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Capes On the Couch - Where Comics Get Counseling

May 19, 2021

  • Intro
    • Anthony’s birthday
    • Reminder of Erica Schultz Kickstarter - back today to get awesome rewards
    • BetterHelp partnership - This podcast is sponsored by BetterHelp. Is there something interfering with your happiness or preventing you from achieving your goals? BetterHelp will assess your individual needs and match you with a licensed professional therapist. You can begin communicating within 48 hours. It isn't a crisis line, it's not self-help, it is professional counseling done securely online. BetterHelp has a network of over 15-thousand counselors, with a broad range of expertise. You can log in and message your counselor anytime, and get timely and thoughtful responses. You can also schedule regular video or phone sessions, no waiting room required. BetterHelp is committed to facilitating great therapeutic matches, so they make it easy and free to change counselors if you feel you don't have a good connection. it's more affordable than traditional offline counseling, and financial aid is available. BetterHelp wants you to start living a happier life today. Visit, that's better h-e-l-p, and join the over 1 million people taking charge of their mental health with the help of an experienced professional. Special offer for Capes on the Couch fans, get 10% off your first month at
  • Background (5:40)
    • Nebula created by Roger Stern & John Buscema in Avengers #257 (July 1985)
    • Hijacked Thanos’ ship while he was between life and death, and claimed to be his granddaughter - was defeated by the Avengers
    • When Thanos returned, he burned her body, and kept her barely alive, but a husk of her former self - when Thanos went ethereal while using the Gauntlet, she took it off his body and used it to restore herself - defeated by the Avengers and imprisoned
    • Underwent surgery by Dr. Mandibus to restore her body and mind, although it left her as a cyborg
    • Served as a member of Gamora’s Graces, battling Ronan during the Annihilation event
    • Hired by Kindun to track down Gamora for retribution for Thanos’ crimes to him & his planet, but defeated by Avengers
    • Then hired by Thane, Thanos’ son, to kill his father - when she realized he had lied to her about stealing a Phoenix Egg, she killed him, but in so doing hatched the egg, which rebirthed Thane and gave him Phoenix powers - when Thanos and others defeated Thane, Nebula was left behind in the God Quarry
    • Escaped and obtained a dangerous weapon which she used to attack several planets, including Earth - was defeated by the Asgardians of the Galaxy
  • Issues (8:50)
    • Trauma from her treatment by Thanos
    • Lies about connection to Thanos for fear/respect (16:11)
    • Surgery by Dr. Mandibus left her scarred, physically & mentally (23:45)
  • Break (34:14)
  • Treatment (35:40)
    • In-universe - Use Emma Frost to help see inside Nebula’s mind to help her address her traumas
    • Out of universe - (38:55)
  • Skit (55:09)
    • Hello Nebula, I’m Dr. Issues. -Well they’re making me do this, so...hello.
    • I apologize, I don’t intend to make this painful for you -That’s what all doctors say.
    • Are you implying they don’t mean it? -I’m implying that they don’t understand from this end of the transaction. 
    • Well, I’m not like the other doctors you’ve met before. My goal is partly based on what you want out of the deal. -Partly?
    • Since you’re deemed a danger to society, I’ll get the elephant in the room out of the way: I can’t get you a release -I didn’t expect as much. So what then? What’s your idea of rehabilitation...or manipulation?
    • I understand your lack of trust based on prior encounters with those you disagree with. How do we build that together? -You didn’t promise me anything I couldn’t get for myself. That’s a start, at least.
    • Interesting that you should mention that. How much of your troubles have been based on lying? -Everybody lies.
    • Maybe, but there’s volume and magnitude. -”Maybe” is a lie, just as an example.
    • A shallow one, and a prescriptive one for this conversation, yes, but -It’s an example of trying to manipulate someone whom you think doesn’t deserve a straight answer. 
    • So I’ll affirm. Everyone lies, including me. There is volume and magnitude….hmmm, I think I have a better way to go with this -*angry* Good, because if you were going to question my lineage…
    • Who do you trust with your most intimate details? Who gets the little white lies instead of the big bold ones? -Not you.
    • I appreciate the truth in that statement. Does that type of response evoke a different emotional reaction for you compared to your typical answers? -My responses don’t provoke emotion in me. 
    • Really? Because you bristled pretty badly when you thought I was going to get into a sensitive topic. -You’re trying to connect two different things...much different things. I don’t need a doctor giving me a history lesson on my own past, and I don’t want anyone pretending they can try to connect with things they don’t need to know about.
    • Closed book. Got it. How long are you going to remain on the shelf? -Until I finally get things exactly the way that I want.
    • And even then, you’d remain a closed book. Another random faceless person in control that can’t connect with anyone. Sounds like a joyless life. -Just because you don’t get an invitation to a party doesn’t mean the party doesn’t happen. Do you think other people ignore me? Defy me? No, they follow my lead. I’m not as unknown as you think...just unknown to you, and everyone else I choose.
    • Then what are you doing, stuck in such difficult circumstances, struggling day-today to keep so many people at bay? I know you’ve fought many a battle, had allies...but then things turn sour. Each time, you’ve ended up with only yourself to rely on. Then you rebuild. I admire that. That can make it difficult to trust anyone, let alone me. But where does that end? Is it really that bad to save yourself the time and energy by having a core of people you confide in, instead of treating each conversation like a battle that has to be won? -*pause* You don’t live through what I’ve lived through by using lighthearted banter. You’re polite. You’re presenting yourself as kind. Weak, maybe, but that’s a contradiction in your position, as you made it clear from the start. I have no assurance of anything from you, and yet, you somehow expect me to go along with this? That’s not realistic.
    • That’s not your reality. But it is mine. We all have our own. The closer the two realities can be, the greater likelihood that the outcomes are compatible. My existence, if your assessment is accurate, is evidence of that. So it’s up to you. Can you come to terms with the idea that some people in the universe can have good intentions AND lie AND make mistakes AND tie emotions to their words WITHOUT automatically wanting to make things worse for the other person? -*long pause* Perhaps. Perhaps not. I promise nothing.
    • I only promise my effort and attention. -I still promise nothing.
    • Then we can both keep our word. Win-Win! -Only if I say so.
  • Ending (59:45)
    • Recommended reading: Infinity Gauntlet, Avengers stories
    • Next episodes: Victor Zsaz, Rogue, break
    • Plugs for social


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