- "Some give you visions. Some give you energy. Some help you to sleep. I've cultivated over a dozen kinds."
- —Ivy Pepper to Bruce Wayne[src]
Becoming an Orphan
Ivy resides in Gotham City with her parents Mario and Alice Pepper, the former whom is a criminal, mentally unstable and abusive. Ivy answered the door one day to a detective Jim Gordon whom arrived with his partner Harvey Bullock as they were looking for her father in relation to his possible involvement in the killings of Thomas and Martha Wayne. When Ivy answered the door to the detectives she is visibly scared, and when Gordon asks her about her father she says that he is mean. Mario comes to the door and allows the detectives in. Ivy strokes her plants while Mario is being questioned, and he later makes a run for it by escaping out the window when the two detectives wish to search the premises for any evidence. He is subsequently shot dead by Bullock after attempting to kill Gordon with a knife. What appeared to be Martha Wayne's necklace is recovered, which leads to Mario being framed for the murders and the case closed. Despite his abusiveness, Ivy and her mother resent the police for his murder and set up. When Gordon begins to suspect Mario isn't the killer he arrives at the home where Ivy angrily refers to the police as "bastards". During this visit Gordon is informed by Alice that despite Mario being a violent person, he never killed anyone.
Ivy becomes orphaned when her mother commits suicide following the death of her father. She is taken into care and fostered in which her new parents rename her Pamela. She eventually runs away from them, choosing to live on the streets.
Life on the streets
Ivy is at The Flea when Selina Kyle and Bruce Wayne arrive, with the latter and Ivy being introduced for the first time. Bruce apologises for what happened to her father, but Ivy (appearing to be losing it) says it isn't his fault her father is dead and begins acting strange, even causing Selina to be unnerved. Despite her father being killed and set up for killing Bruce's parents, she doesn't show any contempt towards him, and even notes that Bruce is cute. Selina quickly ushers Bruce away from Ivy, advising him not to look back.
Ivy falls sick and is found sleeping in a box in the rain by Selina. Selina takes her to Barbara Kean's penthouse as Barbara is gone and Gordon has moved out. Ivy answers the phone when Barbara calls, and when she asks about Gordon Ivy lies saying that she is a friend of him. Believing that the girl on the other end is a lover of Gordon's, Barbara angrily hangs up the phone, much to the amusement of Ivy.
Ivy encounters Bruce and his guardian Alfred Pennyworth as they search the streets for Selina. Bruce requests Ivy to send a message to Selina for her, which she agrees to for a payment, which Bruce orders Alfred to do.
Ivy and Selina are later discovered by Barbara, and after overcoming her own surprise, Barbara eventually sits with the two in the living room. Ivy and Selina later have outfits modeled by Barbara, while they judge them.
While waiting for Selina at the pigeon coop where Bridgit Pike feeds them, Bruce thought Selina was returning only to encounter Ivy who was surprised that Bruce is living at Wayne Manor again. This causes Bruce to suspect that Selina Kyle hasn't returned from Arkham Asylum yet.
Six months later, Ivy questioned Selina about the type of people she was being involved with. Selina told her that they were scary people and won't let her come along for her own good. Selina orders Ivy to look after the pigeon coop while she is gone, and departs leaving Ivy on her own. Just thereafter. Ivy is approached by what appears to be Bruce Wayne. However, he acts weird and questions Ivy about Selina. Believing this boy is Bruce, she asks him what has happened to him (due to his unkempt appearance and long hair). When the confused boy asks that if she knows him, she says she knows Bruce Wayne, leading to the boy to forcefully grab her demanding who he is. Terrified, Ivy shakes him off and makes a run for it. She arrives at a location where Selina is hanging out and discovers she is afflicted with a resurrected Fish Mooney who has gathered the escapees from the research facility Indian Hill to create a new incarnation of her gang. Nancy brings Ivy to Fish who wants to know who else Ivy has told about them. Selina tries to defuse the situation by saying Ivy is with her and doesn't know anything or has told anyone, but Ivy causes more harm than good by threatening to tell on Fish. Fish orders Marv to use his ability of aging people to death to kill Ivy. Ivy manages to get away from Nancy and runs off where she is pursued. She comes across a hole in the ground leading to a water drain. Selina tries to help her, but is held back. Marv sneaks up on Ivy and briefly grabs her before she falls down the hole and is swept away by the water's current, much to the distress of Selina.
An unspecified amount of time later, Ivy emerges from the river. Upon making her way to a truck, Ivy sees her reflection in the mirror realizing that she is now a fully grown woman and has outgrown her clothes. When a construction worker named Nick comes across the barefoot girl, he invites Ivy home to help her out. At Nick's house, Ivy drinks some water and then give the rest on a dying plant. While stating her history and how she "grew", Ivy was displeased that Nick threw out one of his plants. Later that night, Ivy changes into the clothes of Nick's ex-wife and had knocked Nick out using the plant he threw in the trash.
Selina mentioned to Bruce and Gordon about what happened to Ivy and states that she is still "missing".
Some time later, she attended The Sirens nightclub party to celebrate Oswald Cobblepot winning the election for mayor. She grabbed Selina by the hand when she caught her stealing and laughed at the fact that Selina did not recognize her. As Ivy Pepper didn't want to reveal her identity yet, she told Selina to continue taking wallets. Selina did get suspicious about her. Ivy later witnessed the fight at the club between Butch and Cobblepot and began smiling when things became violent.
Ivy later seduces a rich man named Anton where she uses a special perfume to control him into opening the vault. Upon knocking out Anton with a vase, Ivy enter the vault where she steals a green necklace. Anton recovers and tries to choke Ivy only for her to break free and get away as he asked if she is with "them." Ivy later reveals herself to Selina at her squat while she was feeding her cats. Bruce was later called in as Selina told him that she should've suspected that Marv did that to her. Ivy apologizes for not telling Selina that she is alive. Selina is told by Ivy that she has a way to get people to give her what she want. Ivy then comes clean stating that she had stolen from a rich man. Bruce breaks up the conversation stating that he hears something. The three of them start making a run from their attackers led by Luka Volk. Selina, Bruce, and Ivy go on the run as Ivy claims that claimed it. Bruce offers to buy the necklace from Ivy for a reward. Ivy accompanies Bruce and Selina to Anton's house and finds him dead. The three of them find a hidden key in the necklace. Bruce suggests to Selina and Ivy that they retreat to his house. At Wayne Manor, Bruce tells Ivy and Selina that he will have Alfred make up beds for both of them. When Ivy states that she doesn't want to come between Selina and her boyfriend, Selina states that she is not his girlfriend.
Ivy uses her perfume to manipulate Alfred into giving her the security code to Wayne Manor. She is later captured by Luka, Jacob, and Dmitry of the Whisper Gang to use as leverage to get the key back from Bruce and Selina. She is released when Bruce gives them the key and learns that it is used to unlock a weapon Luka believes can help destroy the Court of Owls. Bruce then agrees to help them secure the second key they require.
After Mayor Oswald Cobblepot was shot and thrown off a pier into the harbour by his former friend Edward Nygma, Ivy retrieved him and brought him back to her plant filled home, unknown to the citizens of Gotham, the police and even Nygma himself who believed he had truly killed his old ally. After Cobblepot awoke from his sleep Ivy informed him that he had been out for hours. Cobblepot informs her that he has someone to kill.
She later shows Oswald around her newfound home, an abandoned mansion estate outside of Gotham, throughout which she has cultivated a lush indoor garden in the dead of winter. She agrees to contact Gabe on Oswald’s request and they meet him together in her solarium. She expresses an instant mistrust and warns Oswald that she ought to use her pheromone perfume to ascertain Gabe’s loyalty. Oswald ignores her advice and mocks her assumption of friendship, calling her a ‘freak’, after which she storms out and leaves them alone. Her suspicion is proven correct when Gabe takes advantage of the opportunity to knock Oswald unconscious. She remains hidden on the grounds of the estate, however, to spy on Gabe’s arriving henchmen. She is eventually caught and tied up alongside Oswald where she dismisses his suggestion that she’s in any actual danger. After being asked to explain her confidence, she angrily declares that she could save them both if only Oswald would agree to show her some kindness. He agrees to these terms and she coyly invites a henchman’s attention. She entices him to lean in close enough to catch the scent of her perfume. With him under her control, she gleefully orders him to kill the remaining henchmen and spare Gabe for Oswald. She later holds Gabe at gunpoint while Oswald questions him. She makes good on her promise to force Gabe to admit his true loyalties, who admits he’s never respected Oswald and thinks of him also as a ‘freak’. Oswald murders Gabe with one of Ivy’s garden forks. They bury Gabe and the rest of the henchmen in her flower bed, where vines are seen twining preternaturally in and around Gabe’s open wounds. When Oswald apologizes for his behavior, she admits that people’s opinion of her can upset her deeply and they bond over this similarity. In an effort to console him she offers to share what she knows of the Indian Hill monsters, and suggests they band together to amass a whole ‘army of freaks’.
Not much is known about her personality, however, according to Selina, Ivy is creepy, as nobody would even talk to her, as her only friend is Selina Kyle, when she meets Bruce Wayne, she does not blame his parents death for causing the death of her father, and takes interest in the former, notes that Bruce is cute.
Ivy has a sense of humor; she answers the phone when Barbara calls, and when she asks about Jim Gordon, Ivy lies saying that she is a friend of his, this causes Barbara to incorrectly believing that the girl on the other end is a lover of Jim's, Barbara angrily hangs up the phone, Ivy obviously meant no harm.
Ivy is loyal and cares about friends, as she Ivy questioned Selina about the type of people she was being involved with. However this changes when Ivy is aged into adulthood by Marv, as she takes pleasure in Selina not recognizing her as Ivy during an encounter at The Sirens nightclub, and even mockingly tells Selina to run along and "keep stealing wallets".
Despite her growth spurt into adulthood, Ivy still showed signs of a childlike nature and immaturity, mainly due to not having a natural progression growing up. When she teams up with Oswald Cobblepot to create themselves a gang of "freaks", she sees the union as a big happy family.
On a more comical note, Ivy was shown to be very gluttonous. In the 9th episode of the third season, she ate all of Selina's food and then asking for more food. Even before that, she complained a lot to Selina about "starving".
Powers and abilities
- Plant Communication: After drastically aging, Ivy has seemingly gained the power to communicate with plants or sense what other plants are feeling.
- Botany: Ivy possesses an advanced knowledge of plant life, identifying and growing different breeds, then extracting materials to create drugs or perfume that serve as powerful hallucinogenics.
- Ivy is a vegan as seen when she told Selina not to use real butter; a reference to her DC comic counterpart, Poison Ivy.
- Even though the character was initially renamed for the show, she is based on the villainess Pamela Isley a.k.a. Poison Ivy. The character was created by artist Sheldon Moldoff and writer Robert Kanigher and she was introduced in Batman #181 (June 1966). Creator Robert Kanigher modeled Poison Ivy after Bettie Page, giving her the same haircut and Southern drawl as Page. Poison Ivy is depicted as an eco-terrorist and one of Batman's more powerful foes, as she is one of the few to display anything close to superpowers. Poison Ivy was promoted after the rise of feminism pointed out the need for a greater number of more independent female villains in the series.