Holy Warning Signs

LizzieLou | comics,memoir | Saturday, February 9th, 2019

There was one classic superhero comic book that I had as a kid — and probably I only ‘half’ had it as I suspect it might actually have belonged to my sister — and that was Batman #181 “Beware of Poison Ivy.” (I know this comic is kicking around in my possessions somewhere, worth zero dollars, its cover tattered and its pages written on; alas I can’t seem to locate it.)

We were not permitted to watch the Batman television show (in afternoon reruns in the 70’s) because my parents did not condone the violence of “BAM!” “ZOWIE!” “BOP!” and using your fists to solve problems. We did manage to sneak in episodes of the show when they weren’t home or watch some at the neighbor’s house. The point being, I have no idea how this comic snuck it’s way into our house. Baby’s first contraband.

Most of the comics we had around during my childhood were the “Spire Christian Comics”. These included some Archie comics, wherein Archie, Jughead and the gang learn valuable moral lessons about kindness and fairness and the importance of prayer. Some of the others were true stories of Christian fortitude and martyrdom: a story about a guy who smuggled Bibles behind the Iron Curtain, an adaptation of “The Hiding Place” about a Dutch family who hid Jewish fugitives in their apartment and then were sent to concentration camps because of it, and a tale of five young, handsome missionaries who went to South America and were brutally murdered by the indigenous people they had gone to convert.

Sure, I didn’t have any sort of psychosocial issues from reading these wholesome Christian comics multiple times, but the 1966 Batman who danced the Batusi was too violent. Anyway… back to Batman.

I can’t tell you how many times I looked at these panels, particularly this first one of Batman and Poison Ivy kissing. (Although I also liked staring at the other scantily clad villainesses as well.) In retrospect, it’s clear to me that when I gazed upon this panel I had several thoughts and feelings.
1) When you kiss a girl, it makes you feel swoony and dizzy.
2) It looks really fun to kiss a girl, especially one with red hair.
3) I think I would like to be the Batman.

Cut to many years later: I swoonily kissed and eventually married a red-headed girl. There’s even a Robin here. Mission accomplished.

I AM Batman.


  1. Mind. Blown.

    Comment by Bear — February 26, 2019 @ 10:39 pm

  2. I’ll go one better. I have a lesbian friend in England who cosplays Poison Ivy because she has the red hair covered. She’s single and that’s all I’m saying.

    Comment by Bear — February 26, 2019 @ 10:42 pm

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