Cover art for podcast Capes On the Couch - Where Comics Get Counseling

Capes On the Couch - Where Comics Get Counseling

155 EpisodesProduced by Capes on the Couch: Where Comics Get CounselingWebsite

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 40 - The Punisher

Patron Matt asked for THE PUNISHER! Anthony & Doc break down the clearest case of PTSD in comics around. Does Doc survive his session with Frank Castle? Listen in to find out!


  • Introduction

  • Background (7:15)

    • Frank Castle created by Gerry Conway & John Romita Sr. and Ross Andru in The Amazing Spider-Man #129 (February 1974)

    • Debuted as an antagonist who wanted to kill Spider-Man over the murder of Norman Osborn

    • Later became an anti-hero who fought alongside Avengers and other heroes

    • Revealed that he was a Marine who became a vigilante when his family was killed by the mob in retaliation for their witnessing a killing in Central Park

    • Made several appearances in Frank Miller’s Daredevil run, where he contrasted Matt’s attitude

    • In the late 1980s and early 1990s, at one point there were five simultaneous books about the Punisher on shelves – The Punisher, The Punisher War Journal, The Punisher War Zone, The Punisher Magazine, and the Punisher Armory

    • In PunisherMAX, Garth Ennis wrote a grittier, realistic Punisher who had been active for nearly 30 years, having served in Vietnam

    • During Civil War, joins the anti-registration side because Iron Man is using villains to enforce the Registration Act, but after he kills two villains who joined the team, Cap beats him up and kicks him off the team

    • After Captain America’s death, briefly takes up the mantle out of respect

    • During Dark Reign storyline, Castle is killed and decapitated by Daken – resurrected by Morbius and becomes FrankenCastle – fights alongside other monsters until he’s returned to human by the Bloodstone

    • During Secret Wars, massacres a room full of villains who were watching the worlds collide

    • Secret Empire – joins Hydra Steve Rogers, because he feels Hydra Cap will use the Cosmic Cube to resurrect all those killed by Hydra, including his family – once real Steve defeats Hydra Steve, Frank goes on Hydra killing spree to atone for his involvement

    • In an alternate future where Thanos wins, Castle dies fighting Thanos, but is resurrected as the Ghost Rider after making a deal with Mephisto – then acquired the Power Cosmic in a deal with Galactus – THEN joins Thanos in a quest to punish evil across the galaxy

  • Issues (20:42)

    • Obvious case of PTSD

    • Singular focus on revenge – black and white morality (25:59)

    • Indifference to killing derives from the PTSD, but is its own thing (36:01)

  • Treatment (43:08)

    • In-universe

    • Out of universe (48:31)

  • Skit (54:29)

  • Ending


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Spotify: here

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