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Capes On the Couch - Where Comics Get Counseling

Feb 16, 2022

Log in as we dissect CYBORG! What upgrades can Doc offer him that he can't download himself? Listen now to find out!

  • Intro
    • Reminder to send questions for AMA 150 
  • Background (1:34)
    • Cyborg (Victor Stone) created by Marv Wolfman and George Perez in DC Comics Presents #26 (Oct 1980)
    • Victor Stone is the son of two scientists, who use him as a test subject for intelligence experiments - he resents this, and falls in with a dangerous crowd as a way to rebel
    • One of the experiments brings a hostile creature from another dimension into his parents laboratory - the creature kills his mother and gravely injures Victor before his father can return it to its home dimension and close the portal
    • His father then uses bleeding edge experimental technology to save him, at the cost of the majority of his body now being robotic - when Victor awakens, he lashes out at his father, revealing he’d rather be dead than experimented on again without his consent
    • He joins the Teen Titans as a way to find others with common experiences
    • He then merged with an alien artificial intelligence named Technis, which helped him restore his mind, although it turned his body into an entirely cybernetic being named Cyberion, and he had to stay on the Technis planet in order to survive - this experience left him distant from humanity, and when he returned, he assimilated all the technology he could find until he was the size of the moon - he was attacked by the Justice League and the other Titans - Beast Boy was able to reach Victor’s humanity and got him to upload his consciousness to another suit, rendering Technis inoperable
    • Gets dismantled during Infinite Crisis, and it takes almost a year to put him back together
    • New 52 - the explosion in his father’s office is now related to a Mother Box, and Silas uses the technology to save Victor’s life - he now can access the New Gods library and discovers Darkseid is invading Earth in search of the Anti-Life Equation - joins the fight with the Justice League to battle the invaders, and becomes a founding member of the team
    • After the Crime Syndicate (an evil mirror version of the Justice League) invades, Cyborg is taken over by Grid (Earth-3’s Cyborg), which expelled all his organic material - Hal Jordan used the Lantern ring to suspend him until Silas could operate on him and revive him again

  • Issues - Theme is tinkering
    • Adjustments to prosthetics
    • Considers acceptance of his form to be equivalent to stagnation (18:59)
    • Relationship with Silas has improved, but still has deep-seated trust issues (28:55)
  • Break (38:41)
    • Plugs for BetterHelp, Not If I Reboot You First, and Phillip Kennedy Johnson
  • Treatment (40:43)
    • In-universe - Learn coding to speak his language - has he ever “gone gold”?
    • Out of universe - Multi-amputee with family issues (44:40)
  • Skit (feat. Karrington from Real Dudes Podcast) (51:17)
    • DOC: Hello Victor, I’m Dr. Issues.
    • VICTOR: Hey Doc. Let’s do this. I’m all in.
    • D: *pause* Ooooookaaaay? *excited* OK!
    • V: Here’s a list of the last 3 angry outbursts I’ve had within the past month. I’ve also included my vitals, my calorie count, and I have a full database of the last 30 years of psychotherapeutic and psychotropic recommendations by the American Psychiatric Association for diagnoses in the DSM and the ICD 10, 11, and 12.
    • D: There is no ICD 12 yet.
    • V: I have my ways.
    • D: But you don’t even know what you’re diagn 
    • V: *interrupting* I have taken the MMPI Inventory and the standard deviation of error after multiple runs is within an acceptable range for any PhD, PsyD, MD, or DO with an acceptable clinical certification. I also cross-referenced any abnormal responses with screening exams for Depression, ADHD, psychosis, addiction, and monitored all of my hormonal levels to make sure there were no underlying physiological causes. 
    • D: You don’t need to screen yourself for addictions unless someone else 
    • V: *interrupting, but actually excited* The Titans say I am addicted to tech. But they don’t live with it like I do. I’m showing them that I am in full control of myself, and thanks to this research I’ve found a way to use Monte Carlo simulations for how likely I am to have any emotional response at any moment. I never thought about the human brain like this before. I can modify my eye to be a functional MRI device…if I could just find the proper shielding against my own body.
    • D: That is dangerous and NOT fully diagnostic yet. I love the enthusiasm but…how do I put this? BACK OFF, CAN’T YA?! 
    • V: Hmmm? *confused* I thought my gruntwork would make this easy for you. I am willing to undergo pharmacogenetic testing for the best medication. Isn’t this what you do?
    • D: *flustered* NO! Yes, well…it’s complicated. 
    • V: I know, right? If it took me a few all-nighters to get the reams of data necessary for an introductory session, I can’t imagine what you have to do for multiple patients every day of the week!
    • D: You want to know what I do? Honestly? 
    • V: Yeah! I’ll admit, I thought this was all psychobabble nonsense, but there is some real rigor behind neuroscience. 
    • D: I talk to people, and they talk back to me. I make suggestions based on that information, along with the biological and social components, and repeat that process with the patient’s input. 
    • V: *sound of fuse blowing* That DOES sound like psychobabble nonsense. I mean, I can get you a copy of my last schematic
    • D: PLEASE tone it down. I’m begging at this point. Look, I’m impressed by your efforts, but it’s clear to me that you have no other format for viewing yourself. You’re incredibly smart. You’re laser focused - no pun intended. You realize that others think SOMETHING is up, and you double down on what you know. You’re isolating yourself and you don’t even know it. 
    • V: The hell I am! I’ve been a key component in some of the most important events in human history...UNIVERSE history. You don’t know me.
    • D: There’s that anger that you mentioned. 
    • V: So my cortisol level-
    • D: Nope…don’t care. 
    • V: Say whaaaaaaaaat?!
    • D: Dude…just talk to me. How are you? How are those you care about? What’s your favorite food? 
    • V: This isn’t a date.
    • D: Not like that, but it IS a human interaction of getting to know one another. Please, just stick to the basics. 
    • V: Nah man, if you don’t recognize I’m Linux all the wa-
    • V: *sound of short circuiting* Sorry, doc, gotta reboot a few things
    • D: Ohhhhhhh No, you’re not avoiding this. I realize this is all a smokescreen now. Ever heard the phrase, ‘if you can’t dazzle them with your brilliance, then baffle them with your bullshit? Well, sir, you have managed to create the ultimate bullshit brilliance hybrid I can fathom. Drop it. 
    • V: Well, damn. You cut real deep with that, man. I’m not sure this will work out.
    • D: Why not? Are you willing to do something that doesn’t have a treasure trove of data to mine? Actually, I think it’s the opposite; you get the chance to look at your own personal black box that’s been hardcoded into your psyche. The more you’re willing to let go, the greater the likelihood of a new finding. 
    • V: *pause* You really want to do this without downloading the latest…
    • D: *interrupting* Don’t care unless you talk about your father. 
    • V: Weeeeeeell…I’m sure you can google his name…ha ah haha *nervous laugh* *cough* Maaaaaaan, just let it go, will you? That’s the problem with practitioners of soft sciences. They fall back on outdated formatting. Are you Freud 2.0 or something?
    • D: Only if you’re Cyborg plus. 
    • V: I don’t understand. I was expecting you to say “Cyborg 2022” or something. 
    • D: No, I mean, there’s nothing wrong with being…comfortable. I apologize for my frustration. You dig technology. Sweet. It’s vital for you. But what else makes you who you are? You don’t have to answer that for me just 
    • V: *interrupting* Just myself. Yeah. My dad was the same way. Just colder. At least I’m around people that can make me feel good once in a while. That’s a nice situation, ya know? Not trying to rain on their parades. I can’t sit around watching TV or doing endless workouts or some such. I like making a difference. But I can always be better. I’m not sure anyone understands that.
    • D: That was the best thing you’ve said this entire time. It seemed really tough. It gets easier over time. 
    • V: You’re opening my mind, Doc.
    • D: Thanks, I 
    • V: Yeah, I should have been downloading Beck and Ellis instead of just philosophical stoics when I was younger. I can do a PubMed search with the proper tags as soon as I leave
    • D: *dramatic cough* AHEM 
    • V: Orrrrrrr I could just…journal for 5 minutes tonight?
    • D: You’re catching on. I’ll see you next session. I trust that you’ve already logged it on your calendar.
    • V: *confident/satisfied* Booyah.
  • Ending (57:43)
    • Thanks Karrington - Real Dudes Podcast
    • Recommended reading: Blackest Night, JLA/Titans
    • Next episodes: Black Bolt, Echo, 150th Episode Special
    • Plugs for social


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