Anthony: Hello, and welcome back to capes on the couch, where comics get counseling. I am Anthony Sytko.
Doc Issues: And I am Dr. Issues.
Anthony: Thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate your patience. It is wonderful to be back officially fulltime issue 156. It has been many, many months since we have last graced, your ear holes via the interwebs.
And there have been quite a few changes in that time span, not the least of which is the fact that I became a dad again the second time. My lovely, beautiful daughter who is just absolutely amazing aside from trying to eat from the bottle, which she vehemently refuses to do. But no, it’s, it’s great.
And it’s just been fun to take that time off to re-energize. Doc. And I have had a lot of opportunity to reflect on some things and, you know, we won’t get into too many of the details because frankly we already recorded and released that last little catch up episode. So I don’t wanna bore you with a lot of the stuff, but in case you haven’t gone back and listened to that the long and the short of it is that we dropped a better help as a sponsor.
We joined the Gonna geek network and we finally started a TikTok account. So there’s been, been quite a few changes. Doc, you wanna just give a short recap or is everything just kinda status quo for you?
Doc Issues: Well, I’ve taken a trip out of the country. I am glad to have a lot more help at work after having less help at work.
I am really thrilled by the fact that my wife is getting her doctorate degree. I am amazed at the young woman that my daughter is becoming and may heaven have mercy on my soul. She is a lot like me. But I’ve going to take that as a positive cuz that’s what I’ve been told I should do by other people that are also in my profession.
Anthony: absolutely. We also wanna give a big thank you to a couple of new patrons that we actually picked up during the hiatus, which I was not anticipating. I kinda assumed we were gonna lose patrons because people would say, oh, you’re not releasing content for several months, but no, we actually gained a few of them.
Mayor Allison, humble citizen, Joshua, and a certain individual who Doc knows quite well mayor Birju.
Doc Issues: That’s right. So he is my college roommate and he is also a psychiatrist. So. At some point and yes, I’m going to call him out on this at some point we really should have him on the show.
I think it would be a lot of fun.
Anthony: Hell yeah, absolutely. So we will always make time for professionals, certainly friends of the show. So again, we did a full, not like a full length episode, but a, a longer, more in depth recap of some of the things that, the changes that are gonna be coming to the show. For season eight, as again, we, we took some time off to sort of re-energize.
So with that underway, and as we hit you with some new stingers, let’s get into the background.
*Batman sound effect*
The invisible woman, Susan storm, Susan storm Richards created by the legends Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in the fantastic four number one, November, 1961. And we’ve already done Ben and we did alternate universe Reed Richards ultimate Reed Richards the maker. So if you want a little bit of a background into some of the things that we are going at least touch on in this episode, go back and listen to those.
Hit pause on this episode, go back and listen to them. We’ll wait. All right. Welcome back. Okay. Welcome back. So so Sue storm is a founding member of the fantastic four. For those of you who’ve been living under a rock for the past 60 years, a fantastic four were hit by cosmic rays, during space flight, and each of them gained various abilities.
Sue’s ability is the power to turn invisible. So just by way of a little bit of a background prior to that, she and her younger brother, Johnny grew up on long island after their mother accidentally died in a car accident, their father Franklin became an alcoholic who went to prison for accidentally killing a loan shark.
And so Sue kind of had to step up and play the mother role to her younger brother. And that obviously weighed on her quite a bit. She met her future husband Reed Richards when she was a little girl, a young girl, I believe she was about a, a tween or a teenager. And when she got older, she reconnected with Reed and they began a, a relationship eventually dating prior to the space flight.
So as a member of the fantastic four, Sue is originally meek and withdrawn. Her invisibility kind of only comes in handy to help the team when stealth is needed. She goes by the code name, invisible girl, because again, this is the sixties. And so every female character is girl. You had Jean Gray was Marvel girl and Sue was the invisible girl.
Every, there was no women who were all girls, cuz that was the mindset at the time. Again, 1960s. She later discovers a couple years after her powers manifest that she can project invisible force fields. And with this new power comes a little bit of new self confidence and she starts to assert herself a bit more and more.
So she and Reed get married, I believe was like 1965. She becomes pregnant with a child who she names Franklin. We’ll get into that in just a sec. So she leaves the team and Johnny’s girlfriend, the inhuman crystal joins the team in her place. And we did an episode on crystal. So because of Sue’s cosmically radiated body, it was having some trouble carrying a pregnancy.
So Ben, Johnny, and Reed travel to the negative zone to acquire the cosmic control rod to help with the pregnancy. And so after Franklin is born Annihilus releases, Franklin’s full power set because since both of his parents are powered, he is. At the time considered to be a mutant. And then that gets retconned..
As of the last couple of years, we’re not gonna get into that Franklin, frankly, just no pun intended there, but he deserves his own entire episode. So to protect the world, Reed shuts down Franklin’s mind because Franklin is psionically capable of destroying the planet, essentially. And so Reed just shuts down his mind, but doesn’t tell anybody causing Sue to leave him.
So they become separated for time. That’s not the first time that they’re gonna have marital strife because Reed decides unilaterally to do something under the guise of “it’s for the greater good” without any regard whatsoever for how it impacts Sue.
They later reconcile with the help of Namor the sub Mariner who ends up becoming a romantic foil for Sue in what is really essentially kind of a love triangle. Between Reed, Sue and Naor.
Doc Issues: Yeah. This is a situation. If you’ve ever been involved with a dating scenario where someone set you up and now, because they’re a mutual friend, they’re the third wheel.
Well, imagine if that third wheel said, yeah, I’m in on this too.
Anthony: I mean, that’s, that’s not, yeah, that’s not entirely inaccurate. It definitely is a situation where Sue has lust for Namor, and it’s much more of a physical connection. And she does understand that there is an attraction there and Reed is aware of it as well, which obviously doesn’t sit well with him.
But with, with Reed and Sue, it’s a deeper understanding, love with Namor. It’s more of a visceral physical thing going on. And so Namor’s really kind of the only. Guy, who’s come close to getting Sue to consider cheating. Although to be fair, I believe when Reed died or at some point much, much later on, she also kinda had a thing for T’Challa..
And she even admitted to somebody that T’Challa was the first man to come along since Namor to give her those kind of feelings in her loins, so to speak. So Sue gets pregnant again. Unfortunately this and this is a bit of maybe a bit of a trigger for, for some listeners, the second pregnancy is stillborn.
And so she then understandably undergoes a bit of depression. And at this point, psycho man, who is an actual character and not just a nickname I had in high school psycho man manipulates her into becoming malice, the mistress of hate. And so she. Goes full bore on her powers. She kicks seven kinds of ass Reed manipulates her into hating him legitimately.
And this breaks, the control that psycho man had over her. Sue ends up putting him into a coma because that’s how much she’s pissed at psycho man, again, completely justified. But the situation has a lasting impact on Sue. She changes her name to invisible woman because she says, this is the moment where the innocence within her died.
So Sue then takes over the fantastic four. During Reed’s apparent death turns out he was actually only just time displaced and Sue’s love for him. Never wavered despite more entreaties from Namor who’s like, Hey, your husband’s not around. So how about you and me? We finally make things happen. Yeah.
Doc Issues: I just, just wondering.
What’s the moratorium on that. I know there’s no official statement with that sort of thing, but geez, that, that seems really, really tacky.
Anthony: Not to mention again, although this was, I believe this was in the late seventies or early eighties when all this was happening. So death and comics was more permanent than it is now, but it kind of leads me to wonder, given everything we’ve discussed with respect to the revolving door that is death.
If someone dies and their partner finds a new paramour and then the person who was deceased now comes back. Is that considered cheating? That’s probably a topic for another episode.
Doc Issues: Yeah. Yeah. Good question. Good question.
Anthony: Insert Ross, Gellar screaming. We were on a break. You were in the ground. So , after Reed comes back, the team encounters, Valeria Von doom, who strap yourselves in folks, Valeria is a being from an alternate future, who is the child of Sue and Dr.
Doom Franklin later admits that after Sue had the stillbirth, he created an alternate future where the child survived kind of sent the baby off to another future where it survived, that child ended up sort of being Valeria, who then came back to this universe. So Valeria is defeated and then recreated as a baby in Sue’s womb.
And Reed is off doing Reed things and they need somebody to help with the childbirth. So Johnny reluctantly calls in Victor Von doom. And he assists in the childbirth and , so the baby is named Valeria after Victor’s first true love who go back and listen to the Dr. Doom episode. We do discuss Valeria in that one.
And, Valeria & Victor have a very interesting relationship. She, she calls him uncle, he places a spell on her that says she is my familiar spirit. And he basically makes it known to the entire world if anything happens to Valeria, you will face the full wrath of doom without question. And it has been shown on a couple of occasions that if Valeria in a fit of teenage pique, as children are often wont to do, she decides to run away and leave home.
She almost inevitably goes first to Latveria and she stays at uncle Victor’s castle. And it’s like, wah, wah, wah,. My parents are terrible. He’s like, yes, they are child. Your father is the worst person I’ve ever met. , come sit with me. I will give you anything that you want. If you renounce your parents and stay here with your uncle Victor, cuz that’s who doom is.
He does truly love Valeria in a sick and twisted way, but there is legitimate affection there. So during the secret invasion, Sue gets kidnapped and taken out by Lyja who is Johnny’s Skrull ex-wife who then posed as Sue to infiltrate. The Baxter building. Sue gets rescued after the invasion was turned back.
Lyja is a fascinating character and I’m sure we’ll get into her at some point. Then in the recent secret wars, not the eighties one, but the one from like five years ago or so. On a ship that was trying to escape the incursion Sue and the entire fantastic four future foundation group minus Reed were killed when the ship was ripped apart.
And then when Reed gained the ability of the beyonders after God emperor doom was defeated, he used the powers to resurrect everyone who was killed, including his family. And the fantastic four is, is wrapping up or recently, depending on exactly when this is dropped, wrapped up the run in the comics by Dan slot.
And as of early November, I believe is going to be a brand new, fantastic four season or series. I think it’s volume seven at this point written by Ryan north who had a fantastic run on the unbeatable squirrel girl. So I’m very much looking forward to that run as I’ve indicated, many times on the show, I am a.
A big, fantastic four fan. I’ve read a lot of the runs. I’ve not read the entire 60 year history. I just don’t have that kind of time. But I’m definitely looking, I’m enjoying the Slott run.. I know it’s a bit divisive, but I’m enjoying it and I’m looking forward to see what Ryan north can do with the team.
So now with the help of the transformers, we’re gonna get into the issues.
As we transform the show, moving forward the theme here under issues is being noticed., which is not always easy for the invisible woman. And so Sue was selected by our President level patron Jeanine who gave us a couple of topics to discuss. And the first one is I’m saying this a little. Politely then Jeanine did being a strong woman in a male dominated field and family.
And of course the irony is that two men are going to sit here and talk about the pitfalls of a strong woman in a male dominated field. But Doc, have at it.
Doc Issues: Womp womp. Yeah,. Yeah. I first I, I just wanna say that I’m going to do the best I can with this without sounding mansplaining, I guess. But considering what we know about Sue storm, this is not an issue where she’s going to fall apart because other men around her are trying to control the narrative. And there was a time as Anthony alluded to in the background that that may have been a risk and to put it into the real world, The gender stereotypes and roles that are expected in a household can become incredibly stereotypical.
The idea that it’s more acceptable for, let’s say a woman to be a stay at home spouse, or to be a stay at home parents or for the responsibilities of certain tasks to be done in the home. First and foremost, even if both people in a relationship have careers, all these things. And that’s just coming from the idea that you’re talking about one other male growing up.
If you are a child, let’s say of a male parent. Yes. You may have your mother there, but let’s say you have several male siblings and only uncles or things like that. Then. You may actually end up being more exposed to the stereotypes that are outside of the gender norms and may have a proclivity to simply because that’s what, you know, continue to expand upon that aspect of your life.
But then when you get exposed to other females, it may be a situation where you feel less comfortable with them because you’re, you’re not as exposed. You, you haven’t developed what those stereotypes are. And, and I’m being very careful with this because stereotypes, unfortunately, although they can have a negative connotation, there are things that are considered possible strengths.
If they are known historically to be methods of survival or methods of thriving in certain parts of society. So you’re still going to have to create your own social construct and you’re going to be doing it. Both with your own gender and with the other gender, or if you’re still trying to find out what that is for yourself, whatever it may be, you’re going to learn about it.
And I’m gonna be honest. It’s a harsh system. Usually huh. How do I say this? There’s no instruction manual for any of this. All you get is the feedback as to whether or not people like you, don’t like you will punish you or reward you and will either promote you or demote you.
And I’ll use those last two terms to relate it to the work environment where yes, we know very clearly that there are certain fields that have more men than women. We know that the compensation for such fields are often highly disproportionate and that’s not right. And we know that. For the sake of even surviving within those fields.
One of the common coping mechanisms is that a woman doesn’t say as much, and I am not claiming that this is the correct thing to do. It is just something that has been developed as a pattern. So when you look at someone like Sue, she has a husband that clearly has his own personality things. He, she is also with a sibling who clearly has not just his powers, but takes certain risks that she doesn’t always approve of.
She has a longstanding friend of the family that works directly with them. That if you listen to our episode on Ben, he has his own way of doing things. She has someone else that is highly interested in her that she has to be very careful how she interacts with him. She has the rival directly that.
They know that also is his own huge egomaniac.. Like all of these things, unfortunately, we may be talking about them in comics, but any, any of our female listeners, if I’m wrong about this, please correct me. But a lot of you may be just rolling your eyes right now saying, yeah, what else is new? This is my life.
This is who I deal with every day. Maybe not with superpowers, maybe not with saving the world in mind, but definitely raising my family or trying to advance my career or trying to just simply, you know, find my way in the world, regardless of what anybody says I should be doing. And the idea to do that.
I’m gonna add this one little trope to it, with a smile on your face with showing immense levels of quote unquote grace, under pressure to be ladylike, to have all the things that. Society has come to say for the past several centuries, that’s not fair. And if you do decide, and I, I point out decide because I, I want it to be empowering, not just reactionary.
If you do decide that there are times that you need to focus on your wellbeing, especially from a physical or emotional standpoint, then somehow it’s a sign of you being the weaker sex. That’s once again, not fair, but something that I’ve heard, unfortunately, and I do my best to call it out when I see it.
despite all of that, or maybe because of all of that, let’s, let’s put both sides to it. Sue storm is one of the greatest heroes that the comics world has ever known. So. I want that to be a positive note with all of this and, and not let it be just this whole detriment to say that it’s a shame that society treats women that way and remind people that I’m grateful that women are able to show who they are and, you know, make the
world a better place.
Anthony: Absolutely. Sue storms, character arc over the past 60 years has been nothing short of fantastic pun, fully intended, but legitimately the character that Stan and Jack created was, as I alluded to this, this waifish quiet meek, young woman who really only used her powers as defensive and over time and over experiences and over.
Literally fleshing out. What was just kind of a bare bones trope of a, of a character stereotype. Sue has now become the strongest member of the fantastic four. And you and I were talking before we started recording, there are a lot of casual fans and I’ll, I’ll just say casual fans, cuz the diehards know what I’m talking about.
Casual fans think to fantastic four or they, when they think of the fantastic four, they assume Ben grim the thing they think he’s the muscle of the team. That’s not accurate. Ben is the tank. Ben is the guy who will take the hits and keep on coming. He will take the damage because you know, as we alluded to in his episode, he’s just too stupid and stubborn to give up.
Sue is the one who will cause the damage. Sue and her power level have grown substantially over the past 60 years. Sue is one of the few characters that has taken out a celestial. Certainly one of the only mortals that has done so that I can think of she is, is really like on that top tier power level because of what she can do with those force fields and invisibility offensively.
And she talks about all the various ways she can kill you. She can create an embolism inside your brain. She can cut off your blood vessels. There’s, there’s so much to her power and her skillset. And it’s really been again, as I say, a fan of the fantastic four who’s read over the, the course of the 60 year history.
It’s really been a joy to see each writer take Sue and just add to it and just add to that, that mythos and that power, not in a drastic sense, not in a. In organic sense, but just to be able to say, as she continues to learn and evolve as a character and as a person, she just continues to become more powerful.
And I think that is just absolutely beautiful from a writing standpoint. And from a character standpoint, again, to see where she came from the invisible girl to now, , they’re practically unrecognizable. So if you just look at, where they started, you know, how it started versus how it’s going kind of thing.
But if you read over time, it is completely organic and it does make sense to each of those builds. Each of those jumps in power level builds off the previous one in an organic way, in a way that makes sense. And in a way that ties in with her character development and growth And I think that segues nicely into the second issue that Jeanine has suggested, which is working with significant other and your brother.
She’s not only got her husband and her brother. And we, we know that Johnny and Ben do butt heads quite frequently, but there is a lot of that. Dare I say, alpha male posturing between Reed and Johnny. And it comes from two very different places. Johnny being the literal flashy, hothead, and Reed, the, the elder statesman of the team, basically kind of paternalistic.
And in some cases, condescendingly saying to Johnny, like sit down junior, I’ll handle this. And that creates a lot of friction and it puts Sue in the unfortunate position of having to constantly mediate between her. Her husband and her brother. And that is not an easy position to be in.
Doc Issues: Ya, think? Absolutely the, the idea that you have to create different roles for yourself, you have to be the family member while in the family business.
And there are many people that can relate to that. You have to look at the bottom line or someone in the business has to look at the bottom line to make sure that the lights stay on. Everybody gets fed people. If you have customers or whatever it is, if you’re providing a service that those things get done, that they get done well that, you know, there’s something to continue to look forward to every day, while still making sure that you all love each other.
And don’t destroy the relationships that you have outside of work. And that can lead to some serious decision making problems. And I want to acknowledge that there is no one right answer as to how to handle those things. So we know the fantastic four as they are. So there’s the assumption that they’re all going to be able to always work together.
We’ve seen enough variations to know that they can acknowledge in the stories that yeah, there are gonna be some breaks from each other in terms of what they’re doing work wise, regardless of what they, personal relationships are. And vice versa. There are times where you may be totally simpatico with what you’re doing, let’s say in an office or in whatever scenario, but then once that’s done with.
You want nothing to do with the other person at home, because you want your own space or you, you just don’t have the energy or whatever. Then you’ve got the part. As you pointed out, you have to make some serious you, you’ve gotta divvy your time properly between the people that you love by birth and the people that you love by choice.
Not everybody handles that the same way and not everybody has the same expectations as to how that’s supposed to be handled. The general recommendation that I will say as a psychiatrist is that if you have a person that you have chosen to be someone that is going to be involved in your life every single day, you’re going to live with them.
You’re going to work with them, all of that. And you have someone else who. And this is not meant to sound cruel. It’s just simply the nature of things by random chance is in your life. And you do wanna maintain a strong connection, make sure you know where your priorities lie. And that is not a slight to siblings that is not a slight to friends that is not a slight to coworkers or anything else, but the person that you make a direct bond with as a life partner, as a spouse or whatever you wanna call it, then that is something that’s fully of your volition.
Or at least I hope so. And that is going to take a different level of effort than the other relationships, which are also very important. But the thing that I noticed is, and, and by the way, I am totally calling myself out here. The thing that I’ve noticed over the years is that you don’t want to end up having the big conversations.
What do I mean by that? There can become. Such a divide over time, because rather than in the moment of something, either emotionally happening, or just a thought, because there’s a new stressor or new situation, that’s a, that’s arisen. You didn’t say something then because you figured, ah, they can handle it.
Or, yeah, I know we’re on the same page or whatever, and you don’t say anything and then something else comes up or some other thought comes into your head and you don’t say anything and you notice something about the other person and they don’t say anything. And then you notice something between the two other people that you’re thinking of, and they don’t say anything to each other and you don’t interject.
And then over time when let’s say, since we’re talking about working together, let’s say there’s an opportunity. Someone says, Hey, we wanna sell the business.. One person says, you know, I’ve been waiting for this for so long. I’m grateful. The multiple looks good on paper. I think we can end up retiring on this money.
This is fantastic. Meanwhile, the other two people say, you know what? This has been our livelihood. This is my actual calling. This is who I am as a human being. And if we get rid of this business, you’re taking a huge part of me with it. And I don’t think I can really survive like that. And I don’t want to, and the other person’s totally flabbergasted.
How did this happen? It’s because over the years you had opportunities to actually discuss this and you never did. So my point with this is try and, and by the way, I’m not, I’m not taking full credit for this. I actually got this from, from other podcasts and another reading, try and have the little conversations along the way with those people instead of waiting for the big one.
Because I can almost guarantee you, the big one comes with a lot of tears, a lot of suffering, a lot of pain and still may end up being very good, but you didn’t have
to do it like that.
Anthony: Communication is everything and you and I both been married quite some time you way longer than I have, but , it’s so important to be able to communicate with the spouse.
And also with your sibling, we both have relationships with, with our sisters that are very strong and that has come over many, many years and there’s been ups and downs. And , I really appreciate when you said the people that, you choose to love versus, you know, in your family, because I do think that there is a very clear difference.
The way I love my sister is very different than the way I love my wife. Jokes aside. I, I realized as I was saying it, I was like yeah, I just wanna clarify that on a number of levels, but also the way that I communicate with them is different because the situations that we’re facing together are different.
The situations that I’m facing with my sister require a certain level of communication, but the day to day stuff that I have to talk about with my wife requires a constant level of communication. And, and you brought up an excellent point saying you have to have those regular small conversations that if you hold off on everything until it becomes a big discussion, then that creates a lot more unnecessary stress.
And some of the biggest stressors in my marriage, not. You know, saying that every conversation I have with my wife is, is stressful, but some of the biggest stressors have been conversations where we’ve both kind of been doing our thing. We’ve been going on autopilot. And there’s been a couple of unspoken assertions where you assume the other person is gonna react a certain way, or you assume that the other person is going to continue on this certain path.
It’s somewhat taking them for granted. But then all of a sudden it comes to a head where you have a discussion and then you realize it’s about way more than just a, a singular incident. Which is also something that my wife and I have learned is a difference in how we communicate, when you’re addressing a situation, you can either look at that situation and, you know, look at just whatever happened and address that particular situation.
Or you can say, how did we get here and how can we address it so that it doesn’t happen in this matter, moving forward. And you have to be on the same page in terms of communication styles, to be able to even have that conversation. Because if one of you is only looking at, I’m just looking at the four squares of this incident, and the other person is saying, this incident is indicative of a larger scale problem, then you’re really not coming at it from the same perspective.
You both want to address the situation, but you’re coming at it from very different perspectives.
Doc Issues: Right!
And, and really, I think that is a long running theme of the fantastic four Reed solves the problem that he sees in front of him. Johnny is acting in a way that he says, okay, I think this will help. And Sue at times is simply saying like, guys, can we just get on the same page and, and really, Do things so that nobody gets this surprised by everything, please.
Anthony: yeah. Yeah. Sue is taking the 30,000 foot view and saying, this is all the things that happened that led to this point Reed is so myopic in that sense. And I think part of it is because of the way that his brain operates, that he’s, you know, or at least that’s the excuse that’s been given is that he’s so brilliant.
And his brain is all over the place that he can literally only focus on that one thing directly in front of him. And he misses the forest for the trees all the time and it’s on Sue to have that understanding. And I think their, their dynamic and their relationship and their communication in the comics is wonderful, but it can be frustrating.
And I especially imagine it’s, it’s frustrating for women to read the comics and understand. The stories and see Sue as always making excuses for Reed and always apologizing for Reed being who he is and being so singular minded and driven that Sue has to be the one to come at the marriage with the compassion and the empathy and the understanding.
And she always has to be kind of the one to forgive Reed for his transgressions that he gets. So in the weeds on things that he forgets to eat, or he forgets date night, or he forgets to do whatever. And I think it’s an unfortunate trope that has continued to be carried over from even Sue’s early days, that she always has to be the one to make excuses for Reed and.
So that’s something that it does get subverted from time to time, but I feel that we kind of dare, I say, canonize. Sue to a certain extent that she’s got the patience of a Saint, because she has to deal with Reed and it is a deep love that they have for each other. And that’s why she’s never wavered.
She’s like Namor’s hot T’Challa is hot, but I’m gonna stick with this man, cuz Reed does truly love her in his own way. But it’s unfortunate that it’s always presented as Reed being the one who screws up and then Sue has to forgive him or make excuses for understanding things. Maybe we’ll say something change in the Ryan north series.
I don’t know, but I would like to see it maybe shift a little bit where Sue was like, I’m tired of always kind to clean up after your messes because you don’t see the world around you.
Doc Issues: Mm-hmm fair enough.
Anthony: So that was kinda just a, a bit of a rant there, but I just feel like I said, as, as a fan who’s. Read, hundreds of the books.
I just, I see it all the time. So the last thing is not something that Jeanine suggested, but it is something that doc has brought up. And I, I think it’s interesting. You’re gonna get a little wonky on this and I will give you full reign to do so. It’s the philosophy and psychology behind invisibility and visibility.
And, you know, before we fully get into that one of the characters, at least that comes to my mind is violet from the Incredibles, the shrinking violet, the name and, and everything along those lines. So I think again, as a character trope, and this is something that we saw with young slash early Sue was very much the case that her power set was tied into who her persona, her persona has shifted.
And I think again, as I alluded to that comes with using the force fields and the invisibility offensively, but I’ll let you get into some of the more. Esoteric aspects of that.
Doc Issues: Sure.
The fact that this type of ability is seen not just in comics, but in, in classic literature, the invisible man, the idea is that there’s a way in life to be free of consequence.
That is pretty much the crux of a lot of superhero Dom. The idea that whatever this one trait is, it can override just about anything that has ever happened to you in your life. But unlike the other ones, when you first think about them, when you think about super strength, when you think about flying, when you think about telekinesis or you know, any other mental power all these different things, the whole point of those is exerting dominance.
As you already pointed out the initial idea with something like invisibility. Is to actually avoid conflict after all, if it’s not something that garners attention, then it doesn’t garner interest. It doesn’t garner repercussion. it doesn’t garner punishment. And therefore you can set yourself up for opportunities to, for example, eliminate trauma.
If something negative has happened to you in the past, based on an interaction with someone, you simply make sure they know you’re not there. If you know that there is something that’s upcoming, that may cause you to have some level of discomfort, then you disappear. You notice how I’m transitioning, where even the way I’m saying it, that doesn’t sound like a superpower.
That sounds like an avoidance technique. That sounds like a coping mechanism that a lot of people. And depending on how it’s being used, it can be lifesaving, but it also can be crippling. And so the way Sue was originally written, there is the risk of that. But also there can be this negative connotation that it’s being used for stealth.
The idea that there is something that other people have, there’s no other way to get it, unless no one knows that you’re even looking for it in the first place. So it can indicate secrecy. The idea that there are parts of you that are completely hidden, that nobody ever gets to see, because either it’s too painful to talk about, or you’ll only bring it up as the kill shot in a conversation, because if you ever do you know that there’s gonna be some serious repercussions.
Or maybe you just have said it so many times previously and didn’t get the result that you wanted, that you don’t think the justice system is ever going to help you with it. If you’ve been the victim of something, once again, I don’t see that as a superpower. I don’t see that as something that’s fictional.
I, I think that’s, that’s every person that I’ve ever met, at least on some level. I’m not claiming that it’s wrong, that people have secrets. You don’t need to know everything about everyone at all times, but there is that other side to it. There is the, the notion that
I have a certain level of invincibility frames, like in a video game, after you get hit, there is only so much that any one person can say to you after a certain level of time that you start to dissociate from it. You don’t even. Consider it to be an emotional burden anymore. You’ve heard it over and over and over again, whatever the stereotypical statement is about you or the thing that you already know that is true about you, that somehow someone is trying to weaponize, but you have every comeback memorized and know exactly what you’re going to say.
And it’s as if the person didn’t say anything to you at all, and it actually makes you appear stronger to others. It can be the fact that you have developed a routine that is so powerful in your discipline, that you always get up at the same time every day, that nobody ever notices that you make the kids lunch before they go to school and do all the other things that have the household run.
And you don’t even think about the thanks anymore, because they know that without you, they just wouldn’t get all of this and things would fall apart. So you don’t actually even hear it from the people that you love. If that’s happening to you, then, then please, please recognize that at least someone on this podcast or both of us, you know, we hear you, we know it happens and, and that may not be fair, but at the same time, you’ve, you’ve put up such a wall about it, that it doesn’t even have that same emotional reaction.
And when the person actually surprises you and does it for you or whatever, it creates this overwhelming emotional joy that you get the relief for that one day, even though in theory, it should have been a lot more to begin with. There are a lot of ways that you can be invisible in the world, and I’m going to make this candid with me.
And I know I’ve said it on the podcast before, but I wanna make sure that people recognize that I’m coming at it in a positive way. I wanna leave a small footprint in the sense that I don’t care if people ever remember my name. I don’t care if people remember what I look like. I don’t care if people remember anything about.
What it is that I did, but at this point, the information is out there. If I’ve hurt you, I’m sorry. If I have made your life better, then I’m grateful. But the fact remains that humanity survives because the invisible things that we don’t attribute to one person happened, but because many people have been able to carry it on, that’s the most important thing.
So I don’t worry about ever having statues built or things like that because those eventually crumble. But if there are invisible words, invisible statements, invisible actions that have had lasting impact that are going to continue with further generations, then I think that’s way more way more penetrating than anything else that I could do.
And I think that’s true for just about anyone that understands the power of sometimes going unnoticed and being a secret weapon rather than being the one out front. That’s always shouting from the mountain top
Anthony: beautifully said, I really don’t have anything more to add to that. So we’re just gonna take a break plug a couple other shows. When we come back, we will get into treatment, stick around.
[PLUGS FOR PLAY COMICS,
And we’re back. So now with the help of Heman, let’s discuss, treatment.
*He-Man sound effect*
Starting as we always do with in-universe.. So what have you got lined up for Sue storm Richards?
Doc Issues: So I think I know what some people might be thinking, which is doc loves to get people out of their comfort zone.
And in this case, if it’s invisibility and he just went on this diatribe, then take away Sue’s invisibility power and see what she does and all that. Nope, I’m flipping it. And I want it to be to specific people under specific circumstances. If it’s possible, even Reed could participate in this. Is there a technology that would allow someone else to be invisible just for a little while, and not only that can Sue treat them the way that she would consider when she is either invisible or is being.
Let’s just say communicated to in a way that that is trying to diminish her role. Because experiential learning is way more powerful than collaborative learning the idea that you’re just simply listening to someone else’s experience. If you get it for yourself, then you start to know, and I want it to be just long enough.
Let’s say it’s with her husband, but he has the initial like, oh wow, this brings so many possibilities. You know how he would intellectualize it. And then at some point when he actually wants something, but it’s not happening in the way that he expected, because he’s being ignored. What emotional response does that elicit?
What do you do with that emotional response afterwards? How do you process it with who? If the person that you wanna process it with, isn’t paying attention to you. Oh, wow. Now it’s really flipped things around and you can have a much better conversation about what it’s like. So do that with the people that she considers to be important, do it for a very time limited process, cuz this is not punishment.
This really is supposed to be learning and productive and see how the relationships grow. I think that would be the best thing for her because I think that she does so many things so well that it would be silly for me to say like, oh yeah, this is a huge flaw on her. And she has to, grow up about it or something.
I, I think that’s ridiculous .
Anthony: Fair point. And, and as we will discuss later on in the ski and as you and I were talking, as we were prepping for this episode, Sue is really very well adjusted, given everything that’s happened to her. I mean, we could do numerous episodes on some of the things that occurred to her when she was younger, the trauma of her mother’s death, and then her father and everything going on with that, obviously everything surrounding the children and the difficulty that she had with the pregnancies and losing a child only to have it again, brought back because comics there’s a lot to mind there and yet she manages to really just continue moving forward and keep a, a level head or a clear head, hahaha, about the whole thing.
But yeah, I, I think that would be an interesting suggestion for treatment. It’s not exactly where we’re going in the skit, mild spoiler or not really, but out of universe then I would be. Kind of hard pressed to come up with an exact analog for this only by virtue of the fact that her powers are so much of who she is, that to take that away.
Now, you are just left with a fairly, a well adjusted woman. Probably I would venture late thirties, early forties, married to a deeply intellectual man. Who’s not always really there. But there’s still a, a good, solid relationship there. She’s got a great relationship with her younger brother, even if he sometimes flies off the handle.
I mean, there there’s a lot there, but I’m assuming then that some of the treatment that you suggested for any universe would be equally applicable to out of.
Doc Issues: Yeah.
And even with that, diatribe I went on with the whole invisibility thing. Like I said, some of those traits, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a superpower.
It can just simply be how a person tends to cope with stressful situations. If it is sometimes to either try and find ways to disappear from the circumstance or, or just to not be noticed and, and fly under the radar it can be trauma related if, you know, if I, if, if I learn the right way not to elicit a reaction and everything will be okay until the next day or the next Workday, whatever.
So yeah, there’s some, there’s some possibilities there. I’m gonna take the opportunity to say with this. I, I like having a front row seat to this because I have been blessed with having many very strong women in my life. And so this type of situation really does speak to me. And as you said, it’s, it’s more a matter of.
At any given time, what is the most pressing dynamic that is impacting the person’s wellbeing? So it’s recognizing that things are gonna be shifting. It may be right now. Let’s go ahead and let’s just jump into this moment. It might be, if you have children that are getting ready for school, at whatever level that is and adjusting to what their needs are and making sure that you’re not neglecting your own or within your relationship with your partner it could be, you are looking to find some advancement in your career, but at the same time, trying to maintain a certain balance with yourself that you don’t neglect the other parts of your life that are important.
And no, that’s not just exclusive to women. I know that, but I’m saying in a way that I I’ve already laid out the stereotypes where that still is a thing, and that is still something that isn’t. Invisible. And so just acknowledging it, finding a way to make sure that even as a male mental health professional acknowledging that there are differences.
And while I can certainly look to understand as best I can, that I haven’t lived the same experience. And even if it is at the point where maybe there are things that the client or the patient themselves may not feel comfortable talking about with a man being humble enough to step back and say, you know what, it might be a good idea for you to get a female therapist or a female counselor.
They may have a different perspective and, and recognizing when that needs to happen. And it may only be temporary. It doesn’t have to be for everything. In addition to that making sure that whatever the coping mechanisms are, or if there is a combination with medication management that There’s considerations, even specific to female biology.
These are things that we do take into consideration, and I’m not saying that now to be gender stereotyping, I’m saying that biologically hormonally, there are differences that do have an impact with medication management. And if we don’t talk about it, then you may wonder why you’re not getting the results that you were looking for in the first place.
So this is the basic groundwork and, and the good news is as long as it’s done with an area of respect and dignity and not jumping into tropes of for example, I’ve had this experience where I’ve seen it with other people and I’ve had to correct it. A patient had said they were concerned about how their child was, was doing in school, because there were times where they weren’t able to pick them up from the bus.
And I remember a counselor saying something like, why wouldn’t you be able to pick them up? And the person said, because I’m, working a different job. I can’t be there at that time. And they said, oh, well, maybe you should make time. I’m like, hold up. Let’s not do that.
Please. Let’s point out. Wow. It’s interesting that you have to acclimate to a system where you’re gonna have the opportunity to delegate, empower the person, to do the things that they know are important to them. Don’t denigrate the idea that a person has to fit back into an old fashioned mold and, and little things like that.
You may think like, okay, I didn’t mean to say that and all that. It wasn’t that big a deal well to that person, depending on what’s going on in their life, you may have just impacted, something that, that they were already thinking about and you just needle it to the point that it actually is going to cause more emotional harm than good.
So we, as therapists have to be really careful with those sorts of things, you know? I’ll, I’ll leave it at that because like I said, I think everybody understands nowadays and I know not everyone does, but I’m giving the benefit of the doubt to people. Please live up to my expectations that the world is allowing people to start to recognize who they are, where they are and how they are rather than what they quote unquote,
Anthony: You are coming back season eight with a vengeance. You are just laying it all out there. I love it. I love this is what the time off does to us. Folks gets us recharged and, and ready to go. And we think of this, this really good stuff, man. And I was thinking about it by the way, right before we get into the skit, you know, black Panther Wakanda forever is coming up.
Couple of weeks at this point. Mm-hmm , I’m thinking we need to get Namor on Dr. Issues” couch. Oh. Before before the movie comes out, maybe we’ll get his take on things.
Doc Issues: All right. All right.
Anthony: So utilizing the help of the phenomenally talented professional voice actress Lauren LW Salinas who I have had the pleasure of working with many times on legends of shield you can go back and listen.
I helped them on their moon knight coverage. I’ve been a, a guest there talking about she Huk as well. Lauren is a professional voice actress, go find her and hire her. She has graciously agreed to help us see what happens when we get Sue storm on Dr. Issue’s couch.
Doc Issues: Hello, Sue I’m Dr. Issues.
Sue Storm (LW Salinas): Hello doctor. Thanks for taking the time to speak with me.
Doc Issues: So what can I do for you today?
Sue : Anything that you consider important would be a big help to me.
Doc Issues: That’s rather flattering, but I don’t typically take the lead in a session unless it’s absolutely necessary.
Sue : That’s a change for me. I usually have to pick and choose my spots depending on what’s going on by the hour.
Doc Issues: Don’t we all! I don’t discriminate amongst topics, but you know, most common are like relationships, work, family… feel free to interject.
Sue : I could write a book on all those at this point, but for the sake of simplicity, let’s start with my husband. *sigh*
Doc Issues: Was that a sigh of how much you love him or being exasperated with him?
Sue : Oh, Reed is, well, I do my homework, so I know you’ve met Reed. Of a kind.
Doc Issues: Yes, yes, yes. He was he was eccentric.
Sue : You’re being polite for no reason. He’s a narcissist. You can say it.
Doc Issues: but that Reed was trying to take over the universe.
Sue : And mine is always trying to save it. Doesn’t change the personality traits. And still, I know he loves me. He doesn’t stray. He doesn’t look to complain. And he’s brilliant. who am I to argue?
Doc Issues: based on your description, you may be placing your emotional responses, secondary to the idealistic view of your bonds. That, Ooh, that sounds difficult.
Sue : It’s harder now because I handle things differently. I used to acquiesce to his whims,, but I don’t need to do that anymore. I’m not subservient. I can hold my own, but sometimes it does get one sided. I can find ways to make him the center of my world, but he doesn’t do the same. That’s not fair.
Doc Issues: Indeed. I won’t disagree with that. Do you have some way to cope with something that’s gone on this long? Or are you actually looking to change along with him? You know, like yeah, maybe a, a couple session.
Sue : Nope, Nope, Nope, Nope, look, no offense, but I think any couple session you would try with both of us would just end up looking at things from his point of view, because that’s just how things work.
Doc Issues: Fair enough.
Sue : If only he could. Nevermind. That’s dangerous.
Doc Issues: What?
Sue : See, I’ve had a perspective about my love with him that’s unbreakable at this point. I’m not saying it to boast, but we’ve been tested repeatedly. I’m not gonna waste my breath. Why am I waffling about this?
Doc Issues: I don’t know, I’m getting like some sort of thing, like is it’s about wanderlust maybe
Sue : Namor.
Doc Issues: Ha well then this is a rare time that I must acknowledge, I have no personal knowledge of that person, but-
Sue : I’m sure at this point he’d be considered a stalker in every sense of the word. And I don’t think restraining orders are gonna be effective against a guy like that, but he won’t do anything if I don’t allow it. Have, have you ever heard of what if? He burns that into anyone’s soul he comes across.
Doc Issues: So full disclosure. I should delete this unsolicited email that says urgent matter regarding saving Sue from a mundane life, please open immediately for the good of the world
Sue : That sounds on brand. Any opportunity to woo me, even if it’s meant to be a confidential situation.
Doc Issues: You seem unphased by that. I’m legitimately concerned for the well-being of you and the ones you love
Sue : you too? Please. A word of advice from the one considered the client. I’ve done this for a long time. You don’t have to protect me. I’m sure it comes from a place of decency, but I’d rather have a sense of respect
Doc Issues: Point taken. I can see that you must be a expert negotiator and clearly not a hostage. I, I think there’s, there’s something underlying that.
Sue : Plenty of practice, love and loss, Dr. Love and loss and war.
Doc Issues: Okay. We talked about the love, but loss and war. Ouch.
What’s what’s that about?
Sue : If you don’t mind the lost part, let’s not go there right now.
Doc Issues: Okay. What about war?
Sue : Well, I hinted that I can deal with men fighting as the lone woman in the room. Well, it’s easier when it’s over me. Challenge is when everyone else is picking their own battles and I’m expected to choose sides.
Doc Issues: My personal bias is to pick my own side but I, I know that doesn’t work for everyone. Who are you referencing?
Sue : You know more than you think. You met Ben, right?
Doc Issues: Okay. Since you all know each other. Yeah. Nice guy, really smart self deprecating.
Sue : Ah, so you were willing to cut to the heart of who he is, but not Reed. Anyway. He tends to get into it with my brother a lot.
Doc Issues: Okay. I’m it’s just,
Sue : HE CRUMPLED JOHNNY’S CAR INTO A BALL AFTER JOHNNY SHOT A FIREBALL AT HIS FACE.
Doc Issues: Yeah, that’s intense. And, and you all work together. If I may,
Sue: if you ask about splitting up, keeping distance, having a mediator, finding methods to nullify powers, go into other planes of existence, seek some sort of magical conduit to channel a better life or fight to the death. I’d win by the way, then you are barking up the wrong tree.
Doc Issues: Wow. You came up with that much quicker than I would’ve anticipated. I don’t know if that’s due to a imaginal emotional catharsis or I’ll just stick with that.
Sue : Thank you. The point is it’s a challenge to deal with. And don’t get me started on parenting. It seems like I’m the only one that considers the details, but everyone else wants to just look at the big picture.
Doc Issues: So they get the highlights. You get the unedited blooper reel. Got it.
Sue : Spot on. So what do I do about it? All of it.
Doc Issues: please. Take this with the kind nature that I’m relaying, with all due respect. In the nicest way, all things considered
Sue : spill it.
Doc Issues: I have no clue. You’ve just told me an incredibly complex dynamic of lifetime egos looking to coexist while leaning on you for servicing their physical and spiritual needs at the highest level.
And you not only survive, but some way thrive despite all of this. I can be your vent man. I can look for blind spots or should I say Invis?
Sue : You’re on a roll. Don’t ruin it.
Doc Issues: Sorry. The point is I can offer an outside perspective that coaches you towards self actualization rather than your probable stereotype of me being a pill pusher.
That’s trying to find problems. Maybe you needed to hear that. I don’t know.
Sue : You’re serious about that.
Doc Issues: Yes.
Sue : Just do me a favor then.
Doc Issues: What’s that?
Sue : Here’s a separate email address to forward any of Namor’s nonsense. Trust me, it’s better to have a log, so I don’t have to repeat myself. This stuff happens in real time
Doc Issues: seeing what I oh, oh no. Okay.
Anthony: So big, thank you again to Lauren L w Salinas. You can find her at at sithwitch on Twitter. Again, she’s a fantastic voice actress and a podcaster. I’ve had the opportunity, as I said to work with her many times. And she’s a lot of fun. So recommended reading any fantastic for run or if you want something a little different.
I would also recommend the invisible woman mini series by Mark Waid. It came out a couple years ago. I think it’s five issues. It’s Sue going off and doing a solo thing that brings in some stuff from her past kind of introduces a new dynamic to some of the older, older adventures that she’s had and kind of helps paint some of the, I guess, the younger Sue in a different light because now it’s, it’s older Sue kind of reflecting back on some of the things that happened when she was younger.
So it just gives it a little bit of a different flavor. So upcoming episodes and I said, we’re, we’re firing fast and heavy here for for season eight. So we’ve got coming up in the next couple weeks, gambit, mystique and poison Ivy. Would’ve love to have timed poison Ivy a little bit more with The Harley Quinn series, but which is fantastic by the way.
And hopefully, maybe for poison Ivy. We may be able to get a creator on. I’ve been trying to work my magic on getting some creators. A lot more creators are going to be coming on the show. Especially for patrons, we’re really looking to ramp that up for season eight. We got a review, a fantastic review.
This came in like, right, probably as we were wrapping up production on season seven and I didn’t get an opportunity to include it in any of the reads from that season. So I’m throwing it in now that are late than never. Lizardprince222 found the show at the beginning of the pandemic. It quickly became my Wednesday morning ritual.
Not only is this podcast entertaining and comics focused, it is also a fun opportunity for introspective moments, Anthony and doc issues put in so much time and dedication into this podcast. And it shows with every episode, 100 out of 10 would recommend. So lizard prince 2 22. Thank you so much. That review came to us, courtesy of pod chaser.
If you don’t have an account, and I know we’ve mentioned this a couple times on the show, you can go to pod chaser.com. They’re basically the IMDB of podcasts and you can subscribe there. It’s it’s all for free and you can leave reviews for podcasts. You can interact with creators. You can get more information, a little bit of detail and insight into some of the shows and you can kind of track, at least provided the shows are up to date with it.
You can say, Hey, I really like this show. What other shows has this person been on? And you can find them. At least I stay on top of any guest appearances that I’ve made on other shows. And now that we are part of the gonna geek network, there will definitely be some additional crossover and cross promotion with the other fantastic shows.
I know doc is going to be on play comics in a couple weeks. I know Chris has been clamoring for doc to make an appearance and so doc is gonna be solo. And I know we’re also working on possibly a joint venture to appear on play comics but a lot of good ninja turtle stuff coming out over, or basically while we were on hiatus between Shredder’s revenge and the Cowabunga collection like 10, 12 year old, Anthony is losing his mind over all the awesome ninja turtle gaming.
So love to talk to Chris about some of that stuff as well. So to wrap this up again, as always, you can find all of our episodes on our website capesonthecouch.com that has not changed. And we are on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and now TikTok. That’s right. We are officially on the clock app at capes on the couch.
So you can go watch me. I’m not flossing. I can’t guarantee I won’t do any dance challenges. I can’t guarantee that I won’t, but it’s, if there are dance challenges, there’re going to be for a particular character and it’s going to be for a damn good song and for a damn good reason, I’ll just, I’ll leave it at that.
Otherwise nobody’s trying to save me, go out there and do all kinds of dancing and nobody needs to see me shake my ass like that. It ain’t gonna happen at my age. I’m likely to throw something out. So with all that being said, doc,
Doc Issues: use your invisible talents for everything that you do. And if you have to weather a storm, hopefully you’re as good as Sue.
Anthony: Not just a pun, but a rhyme. I love it. Love it. Been gearing up and waiting for that. Come back season eight. This is. It’s been a lot of fun to, to just doing this episode. And they’re only gonna get better from here. So for doc issues, I’m Anthony Sytko. Thanks for listening. We’ll see you next week.