Capes on the Couch Transcripts Issue 166 – Atrocitus Transcript

Issue 166 – Atrocitus Transcript

Anthony: Hello and welcome to Capes on the Couch where Communis Get Counseling. I’m Anthony Sitko.

Doc Issues: And I’m Dr. Issues.

Anthony: This is issue 166 and we are talking Atrocitus, the red lantern of rage.

That’s, that’s not nearly angry enough.

Doc Issues: Oh, okay. I’m sorry. I’m trying to, I just don’t have it. I’m sorry. I can’t be that pissed off if there’s nothing to be pissed off about the moment.

Anthony: Oh, I think there’s plenty to be pissed off about, but I digress. It may not necessarily be directly related to the show, but I think if you search, you could certainly find any number of things to rage about.

Maybe that’s why Ruby selected Atrocitus. As we said, this is lantern month, and we’ve never specified a color, so that’s why Ruby went with Atrocitus. And quick reminder that the Green Lantern watch party is this Saturday night, 8:30 PM Eastern. You can find all of the details in our discord and if you are a patron, cuz it is for patrons only.

So if you go to on the couch and subscribe at any level, we will send you the details and an invitation and we will be watching the Ryan Reynolds film while we have our webcams up. And we’ll have a little fun little chat going about the movie and sort of talk over it and around it.

I think it’s, it’s just gonna be really interesting. Plus if you are a patron, you will unlock our exclusive Dexstar episode about the meanest cat in the universe. Without any further ado, let’s get into the background

Atrocitus created by Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Siver in Green Lantern number 25 December, 2007. So a little bit of background before we get to Atrocitus proper. The man hunters were created by the guardians of the universe to protect the universe, but they went rogue and obliterated all life in sector 6 66 numerology and symbolism and yada yada yada at aros.

Was one of only five survivors in the entire sector. They wiped out billions, if not trillions of lives. So Aros renamed himself Atrocitus, and he and the other four survivors called themselves the five inversions. They performed a ritual and discovered the prophecy of the blackest night, which foretold the destruction of the universe at the hands of the guardians.

So after attempting to defeat the guardians, he and the inversions were imprisoned on Ysmault. I never figured out how to pronounce it. It’s Y S m A U l t Alt. That’s how I’m going with it. That’s kind of how I interpret it. You’re pronunciation may differ. So Abin Sur famous Green Lantern traveled to Eastmont and began questioning Atrocitus about the prophecy.

He then freed, Atrocitus from his prison to help guide Abin Sur to Earth, which is. Where part of the prophecy was going to take place, but Atrocitus broke free and attacked Abin. And that is why Abin sirs ship crashed and landed on Earth. And then of course, his ring sought out. Hal Jordan, as we learned last week, it would’ve been Guy Gardner had he been closer.

So that was an interesting bit of re reconning All this happens in in the Green Lantern series as part of the lead up to the blackest night storyline. So then Atrocitus creates a defining rod that led him to William hand, a k a black hand. But before he could kill hand, Sinestro and Hal Jordan intervened and hand escaped with the rod.

And that is also a red con because when Black hand was introduced, he had this rod that he could use to destroy things. So this kind of explains where that came from and explains that Atrocitus actually created the rod, but Black Hand stole it from him. So Atrocitus was returned to his present on Ismal.

While in prison, his rage helped him create the red power battery, which he then used to murder his fellow inversions, creating rings and a central battery, thus establishing the birth of the Red Lantern core. And the whole purpose of this was to assault Sinestro and anyone responsible for the destruction of Sector 666, the Guardians Sinestro, and the yellow lanterns, the Green Lantern Corps.

Anybody who got in his way or the way of the red lanterns was going to be utterly destroyed. So he and the green lanterns obviously have a couple of battles, but during blackest night, the other core leaders bring him to his home planet of riot. And he has a moment of grief for the loss of his family.

And it’s, it’s just beautifully drawn and written and lettered. And I mentioned this previously, that his, his lettering is done in a very jagged red style because you’re supposed to read it. And it’s obvious how angry he is. And it’s not just the pose that he’s drawn in. The lettering gets smaller and clearer when he is returned home.

And it is just, like I said, a, a wonderful character moment for Atrocitus that the rage subsides and it’s replaced with grief. So just a, a touching moment for what is otherwise a very large and angry character. So he realizes that Blackest Night and the black lanterns are going to obliterate all life.

In the universe and as angry as Atrocitus is, and as much as he abhors the rest of the emotional spectrum corps, he chooses to have a temporary alliance with them in order to preserve life. So once blackest night is done, he makes a deal with Guy and Ganthet, who is one of the guardians that once Krona is defeated, and this is during a brightest day, that Atrocitus would take possession of Krona to enact justice.

Although Krona gets killed by Hal Jordan depriving Atrocitus, the opportunity for his revenge at the end of it Ganthet gives Atrocitus the corpse to do what he wants with it. He’s like, I know you got a thing. So here you go. Now in the Red Lantern series, Krona’s Corpse actually becomes kind of a sounding board for Atrocitus.

Sounding board in the sense that he doesn’t respond, but Atrocitus talks to krona about his rage and how he questions whether or not he can maintain that rage. And we’ll get into this a little bit more in depth in the issues, but again, it’s just an interesting focus on Atrocitus as a character.

But he ends up losing his ring to Guy Gardner, who joins the Red Lanterns as an undercover mole for Hal Jordan, and ends up taking over the Red Lantern core, then Atrocitus gets the ring back, and he regains control of the Red Lantern core. And at the start of DC Rebirth, he creates a hell tower on Earth to plant the rage seed that will birth a new rage entity.

Because each color on the spectrum and each emotional core has a corresponding entity. And the rage entity was defeated during one of the prior events, I wanna say was brightest day. Blackest night, I, I’ve read them all like back to back to back and Yeah. Kind of blends together exactly where in the timeline it is.

Doc Issues: Yeah. And I read it a while ago, so I, yeah, it’ll,

Anthony: it might even be War of the Green Lantern.

Doc Issues: I’m gonna say just all blend, blend together for me, so I, I wish I could help out, but, sorry.

Anthony: Yeah, it’s somewhere in the Geoff Johns run of Green Lantern is where the rage entity is destroyed. So he plants this rage seed, the tower.

So the tower is destroyed by Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz, who we’ll get to next week. But Dexstar, who’s gonna be the patron exclusive episode, managed to deliver the seed before the tower was destroyed. And this is going to bring forth, red Dawn has nothing to do with the Wolverines, but is going to birth this new rage entity and reestablish the power of the red lanterns.

And full disclosure, I just ran outta time and I haven’t read anything past that, so I don’t know. If Red Dawn has come to pass, I only got maybe about halfway through the Green Lanterns plural series. The one starring Simon and Jessica. I haven’t gotten to that yet. I don’t know if that was foreshadowing.

That has come to pass. So apologize folks. I’ve been reading a lot of Green Lantern over the past couple weeks. I’m doing my best here, so I apologize. So now we are onto the issues and the theme is quite simply the pain and rage cycle. So Ruby has two of the issues for us, and then we came up with one ourselves.

So the first one Ruby asks is why would a psychologist go straight to rage? Because the one thing that we didn’t mention in his background is before everything happened, he was a psychologist, he was a family man, he had a wife, he had a child. That is what led to the rage. But here was a man who understood the various interplay between all of the emotions, and presumably would have been able to say, okay, I am suffering through the stages of grief.

I am currently enraged. But he never quite seems to leave there and just plants himself firmly and stays. And Ruby wants to know why. Why would you start there?

Doc Issues: So this is really a great teaching moment because it points to the stages of grief in a way that many people don’t think of it. And this may come as a surprise to many people. There is no set rule for the stages of grief or loss. It’s been well documented that they exist, but there is no order to them and there is no set guarantee that you’re going to go through all of them or that you quote unquote, advance through all of them, or that you don’t backtrack through them.

So it would be naive for me to say, I know why rage compared to any of the others. That’s not really a question that I could answer, and, and that’s true for anyone. I, I can’t answer why a person would have a particular emotional response to something compared to a different response for someone else.

But I can say that it’s still valid. So for whatever the particular impetus is, maybe it’s the physiology at the time. If the person is looking for something and feels disrespected, the sense of injustice. Sure that could produce rage, but then why wouldn’t that produce depression? Why wouldn’t that produce sadness?

It could, if a person feels hurt, and I’m not talking physical pain, but just the idea that there is now a part of them that is no longer the way it should be. I mean, that can lead to anxiety. That doesn’t have to lead to rage. If it’s the idea of vengeance, which we know aros wants, okay, but that can also lead to someone saying, I wanna make things right, or I wanna make things better than what they were.

It doesn’t necessarily have to be that I want someone else to suffer, or I want society as a whole to, to feel the same thing that I feel. Or even if they do feel the same thing, I feel, why can’t that be a positive? Meaning I have, I have a positive feel. I have hope for the future because through this one negative thing, there are so many opportunities for change, whatever.

So unfortunately this was one of those times where, yeah, I can’t give a direct answer to it. I can only point out those possibilities. Now there’s another question underlying that, which is, as you pointed out, Anthony, but he’s a psychologist, so he should know. Well, that leads to the other limitation.

Mental health professionals are no different than any other part of humanity. They’re not. Sometimes we like to put ourselves on that pedestal because it makes us feel better about ourselves maybe. But I, I personally really don’t do that. But if anybody’s getting that impression, then I think we need to dispel that myth.

So it’s really not much different than someone saying, well, why isn’t you know, an endocrinologist? Suffering from diabetes when all they have to do is just exercise and lose weight and change their diet. There’s no limitation as to what a person goes through regardless of what their profession is, even if that profession is directly related to something that they’re suffering with.

So, that’s something else I wanna say. It’s not a protective factor. Your intelligence doesn’t protect you from your emotions. You could try and use it that way. And that can make it worse because then if you intellectualize something to the point that you’re not even willing to address it in a way that’s going to be healthy, then you could just double down on what you’re already doing.

So it could be dangerous at clearly suffers with that. So the good news is the same way that it may be a limitation, it also can lead to growth. It can lead to change because it means that, You’re human, like the rest of us, and I know we’re talking about sentient beings that aren’t technically humans, whatever. You get my point.

Anthony: I like how you phrase that. Intelligence doesn’t protect you from your emotions. And I can certainly speak from experience that for years I thought that because of my intelligence, that I could not override my emotions. I certainly felt them, but I thought that in the moments where I would need to make a decision, that I could strip myself of any emotional attachment to the problems and focus on it.

Surely logically, that may work for something like a fantasy football draft where, okay, I’m a Panthers fan. But I’m not gonna go ahead and just draft all Carolina Panthers or you know, if I have to, I’ll pick someone from the Saints or the Falcons, even though it tears me up inside. Cuz I have to draft with my head and not my heart.

But it doesn’t work for large scale decisions. The big things that to your point, we are still human. And again, you said we aren’t speaking of Atrocitus, who is a sentient being not human. But the point stands you can think you can and you can try, but you will never be able to remove emotion from a decision like that.

And it’s unfortunate for him that it came at such a horrible. But that does explain why he gets stuck there, because that could happen to anybody regardless of your training. And I think that segues perfectly into the next issue then that Ruby brings up, which is rage in dealing with loss. And we’ve spoken about loss for numerous characters on this show, and there are myriad ways of addressing it.

What leads to Atrocitus Picking the rage


Doc Issues: for so many reasons, I know rage is what’s listed with the lanterns. I’m gonna back it down a little bit and say anger, which I think more people can relate to commonly because rage implies a certain level of intensity and. That is very difficult to sustain for a long time.

With comics, it’s clear you can do that. Go ahead and, and use it however it needs to be used. But anger is something that’s indefinite. Anger is something that can be around all the time. Part of the reason is it it can provoke action. You want to do something with it. You now have an emotional impulse and energy that can be released in different ways.

The negatives can be violence, can be abuse. When you say things that are hurtful to people or you decide that your actions are more important than others and therefore you start to neglect those around you. Those are potential negatives. Let’s just say a person who’s in a different phase previously with regards to loss.

Let’s say they were in depression. They weren’t getting outta bed, they weren’t taking care of themselves on a daily basis, things like that. And for whatever reason, now they’re shifted to anger and now they actually eat something again after not eating for a day. And they actually call people, even if they’re pissed off and just say how wrong this is.

It gives an opportunity to reach out. It gives an opportunity to put your voice out there and be heard when previously you didn’t think you had one. So there can be some truly productive things out of it. Unfortunately, we don’t always get to separate those things out, all nice and tidy. So rage spen leads to chaos.

You don’t always get to pick and choose, not just the, the timeline. You don’t get to pick and choose the intensity either, so there could be times where you’re a little annoyed about something not even related to the loss itself, and it comes out as if it’s the greatest crime against mankind ever.

And you may even recognize that for yourself. But once again, the key being other people may not, not everybody knows what you are thinking and doing every moment of every day, but most people recognize someone that’s loud, someone that’s pounding their fists, someone that’s yelling, someone who clearly has the look on their face.

Thinking the world is even against them can lead to paranoia. So as with most emotions, it’s a mixed bag, but I think more than the other emotions, it’s one that is so readily available to be seen, to be visualized that people can recognize it. The one caution I’ll give to that is if the person has been doing this for a while and that original impulse of energy is no longer there, cause like I said, it doesn’t present always the way Atrocitus does, where it’s just in usually full, full color.

If the person person’s just seething underneath and it’s this slow burn that’s still there, that person may just be waiting for the next trigger or it in some circles that I know. I wish he would. Just, that last little thing of the day, the next person that comes by, even if they don’t deserve it, they’re gonna get it.

Anthony: That was Cedric the entertainer White people hope, I hope nothing goes wrong. Black people wish, I wish somebody would try to take my spot. That searching for the trigger can be cathartic in a way, because I think we’ve all experienced that point where you have that anger, whether it’s justified or not, whether you can pinpoint exactly what caused it or not, and. You’re looking for that outlet, you’re looking for that ability to vent that steam.

You’re a pot that’s overflowing and you just need to let that steam off. And when you do, it feels great and it’s cathartic and it’s wonderful and you can reset. The key is that you have a healthy outlet for that rage, for that anger, for that emotion, that it does not become a situation where you are either taking substances to numb the, the feeling or you are causing someone harm with that anger.

And I’ve been working on this myself and certainly. Parenthood has taught me this in, in incredible measures. There is nothing wrong with the emotion. There is nothing wrong with feeling the anger or the, the sadness or whatever the emotion is. It’s how you choose to express that emotion. That’s what we can, I guess, judge, for lack of a better term, as far as those of us who are not those of us on the receiving end of those emotions.

I don’t judge emotions. I’m not going to judge you for being angry. I will judge you on what you do with that anger. And unfortunately, I don’t think every anybody ever taught that to Atros. He just got so wrapped up in it and he never had somebody to say Your rage. And it is completely understandable that you would be justifiably pissed off that someone came along and destroyed a, an entire section of the universe, but this isn’t the way to go about this, would not honor the lives of your family.

This would not bring them back. This is not the way to do it. And we tell people this all the time. In real world situations, you can be mad, but this isn’t going to bring them back. You can be mad, but this isn’t going to undo what happened to you. And that’s where having a sounding board, that’s where having a trusted confidant, that’s where having a mental health professional, a, a third party, would really be beneficial to help work through some of those.

Emotions. So you could be angry, you can rage, you can do whatever. Get it off your chest and then figure out what you’re gonna do from there. And that’s the key. Like I said, no one ever did that for Atrocitus, and he’s suffered for it, as have countless others that have unfortunately dealt with him.

So the last issue is one that Doc and I came up with, although it’s touched on something that, that Ruby was talking about. The Red Lanterns series kind of goes into further detail on this. He’s the first and initially only Red Lantern capable of thought.

How does that affect his rage and does it mean it’s capable of being tamed? Because when we first meet the red lanterns, he’s the leader and he’s the only one that can talk. Everybody else is kill rage. And then several of them end up in the blood ocean and that’s in the red lanterns series.

And I’m not gonna get into that, but it’s the capacity for rational thought within that rage that makes ’em different from the rest of the lanterns.

Doc Issues: And it’s what makes all of us capable of all other emotions. Even when we’re at our angriest point, there does come a time where for the sake of the person’s safety or other safety, if it’s clear that talking to someone about a situation where they’re not going to show control means that other people have to intervene one way or another.

I’ve been involved in those situations many times in my line of work. The good news is it doesn’t permanently stay that way. A person capable of thought is a person capable of control. Emotions can be manipulated one way or another. So if a person wants to talk themselves into more anger, they certainly can do so, but they also can talk themselves out of it.

Maybe they don’t know how yet. And that’s where professionals come in to, to demonstrate possible ways that that happens. Sometimes it doesn’t have to be thought, it has to be an action. It can be exercise, it can be art. It can be so many different things, so many different possibilities. But once again, that doesn’t come without creativity.

That doesn’t come without compassion. That doesn’t come out without like just all the other things that we think of since we’re doing lanterns on the emotional spectrum that you would expect one person to go through. So it all stems from ideas and there’s no question that. It’s really important for someone like Atrocitus and thank goodness we got to see it in that pivotal moment where he really does show how he feels about the loss when he’s truly confronted with it.

Because the other thing that rage does that I, I didn’t say before, is that it’s an escape. You get the opportunity to push just about every other priority away. It’s one of the rare existences in humanity where a person can get everything they want in the world and not only, not be satisfied, but somehow still realize that it’s not enough because they’re looking for the wrong thing constantly.

If there’s any idea that has come into a person’s head, Nothing is worth it anymore. And their condition is the only thing that’s important, then that’s when people get hurt. The second that a person is able to put in their mind that someone else that’s still with them, someone else that’s alive, is worthy of their time, then there’s an opportunity for connection.

And the interesting thing is, while yes, mob mentality can create instances of, of severe problems in society, it’s hard to do it when you’re able to consider other possibilities. So the thing that is really important with what Atrocitus does is he becomes an an instigator. He incites this one part of people to.

Do some really, really bad things. Ironically, no different than the things that were done to create his anger in the first place, which is once again, a common human pattern. But that doesn’t mean he can’t change, and that doesn’t mean that when he interacts with other lanterns, with other ideas, including literally lanterns that are responsible to have that flexibility in ideas that he doesn’t once in a while think a different way.

And if a being who’s fueled by pure rage can do that, then I think that means just about anyone can.

All right.

Anthony: Yeah, he does instigate stuff. It’s like we were saying with the, with the last issue. He’s looking for an excuse to trigger that outlet to be able to say, oh, now my rage is justified. And that’s kind of what he was talking to Krona’s corpse about at the start of the Red Lanterns series, is this idea that he felt like his rage.

Not dying, but diminishing a little bit. And he was concerned that this was going to cost him the corps that he was going to lose or that he wasn’t going to be powerful enough and that he wouldn’t be able to follow through on his mission. And that’s what ends up leading to him throwing some of the other red lanterns into the blood ocean and giving them the ability to have their thoughts, which for them is tied into reliving the memory of their rage and what led to them being selected as red lanterns in the first place.

Specifically with Bleez, who’s the one who kind of is the second in command, but also she’s like the star scream where she’s very much keyed in. You’re the leader for now, but if you so much as take a half step sideways, I will come and end you. And Atrocitus really kind of questions his own rage at times.

And there’s several monologues that he has with Krona’s corpse about the validity of that rage. And I understand from, from like a meta perspective, this was done because you can’t have an entire series around this where only one character is capable of rational thought and he’s speaking to a bunch of mindless followers.

So I get why they had to do it from a creative perspective, but from an internal perspective I just, I think it was an interesting choice to expose that vulnerability within him and have, have those kinds of questions. Because it gave us, again, from kind of like a meta perspective, it gave us a better understanding of the character.

And I don’t wanna say it, made me empathize with him or made me sympathize with him, but it made me understand him a little bit better. And so I appreciated, you know, from that perspective. I think it was that Tamasi or was that Humphreys again? I’ve been reading so many of the books as of late.

Go read the Red Lanterns book. It’s, there’s good stuff in there. In any case, we are going to take a break and when we get back, we’ll get into treatment. So stay tuned.

And we’re back. So treatment for Atrocitus.

I have the power of the red ring of rage. What are you going to do to help me?

Doc Issues: So much of what Atrocitus deals with has to do with blood. I’m a doctor, dude, what do you do with someone that’s having some significant trouble with having toxic blood? You give them hemodialysis. We need to get a few of these other rings together and we need to generate basically a lantern hemodialysis machine and we need to filter the bejesus out of this man.

And I think you’re gonna see some of that rage really get phased out,

Anthony: period. Straightforward and simple. What we neglected to mention was that the red ring replaces the heart of the lantern and their blood is not necessary anymore. It’s replaced with the rage, which they can then expel from their bodies to.

Essentially like Napalm, the other person Atrocitus cannot be cured in that sense. Simon tried it. He tried to will himself to cure Atrocitus because it kind of worked with Bleez temporarily before Jessica came along and inadvertently messed things up. He tries it with Atrocitus and Atrocitus is like, you’re trying to cure me.

You’re trying to, to replace my heart. You’re trying to replace the ring. Good luck with that. That’s not gonna happen. So maybe if you bring on the might of the rest of the, the other emotional spectrums or at the very least, indigo, blue, green, maybe yellow, you might get something there. But I. I tip my hat to you, sir, for even attempting that.

So out of universe, minus the powers, he’s a very angry man raging at the world because of the loss of his family and several people around him. I dare say it’s not uncommon or impossible to find somebody like this, so I would imagine your real world analog and real world experiences would do well here.

Doc Issues: Yeah. The patterns that I’ve seen with this are if the person hasn’t been able to articulate what’s been going on, the first thing is to make sure that they’re heard. That’s the simple part. The complicated part is what often happens, and especially if it’s related to trauma, the person, once they’re heard the first time, thinks you didn’t get it, and they wanna say it again, and then after.

They may say that there’s a part that wasn’t in enough detail, and then they’ll say it again. And then after that, if you don’t agree with what they said, they’ll try and point out something that you may have missed and they’ll say it again. It becomes a very bad pattern if it’s not kept in check where the person thinks that the world needs to correct around them.

And it’s now the professional’s responsibility to help guide that to the idea that the world will not change. And that’s a painful thing, truly is a painful thing, but it also allows for the opportunity for the person to experience other emotions as they are managing what they consider, as in the person themselves considers to be.

Just find the way it is because the sense of injustice is usually the number one thing, then the sense of loss. Things get flipped on their head. So if a person is not able to talk that through, then yes, there is medication that can help regulate the emotions in the, in the moment if it’s really a crisis situation.

But also there are some medications that can be assistive long term.

But the key to all of this remains, and once again, my bias based on my training is what is the actual thought that is leading to these responses? If you can help expand it, I’m not even saying change it, expand it. Like, yes, this happened and it was a bad thing. Yes, this happened and it was not fair. You try and use and statements because often people with this level of anger.

Want to close off all other possibilities. it’s an easy way out. And the therapist has to allow for bringing up ideas that this person hasn’t considered and just simply leaving them there saying, you know, it’s interesting how I had someone as a previous patient or client and they had this completely other idea and I didn’t know what to do with it.

Which may not be totally accurate, but you, you kind of play up the idea that it’s now the other person’s opportunity to have a thought that they’ve never had before. And if it’s clear that they struggle with it, then you actually start to rearrange what it is that they may be thinking about it. And giving that level of agency, giving that opportunity for change is super important because it’s the only sphere of change they really have.

They have to recognize that for the most part, they’re not going to change everything else about existence, but they can change how they think about it and how they respond to it. And that’s really what it comes down to. I know I make it sound like super simple, but eh, once again, the the intellectual part of it doesn’t always match up with the emotional part.

Even when you absolutely know it, it still can be

Anthony: incredibly tough. Yeah, reframing is helpful, but it’s, to your point, not easy. That’s why not everybody does it all the time. That’s why not everybody can do it all the time because you can’t reframe everything unless you have context, which isn’t always available.

You know, so much of reframing comes from saying, okay, I’m going to distance myself, or I’m going to utilize some outside perspective to help determine that this is not a healthy response to this stimulus. But if you don’t possess that context, or if you don’t have that experience, or if it’s not done so often as to become almost second nature to you, then you’re going to have that emotional trigger.

You’re going to have that knee-jerk response. And fact of the matter is that the overwhelming majority of the time, we tend to stick with our initial gut responses to whatever the stimulus is, and it takes a lot to be able to. Say, I was wrong with my initial assessment of whatever this was, or my initial response was not healthy.

I’m going to undo this. And that takes a, a healthy look at yourself. That takes self-awareness, that takes a lack of ego, a lack of pride. There are so many things involved with a reframe that if you don’t utilize those skills consistently, you are not even going to think that reframing is an option.

Nevermind getting into, how should I reframe just the idea, just the concept of saying, I didn’t have the best response to this. I’m gonna look at this from a different perspective. That in and of itself is not always easy to even conceive of. So I understand why folks don’t use it often, or at least as often as perhaps they should or could.

Cause frankly, just doesn’t occur to them, clearly never occur to Atrocitus. So with all that being said, and I wish you the best of luck, let’s see what happens when we get Atrocitus on Dr. Issues’ couch.

  • *Gulp* Hello Atrocitus, I’m Dr – I SAID YOU ARE NO DOCTOR TO ME. I do not recognize your title, only the title of MASTER OF RAGE HOLDS ANY MEANING TO THOSE WHO SUBSCRIBE TO the power it provides.
  • *pause* Um…I mean, I can’t lie, man. I’m here as an…um…professional…to -YOU ARE WASTING TIME, Doctor Issues. 
  • *Rapid* I’m here to make sure you don’t destroy all of existence because you are so powerful and mad and I don’t want to offend you but I need to do my job so please just let me…Atrocitus…sir -I HATE WHINERS. WHINING is the provenance of those too incompetent to comprehend the veracity of the world and TOO WEAK TO COMPEL THE CHANGE REQUIRED to bring JUSTICE to those who would cause DESTRUCTION AND PAIN TO THE INNOCENT.
  • *exasperated* OH COME ON! I’m doing my best here. Just tell me why you’re so angry. -*seething* EEEEEEEVVVVVVVERRRRRYTHIIIIIIIING IS WRONG!
  • Okay, but – DO NOT QUESTION ME, Doctor Issues. I HAVE SEEN THINGS your mere mortal brain IS INCAPABLE OF MAKING SENSE OF
  • I want to make it right -YOU ARE TOO WEAK TO DO ANYTHING, Doctor Issues. 
  • Ouch, dude. I’m not against you -THEN WHO SENT YOU? 
  • The…um…if I tell you, you’ll be…cross…er…like, more than now…or something -YOU CONSPIRE WITH MY ENEMIES! I have seen this coming, once I allowed my brain to acknowledge the TRUCE BETWEEN MY DESTINY AND REALITY
  • You’re projecting, which can get you in troub -DO NOT USE PSYCHOLOGICAL JARGON ON ME, Doctor Issues.
  • But it’s proper…oh man, this is much harder than usual…look, the way you come across, I usually try to offer something to help calm down. Can I do that? -WHAT? THERE IS NO CALM HERE. If you create an alliance with those aligned against me, Doctor Issues, THEN YOUR BLOOD WILL STAIN THE COSMOS FOR ETERNITY! I WILL SEND YOUR CORPSE TO A FAR AWAY STAR SYSTEM, and when they come to search for you, Doctor Issues, I will ASSAULT THE SHIP, rip open the cockpit doors, and DESTROY THE PILOTS WHO MADE THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE.
  • Some people…not necessarily you, but SOME OTHER people…might consider that a bit…paranoid? -I’M NOT PARANOID! I KNOW THAT OTHERS ARE AFTER ME BECAUSE I’VE GONE AFTER THEM FIRST.
  • That doesn’t sound healthy either. Your blood pressure must be through the roof. -MY DIASTOLIC GOES TO INFINITYYYYYYY
  • I…are you even listening to yourself? -MY EARS ARE OPEN AND MY EYES ARE NOT OF THIS WORLD. I hear the voices of THOSE WARRIORS who seek a connection with the ULTIMATE POWER. 
  • Alright, I will stop you right there. You may kill me for this but you are NOT MAKING SENSE. -*pause, surprising calm but still intense* This world, and everything you know about it is not ready for the final meeting of powers you can’t understand. *back to full intensity* ONLY THE RED LANTERNS MAY BREATH THE AIR THAT SMELLS OF COMBAT, AND WASH AWAY THE DISGRACE OF THOSE THAT CAME BEFORE US. 
  • That sounds nightmarish -NIGHTMARES ARE THE BEST PART OF MY DAY!
  • I…can’t match your intensity, so I won’t try. I have to admit, I feel lost in your presence. That’s not a good sign. I may have to seek a consult from someone else -THERE IS NO ONE ELSE TO PROVIDE FOR YOUR SALVATION. I WILL GIVE YOU THE DIVINE BLESSING OF THE BLOOD PROPHECY *vomit sound*
  • Ew…you puked on me?! Is this blood? YOU PUKED BLOOD ON ME? *psychedelic/ambient music* I…do you see it too? What is this? You’re…you’re a tortured soul. You’ve been through so much. I’m sorry. I wish you had known help is out there…it’s always there. -THIS IS NOT HOW IT WORKS! YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN DISINTEGRATED INTO THE MADNESS OF ATROCITUS. IF YOU HAVE SURVIVED…*quieter* then your journey is not at an end…your mind will travel, to parts unknown. My vision fades…THERE ARE OTHERS…YOU DO NOT KNOW THEM…BUT THEY ARE…OF YOU…*surprisingly quiet* and they make me…tame.
  • I don’t have any weapons! -YOUR HEART…IT BEATS WITH THE FORBIDDEN LIGHT. YOU SAY NOTHING…*quiet, twinge of fear* but your presence speaks evvvvverything.
  • *pause* Seriously What the hell was that?!!! I should be dead five times over…and he looked like he was scared of me? I’ve had a calming effect before, but this is ridiculous! *phone rings* Hello? Yeah, sorry! I forgot about this call! Thank you so much, I just had the most unique patient…well, I can’t divulge who, but…how did you know that? Yeah, and the one before? You can help? Ok, we’ll talk about equity tomorrow. If you can assist with these lanterns, I’d be so appreciative. And put a contingency in for door accommodations. Ok. Bye.

Boy, I woo. That was something.

Doc Issues: I am surprised you didn’t have the stroke. Like I, I thought for sure there’s an aneurysm developing somewhere in your head, you know? That’s rough.

Anthony: Yeah. Well see, this isn’t actually me now. I died and this is a guy who looks like me. I’m just a little smaller. I got blonde hair now. A little different , little different physique.

Doc Issues: Oh my God. Oh, you know it, it’s amazing

Anthony: the things they call me Renegade. Yeah, .

Doc Issues: Okay, now that’s just a cheap shot. . That’s . You know, the original rumor was bad enough when Renegade showed up. I, I even as a kid, I was like, oh really guys? That, that’s so bad.

Anthony: Yeah. If you are a wrestling fan of a certain age and fandom, you’ll understand the source and the joke of the skit. If not, just hope you enjoyed it anyway. Take it for what it is on face value. There’s a lot there, but obviously if you dig a little deeper and you know anything at all about. Jim Helwig then.


Doc Issues: And, and the thing is, unfortunately I don’t think there’s any office that I’m aware of that has ropes to shake. So

Anthony: yeah, I thought about doing that before I started recording just to just to run around my run circles around the inside of my office real fast and pump my fist towards the sky and get completely winded before I even started.

Doc Issues: Yeah, I was gonna say, if Atrocitus had the same engine as, as that guy did, then I’m pretty sure every lanter would literally just say, yeah, you just have to wait it out for about four minutes and, and you’ll be good.

Anthony: Yep. Yep. Just wait for him to blow up cause he’s got no cardio, endurance and go.

And he died.

Doc Issues: He, he died of a heart attack, like just cardiac arrest. Right on the spot. Yeah. Just after being inducted in the Hall of Fame. If this isn’t, I, I’ll admit it wasn’t my original intention when writing Atrocitus, but as I was writing it, I said, this is the man. Yep, yep. If only he had a red battery that could have kept him going.

Anthony: Yep. And as I said to you, I watched the crash, the plane promo from WrestleMania six, and by like the fourth time I watched it, I go, I actually get what he’s, what he’s talking about here. It makes sense in a metaphorical way there, maybe that was the cocaine talking. I don’t know. So for Atrocitus, the recommended reading is the Red Lanterns series, because that really focuses on Atrocitus.

He hasn’t been around that long. As a character. He was created in 2007. So that is the closest thing I would argue to a definitive run on Atrocitus other than his appearance in the various Geoff Johns series and blackest night and brightest day and all that. So, and if you think there’s a lack of quality reading material on Atrocitus, next week we’re covering Jessica Cruz, who’s created after this, and there’s even less to write about.

But I digress. So next episodes Jessica Cruz. Then we interview Ted Anderson about his graphic novel side effects, and then we cover animal sidekicks. So we’re all over the place and we’re gonna get away from this anger and rage. Again, a friendly reminder to all of our patrons. If you’re not already subscribed, you can go to on the couch.

And subscribe there. And then you can join us for our Green Lantern Movie Watch Party this Saturday night at 8:30 PM Eastern. Details will be in the Discord and on the Patreon page, basically it’s you need an H B O Max subscription. We can’t provide that for you. And there’s a browser extension that you have to create an account for and log in and then join us on webcam as we watch a half-hearted attempt at the Rebirth storyline and some of that definite influence there from Geoff Johns and that horrible C g I suit.

So you can find all of our episodes on our website, We are on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok at capes on the couch. And if you listen to us on a platform that allows you to like right and subscribe, please do that because it helps get us in front of more ears and. If you leave us a rating, send us an email with a screenshot and your address and send us an email to capes on the couch, and we’ll send you a sticker and we’ll read your review on the next episode, on an upcoming episode.

Because that is our way of saying thank you for spreading the word of capes on the couch. And you know, that’s what we do. We, we appreciate all you. So Doc, what do you have to say before we go? Make it quick.

Doc Issues: If you’re annoyed, then just let it out. Talk it out. If you’re angry, then find someone that you can trust and work it out.

If you are seeing red, then call your doctor or get to the emergency room, please, cuz that’s a serious condition.

Anthony: That’s all I wanted to say. And if you’re annoyed, Don’t try to stop dominoes from delivering pizza in 30 minutes or less. For doc issues, I’m Anthony Sytko. Thanks for listening. We’ll see you next week.

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