Written by Beth Bornstein
Directed by Kevin Altieri
- 134 Days…
You may remember during this past summer we were watching Batman: The Animated Series on a daily basis. We made it through the first season and it was great fun to re-watch one of the most iconic depictions of the characters and world Bob Kane and Bill Finger created 76 years ago. With only 134 days left until Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice releases, we thought it’d be fun to resume our daily countdown by continuing through the series. Starting tonight, we’ll be looking at the 80 episodes of Batman: The Animated Series, The New Adventures of Batman, and the 54 episodes of Superman: The Animated Series. It’s wonderful knowing that we don’t have that much longer to wait for one of the most anticipated of films in 2016; why not count down with some pretty classic episodes of Batman and Superman?
The first episode that starts out season two of Batman: The Animated Series is “Eternal Youth.” We mentioned during our earlier reviews that the order in which Batman episodes appear on the DVD sets are not necessarily the same order in which they were produced and aired. With that in mind, “Eternal Youth” drops us right into the world of Batman with practically no set up. This actually isn’t a flaw on writer Beth Bornstein’s part as she delivers a direct story that is entertaining and respectably in service of the Batman mythology.
“Eternal Youth” features the villain, Poison Ivy, voiced sultrily by Diane Pershing. She’s a femme fatale in the fullest sense and she creates an enzyme, Demetrite, which she uses in the food, water, and air at her Eternal Youth Spa. In an effort to punish the wealthy for their sins and to ensure they make good on paying their debt to mother nature, she lures them out to her spa. Bruce Wayne gets an invite, but instead insists that Alfred go with Maggie Page. She was created as a potential love interest for Alfred Pennyworth, but was never used again throughout the entire series.
11 minutes into the episode, Batman learns that Eternal Youth Spa is a trick, but is too late because, back at The Batcave, Alfred collapses after having decorated with various plants. Let’s not forget that Batman has been not only characterized as The Dark Knight, but also The World’s Greatest Detective. “Eternal Youth” plays up this aspect of Bruce/Batman and we get to see him do lab work. It’s a magnificent moment and one that is underused almost criminally in the Batman comics/cartoons/movies. I personally hope that we get to see the detective aspect to Ben Affleck’s Batman as we have yet to fully see this explored on film before, at least not as in depth as some of the animated series episodes.
Batman heads to the Eternal Youth Spa and as Poison Ivy puts it, we get to see Batman go up against a gallery of groves instead of his usual gallery of rogues. He easily defeats Poison Ivy’s two “henchgirls” (Hmmm, was this one of the episodes that inspired Kristen Gudsnuk‘s Henchgirl?) and one of them brings to mind Talia Al Ghul with the way her flowing hair covers half of her face. Having developed and covered himself in a herbicidal antidote, Batman is able to defeat Poison Ivy, rescue Alfred and Maggie, and save the day.
“Eternal Youth” is a fun episode and is only the second so far to feature Poison Ivy. The first was “Pretty Poison” and you could see what we had to say here. Overall, the episode doesn’t really add to the great Batman: The Animated Series, but is still an entertaining episode to watch, especially if you’re a Poison Ivy fan. (I know the biggest Poison Ivy fan!)
Stay tuned for more Batman: The Animated Series as we continue our countdown to Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.