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.

51:02

Issue 27 - Ra's al Ghul

Third time's a charm - we finally get around to analyzing Ra's al Ghul! Anthony & Doc discuss the value of legacy, reference Hamilton for a second week in a row, and Ra's turns into Grampa Simpson on the couch. Listen now!

SHOW NOTES:

  • Introduction
  • Background
    • Created by Julius Schwartz, Dennis O'Neill, and Neal Adams in Batman #232 (June 1971)
    • Name translates from Arabic to "the Demon's Head" or "Head of the Ghoul"
    • Born 600 years ago in the Arabian peninsula to a tribe of nomads - became a doctor who discovered Lazarus Pits which physically rejuvenate the user, but take a mental toll
    • Over centuries, he becomes a genius and capable fighter, but comes to hate humanity because of their destruction of the environment - becomes an eco-terrorist whose goal is to eliminate much of the world's population through a virus
    • Deduces Batman's secret identity and determines he is the most suitable heir to his empire, so he creates a trap to kidnap Robin and test Bruce
    • Daughter Talia was also used as part of the trap - she falls in love with Bruce, and he reciprocates her feelings - they have on-again/off-again relationship that culminates in the birth of a son, Damian
    • Ra's is integral part of the Tower of Babel story, where he discovers Batman's contingency plans for Justice League and uses them with stunning efficiency - steals corpses of Thomas & Martha Wayne to keep Bruce distracted
    • Death and the Maidens - pits daughter vs. daughter - he manipulates Talia and another daughter, Nyssa, into turning on Batman - Nyssa stabs Ra's and Batman cremates the body
    • Resurrection - Ra's spirit wants to return to a physical body and plans to use grandson Damian - his father, the Sensei, dies fighting Batman, so he wants the body of another son, the White Ghost, Dusan - Ra's succeeds, but Dusan dies - Batman battles Ra's, and has him imprisoned in Arkham
    • New 52 - head of the League of Assassins, and plans to create super-humans inside the bodies of sperm whales - steals the body of Damian Wayne to use for his own nefarious purposes, but Batman recovers his son's corpse
  • Issues (14:07)
    • Insanity as a result of Lazarus Pits
    • Betrayal of everyone he's ever worked with has left him alone (22:34)
    • Nostalgia bias (30:55)
  • Treatment (35:26)
    • In-universe
    • Out of universe
  • Skit (43:00)
  • Ending

References:

iTunes: here
Google Play: here
Stitcher: here
TuneIn: here
iHeartRadio: here
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