DC Animated Universe

"Eternal Youth" is the sixteenth episode of Batman: The Animated Series. It originally aired on September 23, 1992.


Mrs Thomas is petrified

A mysterious figure poisons Mrs. Thomas with a chemical.

In the dead of night, a woman runs, panting with fear, through a remote forest, being pursued by a mysterious figure in a jumpsuit. When the woman stops, out of breath, the figure catches up. The woman, Mrs. Thomas, begs for her life, having seen what has happened to the "others", but the figure sprays Mrs. Thomas with some kind of chemical. There is a creaking sound, and Mrs. Thomas becomes completely petrified. The woman then says to the immobilized Mrs. Thomas "You and your kind owe Mother Nature a big debt, and I will ensure you pay up".

The next day, at Wayne Manor, Bruce Wayne has an angry phone conversation with a Wayne Enterprises director who made an unauthorized deal with a slash-and-burn operation in the Amazon rain forest and threatens to fire him unless he cancels the deal. Alfred answers the door to his special lady friend, artist Maggie Page, whose morning jog has taken her past the Manor. Though pleased to see her, he is a little embarrassed by her open flirting in front of Bruce. While sorting through the mail, Alfred finds a promotional video cassette from something called the "Eternal Youth Spa." On it, two pretty young women, Lily and Violet extend Bruce a personalized invitation to a free weekend at the spa. Bruce says he's too busy but suggests that Alfred and Maggie go in his stead. Alfred stiffly declines, but Maggie is delighted and drags a less-than-enthusiastic Alfred along with her.

When they arrive at the spa and announce they are there to take Bruce's place, Lily & Violet confer with their boss, hidden in the shadows. The boss tells the girls to let them in — someone has to pay for Wayne's crimes.

The new guests at the spa are treated to a welcome lecture from the spa's founder, Dr. Daphne Demeter. She has invented a new compound, "Demetrite," which has been imbued into the spa's food, drink, water, and air, and has miraculous restorative properties. Alfred does not hide his skepticism but is pleasantly surprised by the tastiness of the water and fruit samples they are offered.

Batman is informed that several prominent industrialists, including Mrs. Thomas, have disappeared mysteriously. In her apartment, he finds another promotional video for the spa. He calls Alfred at the spa, who duly inquires about Mrs. Thomas and is told she left unexpectedly a few weeks earlier. Alfred adds that he is having a wonderful time, and will return to the Manor a new man, but Bruce is not entirely convinced.

Indeed, when Maggie drops Alfred off after their weekend, he bids her a fond goodbye, complete with a kiss on the cheek. Later that day, Batman pulls the Batmobile into the Batcave and is taken aback to see Alfred decorating the cave with potted plants. Now a firm believer in Demetrite, Alfred takes a dose in a glass of water and suggests that Bruce do the same. However, he suddenly sways, feeling faint, and Bruce has to help him upstairs into bed. Suspicious, he takes a sample of the Demetrite for analysis.

The next morning, Alfred rises from his bed, takes in the morning sunshine, and instantly feels better. He sees Maggie outside his window, and they agree that they are sharing the same thought — they want to return to the spa.

Violent chemical reaction

Batman is attacked by a violent chemical reaction.

In the cave, Batman tests the Demetrite by combining an equal amount of the enzyme with human plasma. It causes a violent chemical reaction, and a vine grows out of the test tube and catches Batman's arm. Batman breaks free and rushes out of the Bat Cave to warn Alfred; however, he finds an empty bedroom.

Alfred & Maggie return to the spa, telling Dr. Demeter about what a difference she has made to them. With a sinister smile, Demeter backs away and says the couple is ready for the "final treatment". She motions Lily & Violet forward, revealing she is Poison Ivy. Alfred, too late, realizes the danger and orders Maggie to run, but the two henchwomen spray Maggie & Alfred with gaseous Demetrite, petrifying them both.

Entering the spa's cathedral-size greenhouse at night, Batman is surprised and taken prisoner by Violet & Lily. Ivy herself appears and reveals that the Demetrite is a special growth enzyme extracted from a rare South American tree she has cultivated. With it, she has produced her "collection" — her victims, all of whom own companies that have committed some environmental crime, and all of whom have now been transformed into humanoid trees. She challenges Batman by asking if he is an anti-environmentalist like them. While Batman does not endorse what may have happened, he retorts that Poison Ivy's vigilantism makes her even more appalling than those she wishes to punish. She says she is still targeting Bruce Wayne for Wayne Enterprise's aborted deal with a slash & burn logging company, but for now "these two will do". She shows Batman the petrified tree forms of Maggie & Alfred, enraging him.

Enormous tree in Eternal Youth Spa

An enormous tree erupts out of Eternal Youth Spa.

She says the transformation will take months of additional spray before it becomes irreversible, and orders Violet & Lily to spray him with a triple-strength mixture that should transform him almost instantly. However, Batman advances on the two henchwomen unaffected. Ivy shocking remarks that Batman should be "sprouting leaves by now", and he explains he analyzed the Demetrie and coated the Bat-suit with an herbicide, anticipating such a move on her part. Violet & Lily back away, still spraying, but Batman subdues both of them. Ivy somersaults through the branches, firing her crossbow at Batman. She manages to pin him against a tree, and just as she's about to shoot him, he picks up a bucket of tree sap and throws it at her. He misses but luckily ends up shattering a container of the enzyme in her laboratory, spilling the enzyme onto the ground of the greenhouse. Instantly, an enormous tree grows out of the ground at an accelerated rate, scooping up Ivy and her henchwomen in its expanding branches. Ivy is apparently crushed between the growing tree and the spa's roof, but when the growth ends, Batman only manages to find Ivy's victims and henchwomen — Ivy herself is nowhere to be found.

Ivy's victims are treated, and Alfred & Maggie share some rest time at the hospital. Bruce enters with a flowerpot to brighten their room, and both Alfred and Maggie recoil. Bruce apologizes and takes away the bouquet, to which Maggie remarks to Alfred "Nice man, but not too bright."


  • Ivy makes her first appearance since her debut in "Pretty Poison".

Background information[]

Home video releases[]

Production notes[]

  • Finding the script to this episode mundane, Kevin Altieri found himself needing to restructure it to work in animation, "There are things that animation does really well. If the script doesn't have a recognition of that fact, any show I'm doing will, by the time it gets on the air. [...] In this episode, the giant tree was added by Brad Rader and myself."[1]
  • Altieri was disappointed in the overseas animators depiction of Poison Ivy being off model. "Storyboard artist Mike Goguen gave us these really sexy drawings of Poison Ivy, and the animator overseas redrew her to be his idealized version of a woman. She's supposed to be petite and girlish, with a deep sexy voice. He drew her like a long-limbed woman."[1]

Production inconsistencies[]

  • When Maggie drives her car down a steep hill on the way to the spa, she is driving on the left side of the road; when she reappears at the bottom, she is on the right.
  • When Ivy makes her welcome speech as Dr. Demeter, Lily's hair is miscolored brown.


  • This is the only appearance of Maggie Page. She was created as a possible love interest for Alfred but never used again.
  • En route to the spa, Alfred grumbles, "I've been Shanghaied." "Shanghaied" was a slang expression used in the United States and Great Britain for being recruited into the navy by force or trickery, and then being forced to continue serving (see also Impressment).
  • Ivy's aliases are something of a giveaway: in Greek Mythology, Daphne was a nymph who was turned into a laurel tree, and Demeter is the goddess of grain and the harvest. Batman makes reference to it that he figured someone like Poison ivy would have stolen the idea from Greek mythology.
  • Alfred sardonically refers to Ivy as "Joan of Bark", a spoof on Joan of Arc, the medieval French warrior and later Catholic saint.
  • Alfred's behavior after ingesting the Demetrite is a clue to its plant-transformative effects; in particular, the way sunlight restores his strength is indicative of photosynthesis, the process by which chlorophyll-bearing plants produce nourishment.
  • The climax of the episode was adapted into a stage in the Super Nintendo game The Adventures of Batman and Robin.
  • Maggie's roadster has a right-handed driver's seat, implying that it was imported from Great Britain.
  • This is one of the few times that Bruce Wayne goes upstairs into Wayne Manor while still in the Batsuit, in this case arguably being alarmed by his experiment and rushing to warn Alfred.


Actor Role
Kevin Conroy Bruce Wayne/Batman
Bob Hastings Commissioner Gordon
Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. Alfred
Julie Brown Lily
Paddi Edwards Maggie Page
Diane Pershing Poison Ivy
Lynne Marie Stewart Violet

Uncredited appearances[]


Bruce: I don't care how much money we'll lose! I won't have Wayne Enterprises involved in an operation that destroys a rain forest! Shut it down, or you're gone!

Bruce: I hate it when things slip by me.
Alfred: And with me to sort your mail, nothing ever will. (Opens a letter) Oh, look, it says here you've just won ten million dollars.
Bruce: That's nice.

Dr. Demeter: Here you'll find Demetrite everywhere. In the water, the food, even the air you breathe at night.
Alfred: (sotto) What a relaxing thought.

Alfred: You know, Maggie, it's never occurred to me before how dreary this place looks.
Maggie: Small wonder, after where we've been.
Alfred: Ah, well. Thanks for a splendid weekend.
(Gives Maggie a long kiss on the cheek before leaving. Maggie blushes)
Maggie: You are feeling younger, aren't you?

Poison Ivy: Actually, Batman, you and I are surprisingly alike. We both strive to see evil-doers punished. But while you have your gallery of rogues, I have my grove.

Poison Ivy: This dog of a dogwood leveled enough trees to shade a small state. And weep not for this willow. She slaughtered an ancient forest to produce cardboard—CARDBOARD!

Poison Ivy: I have the patience of a redwood.
Batman: (Through gritted teeth) And the convictions of a fanatic!

Maggie Page: Alfred, do you realize this is the second weekend in a row we've spent together? This relationship is branching out!
Alfred: Maggie, please. After our encounter with "Joan of Bark", the last thing I want to be reminded of is trees.


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Episode Guide" - Cinefantastique Vol. 24 #6/Vol. 25 #1 (February 1994)