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.

51:12

Issue 143 - Jessica Drew

  • Intro
    • Welcome to Season 7
    • Having a baby girl in May :) 
    • Pocus Hocus giveaway coming soon on IG
    • Episode 150 coming soon
  • Background
    • Jessica Drew created by Archie Goodwin and Marie Severin in Marvel Spotlight #32 (Feb. 1977)
    • In her first appearance, she was a spider who evolved into a human
    • That was later retconned - her origin is when she was young, she became sick, and her father injected her with an experimental dose of irradiated spider’s blood, and put her in a chamber to incubate, but while she was in there her mother died and her father left - she spent decades in the chamber, but came out only aged to 17 #BecauseComics
    • THAT origin was then altered - her mother was hit with a beam of radiation with the DNA of several varieties of spiders, and her parents were actually working with/for HYDRA as scientists
    • She leaves Wundagore and is captured by HYDRA, who train her as a spy to assassinate Nick Fury - she accidentally kills her handler, at which point she discovers the truth and defects, becoming a SHIELD agent (also revealing that the “evolved spider” was part of HYDRA’s brainwashing)
    • Works as a private investigator while simultaneously being Spider-Woman
    • Joins the New Avengers and helps the heroes recapture all the villains that escaped the Raft - later revealed that this was actually Skrull Queen Veranke in disguise, which led to the Secret Invasion
    • Abigail Brand invites her to join SWORD and kill hostile aliens on Earth
    • Played a major part in Spider-Verse
    • After that, she quit the Avengers and began focusing on small-time help, using Ben Urich and Roger Gocking, the reformed Porcupine, as aides
    • Recently gave birth, using artificial insemination from an anonymous donor - her son Gerry inherited her powers
  • Issues (11:32)
    • From Ruby - reluctance in trusting others
    • Constantly having to reassure people she's not Vernake (17:05)
    • Earlier in career, dealing with distance & uncertainty around people because of her lack of familiarity with them (22:40)

  • Break (28:50)
  • Treatment (30:20)
    • In-universe - Focus on genetics, including passing it along to Gerry
    • Out of universe - Focus on trauma - similar to Dr. Scarlet (guest on our Black Widow episode) (34:04)
  • Skit (feat. Jessica from Girls Talk Comics) (41:35)
    • Doc: Hello Jessica, I’m Dr. Issues.
    • Jessica: *sarcastically joking/tongue in cheek* What’s up, Doc?
    • D: Hardy har har, never heard that one before.
    • J: Sorry, had to get that out.
    • D: Understood. Bad jokes are hard to let go. So, what can I help you untangle in your psyche?
    • J:Touche. I *yawn* sorry, Gerry-my son-kept me up last night, and I’m trying my hardest to get my 3 functioning neurons to cooperate. Do you have any kids?
    • D: Sure do. I remember those nights. Never enough coffee.
    • J: If I could walk around with a permanent IV drip of espresso, it wouldn’t be enough some days. Why do we do this to ourselves?
    • D: It’s biologically driven, because kids are cute meat blobs that would die without us.
    • J: Yeah, they are adorable little parasites, aren’t they? Sucking the life and the soul out of you all the time, and yet one smile or laugh and they give it all back.
    • D: *laughs* Before this gets too dark, we really should talk about how caring for a child is affecting you.
    • J: Me personally or the superheroing?
    • D: Well…whichever one makes you the most distressed? I can guess though, because most people feel like they only should focus on the personal side and tend to throw any other part of their life to the wayside…not that I agree with that, but that’s the tendency I’ve observed.
    • J: I dunno… I guess the super stuff stresses me out more, at least as it relates to him. Because it seems like it’s less natural to me than being a mom, even though I never fully envisioned myself as either… if that makes any kinda sense, I realize this is the caffeinated ramblings of an exhausted parent, but I’m really trying my best not to fall over here.
    • D: Mommy brain (and daddy brain, for that matter) are a real thing. You’re making sense. 
    • J: OK good. It’s just… I wasn’t really *raised*, per se, I was incubated. Relating to people never came easy for me. Certainly didn’t have any great parental figures to speak of, unless you count Bova, and I don’t know any normal people who were raised by a humanoid cow. So when I decided to have Gerry, it was like finishing a puzzle where I didn’t realize I was missing any pieces. Every day with him has been a joy.
    • D: Then let’s say you’re doing the best job you can with him. What’s the problem with being a superhero? *pause* That’s a moronic thing to ask, huh?
    • J: Not the dumbest question I’ve heard today. My… partner had a complete misunderstanding about feeding Gerry today, and I had to explain that infants are not supposed to eat Lindor truffles. Anyway, to your point… it’s more about the fact that I’ve had these powers and skillset for a long time, and I still don’t entirely feel comfortable with them. Having a kid on top of it… it feels like an uncomfortable suit that I can’t take off. And if you crack a joke about my costume, I’ll zap you so hard you’ll wake up next week.
    • D: I have no intentions of agitating you. The random mix of events that led you to your current life are not something to mock. Let me say from the start that there’s no such thing as getting it all exactly right. Do you have any resentment about your status? I’ve met plenty of people that wish for things to be different.
    • J: Oh I got past the resentment part ages ago. Yeah, it ate me up for a long time, and yes I took it out on some people that probably didn’t deserve it. But then I wouldn’t be where I am, and I probably wouldn’t have Gerry. So in that respect it works out. The thing that gets me is more about… feeling this, pull, obligation, whatever you wanna call it, towards the hero thing. It’s like, I’m doing the mom thing, but then I need to get out because if I don’t leave the house someone is going to get hurt, likely Roger, so I get some fresh air. While I’m taking my break, someone inevitably needs help, because everyone in New York City is incapable of going more than a week without being attacked by some souped-up genetic mistake, so then I have to swoop in and save their sorry ass, because otherwise word will get out that Spider-Woman just happened to be there and didn’t lift a damn finger, and that gives Jameson more fuel for his anti-spider editorials, which is gonna send Parker into a tizzy, and I don’t need that agita, so it’s easier just to save them and move on.
    • D: That…sounds like there maaaaaay be a little bit of left over resentment there…just sayin. Not blaming you, but wow is that an emotional bag to carry.
    • J: Chalk it up to exhaustion. When you get this tired, anything’s liable to come outta my mouth. But I guess I wasn’t as adjusted about this as I thought. Hmph.
    • D: That’s OK, at least you’re aware of it now. I’m a pretty good sounding board. Feel free to blast away…um, not literally. A bit of disclosure here, but I have a similar style to how I deal with exhaustion. No filter. But, that makes me worry, when do you recharge, and how? Can’t when you’re crimefighting, can’t be when you’re taking care of Gerry, so…
    • J: Carol has been clutch when I need a breather, and especially if we’re out and something goes down, she’s waaaaay better equipped to handle stuff than I am. So I sit back and let her wail away on the dude, and then we go on our merry way. 
    • D: Nice delegation. I like it. I need to do more of that myself. Thanks for the reminder. So, what’s your ideal balance? Brainstorm it. No idea is too crazy.
    • J: Hoo boy, that’s asking a lot for the already exhausted hamster upstairs, but I’ll kick him in the ass and see what I can come up with. Umm… *phone vibrates* Dammit, hold on a sec, it’s Roger. I told him only to message me if it’s an emergency, and… *pause* Alright, I gotta go.
    • D: Everything OK?
    • J: If by “OK” you mean “my kid sparked an electrical fire that burnt a hole through the kitchen wall and spread to my neighbor’s place”, then yeah, it’s peachy keen. Sorry Doc, we’ll pick this up again next time. And maybe then I’ll bring a few extra neurons to make it an even half dozen, and we can have a real conversation.
  • Ending
    • Recommended reading: Spider-Woman vol 6 by Dennis Hallum & Javier Rodriguez
    • Next episodes: Terra, Ben Grimm, Alex Summers
    • Plugs for social

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