"When Pamela Gets Blue": Some time ago, Batgirl agreed to accompany her close friend Black Canary on a mission, enjoying the company, though reluctant to join Dinah's team of oddballs. This mission was
- Friends, Family... we could all burn in Hell as long as your garden's blooming, right?
- — Batgirl
Appearing in "When Pamela Gets Blue"
- James Tucker (Only appearance; dies)
- Marcie Wong
Synopsis for "When Pamela Gets Blue"
Some time ago, Batgirl agreed to accompany her close friend Black Canary on a mission, enjoying the company, though reluctant to join Dinah's team of oddballs. This mission was marked by the fact that Barbara could not understand why their targets had turned terrorist. They were all sick with terminal diseases, and they all answered to someone called "Mr. Rain."
At first, it appeared Dinah and Barbara were outnumbered, when the rest of Dinah's team turned up - and among them was Poison Ivy. Together, they cornered the terrorists, and Batgirl managed to question one, demanding to know what Mr. Rain had on them that was making them behave this way. The man responded that as a healthy person, she could never understand his motivation. With surprising strength, he ripped through her high-tensile Batrope, and took a swing at her. Confused, Barbara wondered how Dinah could have missed the intel that these people could crush bricks?
Barbara noticed with worry that Poison Ivy appeared to be enjoying causing havoc too much that day. Knowing that her priority should be to protect hostages, Barbara focused on taking down the terrorists, but she had to shift gears when she spotted Ivy getting sinister with one of the hostages. Angrily, Ivy swatted her away, only to suddenly change her tone, and apologize, as if unaware of her actions. Stopped in her tracks, one of the terrorists crawled across the floor to whisper a message in Ivy's ear. What he said drained the colour from her cheeks, but she wouldn't share his words with the others. The Birds of Prey did not find Mr. Rain that night - the terrorists wouldn't say a word. Within a week, Ivy would betray them all.
Some time later, Barbara was wakened from her sleep by her roommate Alysia Yeoh, stating that she needed warm bodies, and Barbara had been drafted for her volunteer organization's attempt to build a garden at a recently reclaimed abandoned lot. Within three months, they had successfully made a garden - but Barbara hadn't been very successful at getting much of a life going on for herself. With all the work they put into the garden, though, Barbara was concerned that the poor people of Cherry Hill would come and take the vegetables they'd planted. Alysia responded that the food they planted was being grown exactly for those people. Nobody could steal what belongs to everybody.
That night, Barbara investigated a facility on the mainland of Kane County, having kept up her investigations into Mr. Rain for months. This was the first solid location she'd learned of since she began the investigation. While on her stake-out, she soon became aware that Poison Ivy was present, watching her. Barbara was naturally suspicious, and Ivy was not forthcoming with her explanations for her presence. Even so, their motivations seemed to be allied, and Barbara allowed her to tag along, despite Ivy's claims that she was pregnant - with something other than a flesh baby - whatever that meant.
As she cut her way through the chickenwire fence around the facility, Batgirl whispered that she needed to know what the man had told Ivy on that mission, months ago - or they couldn't work together. After a pause, Ivy explained that the man had claimed Mr. Rain could fix her. As far as she was concerned, she didn't need fixing - even after years of doctors and law enforcement officials claiming that she definitely did. Was wanting to save the earth so insane?
Soon, though, they were spotted by the guards, and Ivy demonstrated what she was pregnant with: potential. She managed to bind every man to the wall of the facility without killing a single one. Her power surprised Barbara. Ivy remained cryptic about what had changed in her as Barbara urged her onward and began breaking into Mr. Rain's lab. Inside, they were disturbed to find human bodies hung and bagged from the ceiling, all of them with scars all over their body.
It was another three months of working together before they got another lead. A particular patient - one of the same ones Batgirl had met on the first mission - had been placed under police lockdown after being caught during a raid. Together, she and Ivy snuck into his room to ask him just how he was coerced into acting for Mr. Rain. The man was James Tucker, and he was once an accountant at a booming tech firm. When he learned of his terminal pancreatic cancer, Mr. Rain sent someone with an offer for him: a medical trial - an implant that could prolong his life by six months.
He learned, however, that he wasn't a patient, but an incubator; an organ farm. The implant kept them alive, but it was only activated by being inside a human donor. After six months, Mr. Rain would have the implant removed - along with a viable organ, put into some rich patient, while the host died in agony. Ivy explained that the implants hasd used plant DNA to replenish the unhealthy cells. As they left Tucker's room, Ivy commented that Mr. Rain seemed a bit of a bastard - such an understatement in Barbara's eyes, that she lashed out angrily, reminding that Ivy's lack of concern for humanity enrages her. Friends and family are important for humanity - something Ivy seemed to have become devoid of, recently. Ivy responded that it was sad, and it took Barbara a moment to realize that Ivy meant S.A.D. - as in Seasonal Affective Disorder. Ivy's strange behaviour of late had been a reaction to the change of season. Her apathy now was only a sign of Winter's coming.
Angrily, Barbara decided she'd had enough, and turned to leave, only to have Ivy thrust her over the edge of the balcony, leaping after her as they crashed into an outcropping roof-garden below. With disgust, Ivy remarked that she never wanted to be human, threatening to kill her erstwhile partner. Barbara quickly recovered, punching her to the ground and declaring whatever partnership they had over, adding that it was time for Ivy to get some real help.
Afterward, Ivy returned to Tucker's room, explaining that her father was not a good man. He had been physically abusive toward her mother, and when she was ten, her father killed her mother and buried her in the front garden. Leaning in, she breathed her plant pheromones into his lungs, and took his life, allowing a tear to streak down her face as she assured him that his daughter loved him back as much as he had loved her.
Three months later, the snow had fallen on the city, and Barbara was shocked to discover with Alysia that their garden had been burnt and torn up by the root. The vandals had even put kerosene on the ground to prevent any further growth in the area. What Alysia could not understand was how anyone could be so cruel as to do that for no reason. Barbara hated to have been right about it.
Later that night, Batgirl received a message from Ivy via Black Canary, begging for help. She had found Mr. Rain somewhere in the woods of Kane County. Soon after entering those woods she was caught by one of Mr. Rain's men. Fortunately, she had the skills to intimidate him enough that he simply ran away. From behind her, Batgirl heard Ivy's voice, weakly wondering why she hadn't just hit the man instead of telling him she would first. Barbara turned to see that Ivy had withered like plants do in winter. Barbara explained that she had told him so that she wouldn't have to hit him. Ivy smiled, then, explaining that that kind of mercy was exactly why she'd called her - even if she did intend to arrest her.
Ivy explained that while Barbara had been seeking one of the richest men in Gotham, she had made the mistake of looking in Gotham. In fact, Ezekiel Rain was living out there in the woods; a trillionaire. Despite his penchant for environmentalism and minimalist lifestyle, his actions were evil, and Barbara had the evidence she needed to bring him in to custody. Before she could do any such thing, Rain turned to Ivy and explained that he could fix her condition - in exchange for murdering Batgirl. Angrily, Ivy grabbed up Rain in icy vines warning that while she may not have been herself, hate is the seed she grew from - and it is always in bloom. He had killed a good man for no reason - many good men. Whatever miracle he had to offer, she didn't want it.
As she prepared to squeeze the life from him as Batgirl begged her to take mercy on him - not for his sake, but for Ivy's own sake. Sighing, Ivy let him live, but warned that eventually, she would resolve her problems and become a terror to Batgirl once more - though she muses that they might have been friends in another life. Even so, she agreed to go Arkham, hoping that her stay would be a short one. In the meantime, going to Arkham would square them, after having betrayed the Birds of Prey before. Sadly, Batgirl wondered to herself why Ivy had to be so extreme. She really could change the world, one day, if she weren't so deadly.
Just five hours later, Alyia returned to the site of their garden to find that it had regrown - and it had produced a bounty. Pleased, Barbara knew that it had been Ivy's doing, and she'd been right not to give up on her.
- This issue takes place sometime recently after Birds of Prey (Volume 3) #3, and before Birds of Prey (Volume 3) #9.
- The line about "fewer high collars" in the Birds of Prey versus the Justice League is a playful jab at Jim Lee's costume redesigns for the Justice League at the beginning of The New 52.
- Discuss Batgirl Annual Vol 4 2 on the forums
- Cover gallery for the Batgirl Annual series
- Images from Batgirl Annual Vol 4 2
- Batgirl Recommended Reading
- Birds of Prey Recommended Reading