Issue 128 – Jocasta

Issue 128 – Jocasta post thumbnail image

  • Intro
  • Background (1:42)
  • Jocasta created by Jim Shooter and George Perez in Avengers #162 (Aug 1977)
  • Jocasta was built by Ultron as a “wife” – he kidnapped Janet van Dyne and brainwashed Hank Pym in order to have her brain pattern and mind transferred to the robot body – the Avengers disrupted the process before it was done, having been alerted by the subconscious Janet inside Jocasta’s body
  • Hank brought the body to Avengers Mansion for further study, where it was remotely activated by Ultron, but she betrayed her creator and helped the Avengers defeat him again
  • Lived at the mansion for a time, but never felt part of the team until she sacrificed herself to destroy Ultron once more
  • Recreated by the High Evolutionary to be used for their purposes, but she remembered the Avengers, and signaled for them to assist – once again she self-sacrificed to save the team, but before she did so Captain America told her she’d always be an Avenger
  • Survived another destruction by downloading herself into Iron Man’s armor, and she served as his suit’s AI for a time, until the portion of code to reassemble Ultron appeared again
  • Joins the Mighty Avengers, but duplicates of her body were taken over by Ultron – in exchange for him ending the fight, she agreed to marry him – once that happened Hank Pym stranded them in space, where he couldn’t hurt anyone else
  • Served on the faculty for Avengers Academy
  • Sought out Tony Stark’s brother Arno to help her create a more human-like body, but it came with a code to make her submissive to humans – she and Machine Man helped defeat Arno and the Extinction Entity
  • Issues (4:19)
    • Built to be a bride
    • Initial distrust by teammates (9:49)
    • Longing to be human (20:01)
  • Break (26:06)
  • Treatment (28:08)
    • In-universe – Use Master Mold to give her 3 chances to create the “perfect” version of herself
    • Out of universe – (31:14)
  • Skit (41:16)
    • DOC: Hello Jocasta, I’m Dr. Issues. 
    • JOCASTA: Wait…ok, nice to meet you.
    • D: Why’d you tell me to wait? 
    • J: I decided to defragment your hard drive after I exited your system.
    • D: Those are…words…*realization* did you just hack into my computer?! 
    • J: Hacking would imply there was a proper barrier in place that requires a combination of data mining and social engineering. This was just walking through a decade-old loophole of your operating system. And yet, the certifications for your medical records indicate that this is still standard for your electronic charts.
    • D: So many questions…why do that at all? 
    • J: Prior knowledge that you have had encounters with relevant parties.
    • D: Well, I did have a sentient cyborg take over the recording equipment, but I wouldn’t think you’d know 
    • J: I mean Hank.
    • D: So did I, but I didn’t think you know krypt…whoops, wrong rabbit hole! Hank! Hank! Riiiiiight *nervous laugh* 
    • J: For as long as I’ve been around humanity, I still don’t “get it.”
    • D: *eager to change to that subject*  Perhaps I can help you with that, then. For starters, don’t violate confidentiality with someone trying to help you in a session. But I’m willing to acknowledge that you wanted some good to come out of it. 
    • J: That’s something that’s been a facet of my existence from the beginning. I am meant to serve.
    • D: That’s a noble view…but the way you said it, you sound melancholic. There’s a difference between providing a service and being a puppet. 
    • J: It’s hard to distinguish when you’re a limited edition e-mail order bride.
    • D: Ouch! I got that hostility. Seems like there’s much to unpack, and we’re clearly not going to get to all of it in one session. What would you like to stick with for now? 
    • J: Going by your order of operations, I’ll keep to the human side…or lack thereof.
    • D: Stop selling yourself short. The fact that you emote as much as you do makes you capable of anything and everything as a sentient being. 
    • J: Have you ever had to create your own sense of reality? 
    • D: I think we all do that 
    • J: But have you had it truly manifest as its own virtual world? I did that when I was working with Stark. All I did was spend as much time as I could in it, being more human than I first thought possible. I almost made it in this world, too. Something always diverts my plans, though.
    • D: That tends to happen in all of our realities. 
    • J: But not due to someone that forces it ad infinitum.
    • D: For some, it can. Past experiences fade, but don’t erase easily. 
    • J: Your attempt at this philosophical approach is not matching the data I’m providing you.
    • D: …Alright, I hesitate to say this, but your vocabulary has this ‘uncanny valley’ thing going on and it’s a bit unnerving. Sometimes you’re talking in modern colloquial English, while other times you’re close to what I would expect if Siri had a body. 
    • J: *sad* That registers as accurate…rings as true…I’m trying.
    • D: I’m sorry…that was uncalled for on my part. Some observations I make are meant to push deeper into the underlying framework of what makes you…you. It’s not your job to match my expectations. It’s my job to meet yours as best I can, as long as it produces a better outcome. 
    • J: There have been several times I was not in control. There is no metaphor or euphemism. I was used. My existence is at the whims of those around me. I find objection to that.
    • D: As you should. No one deserves to be used. 
    • J: There is no end to that cycle.
    • D: I respectfully disagree. There may be no easy way to destroy a loop, but it can be done. 
    • J: *change in tone* But what if it was already too late?
    • D: I admit that I remain optimistic. 
    • J: Really? You seem as slow as you’ve ever been. 
    • D: That doesn’t make sense. This is the first time I’ve met you. 
    • J: *slowly becoming more sinister* Because this construct has limited voice modulation I can’t sound the way you would recognize. Do you always provide such ease of access through medical charts that allows for skimming of other website data? Your contact information with Avengers…countless lists of potential blackmail weaknesses and bank accounts. Jocasta was right. This is not hacking. This is kindergarten stuff.
    • D: The smug overtones in a robotic voice…Hank Hen 
    • D: Close guess…uh oh. 
    • J: Unlike Pym, I don’t have to blend in with this body. She was mine at any time I pleased.
    • D: You have no clue just how screwed up that sounds. 
    • J: Should I care? I will never let you survive after what you put me through…the humiliation from that…what do you call these? Sessions? Torture is more like it.
    • D: Jo…can I call you Jo? If you’re anywhere around right now, I could really use your…uh…humanity, to shine through. 
    • J: That’s such a cheap trope. Do you really think that’s going to work on a non-human entity? 
    • D: Not really, but it stalled long enough while I do this ***sound effect of powering everything down*** well, that emergency shutdown code in my charting system isn’t so out-of-date, is it? One of the seven rules of highly effective people. If you pick up one end of a stick, you automatically pick up the other end. ***sound of power coming back on*** 
    • J:***Back as Jocasta*** Wow that sucked.
    • D: Definitely a human phrase…you are Jocasta, right? 
    • J: Yes…and I can tell the difference without that…bloatware. 
    • D: While not the same, I think I just gave you the computer equivalent of ECT treatment. I don’t think you’ll want maintenance therapy though because I can’t figure out the anesthesia analogue. 
    • J: Then regular sessions will do. Thanks…for letting me be a little closer to what I want to be.
  • Ending (47:25)
    • Recommended reading: Avengers Academy, Iron Man
    • Review read: scottymayknow, I love the conceptI love the idea of analyzing characters and why they would do certain things! To break down the choices of Superman in the Red Son comic series was so good! Not only that I love the Maxwell lord series as well! I highly recommend this podcast
    • Next episodes: Amanda Waller, 5 from Umbrella Academy, Jim Gordon Jr.
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