I’m still on my Batgirl kick, actually. I just haven’t been posting stuff about it. This story was downloaded while I was scouring fanfiction.net for some ‘The Batman’ slashfic, hoping there was some better works out there than the Blackbird fanfic I reviewed last month. As it turns out, there is scant little to pick from, but this story at least fulfills the criteria of ‘better than Knightshade’ even if it doesn’t quite venture fully into Batgirl/Poison Ivy slashfic.
Geeze, reading that paragraph above makes me realize how much of a nerd I am. I think I now qualify as a member of the over-the-top fandom I used to mock. How low can a man fall?
The self-defense portion of my brain wishes me to note that I actually care a lot more about the coherence of a story than the presence of any romance or who, in fact, is being romanced. And yet, the jaded part of my brain wishes to chime in and point out that I’ve never looked for any well written male/male slashfic, so maybe I’m just rationalizing.
Anyway, Poison is an interesting story that is told largely from Batgirl’s point of view. Since we know that Batgirl and Poison Ivy in ‘The Batman’ universe were friends for a while before Poison Ivy’s turn to psychopathic tendencies, there is a wealth of prior events to mine when it comes to these two. This story decides to uncover a discussion these two had years back regarding ‘first kisses’.
I said it above and I’ll reiterate, this story does NOT actually fall under the heading of Batgirl/Poison Ivy slashfic. The first kisses discussion is actually seated in a discussion about boyfriends, and in the end this discussion is used to curtain a story that is, actually, heart wrenchingly tragic.
It’s easy to look at a criminal and paint them as evil and manipulative in all things, but what ‘Poison’ does is remind us that the Poison Ivy in this universe is not a busty woman, but a slight of a girl, not quite eighteen years old and has just had a huge swathe of her life barred from her because of her chemically induced transformation.
Similar to Knightshade, we have the ‘over protective Batman’ persona warring against Batgirls ‘she was once my friend’ plea. Here, though, the dialogue is better executed and the scenario, as mentioned, is much more powerful and tragic.
‘Poison’ is, ultimately, a story about trying to save a friend who has been screwed in life. I’ve rarely felt pity for Poison Ivy, but this fanfic was able to draw it out of me. In a strange way, this is a much more interesting story because it doesn’t go into slashfic territory. Batgirl, a hero, reaches out to Poison Ivy, a villain, here, not for some demented feelings of teenaged lust, or author’s mallet of plot progression forcing her onward, but because she could see, in a fragile moment, someone who didn’t need rescuing, but comforting. The sort of comfort that anyone can give, the kind that says: “I understand.”