126 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

    • Mental Health
    • 4.9 • 42 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 118 - Black Mask

    Issue 118 - Black Mask

    Intro Podchaser - Reviews4Good - NUEXGUY - “CAPES ON THE COUCH is one of my favorite podcasts for the unique perspective and insight they bring to the superhero genre. I haven't heard another podcast go so deep into the psychological arguments around these characters. One of the most informative and entertaining podcasts around. Did I mention there are skits as well?” Background (3:16) Black Mask (Roman Sionis) created by Doug Moench and Tom Mandrake in Batman #386 (August 1985) Roman Sionis born to wealthy parents who didn’t care for him - they dropped him on his head early, possibly causing mental damage Hated Thomas & Martha Wayne, who his parents were always sucking up to - this led to a fascination with masks, because he believed his parents were phony Once he came of age and became VP of his father’s cosmetic company, he burned down the family estate, killing his parents, and took over everything After running the company into the ground, it was rescued by Wayne Enterprises, but he was fired - he went to his parents grave, dug up the coffin, and destroyed it - he used the pieces to make a new mask, and called himself the Black Mask Created a gang, the False Face Society, and began going after the Wayne Foundation and its members, including Bruce - after a failed attempt on Bruce’s life, he set fire to his family’s house once again, and in a battle with Batman fell into the flames, fusing the mask to his face During No Man’s Land, he becomes the head of a cult known for ritualistic scarring - he’s taken down by Batman and Huntress Later gave up the theme of masked henchmen and decided to run a drug trade out of the East End of Gotham, putting him into conflict with Catwoman Tortures and nearly kills Stephanie Brown during War Games Killed by Catwoman after threatening to kill all her loved ones - he’s resurrected during Blackest Night as a Black Lantern, but was defeated by Ivy and Harley, trapping him in a pitcher plant that digested his body as it regenerated New 52 gives him largely the same backstory, but now his mask gives him low level psychic abilities - he also has split personalities, with Roman and Black Mask being distinct identities DC Rebirth abandons the psychic abilities, but has him allied with the Penguin

    Issues No positive family background left him alone Obsession with masks (16:36) Sadism, especially with women (23:49) Break (30:18) Plugs for Petri Dish, Play Comics, and Meredith Finch Treatment (31:23) In-universe - Let him roleplay in different masks to learn empathy Out of universe - (35:08) Reframe to get more buy-in from the client Skit (40:33) Hello Roman, I’m Dr. Issues. - What do you want? This isn’t a house call, and it’s not like I asked to meet with you. You’re required to -*cuts off* I know what you’re here for. Let’s get this straight: I’m not trying to change. I’ve changed enough for my lifetime, thank you very much.  *pause* I appreciate your honesty. It saves me time. Goodbye. -Bye. *sound of walking away, distant* Oh man, I gotta try *walking back* Sorry, I’m not going to give up. -Sucker. As dangerous as this may sound, the goal of therapy for a thief may be to make them a better thief - You can’t be serious. Nobody’s that stupid, especially against me. I don’t mean being better at bad things for society. I mean being more in tune with your mental state so that you are better at your personal goals. What you do with them is none of my business. -What sort of backwards schooling did you do? This is nuts!  How long did you originally plan on talking to me? -Negative 2 seconds, then find someone to kill you. And how long have you actually talked to me? I’ve already exceeded your lowly expectations. -I just can’t get over how bonkers this is. You’re just like that Harley chick...oh yeah, same field. See, I knew a

    • 52 min
    Issue 117 - Elastigirl

    Issue 117 - Elastigirl

     Issue 117 - Elastigirl


    Intro Shoutout to Down to Folk - Chad & Ariel give you folk tales with a twist - dtfstories.com Background (01:54) Elastigirl (Helen Parr) created by Brad Bird in The Incredibles (November 2004) Helen Parr has the power of flexibility  Married to Mr. Incredible, Bob Parr - have 3 children - Violet, Dash, and Jack Forced into retirement after a man trying to commit suicide got saved by Bob, but was injured in the process - superheroes then banned for approximately 15 years Bob goes off and begins surreptitiously superheroing in private - Helen discovers what he’s doing, and has to go rescue him The whole family then battles Syndrome, a former fan of Bob’s who’s going to use technology to give everyone superpowers, thus making supers useless They defeat Syndrome, and come together as a family In the sequel, two wealthy businesspeople - Winston & Evelyn Deavor - use Helen as a public face for their company to get people to trust heroes again This leaves Bob at home with the kids, while he struggles with Jack’s nascent powers Helen encounters the Screensaver, who uses hypnotic imagery on TV screens to control people Screensaver turns out to be Evelyn, who reveals that her father died from burglars while waiting for superheroes to show up - Helen captures Evelyn, and heroes remain legal

    Issues (06:00) Being a spouse while being super Being a parent while being super (12:25) How does her powerset impact her choices and adaptiveness? (21:16) Body image issues (28:15) Break (35:31) Plugs for Geek Peak, Ignorance was Bliss, and Al Ewing Treatment (36:44) In-universe - Create a secret lair for supers to have individual therapy, just work on gaining their trust Out of universe - Focus on interpersonal therapy Skit (43:08) Hello Mrs. Parr, I’m Dr. Issues. - Well hello Doctor, it’s so nice to meet you. Gosh, I just love your office. Tasteful decorations, and *gasp* did your child make this? My daughter, yes. - It’s beautiful. My daughter Violet is very creative. My sons… are more into destruction. Oh my daughter can wreck stuff with the best of them, don’t let the artwork fool you. - That's children, I suppose. Especially when you have 3 of them. And with powers to boot. One minute they're playing nicely, the next minute there's a literal tornado in the kitchen, the bathroom is sealed with a force field, and the lawn is on fire.  That sounds like a lot to handle. How do you manage? - Well the older 2 I can talk to about things. It takes a while, but they get it eventually. Jack-Jack, though, he's still a baby, and figuring out his powers. And bless Bob, he tries his best to wrangle them while I'm gone, but he gets frazzled so quickly.  Have you tried a babysitter? - Once. It did NOT go well.  Well, I’m not a couples therapist, but I am a happily married man, and I’ve learned that an open and honest discussion about expectations can help drastically reduce the stress in a marriage. You two need to be on the same page. - Oh, we are. Well, some of the time. That’s better than none of the time. When does it work best? - When we’re out there fighting the bad guys. Even after we took some time off to raise the kids, when we got back to it, it was like no time had passed. We were totally in sync with each other. Then we get home, and… And you’re off-base. - Yep. You know, we both have powers, but sadly neither of us can read minds. That would make things a lot easier. I’m not sure it would. That could just lead to more unmet expectations. The fact that you’re both powered doesn’t mean anything when it comes to communication. You have to be upfront about what you need and are willing to compromise on. You’re not going to get everything you want, but unless you tell him what you’re looking for, you’re not going to get anything. - I know. But where

    • 54 min
    Issue 116 - Batman in Therapy

    Issue 116 - Batman in Therapy

     Intro Thanks to new Mayor patron Ben! Skit (5:02)  Ending (27:11) Next episodes: Elastigirl, Black Mask, John Walker Plugs for social

    References:


    Anthony’s AIPT Column

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    • 35 min
    Issue 115 - Batman Commentary

    Issue 115 - Batman Commentary

    In lieu of show notes, I'll just say how refreshing and interesting it was to watch a 32 year old movie I hadn't seen in 31 years. Doc and I had a TON of fun discussing this, with a lot of reminiscing and flashbacks. Hope you enjoy it!


    - Anthony


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    • 2 hr 8 min
    Issue 114 - Batman by the Fans

    Issue 114 - Batman by the Fans

    Intro Background 

    Jeanine (3:20) Ken & Pad from ODPH (08:40) Ryan from NUEXGuy (15:00) Jay West from We Get Dubbed (21:14) Rey from ITK (27:00) Ruby (28:12)  Chris from GeekPeak Podcast (32:21) Seth from Geekville Radio (38:54) Ariel (41:57) Ending Recommended reading: Batman & Psychology Next episodes: Batman film commentary, Batman skit, Elastigirl Plugs for social

    References:


    Bane episode - Anthony (14:45) Carmen Sandiego - Anthony (21:00) Batman/Catwoman Arkham swap - Anthony (24:50) Batman scars by Alex Ross - Doc (46:32)

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    • 53 min
    Issue 113 - Batman Roundtable

    Issue 113 - Batman Roundtable

    Intro Background for each panelist Ben Stover Dr. Travis Langley Background First memories of Batman What makes Batman such a compelling character? (10:18) How realistic is his response to the trauma? (17:16) Family dynamics (from kids to mentors) (29:00) “Unheralded” Gotham character (36:00) Should someone kill the Joker and get it over with? (42:02) What does his rogues gallery say about him? (50:03) What does it say that we’ve been conditioned to root for a trust fund baby to solve the world’s problems? (57:57) Why do people still live in Gotham? (68:27) Ruby’s fan theory about Clark & Bruce Ideal Batman story (74:40) Ending Recommended reading: Batman & Psychology Next episodes: Batman by the fans, Batman film commentary, Batman skit Plugs for social

    References:


    Elie Wiesel - Dr. Langley (22:22) Candace Lightner - Dr. Langley (22:42)

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    • 1 hr 25 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
42 Ratings

42 Ratings

thecrelvin ,

It’s like that therapy scene in Falcon & Winter Soldier but BETTER

Ever wonder if your favorite comic book character needed therapy? The answer to that question is most likely yes, looking at you Batman! Capes on the Couch covers the mental health component of your favorite caped crusaders and views your favorite comics through the lens of psychology! Can’t overstate how unique and well researched this show is. There are a lot of comic book podcasts out there but none like this!

Ovnio ,

Wow

Was -not- expecting such a serious in-depth conversation about cloning in comics. This show definitely stands out from the crowd thanks to its sober approach to superhero stories and their elements - without ever getting didactic or losing sight of how fun comic books are!

Big fan of this concept. Reminds me of a panel I saw at SDCC once, applying real world psychology to fictional fantastical situations. Definitely worth checking out!

scottymayknow ,

I love the concept

I love the idea of analyzing characters and why they would do certain things! To break down the choices of Superman in the Red Son comic series was so good! Not only that I love the Maxwell lord series as well! I highly recommend this podcast

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