227 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 • 55 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 190 - Jack Russell

    Issue 190 - Jack Russell

    Under the cover of a full moon, we shed a light on Jack Russell, WEREWOLF BY NIGHT! How many Warren Zevon references do we fit into this episode? Listen now to find out!


    Intro Apologies for delays in episodes - Doc and I going thru stuff (separately) 

    Reminder that Shenanicon registration is now open - still no word on exact date & time of Baccano panel



    Background (3:13) Jack Russell, Werewolf by Night, created by Roy Thomas, Jeanie Thomas, Gerry Conway, & Mike Ploog in Marvel Spotlight #2 (Feb. 1972)

    Jacob Russoff is the son of Gregor Russoff, a Transylvanian baron whose ancestor was bitten by a werewolf working for Vlad Dracula in 1795

    Gregor acquired the Darkhold and read it, triggering the latent curse and turning him into a werewolf - after he was killed, his wife Laura moved to America and remarried her brother-in-law Phillip Russell, and Jacob became Jack Russell

    Jack’s curse took effect on his 18th birthday, and shortly thereafter his family’s driver sabotaged his mother’s car to crash under Phillip’s orders - before her death she told Jack the truth about his heritage and made him promise not to take revenge on Phillip (no promise was made about the driver, though…)

    Spent most of the next few years on the run from the Committee, who wanted to capture him and use him for their own purposes - among the many people hired by the Committee was Moon Knight, who defeated Jack before having a change of heart and teaming up with Jack to escape

    Spends a chunk of the 80s on a motorcycle driving around the country - after a battle with the Hulk, his father’s spirit tells him he must accept his beastly nature or die; he does, and gains control over his transformation and abilities

    Unfortunately his control didn’t last, and he began seeing visions of Hell during his transformations - this drove him to alcoholism and suicidal thoughts until he encountered a woman similarly afflicted and under siege by a small town - they killed the leaders and agreed to help each other live free

    He was given a vaccine by Michael Morbius that helped him regain control, and he joined the Midnight Sons - his new mindset was that of acceptance, and he was determined to find other “monsters” around the world and help them the way he had been helped - this includes Rahne Sinclair’s son, who she rejected because the child was feral

    He had his head blown off by Deadpool after Wade found him in bed with his wife - he survived, but it took some time for his head to grow back




    Issues - Theme is “a sheep in wolf’s clothing” (7:46) Finally reached an acceptance of his werewolf nature, even if the world hasn’t

    Formerly suicidal alcoholic (14:10)

    A drifter who’s unattached to any one place for too long (24:28)



    Break (32:12) Plugs for I Am Your Target Demographic and Hops Geek News



    Treatment In-universe - Treat yo self

    Out of universe - Focus on the addiction issues first, and then work on the other things



    Skit (41:40) Hello Jack, I’m Dr. Issues. - Hi. Man, I could have used you a long time ago.

    *pause* Thaaanks? So, what can I do for you…now? - Just hear me out. I’ve hesitated to do any therapy because I didn’t think anyone would listen. 

    Oh, so my reputation precedes me. -You never answered my calls or emails.

    I can be scant in my availability, yes. But that should be a deterrent, right?. -Every review I read said that you are the most patient psychiatrist they’ve ever met, but you’re hard to track. I like that. Maybe you can tolerate my story. 

    My goal is more than tolerance. I want patients to thrive. But sometimes you have to crawl, then walk, then run. -You got that right! So I did my homework. I know this is confidential as long as I’m not a threat, right?

    Yup. -Well, what if I told you that there’s only a certain number of nights where I was a threat, but I kept everyone

    • 49 min
    Creators on the Couch - Allen Dunford - The Herald

    Creators on the Couch - Allen Dunford - The Herald

    We bring back friend of the show Allen Dunford to talk about his new baby daughter! I'm sorry, we bring him back to talk about his doctoral thesis! Wait, I mean we discuss his latest Kickstarter campaign THE HERALD!


    (And we also talk about those other things...) Listen now!


    The Herald #1: A Supernatural Western by Allen & Will — Kickstarter


    Transcript


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    • 41 min
    Issue 189 - Deathstroke

    Issue 189 - Deathstroke

    It's time to swim in the Deadpool and do the DEATHSTROKE! Some people would give their left eye for an episode like this. Those people probably need help just like Slade. Listen now!




    Intro - Jeremy Whitley Apologies for the delay



    Background (2:18) Deathstroke (Slade Wilson) created by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez in The New Teen Titans #2 (Dec. 1980)

    At 16, he lied about his age to join the Army during the Korean War, and later met his wife, Captain Adeline Kane - after they married, they had three children: Grant, Joseph, and Rose

    Subjected to an experiment where he was injected with a substance that drastically increased his healing, as well as giving him expanded use of his brain’s capacity #BecauseComics

    Started working as a mercenary, keeping his business private from Adeline, until a criminal kidnapped Joe to blackmail Slade - although Slade killed the criminal, Joe’s throat was sliced, destroying his vocal cords and rendering him mute - this angered Adeline, who shot Slade through the right eye

    Grant took a contract to kill the Teen Titans, but died after an experiment to give him superhuman abilities - Slade vowed vengeance on the Titans, blaming them for Grant’s death, but was defeated

    The Judas Contract - Slade used Terra to infiltrate the Titans, then once he learned their identities and weaknesses, systematically went after each of the Titans - Joseph joined with Nightwing to possess his father, and after Terra died, Slade was captured

    After that, Slade occasionally worked alongside the Titans while still working as a merc - he was forced to mercy kill Joseph, who was a Titan known as Jericho and was possessed by the souls of Azarath

    Gave Adeline a blood transfusion which drove her insane, and she tried to kill all metahumans, blaming them for Jericho’s death - when she requested a mercy kill, Slade refused but Starfire obliged, and he cut ties with the Titans

    Jericho possessed Slade right before his death, and used Slade’s body to enact revenge on all the Titans - this led to Slade training Rose, his last remaining child, to kill Jericho, but his methods drove her insane

    Was responsible for the destruction of Bludhaven and killing over 100,000 people to mentally destroy Nightwing - he was defeated by Batman, Robin (Tim), and Nightwing

    New 52 - reboots Slade as a mercenary who lost his eye in a terrorist attack, and after his sons and wife were killed, he goes on a rampage to protect Rose

    Dies in Rebirth after being killed by Red Arrow




    Issues - Theme: Being too smart for your own good doesn’t have to turn out this bad! (9:59) Kids: They’re a handful, am I right?

    Intellectualization as an isolator 

    The definition of “Enough” (26:05)



    Break (35:58) Plugs for Sips Suds & Smokes and Frigay the 13th



    Treatment (37:57) In-universe - Give him a protection contract and make him honor it

    Out of universe - So many examples with real-life veterans (41:35)



    Skit (49:29) Hello Deathstroke, I’m Dr. Issues. -Hello, Doctor. *pause* This is unusual and I don’t like it.

    Well, therapy or counseling isn’t always meant to be fun, and lots of people hate going to the doctor, so -*interrupting* Not like that. I’ve been a wanted man for ages. You’ve seen patients like me in confined areas before. Yet you let me waltz in without a hint of security. No shackles, no guards, not even a warning. That doesn’t make sense. I can only draw 2 conclusions. Either you are requesting my services, in which case you have no need for safety, or you have an unknown unknown, which uncharacteristically would put me at a disadvantage.

    I’m sure you’ve read my profile. -From the “exposure” you had a while back, sure. Very sloppy, and yet cleaned up as if it never happened. Your current information is modest on networks but still acclamatory. But I’m sure you are referencing my ability

    • 59 min
    Creators on the Couch - Erica Schultz 6

    Creators on the Couch - Erica Schultz 6

    We sit down for the SIXTH time with writer Erica Schultz in advance of the release of Rat City. Get comfy, folks, this is our longest creator interview yet - almost TWO HOURS LONG!




    Intro

    Background What would it take to get you on a Marvel ongoing?

    Dream character & artist/team?



    X-23: Deadly Regenesis Why go back to this period of Laura’s life?

    Created Haymaker, a transmasc non-binary MMA fighter, as the main villain - how did that come about? (21:20)




    Hallows Eve (28:31) New evolution for Janine Godbe/Elizabeth Tyne/Mary Bailey/Sarah Porter

    Powered masks: did you come up with the masks first and then their impact on story, or was it “what’s the story?” and then work the masks in?



    What If: Dark Moon Knight (34:08) How did you select this particular jumping off point? Moon Knight vs. Bushman happens so many times, why this one?

    Nice to see Marlene take an active role in a MK story, even if it’s not necessarily clean



    Daredevil: Gang War (50:06) Previously written Matt as Daredevil, now Elektra: how to write legacy characters with different voices

    What’s it like working on an event tie-in? How much freedom do you have for story you want to tell within obvious constraints, how much editorial oversight, etc?



    Rat City (77:15) How did you get this gig?

    Spawn cover for Deadliest Bouquet, now an actual Spawn book!

    What led to this expansion of the Spawn universe?

    How much do you have to understand Spawn to follow this story?

    Love the commentary on soldiers being chewed up & spit out, flaws of capitalism, etc.



    Any new stories coming up? Blood Hunters & Darth Maul Black White & Red: - more Marvel mini/tie-ins



    Ending Plugs for social




    References:


    Erica’s website

    Erica’s interview on ITK - Anthony (34:19)

    Key & Peele - Text Message Confusion - Erica (57:10)

    Dirty Dancing “I carried a watermelon” - Erica (65:17)


    Apple Podcasts: here


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    TuneIn: here


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    • 1 hr 50 min
    Issue 188 - Robbie Baldwin

    Issue 188 - Robbie Baldwin

    After months of talking about it, we finally get overridden with guilt and break down ROBBIE BALDWIN! Whether Speedball or Penance, this rapid-fire hero has no shortage of issues - listen now!


    Intro SIX YEARS!!!

    New subseries: Colleagues on the Couch, where we interview MH professionals about their work in the field



    Background (6:55) Robbie Baldwin (Speedball) created by Steve Ditko and Tom DeFalco in The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #22 (Jan. 1988)

    Robbie Baldwin is a Connecticut high school student who is bombarded with other-dimensional energy during an accident at a lab he works at - the explosion gives him endless kinetic energy, which also creates a protective force field

    He calls himself Speedball and begins working as a teenage superhero, coming into conflict with his district attorney father, who despises masked vigilantes

    He later joins the New Warriors, but his frequent trips to New York to join the team create stress on his home life, and his parents divorce shortly after learning the truth about his abilities

    Robbie is at the center of Civil War: He and the New Warriors attempt to capture a group of villains, and Nova explodes, killing 612 people including 60 children - Robbie initially was thought dead but was the only survivor - his kinetic field kept him alive, but as a result of the overexertion he loses his powers

    After being arrested, he is shot in the spine by a father of one of the children killed in the blast - this leads to him changing his mind and registering

    He has a new suit made, one with 612 internal spikes to cause him constant pain - calling himself Penance, he joins the Thunderbolts, where he is under constant surveillance

    He stole a SHIELD jet and made his way to Latveria, where he defeated Doctor Doom in combat to get his hands on Nitro, who was being held prisoner there - Robbie placed his spiked suit on Nitro to torture him

    After Doc Samson was able to make headway with Robbie in several therapy sessions, Norman Osborn had him heavily sedated and manipulated by a therapist to keep him in a mentally fragile state for Osborn’s own machinations - after a battle with some of his former New Warriors teammates, he is able to break free of the conditioning

    He joins Avengers Academy, calling himself Speedball again, in an effort to seek forgiveness for his previous actions, although he still retains much of the Penance guilt and attitude - after defeating a group of villains at the Stamford memorial site, he quits the Academy and teams up with Justice to reform the New Warriors, where they recruit Sam Alexander among others

    Joins CRADLE, where he enforces the law preventing anyone under the age of 21 from operating as a superhero




    Issues (14:41) Conflict with his parents over him being a teenage superhero

    Survivor’s guilt over the Stamford incident (24:50)

    Severe PTSD (35:29)



    Break (42:44) Plugs for Into the Knight, Comic Book Keepers, and Al Ewing



    Treatment (44:40) In-universe - Focus on other feelings Robbie could have expressed to people

    Out of universe - (47:01)



    Skit (51:52) Hello Robert, I’m Dr. Issues. -Robert, huh? So I guess this is meant to be that kind of encounter. Hello, doctor.

    I didn’t mean to infer that your formal name implies a demure tone. I’ve seen Robbie in your chart. Is that preferred? -Whatever floats your boat. You mentioned my chart, so I take it Doc Samson gave you my records? I said it was ok.

    Yeah, but I don’t dwell on what other doctors have done. Even if they’re literal giants in their field… What can I do for you now? -That’s what’s weird about a meeting like this. I’m not sure I’m in the right frame of mind to get help.

    That’s either quite insightful or quite dangerous. -Why not both?

    Fine. Care to elaborate? -Lots of lives lost. I’m involved. I almost die. I lose everything. THAT’S when most people t

    • 1 hr
    Creators on the Couch - Horus in Hell 2

    Creators on the Couch - Horus in Hell 2

    • 43 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
55 Ratings

55 Ratings

mJw511 ,

I Love This Pod!

Anthony and Dr. Issues have an amazingly special show here. Capes is always fun, always poignant, and always what we need to see happen with mental health. Anthony and Dr. Issues do an amazing job de-stigmatizing and demystifying mental health all while having fun with so many characters in comics. This show is relatable and truly entertaining. A total gem.

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!

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