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Capes On the Couch - Where Comics Get Counseling


Apr 24, 2024

It's time to swim in the Deadpool and do the DEATHSTROKE! Some people would give their left eye for an episode like this. Those people probably need help just like Slade. Listen now!

  • Intro - Jeremy Whitley
    • Apologies for the delay

  • Background (2:18)
    • Deathstroke (Slade Wilson) created by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez in The New Teen Titans #2 (Dec. 1980)
    • At 16, he lied about his age to join the Army during the Korean War, and later met his wife, Captain Adeline Kane - after they married, they had three children: Grant, Joseph, and Rose
    • Subjected to an experiment where he was injected with a substance that drastically increased his healing, as well as giving him expanded use of his brain’s capacity #BecauseComics
    • Started working as a mercenary, keeping his business private from Adeline, until a criminal kidnapped Joe to blackmail Slade - although Slade killed the criminal, Joe’s throat was sliced, destroying his vocal cords and rendering him mute - this angered Adeline, who shot Slade through the right eye
    • Grant took a contract to kill the Teen Titans, but died after an experiment to give him superhuman abilities - Slade vowed vengeance on the Titans, blaming them for Grant’s death, but was defeated
    • The Judas Contract - Slade used Terra to infiltrate the Titans, then once he learned their identities and weaknesses, systematically went after each of the Titans - Joseph joined with Nightwing to possess his father, and after Terra died, Slade was captured
    • After that, Slade occasionally worked alongside the Titans while still working as a merc - he was forced to mercy kill Joseph, who was a Titan known as Jericho and was possessed by the souls of Azarath
    • Gave Adeline a blood transfusion which drove her insane, and she tried to kill all metahumans, blaming them for Jericho’s death - when she requested a mercy kill, Slade refused but Starfire obliged, and he cut ties with the Titans
    • Jericho possessed Slade right before his death, and used Slade’s body to enact revenge on all the Titans - this led to Slade training Rose, his last remaining child, to kill Jericho, but his methods drove her insane
    • Was responsible for the destruction of Bludhaven and killing over 100,000 people to mentally destroy Nightwing - he was defeated by Batman, Robin (Tim), and Nightwing
    • New 52 - reboots Slade as a mercenary who lost his eye in a terrorist attack, and after his sons and wife were killed, he goes on a rampage to protect Rose
    • Dies in Rebirth after being killed by Red Arrow

  • Issues - Theme: Being too smart for your own good doesn’t have to turn out this bad! (9:59)
    • Kids: They’re a handful, am I right?
    • Intellectualization as an isolator 
    • The definition of “Enough” (26:05)

  • Break (35:58)

  • Treatment (37:57)
    • In-universe - Give him a protection contract and make him honor it
    • Out of universe - So many examples with real-life veterans (41:35)

  • Skit (49:29)
    • Hello Deathstroke, I’m Dr. Issues. -Hello, Doctor. *pause* This is unusual and I don’t like it.
    • Well, therapy or counseling isn’t always meant to be fun, and lots of people hate going to the doctor, so -*interrupting* Not like that. I’ve been a wanted man for ages. You’ve seen patients like me in confined areas before. Yet you let me waltz in without a hint of security. No shackles, no guards, not even a warning. That doesn’t make sense. I can only draw 2 conclusions. Either you are requesting my services, in which case you have no need for safety, or you have an unknown unknown, which uncharacteristically would put me at a disadvantage.
    • I’m sure you’ve read my profile. -From the “exposure” you had a while back, sure. Very sloppy, and yet cleaned up as if it never happened. Your current information is modest on networks but still acclamatory. But I’m sure you are referencing my ability to infer that you are a pacifist and would never entrust my means. Very well. I will take this session at face value. Humanity is full of idiots, you’re no different.
    • That is quite the exposition and non sequitur simultaneously. I’ll bite. What’s wrong with humanity, and how does that affect you? -It’s hard to act with perfection when you can’t let morons know you are imperfect. I can exploit anyone I want. Sometimes it’s pleasurable. It’s certainly profitable. But I’m not above petty revenge. I’ve loved before. I hate even more. And yet, only one of those goes unrequited for long. No one will pity a mercenary. 
    • You don’t deserve pity. No one does. -*pause, genuine shock* Too Machiavellian of a phrase for a Hippocratic practitioner.
    • Too quick of a process for the smartest man in the room. No one deserves pity. They deserve grace, honesty, and empathy, the ratios of which can be seen as enlightening, punishing, and rewarding, depending on the circumstances. The chase is beneath you. By your own account, I’M beneath you. So why bother? Money? Really? -If I have mastered the rules of a game, then I should be able to keep my own scoreboard at my whim. But I have other motivations, and yes, I will admit that they are just as basic as any other *ahem* family man. I don’t pretend to be stereotypical in my reactions, but I mourn my losses, too.
    • I feel like this is all a test of my wits. I have to prove to you I’m worthy of your time. You could have ended this…take of that what you will…at any point. Do you really think I have some sort of ace up my sleeve? -Unlike you, I don’t use the colloquial “I feel” To substitute for “I think.” And yes, I think…haha, I KNOW you have me scouted. Anything less and you are a trusting fool.
    • Try me. -I know you’ve encountered the Titans before. I created a diversion so they will be too busy searching for a fake battle hundreds of miles away. You are alone.
    • Am I? -I know about your latest burner phone. All signals from this office are blocked. It’s a brick, now. No bats will be in this belfry.
    • Um…well… -Surely that can’t be it, right? You have more to deliver to test my mettle? The archer? The Martian? The big blue buffoon? 
    • Don’t call me Shirley. -*Pause* You truly are an idiot like all of the rest.
    • Cool, then you don’t have to waste your energy on killing me. -You’re not a mark. That’s the only reason you’re still breathing. 
    • I’ll take it! -As if you have a choice. Pathetic. *door opens as he’s about to leave*
    • Oh, and Mr. Wilson, I just wanted to let you know that you don’t have to intimidate someone who is genuinely trying to help you. It makes you look like a casual jerk instead of a ruthless assassin. Amongst the government agencies, interstellar factions, extradimensional rulers, and plain ol’ folks who want to see you suffer, I might be your only chance of living any semblance of a peaceful life. I’m risking my existence by talking to you and keeping my vow of confidentiality only if you mean what you just said, because I can have a clear conscience that you are a shrewd butthurt businessman rather than the essence of evil that those who conspire against you would want me to believe. I figured all of that out without anyone telling me a single word. So I may not be a queen on your chessboard, but I damn sure am NOT a pawn. -Do you
    • *interrupting* Slade. -*pause* All you had to say was my name, and we could have avoided the banter. No contacts, please, unless I come to you.
    • Now we have an agreement. Goodbye.

  • Ending (54:49)
    • Recommended reading: Judas Contract
    • Next episodes: Storm, Wonder Woman, Shadowman
    • Plugs for social & GonnaGeek Network

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