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Capes On the Couch - Where Comics Get Counseling

Apr 6, 2022

Grab your Ouija board, because we're talking to KLAUS HARGREEVES! How can the Seance make a better connection with the living instead of the dead? Tune in to find out!

  • Intro
    • We’re back! Thanks for all your kind words & thoughts
    • New Patron - Austin!
    • Reminder of AMA for 150
  • Background (3:35)
    • Number Four (The Seance/Klaus Hargreeves) created by Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba in The Umbrella Academy #1
    • Go back to Issue 130 for a look at Number Five
    • The Umbrella Academy is a team of seven superpowered children, born to women who previously showed no signs of pregnancy - all adopted by Dr. Reginald Hargreeves, a wealthy philanthropist (secretly an alien)
    • Vol. 1 - Apocalypse Suite - Klaus introduced as part of the team, a group of 10 year old children who stop the Eiffel Tower from destroying the world 20 years ago - in the present, their adoptive father Dr. Hargreeves dies, and the team reunites to bury and mourn him
    • Their adoptive sister Vanya, long thought to be the only non-powered member of the team, turns out to be the most powerful, and undergoes surgery to enhance her powers of weaponizing sound - the team bands together to stop her, and Klaus channels Dr. Hargreeves and Igor Stravinsky as part of the plan before using his telekinetic ability to stop pieces of the moon from slamming into Earth
    • Vol. 2 - Dallas - Klaus is captured by agents from the Temps Aeternalis, an organization overseeing time travel, in an attempt to find his brother Number Five, and murdered - he doesn’t stay dead, however, returning to possess the agents and kill them in revenge (God kicks him out of Heaven)
    • He, Spaceboy, and the Kraken all travel back in time to Vietnam to stop Number Five from assassinating JFK and irrevocably altering history, but then have to stop the agents from also killing Number Five
    • Vol. 3 - Hotel Oblivion - Klaus is essentially a junkie being pimped out by a biker gang, who uses his ability to scam people into talking to their deceased relatives about hidden money, and then the gang leaders dig it up - Klaus turns on the abusers - he then joins his siblings in battling villains that escaped from an interdimensional prison built by their father - the volume ends with the team encountering the Sparrow Academy, a rival group of similarly powered “siblings”

  • Issues - Theme is detachment (8:17)
    • Living surrounded by dead people
    • Drug use as a coping mechanism (15:24)
    • Relationship with siblings constantly strained, both by his own actions and those of the team, but he’s always one of the most “loyal” members of the team (22:30)
  • Break (27:59)
    • Plugs for BetterHelp, Hops Geek, and Gail Simone
  • Treatment (30:11)
    • In-universe - 
    • Out of universe - (33:22) Focus on getting the drug use addressed first, then address childhood trauma
  • Skit (41:32)
    • DOC: Hello Klaus, I’m Dr. Issues.
    • KLAUS: Hello Doctor, pleased to meet you.
    • DOC: So what can I help you with?
    • KLAUS: I’m not sure. I don’t know if you can help me. Not your fault, just that I don’t think even a mental health professional can comprehend what I’m all about.
    • DOC: I’m not pretending to be an expert in everything, but I’m a relatively fast learner. Try me.
    • KLAUS: Ever been in a war?
    • DOC: No
    • KLAUS: Ever levitated?
    • DOC: No, but I’ve been around some people who can fly.
    • KLAUS: Ever shot up?
    • DOC: Can’t say that I have.
    • KLAUS: Come On! I was giving you an easy one.
    • DOC: I work with peer counselors all of the time; I’m not going to lie to placate your sensibilities. I know it’s not the same thing.
    • KLAUS: I’m not one for those “blank” A meetings anyway
    • DOC: Which ones? AA, NA?
    • KLAUS: Yes.
    • DOC: I see. It’s interesting that you seem most closed off about the substance use when you also mentioned physical conflicts and the supernatural.
    • KLAUS: Oh no, I don’t hide that either. I’m just tired of my abilities being used as a cheap parlor trick, or worse yet, as a way to scam money out of well-intentioned but clueless people.
    • DOC: Indeed. Entertaining a person doesn’t garner their attention the same as having a conversation. I will say though, that the two don’t have to be separate.
    • KLAUS: Well I don’t “entertain” as much as “shock the hell out of” people, but I get your point. No, I can strike a balance. That’s where the dynamic shifts. You think talking to someone in trouble is speaking to their soul. Man, I SPEAK TO THEIR SOUL.
    • DOC: What kind of lessons have you learned from that?
    • KLAUS: Their regrets, mostly. Even the dead can still worry. I bet there’s some you’d like-
    • DOC: Don’t go there.
    • KLAUS: Oh…*some sort of magical sound* Oh. I see. Well, that’s awkward.
    • DOC: Not as much as you’d think. Us mere mortals may not delve into that realm as frequently as you, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a connection. Every. Single. Day. Even just for a few moments.
    • KLAUS: Humor helps.
    • DOC: Don’t I know it! Is that your go-to coping mechanism?
    • KLAUS: Plenty, but it’s a quick fix. No, the problem, I think, is that there’s no way to “move on” for me. Folks like you get that transition and go about your business. I’m just the chump that gets the feedback loop when others pass along. Gotta dampen that somehow.
    • DOC: That’s a common plight among those who suffer from addiction
    • KLAUS: It’s not all suffering, I
    • DOC: *interrupting*You enjoy it until you can’t, yeah I realize that. What’s your motivation to change?
    • KLAUS: *pause* I want to see where this goes.
    • DOC: I don’t have a particular agenda for how many sessions
    • KLAUS: *interrupting* No, I mean ALL of this. It’s a lot, man. I get put in spots where I’m expected to call on some sort of “great wisdom through the ages” but I just want to listen to some music. Notice the little things. Be trivial. That’s not as bad as it seems. My family, they get bogged down with saving the world when they can’t save themselves. Dad was…well, whatever the hell he was. That’s what I’ve learned from the dead.
    • DOC: That’s…more than I care to imagine. I try to put myself in someone else’s shoes, but you…I don’t even know where to begin.
    • KLAUS: Yeah, it’s a trip. That’s where all the… substances come in. Help clear my head. I figure if I have to see all kindsa weird stuff, at least I can do it to myself.
    • DOC: I can’t even ask “why the pain?” Because it’s obvious. Maybe a slight tweak. What do you FOR yourself?
    • KLAUS: I just told you.
    • DOC: Nope. You said TO yourself; as if your existence is a trivial one that can be used as a plaything. Just how important is your life compared to others?
    • KLAUS: I mean, what difference does it make about the value of my life? I’ve come back from the dead at least twice, so clearly life and death don’t mean a whole helluva lot to me. And my siblings, well… I… “love” them, I guess. The world would be a lot worse off without them.
    • DOC: So you show grace to those you love, but not to yourself, because you’ve had an experience that’s different from their own, AND YET, you view your unique experience as a negative to your self worth. That’s what you’re telling me? I don’t buy it.
    • KLAUS: Oh, our experiences are negatives to all of us. Not one of us is happy for what we’ve been through. My point is just that compared to them, I’m somehow less well adjusted. I mean, it’s what it is. I’m just calling it like I see it. Not looking for pity or anything, that ship sailed a long time ago.
    • DOC: Are these the things you told yourself when you died?
    • KLAUS: Which time? But seriously, I’m just trying to do the best with the cards I’ve been dealt. You a poker player?
    • DOC: For the sake of rapport…yes.
    • KLAUS: So I’ve got a three-eight offsuit. Flop came down Men’s Wearhouse, all faces. I’m looking for a runner-runner and praying to pull trips. That’s my daily existence. Get the picture?
    • DOC: Yup. But there’s so much you’re not saying that’s vital to the hand. What’s your position at the table? What are the stacks? Plus, you have a “cheater’s edge” in your pocket. You’re worried about what the dealer is going to think if you use inside information, not to mention the interactions that you have that can either bluff or intimidate the weak lays. There is so much more than basic math that would allow for you to come out with a fighting chance.
    • KLAUS: Hmph. Fair points, Amarillo Doc.I suppose I can do a better job of reading the players at the table. Any suggestions?
    • DOC: Start with yourself. Know your tells. Don’t telegraph everything at once and wonder why everyone pushes you around with a bad hand. You have an ability that gets to see the turn and river over and over after the hand is done. Use that in how you deal with others.
    • KLAUS: And I suppose you’ll recommend I do this all with a clear head?
    • DOC: Well, NO S**T.
    • KLAUS: I can’t promise it’ll be all the time. But I suppose I can take a break from time to time and get a better handle on things. Now that we’re done with that, ever done shrooms?
    • DOC: I’ll tell you what I tell most folks: Just say no to most drugs.
    • KLAUS: Well if you ever wanna take a trip with me, you know where to find me.
  • Ending (62:11) 
    • Recommended reading: Vol. 3 is heavily focused on Klaus
    • Next episodes: 150th episode, Moon Knight redux, Elsa Bloodstone
    • Plugs for social


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