Drea's panel on parasocial relationships, from New York Comic Con 2019, "I Love You 3000: Managing Real Feelings About Fictional Characters," with guest panelists Dan Slott (Spider-Man); Danielle Paige (Dorothy Must Die) and Kieron Gillen (Wicked + Divine). Moderated by the Daily Dot's Michelle Jaworski.
There's a sinister new presence in Gotham. He has a grudge and... he appears to know Batman's alter ego. But how? It's a mystery that must be solved, before Bruce Wayne's world comes crashing down. It's the animated adaptation of one of the most popular Batman stories ever told and we're analyzing it--and the original book--on this episode!
Batman returns to Metropolis to stop Ra's al Ghul from draining the Man of Steel of his strength, once again, prolonging life for the villain. But we explore alternatives to Ra's' addiction to life. We also question Talia's loyalty and Lois' and Superman's cultural sensitivity. Finally, we discuss Brian's Death Clock. Wait, what?! All of that, plus the start date for our analysis of DOOM PATROL, in this episode!
In an effort to uncover the truth about Bruce Wayne's disappearance and dismantle the new criminal regime in Gotham City, Superman confidently dives into the crime-ridden streets of Gotham City to play detective. Though this lighthearted episode of Superman: The Animated Series pokes fun at Batman's obvious mood swings, it carries some deeper messages around what it is truly like to be in Batman's shoes.
Writers Brenden Fletcher and Cecil Castellucci join us for an amazing in-depth look at a character with which they're both very familiar: Barbara Gordon, a.k.a. Batgirl. Brenden, along with Cameron Stewart and Babs Tarr, introduced us the world to the mega-popular "Batgirl of Burnside," taking over for Gail Simone. Cecil has only just begun her tenure as the new writer for DC's Batgirl, starting with issue #37 in July. Together, we break down this iconic hero of Gotham City in front of a full room at San Diego Comic-Con!
We're taking an ever-so-brief break from Batman and the DC Universe to analyze the X-Men show that, many say, shares the title of the most influential animated series of the '90s. And we're not alone! Joining us for this amazing live panel is the husband-and-wife team of showrunner Eric Lewald and writer Julia Lewald.
It's the end of an era. Now that we've seen all of Batman: The Animated Series, including The Adventures of Batman & Robin and The New Batman Adventures, we're answering the questions you've submitted and revisiting some of our favorite rogues, heroes and moments from the show. We'll also tell you where the podcast is going next!
Dubbed by fans "The Lost Episode," the Adventures of Batman & Robin video game, released for the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis, was written by Paul Dini and directed by Bruce Timm and incorporated brand-new cut scenes that were fully animated sequences that put the story directly within the world we've been covering. Therefore, we just had to take a look and we're glad we did, as it gave us the opportunity to re-touch on a very important topic, especially for recent times: empathy.
Our Caped Crusader is ticked off to learn there is a new female vigilante in Gotham City. Her strong-arm tactics and masked identity make her a clear counterpart to Batman. In our discussion, we explore the concept of the "inner voice" based in self-determination theory. What does our internal self instruct us to do, and how are we motivated by ourselves? Finally, what is Batman's inner voice and how does he self-direct? Join us for the discussion!
It's our final official episode covering Batman: The Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures! The Judge is on a spree to serve his own version of justice throughout Gotham City, targeting some of the most infamous and dangerous rogues and a corrupt Gotham City council member asserts that this harsh approach is more effective than sending each criminal to the "revolving door of Arkham." Batman's shrewd detective work leads to a surprising discovery: Two-Face IS The Judge! In our discussion, we explore possible explanations for Two-Face's third persona -- is it best captured with a diagnosis of Dissociative Identity Disorder (multiple personalities)? Or better explained as bizarre personality shifts following a traumatic brain injury? Another possible explanation is Harvey Dent's willful self-destruction. As this is the last episode produced as part of the animated collection, we address how the themes of rogue lawfulness and subversion of community moral standards fit in with Batman lore. Also, announcements about our next chapter are made!
What happens when a charismatic investigative journalist is exposed to both the Joker's laughing toxin AND the very chemicals that transformed the dastardly mobster into the Joker? The Creeper! We've got some serious topics ahead in this one; including sexual assault and mania. So tune in to hear what we have to say about the Creeper.
Bruce Wayne finally finds the perfect romantic partner to drive him out of the crime-fighting game for good! In this episode of The Arkham Sessions, one member of the duo's opinion of Bruce Wayne changes dramatically, while both acknowledge the tragedy that is the betrayal Bruce feels when he discovers that his wife is actually one of Poison Ivy's pod creations, entangled in a plot to kill Bruce (as well as several other prominent Gotham business men and women) and take his money.
It's the episode many have been waiting for! "Mad Love" introduces us to the origin of Harley Quinn, formerly known as Harleen Quinzel. And Drea has a TON to say about this tale, so buckle up and settle in for this extra-long, extra-special eagerly anticipated episode of The Arkham Sessions!
"Girls' Night Out" is an unapologetic celebration of the feminine superhero. In this episode, we explore important perspectives on gender differences in cooperation and fighting, including concepts from evolutionary psychology and feminist psychology.
This is a strikingly divergent episode, portraying three distinct, stylized representations of Batman: the Golden Age, Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns, and, of course, Batman: The Animated Series. This smart episode can be seen as a celebration of the Batman mythology, legacy, and core aspects of character. In our discussion, we explore the concept of Parasocial Relationships and the feelings of true "distress" when our favorite characters die or favorite show comes to an end.
Were you unable to attend San Diego Comic-Con last week? No problem! We have you covered. This week, we present our 2018 Comic-Con panel: The Psychology of Robin, Batman's First Sidekick; featuring our very special guest, Mr. Loren Lester, the voice of Dick Grayson!
We're BACK! In this episode Drea and Brian revisit Dr. Philip Zimbardo and the controversial Stanford Prison Experiment to discuss the demon, Etrigan, and his lack of "intelligent disobedience." Plus, you can find out what we're up to at San Diego Comic-Con next week! Tune in now!
It's our live panel from WonderCon 2018, entitled "The Psychology of Batman: The Animated Series," with our very special guest Londyn Jackson (@BlueLondynSkies), from the stellar History of the Batman podcast.
We take a break from the Arkham video games and return to The New Batman Adventures for one of our all-time favorite episodes, "Old Wounds." This is the story of the rift between Bruce and Dick that we've all wanted to see! Are Brian's feelings about Bruce vindicated? Or is Bruce still "doing the best he can with what he's got," as Drea's always said. We have A LOT of fun in this episode of The Arkham Sessions!
You asked for it! In the first of our two-part fourth anniversary celebration, we explore Batman: Arkham Origins and Batman: Arkham Asylum; including some of the games' clinical treatments and therapeutic approaches, and we break down the palpable, intense relationship between Batman and the Joker. We also offer our own reactions to the portrayals of mental health in this video game popular video game franchise. Though highly entertaining, beautifully designed and rich with psychological representations, the Arkham video game series remains a problematic cornerstone in our pop culture because of its disservice to the mental health field. Find out why.
This episode stands out as memorable, not because of the Mad Hatter's plan to use circus animals for burglary, but due to Dick Grayson's remarkable resilience as he encounters the place of his parents' death, the Haley Circus. His ability to manage traumatic memories, to face intense sorrow, and most of all, to identify a sense of purpose as a helper to the community within the very context of his personal loss are all aspects of his recovery that allow us incredible insight. Of course, Dick's functioning is juxtaposed with Batman's psychological health and we find them in very different places. Overall, topics discussed include triggers, resilience factors and trauma recovery.
This week, we take on cults; specifically, cat cults led by Thomas Blake (aka Catman, in other incarnations of the DC Universe). And, clearly, we can't have cats without Catwoman! Will Selina finally win over Batman in her final appearance? And did her transformation into a cat-woman hybrid in "Tiger, Tiger" change her more than we'll ever know? Is Batman heading his own cult? These questions and more in this week's episode!
When Farmer Brown's career of genetically enhancing animals crashes and burns at an agriculture fair, Batman has to defend Gotham City from those aforementioned genetically enhanced animals. We talk a little about steroid use, but ultimately, how we just wish this episode were...well...better. We also take a deeper look at a very serious scene from last week's episode, "Mean Seasons."
We dedicate this episode to World Mental Health Day and continue to support this cause by illuminating the experiences of persons with mental health illnesses and struggles through the art and narrative of Batman. In this episode, we explore the nature of self-hatred, shame, and identity. In "Mean Seasons," we're introduced to Calendar Girl, a mysteriously masked villainess who targets high-profile entrepreneurs in Gotham City. As her story unfolds, we learn that she feels burnt by previous employers and agents who refused to renew her modeling contract, and in revenge, she specifically threatens the lives of those powerful people who perpetuate the notion that women must be youthful, beautiful and physically perfect to remain relevant. Her narrative is more than skin-deep. In his parallel story, Batman encounters a new source of anxiety: Aging. As he tracks down Calendar Girl, his own feelings about usefulness and social value begin to haunt him: "What will happen if Batman retires?"
In celebration of her 25th anniversary, Harley Quinn fittingly takes over the annual "Batman Day" this year. Here at The Arkham Sessions, we did what we do best: Analyze the most relevant animated Batman stories. This time, we watched the new DC Animated film, BATMAN AND HARLEY QUINN. Though the story itself is straightforward and the character build-out flimsy, we were able to extract some of the most pertinent issues related to mental health and psychology. For instance, in defense of her sanity, Harley asserts that she is a "sociopath," not a "psychopath." What does she mean by this? Is she correct? And does Batman buy it? And were female characters, prominent throughout the movie, given fair portrayals in the story? We also diligently searched for the heart of the movie and, with the help of one of our friends and loyal listeners--Lauren Ritchie (@penguingonemad)--, we discussed why Harley Quinn is uniquely special to us as a character in comics: Her genuine, authentic expression of herself, her willingness to accept her own flaws, and her determination to remain free of constraints and limitations. Happy Harley Day!
Live from Ontario, California's Comic Con Revolution, our friend Livio Ramondelli, joins us to discuss his favorite episode "Over the Edge," which features the nightmarish realization that everything could easily come crashing down for Batman and Gotham City, if he's not able to keep the Bat Family safe. Forgive the bad audio. It was recorded at a convention with folks who weren't entirely sure operating the sound board. This episode is dedicated to our friend and comic legend (not to mention, writer of BTAS episodes), Len Wein, who passed away this week. Len was one of the most kind souls you'd ever have the blessing of meeting and he's dearly missed.
Do you get restless if you stay home for too long? Like going to new places rather than familiar ones? Prefer sports that involve a physical thrill such as surfing, rock climbing, and skiing? You're probably a sensation seeker! In this episode, we discuss the new character Roxy Rocket, a pro stunt person turned thrill-seeking criminal who has fixated on Batman. We discuss her propensity for risk and danger, and explain the neurobiological underpinnings of adrenaline addiction. For example, why would one person interpret a situation as terrifying, while another experiences exhilaration? Can addiction to thrills be psychologically harmful? Does Batman share any of these traits we see in Roxy? Buckle up and join us for an all-new episode!
Join us at San Diego Comic-Con, as we merely scratch the surface of the psychology of Batman: The Animated Series with two of the people most responsible for its success--Paul Dini and Alan Burnett! Also joining us is our dear friend, DC writer Brenden Fletcher.
In this episode of The Arkham Sessions, we meet a classic Batman villain for the first (and last) time; we explore the development of stalking behavior through the narrative of Cassidy, a rising pop star; we dive into the "types" of stalkers; and we describe concrete factors that increase the risk of stalking violence. Listen now for the full analysis!
It's a relationship we never thought we'd ever see; a relationship we never even wanted to see: Killer Croc and Baby Doll, two people who feel they're misunderstood by society. Can finding one another help how they feel about themselves? Why do they each revert to versions of themselves that they're so desperate to shed? And could Bruce Wayne have been more helpful in reforming Baby Doll after their last meeting? There's A LOT to take in, as we assess "Love is a Croc!"
Robin learns a tough lesson when he disobeys Batman and goes on his own to pursue a mysterious case involving a young, lost girl by the name of Annie. In this episode of The Arkham Sessions, we explore the notion of "personhood" and identity development. First, how do we define a person? What characteristics must one have in order to be considered a sentient being? Reviewing various definitions of personhood and sentience, we ponder where Annie fits by reviewing the criteria: Is she self-aware? Intelligent? Has the freedom to choose? If she has the moral right of personhood, then should Robin have given her a chance to live apart from Clayface? Listen to the episode below for our full analysis of this unique Batman episode!
The Joker is in some serious need of cash. So when his old rival, King Barlowe, dies and leaves him $250 million, he's absolutely thrilled...and a little confused. Can the Joker retire, now that he's got one big LEGAL score? Will money buy his happiness? Can Harley simply be replaced? Is there a type of person who's more susceptible to con artists than others? What's the Golden Triangle of Happiness? And how did a popular pastime in the late 1800s become a popular psychological evaluation? All of this and more, as we analyze "Joker's Millions!"
Join our hosts, Dr. Andrea Letamendi and Brian Ward, as they talk to special guests Henry T. Gilroy (Star Wars Rebels), Eric and Julia Lewald (X-Men: The Animated Series), and David Wise (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) about developing characters and stories for animation--including those characters' psychological make-up. Hear stories about working on Star Trek: The Animated Series, Star Wars: Clone Wars and Rebels, X-Men, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and, of course, Batman: The Animated Series. Live from WonderCon 2017, it's The Psychology of Animated Series, presented by The Arkham Sessions.
The show takes a momentary detour to celebrate our 100th episode by deconstructing the latest Batman film, THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE (2017). In this episode, we highlight some of the most compelling psychological themes present in the movie, including Batman's isolationism, his emotional dependency on The Joker, and his reluctance to connect with his newly adopted son, Robin (Dick Grayson). Overall, the film offers us so many essential and universal lessons in emotional growth, including what happens when we "protect" ourselves by being alone. The film also normalizes and opens dialogue about the different ways we deal with personal loss and trauma. It's hard to believe it's "just a kid's LEGO movie."
In what appears to be a significant transformation, Scarecrow decides to terrorize the city of Gotham by taking fear away. Scarecrow's newest weapon is a toxin that eliminates any biological response related to fear and anxiety. Batman becomes a victim of the toxin and begins to act a bit more...like Batman? With his fear and vulnerability completely wiped from his psychological repertoire, Batman is reckless, impulsive, and lethal. He engages in risky and senseless behavior, putting himself and others in danger. In our analysis of the episode, we address the real importance of anxiety and fear. Our bodies are equipped with a physiological "alarm system" designed to warn us of actual danger and risk. When that system goes awry, our ability to protect ourselves and others is disrupted. Does Batman ultimately learn this essential lesson about the advantages of fear? Does he experience remorse for putting Robin in danger during his altered state? Was there any permanent damage and will we see him become a colder, harder Batman? Listen in for our exploration of these topics as well as our responses to questions all about anxiety symptoms and ways to manage them!
This episode slightly moves away from our traditional format, because Dr. Andrea Letamendi got a unique opportunity to speak with Green Lantern writer Sam Humphries about his work on the comic; specifically focused on the character of Jessica Cruz, a member of the Green Lantern Corps who copes with severe anxiety. In this conversation, Humphries describes his own experiences with anxiety and the ways in which he's learned to handle panic attacks when they strike. Tune in and take notes, as this conversation acts as the perfect bridge to our next episode, "Never Fear."
Over the last few episodes, we've been able to glean a bit of a falling out between Bruce and Dick. This is our first look at 'Nightwing'--or, as Catwoman likes to call him, "Man Wonder." Meanwhile, Batman has to sit back and watch as his former protégé gets sucked in by Cougar-esque charms of Selina Kyle. Can Bruce let go? Can Dick become his own man? Can Catwoman be trusted? All of this and more in "You Scratch My Back!"
Arnold Wesker, AKA the villain known as The Ventriloquist, is released from inpatient care after six months of successful rehabilitation. His treatment team at Arkham is confident he'll be fine, as long as his "alternate personality remains suppressed." However, he soon finds himself plagued with trauma reminders, intrusive thoughts, and nightmares about his old pal, Scarface. Is Scarface a product of his own mind, a separate personality, or an actual living figure??? On this episode, we explore the possibilities! Additionally, we discuss the concept of a "trigger," as well as the benefits and misuses of "trigger warnings."
It's the finale we've all been waiting for! Mr. Freeze's final appearance in Batman: The Animated Series / The New Batman Adventures arrives with all of the (dinosaur) bone-chilling glory you'd expect. Now that his beloved Nora has been revived, Victor has failed to visit her and she's moved on, which sends him into a spiral of depression and, possibly, PTSD. That's right; Drea explains how Victor is showing obvious signs of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and even discusses how she thinks he can be treated. Is it too late for Victor? Find out now!
In this Thanksgiving week episode, we're formally introduced to the new Robin, Tim Drake--or is it Jason Todd? Maybe a combination of both? We also discuss the whereabouts of Master Dick Grayson. Was there a falling out between Bruce and his ward? We take a deeper look into empathy, what it means to be empathetic and Drea even gives us all a test to determine just how empathetic we are! How does Batman score? Find out in "Sins of the Father!"
We're reintroduced to some old friends and Rogues, as we begin our analysis of THE NEW BATMAN ADVENTURES--a series that premiered two years after the final episode of BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES and THE ADVENTURES OF BATMAN & ROBIN. In this anthology of holiday-themed adventures, Bruce Wayne goes on a shopping spree with Harley and Ivy, Batman and a new Robin take on the Joker and Batgirl takes on a mysteriously revived Clayface. Harvey Bullock's showing a much softer side. And Gordon orders some food he never gets. Is it Batman's fault? Find out in "Holiday Knights!"
We're back! And we're bringing the long-awaited episode, "Subzero," with us! When Mr. Freeze abducts Barbara Gordon so that he can perform a blood transfusion that will help his beloved Nora, naturally Batman and Robin launch into action. Will the argument over Mr. Freeze between Brian and Drea finally be resolved? And did Bruce commit a crime so serious even Drea calls him out? Find out in "Subzero!"
Arguably, she's a character who's become so popular that she's overcome her attachment to Gotham City and Batman lore. Join us, as we discuss Harley Quinn's origin, her popularity, her desire to be paired with others, that controversial relationship with the Joker and much more. Live from Long Beach Comic Con, it's our analysis of Harley Quinn with writer Jimmy Palmiotti!
To commemorate the Caped Crusader on Batman Day, we discuss what Batman has meant to us over the years and share the various stories we have received about the impact Batman has made on the lives of our listeners! In addition, as we have arrived at the end of the original B:TAS collection, we provide a “wrap-up” discussion of the progress, transformation and psychological growth demonstrated by the core characters of the show, including, of course, Batman and The Joker!
We give our psychology-focused review of the 2016 film, Suicide Squad, offering up our thoughts about Jared Leto’s Joker, Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn and other characterizations of DC Comics’ infamous gang of criminal outcasts. We compare the first-time big screen version of Harley Quinn to previous versions, observing more marked psychiatric symptomatology in this more “serious role” – patterns of behavior indicating self-harm, mood instability, hallucinations, and dissociation. Harley’s relationship to the Joker is also evaluated –though, we admit that we simply can’t get past Leto’s underwhelming caricature of the Clown Prince. Listen to the full episode for our all our thoughts and more news about upcoming episodes of The Arkham Sessions!
This one's a doozy and one we've all been waiting for. Love it or hate it, The Killing Joke is one of the most influential and consequential books ever written about Batman and his arch-nemesis, The Joker. The animated adaptation is equally controversial, for some of the same reasons, as well as some different reasons altogether; including a passionate relationship between Batman and his protege, Batgirl. Dr. Andrea Letamendi discusses this story, its characters and what we can learn about having "one bad day" in this very special episode!
It's the end of Batman: The Animated Series as we know it; the final produced episode, "Batgirl Returns!" In this episode, Batman takes a back seat to young Barbara Gordon, as she teams up with Catwoman to take down Roland Daggett. Does this partnership give Batgirl everything she's ever wanted from her Dark Knight mentor? And what is the development of morality, as defined by the Heinz Dilemma? Plus, what's the deal with Barbara's weird dream about Batman? All this and more right here in "Batgirl Returns!"
This week, we get feisty as we discuss Victor Fries' return in "Deep Freeze." It's revealed that Nora's alive and a theme park creator believes he has the technology to bring her back. But it comes for a price. Drea believes Nora is a symbol, but Brian believes Nora is...Nora! Who's right? And how should Victor be handling his grief? Find out now!
This week, we learn a lot about the similarities between Robin and Alfred, particularly their love of comedy. We also get to know the failed comedian, Smilin' Shecky Rimshot *badum bum*, AKA The Joker! What drives The Joker's need to be seen as the funniest man in Gotham City? Find out in "Make 'Em Laugh!"
Fueled by bitterness and disillusionment about Gotham's legal system, Lyle Bolton becomes the menacing, hyper-masculine enforcer "Lock Up." In our consideration of Lock Up's abusive treatment of Arkham's patients, we explain the similarities and differences between Lock Up and real-life participants in the classic psychology study, The Stanford Prison Experiment (1971). We also discuss Interactionism as a potential explanation for Lock Up's behavior. Listen now for our complete analysis!
One of the most requested episodes has finally arrived! When Harley is deemed "sane" and capable of going back into the public, she's determined to do what she can to keep herself out of trouble. But she's Harley, so you know that's going to be difficult. Still, we see progress in her and an unusually warm side to Batman, as well. Plus, we answer a listener's question about hybristophilia. What's that? Find out now!
Harvey Dent is given the chance to rid himself of "Two-Face," once and for all, but someone else isn't happy about that idea. This episode tests Harvey's diagnosis of Dissociative Identity Disorder and the limits of Bruce's friendship with Dick Grayson.
It's another case of an infamous Gotham Rogue going straight... Or is he? Could the Riddler ever really go straight before he got the chance to defeat the Batman in a game of wits? And how realistic is his success at convincing the authorities that he's turned over a new leaf? You may be surprised. Plus some interesting thoughts about the Bat himself.
What can 50 years of hard labor do to the mind? And who's the real villain? Ra's al Ghul? An unknown accomplice named Arkady Duvall? Or the bounty hunter, Jonah Hex? Revelations and psychological assessments are made in this special episode!
She's a doll. She's a baby. She's ...homicidal? Baby Doll was a child actor who was afflicted with the congenital disease called Systemic Hypoplasia, a condition that stunted her growth and caused her to appear 5 years old forever and her developmental and identity mismatch created a significant amount of psychological conflict for her. In this episode, we discuss the complexity of Mary's condition: the psychic disequilibrium she experiences when her authentic self isn't recognized by others, the impact her physiology had on her social development, and the possibility that Batman seems to be the one person who relates to her.
It's our first look at one of the most iconic villains in Batman history, Bane. He's the man who broke the Bat in the comics. Will he get the chance to repeat in the animated series? Find out if Killer Croc has made progress with social skills and how Bane uses his special purpose!
It's the beginning of a new year, but we get to revisit with some old friends...and villains! It's the return of the Ventriloquist and Scarface! And things aren't looking good for Selina Kyle, as she struggles with her perceived lack of freedom. Why can't Bruce offer more support? Can she conquer her impulsive nature? What's the psychology behind these villains?
It's our second anniversary and we're celebrating with a look at Tim Burton's sequel to 1989's blockbuster, Batman. In this episode we're introduced to the villains Penguin and Max Shreck and anti-heroine Catwoman. The underdogs rise to the top and make for some perfect psychological analysis!
We've all felt it before. The thirst for revenge. And yet, psychological science has demonstrated that very little satisfaction results from enacting revenge. In this episode of The Arkham Sessions, we revisit one of the beloved yet misunderstood villains, The Clock King.
It's another amazing Harley-centric episode! But, as always, it comes with its own controversy surrounding Harley's unhealthy relationship with the Joker. Our analysis focuses not just on the cycle of violence in their relationship, previously mentioned in "Harley & Ivy," but also Harley's costume as a big part of her identity, Batman's own ability to to think like the Joker, and more! Plus, we experiment with live questions via Periscope!
They are the elite! Or so they think. They're the Terrible Trio, a burgling threesome that targets the rich--not because they need the money, but because they're just bored! This episode, called the worst of the DCAU by none other than Bruce Timm, actually proves to be perfect for Dr. Andrea Letamendi's psychological analysis!
Are we all capable of blossoming into our "better selves?" Can those with seedy pasts reform? Can someone with a criminal background turn over a new leaf? In light of Poison Ivy's potential "recovery," we explain what rehabilitation might look like, whether it's predictable or even possible, and we look at the self-fulfilling prophecy, the phenomenon of making a prediction come true simply by believing in it.
Ra's al Ghul has returned and wants to learn the secrets of life and death--beyond those he already has from the Lazarus Pit. Only two people can stop him: Batman and his own daughter, Talia. Will Batman learn from his last experiences with the al Ghul family? FInd out in "Avatar!"
The Batman is put on trial by the Rogues Gallery. His charge: the very creation of the Rogues themselves! And his defense attorney is none other that Janet Van Dorn, the prosecutor that believes Batman should be imprisoned with the lot of them! Does her opinion change during his defense? And would it, if she really had to defend Batman in a court of law? Dr. Andrea Letamendi will tell you why or why not in "Trial!"
It's our first time evaluating the REAL Killer Croc since his very first appearance in "Vendetta." How has he changed since then? And is it possible for someone like him to reform after meeting up with a community of people who have had many of the same experiences he has?
We revisit the psychology of the Mad Hatter, exploring his obsession with control, manipulation and alteration of other people's minds, and his fundamentally damaged and poor sense of self. Additionally, could symbolism and superstition actually have a significant effect on our behavior and thought patterns? And is having a worry-free or stress-free life such a good idea?
Batman diagnoses Arnold Wesker (AKA The Ventriloquist) as having Multiple Personality Disorder or Dissociative Identity Disorder. But is this diagnois accurate? And is Batman qualified to make this diagnosis, to begin with? In this episode, Dr. Andrea Letamendi breaks down this controversial disorder and tells us what she thinks of Batman's assessment.
This week, we get a clear portrayal of a full-fledged delusional disorder in a new villain: Maxie Zeus. We discuss the diagnosis of Delusional Disorder, types of delusions and the impact the illness could have on the family members, partners and colleagues around the person suffering. Finally, we consider what the real differences are between Batman and Maxie Zeus--could they actually be more alike based on their fixed values, impervious beliefs, and the "creation" of an identity?
What separates humans from robots? Dr. Andrea Letamendi dives into the psychology at play in this fantastic episode that brings up deep emotional themes seen in science fiction classics like Blade Runner and haunting imagery from others like The Terminator.
When we left our heroes, Ra's al Ghul was holding his own daughter above his head, ready to kill her in a sudden fit of insanity, brought on by the rejuvinating effects of the Lazarus Pit. In this episode, we look at the similarities between Batman and Ra's al Ghul, as well as whether Batman would ever be able to have a romantic relationship in addition to the life he leads as Gotham's number one crimefighter. That and more here!
It's our first real look at the mysterious Ra's al Ghul, "The Demon's Head!" First introduced, along with his daughter, Talia, in "Off Balance," this quintessential member of Batman's Rogues really gets to shine in "The Demon's Quest, Part 1." When Robin and Talia are kidnapped on the same day, Ra's recruits Batman to help him rescue them. But is everything ever as it seems in Gotham City? Their journey takes them from Gotham to Calcutta to Malaysia to the Himalayas and, finally, to the infamous Lazarus Pit! But why? Find out in this week's episode of The Arkham Sessions!
Due to a catastrophic explosion at WayneTech Industries, Bruce Wayne is injured and suffers corneal flash burns. The bad news: He's temporarily blind! Against Dr.'s orders, he suits up as Batman and goes after The Penguin so he can stop him from causing anymore mayhem with a stolen military-grade helicopter, aptly nicknamed "Raven." Aided by an occular device (that seems to be implanted in his brain?!), Batman regains his vision and pursues The Penguin and his henchmen to the site of a dangerous steel factory. But the visual aid runs out of batteries, rendering Batman completely blind while facing one of his most dangerous enemies. Miraculously, he discovers how to compensate for his lack of sight by engaging his other senses, and Daredevi--er, Batman, finds a way to serve his mission without one of his most integral senses!
In this episode of the Arkham Sessions, we discuss Batman's inflexible personality, his insistence on working "impaired," and his ability to work with the new deficit of blindness. We explain potential circumstances in which one could "see without seeing," such as the condition called "blindsight" and the fascinating phenomenon called "neuroplasticity" -- how the brain can adapt and change based on experiences. For instance, if one sense is deprived of input, other senses (hearing, taste, touch) are augmented, and actually take up more "brain space" than initially reserved for those senses! Finally, we revisit the Milgram Obedience Study, a famously groundbreaking study that revealed the dangers of authority and conformity.
Commissioner Gordon has been arrested on suspicion of taking bribes from mob boss Rupert Thorne and Batman's on the case. But so is Gordon's daughter, Barbara, who's showing herself to be quite the accomplished crime fighter herself...as Batgirl! This week, The Arkham Sessions breaks down her acceptance into the Bat Family, how her origin is different than that of Batman and Robin's and whether being a murderer means you're mentally ill!
Why do we stay with people who hurt us? Why are so-called "toxic" relationships sometimes the hardest ones to leave? And what can we do when those relationships become too dangerous for our psychological or physical well-being? In this episode of The Arkham Sessions, we spend some time reviewing one of the most psychologically relevant episodes of Batman: The Animated Series, "Harley and Ivy."
The brutal bird is back! We revisit the psychology of The Penguin this week in our review of "The Mechanic." Due to a high-octane car chase, the Batmobile is pretty banged up. Batman takes his beloved wheels to his mechanic, a man who basically services all the bat-vehicles in a secret garage hidden under Gotham City. Unfortunately, The Penguin discovers the location of the secret garage and blackmails the mechanic into booby-trapping the Batmobile! Although the episode is full of action-packed chases and hostage situations, there's still a lot of psychology to discuss! Is The Penguin a sociopath? And what's a sociopath anyway? What does all this destruction say about Batman? Find out!
Brian's love of magic is rewarded with this episode of The Arkham Sessions! Zatanna, the daughter of one of Bruce's old mentors, has come to Gotham to put on a show. Boy, does she ever! But it might get her into trouble. Dr. Letamendi discusses the Batman's continuing saga with unobtainable love interests, the psychology of magic and we even learn how Zatanna's big trick could have been done!
Once again, we're given a glimpse into the sibling rivalries within Gotham's mob community. Only this time, it's the brother of Rupert Thorne, Matthew, a gifted surgeon--and former friend to Thomas Wayne and Leslie Thompkins--whose license was revoked, due to his participation in Rupert's criminal activities. "Paging the Crime Doctor," perhaps, gives us our best peek into the personality of Rupert Thorne so far. So what does Dr. Letamendi have to say about him? And how does Batman himself stack up to Dr. Letamendi's professional code of ethics? Find out now!
Is Matt Hagen a criminal? Or is he just doing what he has to to survive? Clayface returns to Batman: The Animated Series in "Mudslide!" And, this time, he's joined by Dr. Stella Bates... and A LOT of classic movie references! Find out how Hagen's been doing since we last saw him and what Dr. Letamendi thinks about Stella in this episode of The Arkham Sessions!
A couple of episodes ago, we learned what Batman would be like with the possibility of losing Jim Gordon. Now, find out what Gotham would be like with the loss of Batman. Sidney Debris is the man who killed Batman. Or is he? And how does this potential blunder affect him and those around him? Find out, as Dr. Andrea Letamendi tackles the loss of Batman, for Gotham City, for Jim Gordon and...the Joker?! That's right. The Clown Prince of Crime is in mourning! Find out all about it here!
Meet Talia al Ghul, a mysterious woman in black, that seems to be on Batman's side. Or is she? In this episode of The Arkham Sessions, we learn about betrayal and what it does to our core schema and what this means for Batman--and Bruce--down the line!
It's been another year since the death of Bruce's parents and, like every year, Batman visits the site in Crime Alley with his old family friend Dr. Leslie Thompkins. But this year's different. Bruce has fallen into a much deeper depression and believes that Batman hasn't accomplished anything in Gotham City. This mindset gets Jim Gordon in trouble and Bruce has to make some very important decisions. In this episode of The Arkham Sessions, we explore Compassion Fatigue and what it takes to avoid it and combat it, should it fall upon us.
The Riddler is back and, once again, he's tapping into his advanced knowledge of gaming in "What is Reality?" This week, we discuss The Riddler's decision to renounce the identity of Edward Nygma, his early adoption of Virtual Reality, the possibilty of this technology actually killing Commissioner Gordon and VR's very real place in today's therapy. That and more in this week's episode of The Arkham Sessions!
Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot, aka The Penguin, insists that he's going straight. But will society--specifically, HIGH SOCIETY--allow him to do so? In this episode of The Arkham Sessions, we get our first solid look at the psychology of The Penguin.
We celebrate our one-year anniversary with this very special look at the most requested Batman story yet, Mask of the Phantasm! Get a better look at the history of Bruce Wayne, his long lost love, and the painful missions of vengeance they both share.
The majority of Gotham's Rogues Gallery--Poison Ivy, Two-Face, The Penguin, Killer Croc and The Joker--are together to enjoy an evening of poker and storytelling, as they each get the chance to recount their tales of almost killing Batman. In this episode of The Arkham Sessions, we get a unique chance to take a look at each of our main Rogues; from their strengths to their shortcomings. We also get a chance to analyze Batman's own strengths and shortcomings with each of his nemeses. And we even get a little visit with Catwoman. This and more in this epic episode!
Man-Bat returns! Or does he? In this episode of The Arkham Sessions, we re-visit Batman: The Animated Series' original villain, Dr. Kirk Langstrom. But he's not the same man, having been dealing with the aftermath of his transformations for the past year. But so has his wife. It's the perfect time for Dr. Andrea Letamendi to check in on their recovery!
Kyodai Ken has returned and this time, he plans to end Batman's life by discovering a 500-year-old scroll that holds the secret to the "Kiba no Hoko," a fighting style so lethal it can kill Batman with a single touch! This episode of The Arkham Sessions explores Batman's self-concept and how others influence his sense of self.
Meet Anthony Romulus, an athlete determined to be the best. But those ambitions could cost him more than he ever bargained for. In this episode of The Arkham Sessions,we take on steroids and something called Clinical Lycanthropy!
The Arkham Sessions is back with an in-depth look at one of the most fantastical episodes of Batman: The Animated Series, "Tyger, Tyger." The science fiction of genetically engineered cat-people aside, the unique episode deals with the tragic issues related to Dr. Dorian's condition. We compare his motivations to Man-Bat, who was equally delusional, but not as interested in creating familial relationships the way Dr. Dorian does. This episode of The Arkham Sessions is dedicated to the memory of a member of our family and the perfect feline, Anya.
Our first LIVE episode of The Arkham Sessions! From San Diego Comic Fest, we bring you our conversation about "Joker's Wild!" This discussion with the audience gives us the perfect chance to re-analyze the Joker as well as Batman, himself. Especially since this episode proves that he can, at times, be a little too single-minded, putting the lives of those he's trying to protect in jeopardy.
It's taken 40 episodes, but we're FINALLY introduced to The Riddler and it's worth the wait, as we talk about the battle of wits between Batman and the newest member of his Rogues Gallery. But is Batman off his game a little in Round 1? Or is he giving Robin the chance to step up? Is either scenario a healthy one? Find out in this episode of The Arkham Sessions!
Wayne Enterprises is working on Artificial Intelligence, but this a good idea? After all, the man responsible for teaching Bruce everything he knows about electronics has already developed his own supercomputer and it's not working out well. We talk about A.I., hypothesize that this episode isn't really about A.I. at all, discuss Roko's Basilisk and more on this episode of The Arkham Sessions.
Is Batman stressed out? During this episode of The Arkham Sessions, we take a look at relaxation therapy with Dr. Hugo Strange. We also take a moment to sample one real relaxation technique. Listen to this episode for a chance to get de-stressed!
On this episode of The Arkham Sessions, we revisit the weird love triangle between Bruce Wayne, Selina Kyle and... Batman. Will Bruce ever win Selina's heart? Does he even really want to? And will he ever be able to look past her criminal history?
In this episode of The Arkham Sessions, we revisit the relationship between Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson. Once again, resentment is exhibited by Dick as he tries to deal with Bruce's perfectionistic and strict mentoring style. Dick may be on to something--Bruce appears to be closed off when it comes to the expression of his emotions. In fact, he may have deficits in the area of emotional intelligence, which is one's ability to perceive, understand, and manage emotions.
We revisit our analysis of The Joker, this time taking into account his relationship with Harley Quinn. Harley is dangerously in the way of The Joker's wild, impulsive antics. Is The Joker compassionate enough to save her? Listen to the episode for the full psychological analysis of this villainous pair!