The following comprises spoilers for Harley Quinn Season 3, Episode 10, “The Horse and the Sparrow,” which debuted Sept. 15, on HBO Max.

The season finale of Harley Quinn ends with some main adjustments for its cracked model of Gotham City. Season 3, Episode 10, “The Horse and the Sparrow” finds Bruce Wayne being arrested for tax evasion — a destiny he seems to simply accept with out criticism — whereas The Joker’s stint as mayor has achieved surprisingly good issues for town. Harley accepts her inside hero and joins the Bat-Family, whereas amid all of it, Poison Ivy makes an equally large resolution: accepting Luthor’s provide to grow to be the brand new head of the Legion of Doom.

The resolution is big not solely due to Ivy’s open disdain for what she appropriately views as an enormous boys’ membership, however for the character’s bizarre off-camera previous with the Legion. Despite being a serious a part of Batman’s rogues’ gallery for many years, she could not get into the group when it first appeared. And whereas the explanations had been way more mundane than Harley Quinn‘s, they supply some real-world help for her dim view of the group.

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The Legion of Doom itself famously originated with the Superfriends cartoon from the Seventies and ’80s: extra particularly, Challenge of the Superfriends, one of many present’s periodic shifts in tone and focus. Season 3, Episode 1, “Wanted: The Superfriends” featured Luthor assembling a who’s who of DC villains within the now iconic “Hall of Doom” with the aim of countering their heroic nemeses by way of sheer numbers. They had been memorable not just for the difficulties they posed to the heroes, however for his or her membership that included quite a lot of characters making their non-comics debut.

Sadly, their ranks did not embody Poison Ivy, who first appeared a decade earlier in 1966’s Batman #181 (Robert Kanigher, Sheldon Moldoff, Joe Giella and Gaspar Saladino) and had but to indicate up outdoors the comics. Catwoman was a much more established determine on the time, and her reputation following the Adam West Batman collection led to common stints on animated exhibits like The Batman/Superman Hour and The New Adventures of Batman. Ivy was ignored till her celebrated debut on Batman: The Animated Series within the Nineties. (Harley Quinn‘s model of Ivy — consistently upstaged by Selina — can in all probability relate.)

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And but greater issues had been deliberate for her. In a 2011 interview with Noblemania, late animator Darrell McNeil talked about preliminary designs for the Legion, which was initially referred to as “The League of Evil.” It was created to facilitate the arrival of DC’s Captain Marvel to the ranks of the Superfriends, full with Captain Marvel villain Doctor Sivana on the head of the League. McNeil revealed an early idea portray for the League, which incorporates quite a lot of members who did not make it onto the ultimate roll name. That included figures like The Joker and The Penguin, in addition to different Captain Marvel villains like King Kull. It additionally included Poison Ivy, together with her distinctive crown of leaves seen amid the assembled baddies.

The line-up modified due virtually solely to problems with copyright. As McNeill revealed, Filmation had the rights to most of the Batman characters from The Batman/Superman Hour. The Superfriends collection was produced by rival Hanna-Barbera, who could not use sure figures with out Filmation’s permission. That included Ivy, although Filmation by no means made use of her for any of its collection. As if that weren’t dangerous sufficient, the DC Animated Universe — which used Ivy usually throughout Batman: The Animated Series run — snubbed her as properly when it revived a model of the legal group in Justice League Unlimited Season 3, Episode 1, “I Am Legion.”

All of that out-of-world neglect provides a wrinkle to Ivy’s in-world skepticism on Harley Quinn. The collection has hinted at an prolonged historical past between them, which colours Luthor’s provide to her in “The Horse and the Sparrow” as he tries to sweeten the deal. Whether the producers knew about her offscreen sidelining all through the years is unconfirmed, however the parallel is unmistakable. The Legion by no means confirmed curiosity in Ivy earlier than, placing her freshly minted standing as its chief in uncharted territory.

Season 3 of Harley Quinn is at the moment streaming in its entirety of HBO Max.

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