181 episodes

Saving the world doesn't necessarily mean you go home happy. How's the mental health of your favorite superhero? A comic aficionado and a board-certified psychiatrist look at the various neuroses of your favorite heroes and villains and provide options for treatment.

Capes On the Couch - Where Comics Get Counseling Capes on the Couch: Where Comics Get Counseling

    • Health & Fitness
    • 4.9 • 50 Ratings

Saving the world doesn't necessarily mean you go home happy. How's the mental health of your favorite superhero? A comic aficionado and a board-certified psychiatrist look at the various neuroses of your favorite heroes and villains and provide options for treatment.

    Issue 161 - Poison Ivy

    Issue 161 - Poison Ivy

    This show is going green, as we cover POISON IVY with the help of licensed therapist Sara Boyadjis!

    Intro Sara - give us your background

    Background (2:54) Poison Ivy, Dr. Pamela Lillian Isley, created by Robert Kanigher & Carmine Infantino in Batman #181 (June 1966)

    Originally a botanist who was poisoned to prevent her from implicating a colleague in a theft, she survived and learned she was immune to toxins - attacked Gotham to prove she was the greatest female super villain ever

    Reimagined post-Crisis by Neil Gaiman, Pamela Isley was mentored in biochemistry by Dr. Jason Woodrue (Floronic Man), and was colleagues with Alec Holland (Swamp Thing)

    Woodrue seduces her and injects her with toxins as an experiment - she is hospitalized, and when she recovers she vacillates quickly between kindness and rage

    The experiments also give her the ability to manipulate plants, and her touch can transfer a fungus that gives her a control over people

    She becomes obsessed with Batman, as he is one of the only people she cannot control due to his strong will, although she has overcome him on occasion

    Woodrue breaks Ivy out of Arkham to help him create mind-controlling hemp to take over Gotham, but she sides with Batman, who decapitates Woodrue, as she takes the money and runs away - whole storyline was Very Special Episode about drugs

    In “No Man’s Land”, after Gotham is hit by an earthquake and isolated from the rest of the US, Ivy takes over Robinson Park, and turns it into an Eden-esque paradise - she also takes several orphans under her wing - she strikes a deal with Batman to maintain control over the area, as long as she grows food for the rest of the population

    This is when she first meets Harley Quinn, left for dead by the Joker - Ivy nurses Harley back to health, and the two become close friends

    After thinking her powers were poisoning the children in her care, she asks Bruce Wayne to help reverse her powers and make her human - she later regains her powers thanks to Hush, although the procedure temporarily kills her (she gets better) #BecauseComics

    New 52 reboots her origin - she was born with a skin condition that kept her isolated, her father murdered her mother, and in college she sold pheromone pills that mind controlled users - she later joined Wayne Enterprises to study biochemistry, but was the victim of an accidental chemical spill that gave her the ability to control plant matter

    Creates plant-human hybrid children that grow at an accelerated rate - the children leave Ivy and go off on their own

    Eventually settles in as antihero, focusing on environmental activism

    Establishes a relationship with Harley Quinn, but the two break it off after Ivy reveals she loves the planet more than any one person on it

    Issues - Opportunities for natural growth The greener she gets, the more misanthropic she gets

    Two specific carve outs: first Bruce, based more as an obsession (18:02)

    Harley relationship humanizes them both, and is the healthiest one either of them has (27:12)

    Break (40:42) Plugs for Grief Burrito, Frigay the 13th, and Phillip Kennedy Johnson

    Treatment (42:14) In-universe - Have Ivy create an area by herself, where she can be alone with plants, and slowly integrate other people

    Out of universe (49:00) - Address individual with god complex

    Skit (54:05) DOC: Hello Dr. Isley, I’m Dr. Issues

    IVY: Thanks for remembering I have a doctorate. 

    DOC: My experience tells me that no matter what has happened to a person, their training sticks with them. Credentials come and go.

    IVY: Sounds like the seasons. Spring and fall, winter and summer. They tend to pair up that way, don’t you think? I know it’s common to think of the full cycle, but that’s not how nature works for things to grow.

    DOC: Some things offset, sure.

    • 1 hr 7 min
    Issue 160 - Mystique

    Issue 160 - Mystique

    Intro Background Mystique, Raven Darkholme, created by Chris Claremont & Dave Cockrum in Ms. Marvel #16 (April 1978) To this day, Mystique’s true origins have never been revealed The earliest stories place her around 1900, where she was presenting as male and in a relationship with Irene Adler (Destiny), an obvious reference to Sherlock Holmes While undercover, she had a short fling with Sabretooth, which led to a child Graydon Creed - despite having 2 mutant parents, Graydon is a normal human who comes to resent all mutants - he grows up to become a powerful politician before being assassinated by a time-traveling version of Mystique #BecauseComics She is later seduced by Azazel., and becomes pregnant with a baby that she abandoned at birth - the baby would be taken in and named Kurt Wagner, aka Nightcrawler Side note - Claremont intended for Mystique & Destiny to be Nightcrawler’s parents, but the Code wouldn’t allow a lesbian relationship at the time Encounters a young runaway girl from Mississippi, and after Destiny foresees that she will become important to them, she takes in the young Rogue and acts as her foster mother She leads a version of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, and trains Rogue to join them and attack Ms. Marvel - Rogue ends up absorbing Carol’s powers, memories, and personality for a time #BecauseComics Turns the Brotherhood “legit” as Freedom Force, and they work for the government, while still clashing with the X-Men - during this time, Irene is killed, and this has a serious impact on her Joins X-Factor under duress, but after some time she escapes and flees to Europe, where she becomes a top fashion model Joins the X-Men as a shapeshifter named Foxx, and attempts to seduce Gambit so she can break up Gambit & Rogue and set up Rogue with another mutant - the ploy fails, but she joins the team on a probationary basis - Kurt says he needs time to process, though, which she gives him Works with Gambit & the Marauders to betray Mister Sinister in the fallout of M-Day - Logan is sent to kill her, and he severely wounds her, but does not finish the job She is later actually killed by Logan after she had been posing as Professor X for Norman Osborn’s Dark X-Men She was revived by the Hand, and posed as Dazzler, who was a mutant liaison for SHIELD in Madripoor Had a tender moment with Rogue before her wedding to Gambit Serves on the Quiet Council of Krakoa as a Winter representative Issues - Piercing the veil Can’t really be herself because of the hatred towards mutants Always distant in her relationships - rare exceptions, like Irene & Rogue Inner self-acceptance isn’t always reflected in outer appearance, which is difficult Break (37:27) Plugs for Take a Knee for Marvel vs. DC, Into the Knight, and Chris Claremont Treatment (38:42) In-universe - Become emotions, not people Out of universe Skit (49:34) ***knock at the door*** Come in -***Mrs Issues*** Hey, just stopping by Oh! Um…usually you text me, but ok, I thought you were my next patient -No problem, I figured I hadn’t been to your office in a while and I know you’ve had some rough days. Thanks *pause* I thought you had class tonight. -I do, that’s why I brought someone along with me to cheer you up; plus you can keep watch for a bit. I’ll be right back but I have to get my stuff from the car. ***door closes*** As always. But where’s -***Door opens***Daughter Issues*** Daddy! *pause* Ok Getthef**kout -WHAT? Why? ***fake crying*** Seriously get out or identify yourself or I’m calling the police -***some sort of morphing sound, now Mystique***  M: well you don’t have to be so rude, I thought you were a professional. D Professional enough to know my own daughter hasn’t called me “daddy” in years. Her choice, not mine. And I guess I can’t call the police on my own patient if I haven’t given them a chance to explain. Don’t expect me to be cheery after a stunt like that.

    • 59 min
    Issue 159 - Namor

    Issue 159 - Namor

    Before he makes his big screen debut in Wakanda Forever, we take a deep dive on NAMOR! To what depths does his distrust of the surface world go?

    Intro New patron: Citizen Amar-Kareem

    Background (4:55) Namor Mckenzie, the Sub-Mariner, created by Bill Everett in Motion Picture Funnies Weekly (April 1939) and Marvel Comics #1 (October 1939)

    Namor was born from a human father, sea captain Leonard McKenzie, and an Atlantean, Fen, daughter of Emperor Thakorr

    His unique parentage gave him both strengths and weaknesses that other Atlanteans did not possess: he is pink skinned like humans as opposed to the blue skin of pureblood Atlanteans, but he cannot survive in water or on land for prolonged periods of time, or it will impact his psyche

    Initially Namor was, if not a full villain, at best an antihero or well-intentioned extremist, attacking Americans in the name of protecting Atlantis and the ocean

    Once WWII started, he joined other heroes in attacking Nazis

    After WWII, he suffered an amnesiac attack, and once he recovered, he joined Professor Xavier in searching for mutants - Xavier’s attempt at repairing his memories, however, created further issues in Namor’s mind, and gave him bipolar disorder

    He was later found wandering the streets of New York as an amnesiac vagrant - upon learning that Atlantis was destroyed by nuclear bombs, his memories returned and he vowed revenge on the surface world, pitting him against the Fantastic Four numerous times

    He would attempt several times to woo Susan Storm away from Reed, but although Sue admits an attraction to Namor, she remains loyal to her husband

    He married twice - his first wife Dorma was killed shortly after the wedding by an evil mermaid, and his second wife Marrina was driven mad, and Namor was forced to kill her with the Ebony Blade - she survived, and Norman Osborn altered her DNA to turn her into a raging beast as part of his revenge on Namor, who killed her once again #BecauseComics

    In the 90s, he searches for sunken treasures and uses the money to finance a corporation that focuses on conservation

    He is a member of the Illuminati, and notably the only one opposed to sending the Hulk into space, as he foresaw dire consequences should Bruce return - he was the only one who Bruce didn’t seek vengeance upon when Hulk came back

    Due to his mutant abilities, he formally joins the X-Men, and is one of the Phoenix Five during AvX, but is the first one to be defeated and lose his Phoenix Force powers

    Namor is killed by the Squadron Supreme in retaliation for his numerous attacks on Earth and other worlds, but this is undone by time travel after the team realized Namor’s murder would lead to global destruction

    Fights the Agents of Atlas after Atlantis’ guardian dragon is stolen - after some battling, Namor & the agents come to an understanding, and then team up against the King in Black

    Issues - born of two worlds, welcome in neither Mixed parentage creates hostility

    Unique physiology leads to bipolar disorder, or at least manic/depressive swings

    Zealotry for Atlanteans leads to issues with both his people as well as surface dwellers

    Break Plugs for Last Sons of Krypton, Cheers to Comics, and Meghan Fitzmartin

    Treatment In-universe - 

    Out of universe - Mixed race parentage

    Skit Hello Namor, I’m Dr. Issues. - I am King Namor, ruler of Atlantis. I am not one of your colleagues, we are not fraternizing over a beverage. You will address me accordingly.

    My apologies, your majesty…your highness…your Atlantean Majestic highness? I’m bad at this. -I gave you one job and yet you have failed. But I am a forgiving ruler, so you will get one more chance.

    Thank you, King Namo…wait, you don’t rule me! -That is not the point. As long as you show the proper respect, and the appropr

    • 58 min
    We Matter Too with Dr. Ashley Perkins

    We Matter Too with Dr. Ashley Perkins

    We sit down with mental health advocate & cofounder of We Matter Too, Dr. Ashley Perkins! We talk the pros & cons of social media, self-diagnosis, and more!

    We Matter Too with Dr. Ashley Perkins

    Intro Background Pharmacist We Matter Too TEDx Talk Ending


    Apple Podcasts: here

    Google Play: here

    Stitcher: here

    TuneIn: here

    iHeartRadio: here






    • 1 hr 1 min
    Creators on the Couch - Jordan Blum

    Creators on the Couch - Jordan Blum

    Intro Background TV work - Community writer - how’d you get in the writers room there? American Dad

    MODOK What came first, the TV series or the Head Games comic? Decision to make this character a standard sitcom dad Minor Threats How did you & Patton come up with the idea? I always enjoy D-list villains as comic relief, like Superior Foes, but this takes it to a darker place Is this ongoing or a mini? How did you two come up with the various characters & powers to use Playtime as the POV character Ending

    Apple Podcasts: here

    Google Play: here

    Stitcher: here

    TuneIn: here

    iHeartRadio: here






    • 46 min
    Issue 158 - Gambit

    Issue 158 - Gambit

    Intro Background Gambit, Remy Etienne LeBeau, created by Chris Claremont and Jim Lee in Uncanny X-Men #266 (Aug 1990) You know how we've done a lot of characters whose circumstances have come back around to "it's not his fault, but it is his problem"? Gambit's definitely a twist on that. Let's run down the list. Kidnapped as an infant and raised by a society of thieves who brought him up with a moral compass that was most certainly not in line with the rest of the world, wound up homeless, captured by an immortal mutant and sold into slavery, got roped into an arranged marriage with Belladonna to end a centuries-old blood feud between the Thieves' Guild and the Assassin's Guild and wound up killing the brother of his bride-to-be in a duel on his wedding day, was exiled from his home in New Orleans, found out he had a mutant power that grew so powerful it wouldn't let him touch anything without blowing it up, had no choice but to go to Mr. Sinister to give him brain surgery to save his life, gets a simple innocuous job to do in return, assemble some mercenaries to locate the Morlock community, has no idea the mercenaries have orders to kill all the Morlocks Encounters a powerless Storm, who brings him to meet the X-men - Logan didn't trust him, so the two had a duel, which Gambit won Served as a X-Man for some time, until he was captured by Magneto and Sabretooth, and Rogue's kiss revealed the memory of the Morlock Massacre - the fallout led to him being kicked off the team Later rejoined the team after Rogue went searching for him After a battle with Destiny, he and Rogue were depowered, so they moved to California to explore their relationship  Both regained the powers and joined the X-men, but when Gambit was temporarily blinded, he began lashing out at Rogue, who left him Mystique joined the team undercover as another shapeshifter, and revealed herself to Gambit as a version of Rogue that he could actually touch - although Rogue was angry, Gambit never pursued it He submitted himself to Apocalypse in an effort to infiltrate the team, but the transformation brainwashed him, and he became the Fourth Horseman, Death - after Apocalypse's defeat, he is returned to normal with the help of Mr. Sinister Yada yada yada, he & Rogue get married after Kitty backs out of her wedding to Colossus, and Gambit proposes on the spot - they spend their honeymoon protecting the bio-engineered daughter of Charles Xavier & Lilandra, and then get teleported to the Mojoverse, where they have to fight their way out for the amusement of Mojo & his viewers Issues That is a lot of really bad luck for one person. But Gambit tortures and blames himself for way more of it than he should. He didn't want to fight Belladonna's brother, but was bound to by the traditions of the clans. He didn't want to leave Belladonna and New Orleans, but had to or there would be all-out war. He didn't want to get in bed with Mr. Sinister's, but he was the only person he knew that could save his life. He certainly didn't want to play any part in a genocide and tried everything he could to stop it when he was happening, but at the time, he genuinely believed the job was just to locate them. With regards to everything he did in his past, most of it is not his fault, and way less of it is his problem than the amount he tends to torture himself with. On a scale of zero to Cyclops, his moral culpability for the things he's done with his life doesn't even come close to the level of guilt he feels for it.  Second issue, deflection and evasiveness. Oh my goodness, Remy Labeau raises keeping people at arm's length with deflection and evasiveness to an absolute art form. And when you're a monument to male fanservice streetwise slick-talking bad boy with a mutant power that lets you kinetically excite the heart rate and neurotransmitters of other people and charm the metaphorical and often literal pants off of them, that is really not a hard thing to do. Remy is one o

    • 1 hr 1 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
50 Ratings

50 Ratings

Jsblum ,

It’s about comics, yes, … but it’s much more

I recently discovered this podcast and have really enjoyed it despite not really knowing much about comic books. What little I do know I recall from childhood, and it always seemed even then that comic book heroes had pretty rough lives. So the idea that they may benefit some mental health treatment never seemed a far stretch. Things have gotten better in recent years in terms of the public discourse on mental health and treatment access but, even now, mental health needs are not something many people are terribly open about. There is also so much misinformation in the general public, especially among leaders and others who have the power to make legislation (different subject; won’t go into that here). By doing a nuanced show like this where listeners can hear that even their heroes could benefit from help - well, it’s kind of a public service, in a way, since it helps destigmatize taking care of this aspect of one’s health for all us non-superheroes. Thanks, and keep up the good work!

Allen Dunford ,

Nothing Else Like It

Great guys and an amazing podcast! Doc and Anthony approach their subjects objectively and never fail to always remain professional. Such amazing insights and knowledge!

SupernaturalKeys ,


This is a great podcast offering the look at mental health of superheroes. That is brilliant!!

Top Podcasts In Health & Fitness

Scicomm Media
Jay Shetty
Aubrey Gordon & Michael Hobbes
Lysa TerKeurst
Ten Percent Happier
Lewis Howes

You Might Also Like

Jason Inman & Ashley Victoria Robinson
Marvel & SiriusXM
Comedy Central & iHeartPodcasts
MSW Media