Below is one by the DC Universe Twitter account:
— DC Universe (@TheDCUniverse) February 14, 2020
Later, a solicitation for a Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy statue was reportedly modified to depict the pair as nothing more than friends. Here is how Nerdist announced it, according to Bleeding Cool:
“Or if you are the comic book fan in need of a Valentine’s treat this year, this gorgeous piece—the first official statue featuring a same-sex couple—couldn’t be a better way to treat yourself.”
And here is DC’s official solicitation:
“We all know Valentine’s Day is usually about celebrating love, and these two characters know what it means to be there completely for someone else. They’re the epitome of what it means to be a loyal best friend above all else and always a shoulder to cry on in times of need. Whether it’s Harley’s horrible break-ups with the Joker or her wanting to prove herself as an independent woman, Ivy is always there for Harley to be her number one support. Likewise, as she’s demonstrated in their recent Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy miniseries, there’s little Harley won’t do for Ivy, including taking on the likes of the Floronic Man, Mad Hatter and Batwoman.
That is why this statue is the perfect Valentine’s Day reminder that to love someone can mean many things. But above all else, it’s to always be there for the people you care deeply about, in good times and bad.”
This has been going on while the two were made a couple and sleeping together on DC Universe’s Harley Quinn animated series.
There’s been some outcry from Gail Simone and Tom Taylor. They tweeted their thoughts on the end of the “ship” months ago.
Simone wrote in February, “I was today years old when I realized not everyone thought Ivy/Harley were obviously a couple. Weird.”
Taylor added, “People don’t think Harley and Ivy are a couple? Oh. I’ve been writing them all wrong. #BestComicsRomance”
Harley Quinn writer Sam Humphries said clearly his bosses at DC barred him from commenting on Ivy being taken out of the book and the relationship status.
In a livestream, Humphries stated, “I did not write Ivy out of Harley’s life, you don’t always get to use the characters you want to use. I’d love to use Ivy but it’s not on the cards right now. It’s not always up to us who we get to use in our books.”
Question: Considering Poison Ivy is the Morticia to Harley Quinn’s Gomez, can we expect them to get back together any time soon?
Sam Humphries: pic.twitter.com/QjzolWzo3O
— 🌱💕♦️Harlivy Memes♦️💕🌱 (@HarlivyTweets) May 13, 2020
However, later in May he noted how excited he was for the future of Harley Quinn.
BC also cites a Twitter thread by former SVP of Publishing Strategy & Support Service at DC Hank Kanalz as the only response to the matter.
Kanalz, acknowledging fandom and the #SaveHarleyAndIvy tag that cropped up, is clear he speaks personally and not as a DC employee.
He wrote in June, “Hey, so a quick note to all the Harley/Ivy fans. This is a personal account, so my comments are my own. Thank you for how respectful and polite you are campaigning. We don’t and won’t comment on future plans here, but we hear and read all the posts.”
He then added, “As an employee I cannot reveal anything. But I wanted to acknowledge the awesome organized fandom around this. Love it, and you. I don’t want you to think your tweets are going into a void.”
Finally he shared is favorite “flagship couple.”
An article on DCComics.com by Kat Calamia commented on the build-up of Harley and Ivy’s ship into a full-blown romance. It reads in part:
“Since the early days of Batman: The Animated Series, we’ve seen a strong bond between “gal pals” Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy. It’s a friendship that expanded into other properties—including DC’s prime universe and animated films. In Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner’s Harley Quinn #25, Harley and Ivy’s relationship became much more than a friendship as the two shared their first on-panel kiss, confirming their once subtextual queer relationship decades in the making.”
If separating the two is an editorial move, Calamia’s article is counter to that though she is speaking for the Animated Universe.
Breaking up Harley and Ivy appears to only apply to the comics and not animation where WarnerMedia is placing their focus. Harley Quinn’s cartoon is moving from DC Universe to HBO Max, the new streaming service Warner wants to make a serious contender to Netflix.