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Capes On the Couch - Where Comics Get Counseling

Feb 9, 2022

Things get chaotic as we discuss HAVOK! Is this Summers brother as… difficult as Scott? Tune in to find out!

  • Intro
    • AMA for 150
  • Background (1:57)
    • Havok (Alex Summers) created by Arnold Drake and Don Heck in The X-Men #54 (March 1969)
    • Alex Summers is the younger Summers son - he and his older brother Scott were in a plane crash piloted by their father Christopher - the boys survived the crash, though Scott was in a coma for a while
    • Raised in an orphanage before being adopted by a family whose son died in a car crash - he was kidnapped by the same person responsible for the young boy’s death, but Alex’s powers of plasma blasts manifested and he burned the boy - Mr. Sinister discovered Alex and put a psi-block on him to help him control his powers
    • Later captured by Larry Trask & the sentinels - given the code name Havok, as he had difficulty controlling his powers
    • Joined the X-Men and began an on-again/off-again relationship with Polaris - they later quit to focus on their relationship
    • Alex learned that his father was Corsair of the Starjammers
    • Had a brief relationship with Madelyne Pryor, Scott’s ex-wife, while she was working as the Goblin Queen, and she manipulated him to help her take over the world, until she discovered she was a clone of Jean Grey and killed herself #BecauseComics
    • Joined X-Factor, a government sponsored mutant group, and eventually led the team for a while - he left after Multiple Man’s death at the hands of the Legacy Virus
    • For a time, Alex was sent to an alternate universe, where he discovered that universe’s version was married to Madelyne and had a child named Scott - Alex served as a father figure for a while until he was returned to his reality
    • Returned in a coma - fell in love with his nurse, Annie, but he still had feelings for Polaris, and they got engaged - Alex left her at the altar because of his lingering feelings for Annie, and Polaris tried to kill her before being stopped by Juggernaut and Alex
    • Joined his father and learned he had a younger brother, Vulcan, who is head of the Shi’ar Empire - Vulcan kills Corsair, and Havok battles Vulcan but is defeated
    • Later serves as head of the Avengers Unity Squad after Avengers vs X-Men, since Captain America wants a mutant to lead the team after Xavier’s death at the hands of Scott
    • During AXIS, his morality is inverted, and he reconciles with Scott, but remains corrupted after the spell is reversed
    • He is currently living on Krakoa with all mutants, spending time with his family in the Summer House on the Moon

  • Issues - Theme: instability befitting his name (7:24)
    • Nature of relationship with Scott - “Good” Scott vs. “Bad” Alex
    • Hero, villain, and in-between (15:17)
    • Can’t catch a break, and he knows it (22:33)
  • Break (31:29)
    • Plugs for BetterHelp, Grief Burrito, and Chris Claremont
  • Treatment (33:04)
    • In-universe - Use his suit as a form of biofeedback to allow him to get better in tune with himself
    • Out of universe - (38:24)
  • Skit (45:22)
    • Hello Alex, I’m Dr. Issues. - Hello, Doctor *sigh*
    • You don’t exactly seem enthused about this. -*pause* Is that a question?
    • Well, what is it about seeing me that gets you down? Or, were you already depressed and that’s why you’re here? -Nothing that dramatic. I doubt I’m the first mutant you’ve seen that doesn’t like the idea of scrutinizing their past, digging up mistakes, talking about the stuff that nobody else wants to hear. I’m actually not a downer kind of guy. Honest!
    • Fine with me. Then let’s try again. What brings you here, on your own terms? -I’m messed up. Is there a reason it has to be analyzed more than that?
    • I don’t do that type of analysis unless it’s absolutely necessary. This is meant to be confidential, anyway. -I know. That’s why I agreed to do this. I have a big idea, but I’m doubtful anything will come of it. Plus it’s going to make me sound psychotic.
    • Don’t jump to that conclusion. What’s up? -My family has a way of being dramatic.
    • A proud member of the club! -Maybe I can…I don’t know…my brothers are really different. But Scott especially. There’s this vibe I get sometimes. He holds a lot back, and I know he doesn’t trust me as much as he could. That’s my fault. I own it. But…this is the crazy part…he doesn’t say anything to me, but I noticed some changes, you know? I tried to ask him, and all he did was give your card. I’m not asking about him, but what did he say about me? I’m getting paranoid about it.
    • I can’t talk about any other person outside of you. -Then that confirms it! I’ve been tortured that way, given lies to make me think the worst of the world. I don’t let that stuff break me. But Scott just gives me your card, doesn’t say a word. Does he think I’m that screwed up that he can’t talk to me? I’d rather he blast me in the face because I know I can shake that off.
    • Is this about sibling rivalry, or getting dirt? -No way, doctor. I’m just trying to put 2 and 2 together. You know how many times I’ve been told I’m out of control? Sometimes I lean into that. Live with it. Love with it. We don’t see the world the same way. He’s the one to show up, show out, and wait for the applause. I show up, and…who knows? He wanted me to do this, and I can’t figure out why. He always has a plan.
    • Forget about his plan. What’s your plan? What do you want to do? -I don’t want what he wants. He always talks about the oppressed, and the constant struggle to make mutantkind a shining example to the world. Well, what about the world? What about those downtrodden who also don’t have a genetic eraser to bail them out of trouble? It’s hubris. I can’t stand people like that. But that’s all I ever see when people lead. I saw it with Scott, I saw it in Cap, I even saw it in Charles sometimes. *pause* Maybe they need this more than me. They’re the ones that call the shots. I don’t want to be a part of that.
    • With such eloquence and candor, someone’s bound to put you in that spot -They did! Oh, did they ever. Hated it. It’s not for me. I’m a wildcard. I know better than to cut loose and abandon the people I fight with. That’s a sacred bond. But that doesn’t mean I should be some poster boy managing the day-to-day stuff. Ok, hypothetical here: what if you help me. Then what? I learn to tolerate things I don’t like instead of doing more of what I DO like? I spend my evenings planning missions instead being with the love of my life? Why would I want that?
    • I’m noticing a pattern here, and it’s unique. Most people that step foot into my office are afraid of failure. You are on the opposite end of the spectrum. What if you succeed? You said you had big plans -*interrupting* and they blow up. That’s just the way it is.
    • It doesn't have to be. You can find a new way to enjoy things, you can bring along loved ones as your mind expands, you can still find ways to say no, except by choice instead of by chance. Learn to put the chaos in the background for once instead of making it the whole picture. - But how? It’s all around me. Hell, it’s in my name. At this point it’s kinda part & parcel of the whole Alex Summers package. Asking me to give that up is like trying to teach me not to breathe.
    • More like a new breathing technique. I’m not asking you to stop being who you are. You have an amazing opportunity to fine tune what makes you such a dynamic person. Start by starting. It’s going to be messy, and that’s okay. This isn’t a competition against your brother, your mentors, or those you care about. It’s you against yourself, and that is a race you can always win. - You make it sound so easy. I’ve done the “fresh start” thing. Several times. X-Factor. Unity Squad. Krakoa. How many times can I reboot? It’s like starting a new comic book and slapping a #1 on the title - it’s still the same retread.
    • Keep track, then. Too often I come across cases where people have taken the right action, and don’t know how they got there, or where things went wrong. That’s the difficult…and let's be honest, the boring part. If you’re willing to do the small stuff, then you’ll be surprised at how it compounds over time. - Like interest. Problem is, interest can be negative. Like my interest in this conversation.
    • Ok, let’s go there. Let’s hash this out in full. You are an example of chaos theory, which means, like the mathematical system it’s based on, you’re not as random as you seem, and can have several parts of your life modeled out with a decent likelihood of the known outcomes. HOWEVER, if you decide to take control, you have now changed the whole spectrum to a simple parabola. I have news for you (as if you didn’t already know) but your life is never going to be bland, or simple. But there is one variable you can use, and it’s your own psyche. Think of this conversation as the butterfly effect for how your emotions and thought processes occur from this point forward. - Well, I was told there would be no math. But I get what you’re going for. *sigh* I mean, it’s worth a shot. Can’t be any worse than the umpteen other things I’ve tried, right? I suppose I should give Scott a call and talk to him about this, too. Of course he’s gonna gloat about it. God, he’s such a…
    • Yes? - I was gonna call him names, but he means well, even if he’s too blunt for his own good sometimes.
    • I don’t know what you’re talking about. - And here I thought you said you couldn’t divulge anything about your clients… he can be a dick sometimes, you can admit it.
    • I do not discuss patients with other patients, even if they’re siblings. - Even if they’re right?
    • I do not. Discuss. Patients. With. Other. Patients. - Alright, fair enough Doc. I won’t tell him you called him a dick.
    • I DID NOT! - Hahaha, gotcha!
  • Ending (53:39)
    • Recommended reading: Peter David X-Factor run
    • Next episodes: Echo, Cyborg, Black Bolt
    • Plugs for social


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