Monday, 30 December 2013
Secret Origins was a monthly comic book retelling the origins of DC characters. Very often the "retelling" was simply a present day story during which the origin was recalled or recounted. Neil Gaiman wrote the Poison Ivy origin, making it consistent with concurrent events in the DC Universe.
In another monthly title, Suicide Squad, imprisoned super-criminals like the Penguin and Captain Boomerang were given the opportunity to redeem themselves by accepting a mission for the US government. Thus, in Gaiman's story, an intelligence agent arrives to interview the imprisoned Pamela Isley, and of course learns her origin, without, at this preliminary stage, mentioning the Suicide Squad.
We are led to believe that Pamela will seduce the agent into helping her to escape whereas, instead, he recommends her transfer to Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane, Gotham City, where, shortly afterwards, she is due to be visited by Gaiman's own revised version of another plant-related feminine character, Black Orchid, in the three issue Prestige Format Black Orchid.
Thus, Gaiman's Secret Origins story fits between Suicide Squad and Black Orchid and is one part of his DC Universe canon which also features Alan Moore's plant elemental but, principally, Gaiman's own version of the Lord of Dreams in The Sandman.