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Capes On the Couch - Where Comics Get Counseling

Apr 27, 2022

Grab your guns, we're going hunting for monsters with Elsa Bloodstone! What will die faster: the things she squares off with or her family legacy? Listen now to find out!

  • Intro
    • Last few days of Podchaser Reviews4Good
    • So Wizard - Ask them Anything? More like ask them why their show is so consistently amazing.
  • Background (3:15)
    • Elsa Bloodstone created by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, Michael Lopez in Bloodstone #1 (Dec. 2001)
    • Daughter of legendary monster hunter Ulysses Bloodstone, Elsa was raised to follow in her father’s footsteps
    • Ulysses was a taskmaster who showed Elsa little affection, and instead focused solely on training her to be an effective killer - this drove a wedge between them, and when Ulysses was dying, Elsa refused to put him out of his misery despite his request
    • When he died, she inherited the Bloodstone, which gave her increased durability and strength
    • Was a founding member of the Nextwave team, which battled Dirk Anger & HATE, and also blew things up just for funsies
    • Joined the Defenders for a spell to help them fight demons, during which she battled Deadpool & Elektra when they tried to steal the Bloodstone
    • Became a teacher at the Braddock Academy, where her younger brother Cullen was enrolled
    • Then she joined the Dr. Doom-led Avengers during AXIS
    • In the aftermath of Secret Wars, Elsa is on Battleworld - she encounters a young girl with no memory, who she names Shuttup - she and Shuttup are followed by a mysterious figure, who turns out to be an alternate universe version of Ulysses, who is hunting down all forms of the Bloodstone - Elsa realizes Shuttup is a manifestation of her lost childhood, and together they kill Ulysses and merge with the stone - Elsa uses the power of the stone to resurrect Ulysses and give him a second chance
    • Took a young Inhuman boy named Kei Kawade under her wing, as he had the power to summon and control monsters - once he grew strong enough to control his powers, she bid him farewell
    • Next fought a beast that infected her Bloodstone hand, and with the help of Deadpool was able to recover - he took the infected stone and then sacrificed himself, destroying the monsters they were fighting and curing the infection in the process - Elsa looked after Deadpool’s head while it regenerated
    • Recently learned she and Cullen had a half-sister named Lyra, who was born a long time ago and sent into another dimension by Ulysses - she came crashing back to Earth

  • Issues (9:49)
    • Wasn’t really raised as much as she was trained
    • Not a fan of her calling, but she has decided it will end with her (17:42)
    • Related to that, keeps people at a distance to focus on the job (24:31)
  • Break (34:41)
  • Treatment (36:25)
    • In-universe - Follow Elsa to get her comfortable with decision making without massive consequence
    • Out of universe - Child soldier analogue (38:20)
  • Skit (feat. Rebecca from Into the Knight) (45:38) 
    • DOC: Hello Elsa, I’m Dr. Issues.
    • ELSA: Hello, doctor.
    • D: So what can I help you with?
    • E: Not much. You don’t seem like the kind of bloke that can handle a weapon.
    • D: Ummmm…no? Why would you even go there?
    • E: Figured this was some sort of setup. Nobody wants to talk to someone like me out of the blue unless they’ve had some big problems in their life.
    • D: It’s usually the other way around. My job is to help people through their own big problems. I’m not trying to foist my issues on to theirs.
    • E: Could’ve fooled me with the name. 
    • D: I honestly hoped that no one would look at it like that, but…we’re off topic. What can a mental health and wellness professional, such as myself, help you with?
    • E: Perhaps you could get in the heads of some of these horrible creatures and distract them so my job gets easier.
    • D: *pause* You really think that you don’t don’t need help with anything?
    • E: You sound like a hammer looking for a nail.
    • D: I’ve had plenty of defensive patients before, but you’re trying to sound…smug? Cool? I’m not sure what, but I’m not going to ignore it.
    • E: You do that. I’ll just sit back and polish my gun while you keep fishing…that’s not a metaphor or anything *clicking sound representing a gun hammer*
    • D: So…subtle, or not so subtle intimidation. You’re a pro at this.
    • E: *pause* Now you’re REALLY trying hard to get me to talk about something. I’m not going to waste your time. I got the big stuff out of my life, and I don’t sweat the small stuff anymore. I’m fine.
    • D: I’ll have to do this the old fashioned primary doctor way then…any medical problems?
    • E: Nope. I healed them.
    • D: What did you heal?
    • E: Not much, just my whole arm. Had to get it back.
    • D: You…you grew back your arm?
    • E: No, don’t be bonkers! It was…magic, basically. Damn, if you don’t know anything about that stuff, that sounds crazy.
    • D: Your…pendant? Just gave a glow. What’s up with that?
    • E: It does that sometimes. What of it?
    • D: You just described a massive event in your life, talked about magic, and you have a glowing rock on your neck. You won’t talk about anything when I ask if there’s a problem, but you tried to get me to sound like I’d be some sort of sidekick. With all due respect…something ain’t right.
    • E: You sound like you're trying to make me out to be a trickster. I’m as straight a shot as they come. Don’t try to use any psychological ploys on me, or I’ll paint the bloody wall with your skull.
    • D: I’m a straight shooter, too…you’re being vague on purpose. The only real clue is your reactions and fragments of what you give. Do you realize how hard that makes it to formulate an assessment and plan?
    • E: *irritated* Fragments? YOU have fragments? You don’t know what it’s like to have your own memories as fragments! I’m not being coy when I stop you. I just figured stuff out for myself, and I don’t want to have to go over it again with some random stranger that thinks I’m some bird trying to get sympathy.
    • D: I’m not that judgemental…you said some loaded statements just now, maybe we can unpack
    • E: *Interrupting* What did I just tell you? Keep going with that and I’ll show how this baby unloads *gun cocking*
    • D: Am I a monster to you, then?
    • E: *pause* *sigh* No, of course not. 
    • D: But I’m representing some sort of threat to you and you’re walling yourself off because you can’t attack it head on like you usually would. What is it?
    • E: All I’m saying is, I dealt with him already. It’s done.
    • D: I see…well, I don’t really. But whatever it is, I’m glad you’ve moved on. So what’s next in your life?
    • E: I never know that. It’s whatever gets thrown at me. Comes with the territory, better or worse.
    • D: So take charge. You obviously have weapons, guile, and bravado, that’s enough to carry you through, right? 
    • E: Innit? *pause* Emm, wait? I know what the words mean, but you’re stringing them together like it’s a plan or something. Hell if I know any of that.
    • D: *snaps fingers* is THAT why you want me involved? To help figure out your future plans? Maybe not as spontaneous, but also not as traumatic, right?
    • E: That…might make sense if you didn’t sound so much like a doctor.
    • D: Comes with the territory.
    • E: If that weren’t truly witty, I honestly WOULD have blasted you for that comment. I’m not into analyzing, alright?
    • D: You don’t have to be. I can let you know when something is out of sorts from what I hear and observe. Does that make sense?
    • E: *deadpan* you just described analyzing.
    • D: You know, you remind me of the stereotype of a surgeon. Usually right, sometimes wrong, but never in doubt. A chance to cut is a chance to cure. Interventions that make a difference. I’m begging you though, please consider that other techniques may be beneficial. I’m not trying to sound mushy or woo woo, but if you ignore emotions now, they just come out later in unexpected ways. I don’t have to know YOUR history to know that from my own. But be my guest, blast away at evil all you want, hoping to blast away your pain. Or do you want someone to point out opportunities for a better quality of life?
    • E: *sigh* It’s just that, well, with what I do, there’s not a lot of time for processing or thinking about all that stuff. There’s a job, so I do it. I’m trying to do it better than my father, and since I’m talking to you, that’s already an improvement. My goal is to make it so no one else has to endure what I have. If that means keeping my head down until it’s done, then so be it. I can handle it. 
    • D: I’m sure you can. I only want you to find as much joy and peace in that process as much as you endure the pain and suffering. That’s blasphemous to those who have only learned the obstacle as the way. 
    • E: Well, if you can’t crack a smile while putting bullets in the head of mindless brain-eaters, then you’re deader inside than they are. I mean, I wouldn’t keep doing this if it wasn’t at least somewhat entertaining. S’not all bad, I suppose. But I guess I can try to find more of the joy in things while I’m at it.
    • D: Careful, or I might smile back at you to let you know that I enjoy what I do and find things outside of my job to grant me strength and love so it doesn’t consume all of my waking hours, no matter the demand.
    • E: Well, that hits close to home!
    • D: I’m glad SOMETHING finally did. How about this; instead of doing all of the retrospective stuff, you get the chance to regale me with your latest adventure, and I just comment on what’s happened to fill in the possible emotional gaps? Think of a spotter for a sniper
    • E: More of a shotgun person myself, but I get the point. OK, Doc, you got yourself a deal. Now if you’ll excuse me, I got word of some pretty nasty buggers not too far from here, so I’m off to go separate their heads from their bodies. Fancy a look?
    • D: No thanks, I'll just wait here and do literally anything else.
    • E: Fair enough. Your loss, then.
  • Ending (52:41)
    • Recommended reading: Nextwave for fun, Marvel Zombies & Monsters Unleashed for real Elsa stories
    • Next episodes: Holding Out for a Hero, Wanda Maximoff, Beast Boy
    • Plugs for social


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