Leagues and legions of superheroes are usually effective as a direct result of the union of each member's unique abilities, whether they include super-human strength, lightning-speed, telepathy, or other powers that individually define each of them as a deserved hero and collectively create an unstoppable force.
In Guardians of the Galaxy, we're introduced to a band of outlaws, outsiders and outcasts. With the exception of some sweet dance moves and decent marksmanship, we don't immediately get the traditional introduction to the colorful rainbow of superpowers we're accustomed to with superhero teams. There's no amazing, no fantastic, no spectacular. The Guardians themselves refer to themselves as "losers" and the "biggest idiots" in the galaxy. They underperform or fall below normative expectations. In fact, these space misfits offer something rarely seen in superhero films: the Guardians show emotional, neurological, developmental and communication deficits that 1) are not expected to be resolved or cured at the end of the film and 2) do not make them ineffective as heroes.
The following is a conceptualization of each character's below-average functioning across some psychological dimensions and why these deficits do not create significant limits for them.
Writer of ComicsAlliance favorites The Wake and Batman, Scott Snyder is enjoying a kind of imperial phase of his comic book career, where everything he releases is met with commercial popularity as well as critical success. A long form collaboration with artists Greg Capullo, Danny Miki and FCO Plascencia, Batman has been the unquestionable leader of DC Comics' "New 52" line of superhero titles, routinely appearing in the #1 spot of monthly sales charts and just completing a wild and operatic revision of the Dark Knight's origin story in "Zero Year" -- an arc that CA's resident Batmanologist Chris Sims suspects may go down as one of his favorite Batman stories of all time.
But beneath Batman's twisty plots and memorably big moments lies the true trademark of Snyder's work; a conscious, almost intuitive sense of his characters' psychology and inner lives. It's Snyder's fundamental understanding of his heroes and villains that drives all the occasionally over-the-top action of his series, and of Batman especially.
Dr. Andrea Letamendi is a clinical psychologist and co-host of The Arkham Sessions -- the ComicsAlliance feature focused exclusively on psychology as expressed in Batman: The Animated Series -- and she sat down with Snyder at Comic-Con International in San Diego for a chat about the themes of mental health in not just his work, but in his own life.
If Batman ended up in an Arkham Asylum cell, would he be deemed "normal," or would the Gotham facility known for housing the "criminally insane" keep him under lock and key?
In an episode of Batman: The Animated Series called "Dreams in Darkness," the Dark Knight's worst nightmare may have come true when he finds himself being evaluated by psychiatrist Dr. Bartholomew at Arkham Asylum. The doc asserts that Batman is very "ill" and that the one place where "costumed persons with delusional personalities come to find compassionate help" seems like the best place for him. Fighting the onset of paranoid delusions and vivid hallucinations, Batman struggles to reveal the real cause of his insanity: The Scarecrow.
In this episode of The Arkham Sessions, we discuss the experience of being hospitalized for psychiatric reasons, the dangers of labeling people with disorders, and the feelings of dehumanization sometimes perceived by patients in the mental health care system.
How far would you go to earn the affection of someone you love? Send them a roomful of gifts? Surprise them at their doorstep? Advance the science of neurotechnology to a whole new level by developing mind-controlling head accessories?
Through the practice of animal experimentation (of course), scientist Jervis Tetch has found a way to manipulate neuronal connections of brains in order to "control another creature's mind." But rather than use this new power to increase his wealth or destroy the Batman like most of Gotham's Rogues would do, Jervis decides to use mind control to manipulate his office assistant, Alice, into falling in love with him. As he heads further and further down the experimental rabbit hole, however, Jervis realizes more drastic measures are required to win Alice’s love.
Home invasion, kidnapping, and mind control take this episode of Batman: The Animated Series to a new level of creepy; writer Paul Dini ingeniously entertains the imagination of young viewers with Alice in Wonderland themes while also suggesting levels of subversion -- possessiveness, coercion, stalking -- that adult viewers find unshakably disturbing.
In this episode of The Arkham Sessions, we explore the delusions and dangers of obsessive, unrequited love as only personified by the Mad Hatter.
Based on a 1976 Detective Comics story by Dennis O'Neil and Dick Giordano, "Appointment in Crime Alley" is a memorable and heartfelt episode of Batman: The Animated Series. Gritty and sorrowful, the episode is centered around the anniversary of Thomas and Martha Wayne's murder in Park Row 30 years ago, and Bruce Wayne's annual appointment to visit the site of their death. We also learn more about Dr. Leslie Thompkins, the longtime friend and colleague of Thomas Wayne who consoled young Bruce on the night his parents were murdered. We realize Leslie's life was also greatly affected by the tragedy, and the two share a unique bond.
Are Bruce and Leslie enacting a healthy coping method by commemorating the Waynes every year in "Crime Alley", or is this a sign of prolonged grief and their inability to move on? In this episode of the Arkham Sessions, we discuss how some people who experience trauma and negative life events can get "stuck" on bad thoughts which keep them from overcoming the tragedies in their lives.
It's about time! The Arkham Sessions returns to the analysis of every episode of Batman: The Animated Series with a classic favorite, "The Clock King." The title villain is a seemingly harmless, time-obsessed efficiency expert who learns the unfortunate lesson that one small change in his schedule can turn him into a vengeful killer. Of course, Batman won't let him get away with demolishing trains, overriding the city's traffic controls, and strapping Gotham's mayor to the top of the clock tower. With some insight from the episode's writer, the show delves into the traits and states of people who are obsessive-compulsive. The psychologically satisfying episode has us asking if rigidity and extreme order can actually cause more harm than good.
Did you know that most of us will experience a panic attack at some point in our lives? And over 11% of people will suffer from panic attacks to the point that it interferes with their ability to function.
Did you also know which superhero happens to be an expert on panic attacks? Batman! In this episode of The Arkham Sessions, we discuss the episode “Fear of Victory” from Batman: The Animated Series.
Would the Lizard have been able to transform himself into a giant reptile without his snazzy lab coat? Would Dr. Horrible have built his freeze ray if he hadn't kept his horrible duds bleached and starched? Does Hank McCoy really need to don a white coat over his blue fur in order to do science? According to a new study published
Reddit's "Ask Me Anything" threads, where interesting people with unusual perspectives answer questions posed by the Reddit community, has attracted a wide array of fascinating folks from a fellow who played a Putty on the ori
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