Capes on the Couch Transcripts Issue 168 – Kang the Conqueror Transcript

Issue 168 – Kang the Conqueror Transcript

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

Doc Issues: And I’m Dr. Issues.

Anthony: This is Issue 168. An to tie in with the upcoming release this week of Ant Man and the WASP Quantum Mania. We are talking the film’s big, bad and probably the big bad of the next series of phases of the M C U Kang, the Conqueror.

This is an A-List Marvel villain, and I’m very excited to see what Marvel’s going to do with him. Jonathan Majors is an absolute force to be reckoned with. He did amazing things in the one episode of Loki as the he who remains the variant of Kang, at least within the M C U. I’m, I’m hyped for this film, man.

I’m very excited.

Doc Issues: Yeah. Even just from the trailers, I’m like, oh, this is gonna be a little trippy.

Anthony: Yeah, it’s very different from the first two Ant Man films, which were very keyed in and, and personal and, and close. This is gigantic stakes, which is very interesting for such a tiny character like Ant Man

Speaking of the film doc and I will be going to see this in the theater. I know we’ve talked about this for a couple of films previously, but we’re definitely going to be seeing this in the theater and we are going to do some kind of a review mini episode after the film drops, debating on exactly how much of that is gonna be spoilery, how much of it isn’t. Thinking.

A lot of that is gonna come down to just how we’re feeling in the moment, but it’s gonna be very raw, minimal editing, if anything. And we will bring it to you in some format over the next like week and a half-ish. At some point after the film drops, we still have to book tickets and figure all that stuff, cuz scheduling things is hard.

But, you know, we make it work for the show and we’re gonna bring it to you for your listening pleasure. So this, this is gonna be a trippy one, folks. So strap yourselves in and let’s get into the background. Kang the conqueror. Nathaniel Richards is created by Stanley and Jack Kirby.

And if you’re saying Anthony, this is, is usually where you say the issue that they introduce the character in. Well, here’s the thing, due to Kang’s time traveling abilities, his backstory and even creation are a little difficult to pin down. So the earliest character that would eventually tie into Kang is Rama-Tut.

And he appeared in Fantastic four. Number 19, October, 1963. He was a time traveling criminal from the year 3000 who went back to Ancient Egypt in September, 1964. In Avengers number eight, Rama-Tut reveals he traveled to the year 4,000 and is known as Kang the Conquer. And this is the first time in which we learn of the name Kang the Conquer.

Two months later, November, 1964, Immortus debuts in Avengers number 10, and was later retroactively revealed as another variant of Kang. Couple years later, another variant appears the Scarlett Centurion debuting in Avengers, annual number two, September, 1968. Then many, many, many years later, a heroic version was introduced in Young Avengers, number one, February of 2005.

And this is the debut of Iron Lad. So it is later revealed that Kang is actually Nathaniel Richards, a descendant of Reed Richards father, Reed Richard’s father. Nathaniel is a time traveling scientist who traveled forward to the 31st century and brought peace to a war ravaged earth. It was here that he had a child named Nathaniel.

So Nathaniel Jr. I guess, for lack of a better term, just to differentiate. Nathaniel Jr grew up bored of the simple peace in the utopia in which he lived. And when he was 16, he stole a time machine, traveled back to Egypt and became Rama Tut. He then traveled to the quote unquote present where he met Dr.

Doom and became inspired by him. There was some discussion at the time as to whether or not he was an ancestor of doom, a descendant of doom. We’re really kind of playing with timelines here and forwards and backwards and past, present, future, kind of all blend together. To borrow a phrase from a franchise I’ve never actually watched.

It’s all one big messy timey wimy ball. So attempting to travel to his home timeline. And I know I upset a ton of Ians that listen to the show. I’m sorry. It’s, I never got into it.

Doc Issues: You didn’t, you didn’t piss me off. Don’t worry. I’m

Anthony: fair enough. And I, I appreciate that. So, attempting to travel to his home timeline, he passed it by a thousand years.

And upon learning that he can easily take over the war torn planet, he decides to go back to when Earth was fruitful so he can make it more worthwhile. And this plays into Kang, as will get into a bit in the issues. Kang doesn’t like things easy, he likes the sport of it. So he often shows up as a foe of the Avengers, but sometimes he also battles the Fantastic Four as it relates to Reid, his uncle, half-Brother.

Nces, who the heck knows. It’s, there’s some confusing stuff here with Kang. So major storylines, celestial Madonna, where he’s searching for a woman who was apparently destined to carry a powerful child. He believes it is Mantis but he’s thwarted by alternate versions of himself.

This is where we learned that Immortus and Rama-Tut are also Kang, but after Kang overloads his armor, he destroys himself deleting. Im mortis and Rama-Tut from existence as well. And as you can well imagine, this doesn’t stick for very long. Hashtag because Comics Council of Ks three variants create a triumvirate to eliminate all other versions.

But Revonna Kang’s Lover, who we see in the Loki series in a different version, she tricks one of them into death before Im Mortis, is destroyed by Prime Kang, the only one who remains, spoiler alert, that doesn’t stick either. Hashtags Avengers forever. Kang rejects imm mortis because he doesn’t like the fact that Im mortis.

Ultimately ends up allying with the timekeepers and he is like, you’re a sellout. I don’t wanna become you. So I’m going to ally with the Avengers cause that’s better. This also involves keeping Rick Jones alive and brings in Avengers from other timelines. It’s a wonky story, but it actually is kind of kick ass and cool as long as you don’t hate Rick Jones.

And I know that there is a not small portion of Marvel fandom that really doesn’t like everyone’s sidekick. But if you like Rick Jones, this might be a story for you. Kang Dynasty, my personal favorite, Kang, along with his son Marcus, who’s operating as Scarlet Centurion, he takes over the earth in order to save it from a horrific future, because that’s how villains operate.

Doom does that all the time. Oh, everything is going to go to hell unless you follow me. Typically doom is actually correct. And in this case, Kang, at least in some respects, thinks he’s right. He does conquer the world. He wins, but he gets defeated by the Avengers with help from a traitor’s clone of Marcus, who is infatuated with Carol Danvers, not unlike another version of Marcus who gets into some really creepy stuff.

And I’m not going to touch that story line.

Doc Issues: Let’s not. Thank you. I was gonna say, let’s, let’s really not. We got too much to do.

Anthony: Yeah. But this is one of many traitorous clones of Marcus who Kang then kills because he said, I could deal with you if you, you know, just wanted to take over for me.

But the fact that you were a traitor, no, I, I can’t hang with that. So he ends up executing his own son, one of however many clones at this point. It. It’s shown that he’s one of like a series of bodies because of course he is hashtag because comics and in an roundabout way, we did touch on the Young Avengers in Iron Land earlier.

He’s kind of responsible for the creation of the young Avengers. So 16 year old Nate Richards Young Kang before he becomes Kang is rescued by Kang, the future version of himself, and he’s shown his future growth into the despot because he goes, don’t worry about these bullies because this is what you’re going to become, this backfires.

Because this horr the 16 year old who says, I don’t wanna be anything like you. He uses the time travel technology and transports himself to the past where he arrives. This is right after Avengers disassembled and he is like, where are the Avengers? You’re supposed to be the ones to stop Kang. He downloads the Vision’s operating system into his armor and this amalgamation.

Calling himself Iron Lad assembles a new team of younger heroes to prevent K from rising up in the first place. And this is where Cassie Langue stature, and this is where we meet Billy and Tommy Wicken and Hulking and Kate Bishop. Kit Bishop, sorry, just every time I say Kate Bishop, I always think of the Hawkeye series. Anyway, young Avengers, great series. Totally should check it out. We’ve covered a couple of the Young Avengers and a handful of the adjacent characters, so that is also a great story. But again, 16 year old brought into the future by his future version, goes back in time, says, I’m not gonna be anything like you and creates a whole different version because you know, this totally makes sense.

Ha ha, ha. Hashtag because comics, yeah, literally any one of those we could have used the hashtag because comics, but we used them on all of them because they’re all entirely applicable because. This is Kang and this is how it is. Trust me folks. There was a lot we left out of this episode in terms of background, mostly because we had to make room for the skit.

Spoiler alert, . Let’s trap yourselves in. Let’s get down to the issues. So the first one is hedonic adaptation and the Diderot effect. And I’m just gonna hand things over to Doc because I understand some of these words. I recognize some of these words as English . Was that, was that Lisa Simpson line? I recognize these words as English, but I have no idea what any of this means.

Doc Issues: Okay. So we’ve discussed hedonism before. Hedonic adaptation implies that it’s not necessarily good or bad, it just is. So the point is that, When you are exposed to something that you would originally consider to be a luxury, something outside of the norm, that’s not a need, but does either improve your quality of life or just your experience.

At some point you get used to it. You don’t get the same initial effect. You develop a tolerance to it, to the point that it can become mundane. Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have done something wrong. It’s a very common thing for many of us who are adults. Remember your first job, remember what you made.

Remember that paycheck many of you got introduced to taxes that way. Like, what the hell? This is nowhere near what they said I was making, but whatever. Now, fast forward a few years, think about what you make now. Human nature. You’re probably saying to yourself, yeah, I make more, but really, I got more things on my plate.

I have other things going on in my life, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Okay, fair enough. It doesn’t have to be about money. It can be about, let’s say you used to treat yourself. You used to go out maybe once a month or so. You’d go have fun with the guys, you go to the bar, whatever. I’m just giving random examples.

After a while, you may say to yourself, oh, that’s, that’s nice, but if I’m doing that once a month, why can’t I do it once a week? If I can do it once a week, why can’t I do it every other night? I mean, whatever. Depending on a person’s situation, they may not go that far, but I’m just giving that as an example.

The thing with someone like Kang or Nathaniel or Mortis or whoever is. We see this early on where he’s exposed to the world as it is. He’s in a hashtag blessed kind of situation where things are good, but is there more to it? Is there, is there more than what’s just out there as it stands? And Kang has a tendency to want to explore that, which once again can be okay.

But as with most things, taken beyond moderation can lead to some significant emotional consequences and can lead to some disturbances of thought even. I’m gonna tie this in with the other thing, the Diderot effect. And I’m going to just flat out say, let me make sure I get it right, so I’m gonna pull it up directly.

It’s named after the philosopher Diderot, and this is back in the 18th century. Diderot received a gift. It was a gift of. I think it was robes, a gown or something like that. And the point was, it was so out of place for his wardrobe when he wore it. He felt like he was the man. Like, wow, this is really cool.

So, if you have a dress or if you have a suit, something like a, yeah. So the thing was as he’s sitting cloistered away doing his writing, he’s like, man, these threads don’t quite match up with the rest of my decor. Like, I’m sitting on a regular wooden bench with a stone table and you know, a bit of paper to write on and it totally doesn’t match.

So no joke, he gets a rug that really ties the room together. He then upgrades

his furniture. That’s just like your opinion, man. ,

thank you for getting the reference. He then upgrades his furniture. He ends up. Changing so many things that he realizes that he’s spending more time focused on all of those external parts of his environment compared to what it is that he actually was sitting down to do in the first place, which was write.

And create, and you know, try and solve some of the world’s problems with his mind, which is what a philosopher really is looking to do, looking to explain humanity So unintentionally, he pretty much creates this idea like, what? How did this happen? He wasn’t aware of it in the moment, but clearly it wasn’t something that happened instantly.

It takes time for these things to happen, and that’s the point. And not even to go into the timeline bit of it, but with someone like Kang, it’s easy to see if you put these two things together, how you end up with this ultimate villain in all its variations and its challenges to itself because, By the nature of what he’s trying to do, he’s always looking for something more.

And it’s not just a flat greed, it’s more like, I want to make sure that whatever I get next is different than what I have now. Not just more of it, but like better in whatever way. And it’s kind of hard to do that over and over and over again. And if you’re wondering if that’s true or not, if you’re thinking to yourself, well, yeah, of course you can always do something different.

Well, think of your favorite artist, think of your favorite musician. Think of anything that involves some level of change and creativity. There’s a reason why with, with some rare exceptions, there’s a reason why no one has an infinite number of albums or an infinite. There’s only so much that you can do for yourself that you are willing to put the effort in and you’re able to say, not only is this not derivative of what I’ve done before, it is completely changed and be successful with it.

If you’re trying to feed yourself with this sort of thing. You can’t just have everything be absolute flop. So that’s just one genre, one area of life where that can apply, but it can apply in just about every zone. So I thought it was really important cuz I don’t think we’ve ever explored it to this detail in Kang.

I, I just think is a great opportunity to bring this stuff up.

Anthony: Oh, absolutely. Hearing you explain the, the Diderot effect really kind of drives home the point of the clothes make the man in this case literally. But I think we see that so often. With young people that they, they create this image and then they have to live this image.

They have to live that image because they feel it’s what their peers might expect. And that can then lead to problems both in adolescents and then ultimately to adulthood if it distracts you from finding your authentic self. And I think that’s one of the big problems for something like this and for someone like Kang, is it’s ultimately distracting him from finding out who he is deep down.

And I think part of that also stems from the fact that, at least for Kang, and this is clearly the fictional situation, is that he’s aware that there are an infinite number of alternate versions of himself all living different lives. So what makes. Him different from all the other ones.

So I think it’s a constant one upsmanship is of I have to be the most Kang of all Kangs that there is. And so whatever puts me the most out there, that’s what he’s going to do because he has to define himself as the Kang-iest Kang that ever Kanged. And I know that’s a bit ridiculous sounding, but you get my point.

And I think that’s something that a lot of people can fall victim to. This idea that they have to live this life that’s bigger than necessary, just to prove to whomever that they have value, that they’re, that they’re worth living and that they. That they’re okay, that they’re cool, whatever that may be.

We’ve talked about this in other episodes, both as characters and with creators about the notion of, comparing yourself to others and comparison to is the thie of joy, as you say all the time on the show. Just be you man. And if you get some cool drip, that’s cool, but don’t say, oh, I got these, Air Jordan elevens.

Now I have to go out and buy all this other stuff. Now I have to, go buy Supreme and I have to go buy all these brand names just to match because I got these cool shoes that don’t go with anything else. Or I got this jacket that doesn’t go with anything else. If you have it, that’s cool.

I, I’ve been wearing the same Sean John winter coat for a long time and I didn’t buy it because, oh, it’s Sean John, it’s puffy, it’s cool, whatever. I bought it cuz it’s a nice looking jacket, a nice looking coat, but it keeps me warm. The zipper broke on it and I replaced it with a paperclip, and it’s been a paperclip zipper for, I dunno, eight years at this point.

I don’t care. Somebody sees it and they’re gonna go, why the hell wouldn’t you get that place? You’re, you ruin the Sean John, who cares, man? Keeps me warm. It works. And I’m not gonna go around and say, okay, well now I got the Sean John coat. Now I have to get, you know, the, I have to rock Tims with it, or I have to do this or that, whatever, I’ll date myself and, and Doc will laugh at the, you know, oh, I gotta G go out and get some fu boos.

Like, no, that’s, oh my God, , I knew that would make you laugh, but just get my point that I’m not gonna change my look just because of this one item. Yes, sir. And I’m not gonna change who I am to fit this image that was presented to me, or that I think. I need to be for reasons that don’t ultimately matter.

So those are all lessons for everybody. Just, do you, if you wanna be a sneaker head, that’s cool. Like if you’re into the, the style, if that’s your thing, if you enjoy it, that’s fine. If it fits with the rest of your vibe, more power to you just don’t go chasing it because somebody gives you something or you end up with something, you think, oh well now I got this, so therefore I need X, Y, and Z.

And that’s how you end up spiraling. So the next one, this is a well-traveled road we’ve spoken about for a number of characters, but we kind of have to talk about it with Kang is narcissism. Plain and simple. Kang thinks he’s the shit.

Doc Issues: Yep. I mean, I apologize, this might be a little brief cuz we’ve, we’ve done this so many times, but.

I think the spin on this, to go back to what we just talked about, is what happens when your own narcissism starts to feed on itself? Like how, how far can you spiral up? I, I mean, I mean, it can be a motivational factor. I mean, thank goodness you love yourself so that you could continue to do great things, but you know, it makes it hard to acknowledge that you’ve gone down a certain path that is not working out as well as it used to.

And it’s okay to fail. I know we’ve, we’ve said this before, it’s either winning or learning. And I, I still wanna say that as a positive, but I, I don’t want a person to be oblivious to, sometimes you gotta call it an L man, you gotta call a loss. It’s okay. It really is. When Kang gets. And, and don’t get me wrong, it’s not like he’s permanently defeated ever, but when, when he gets beat, he finds the most ridiculous ways to comfort himself , in terms of how how he’s going to survive.

And I think he takes it for granted. And I know because Anthony and I are, are kind of sports heads. I know I do this all the time. And I’ll admit there were times growing up where I was kind of elitist with the Yankees and I’m going to say the most embarrassing moment of this. So when the Yankees were up three, nothing in that fricking series, and I still remember this dude, 2004, I, I still remember this.

When that fricking base was stolen, I shut the game off. I shut the game off cuz I said to myself, I said, Hey Roberts. I said, the Red Sox are winning this game and that’s okay. Nobody’s perfect. At no point did I say the Yankees are going to lose this series. And I still remember the most and I’ll, I’ll say it.

Pardon the language guys. The most asshole thing I think I’ve done in my life, cuz Anthony had to remind me as the Red Sox were winning. And this was on flip phones. He texted me the results of the game. And I remember saying for you, this is one of the most significant moments in Red Sox history.

For me, it’s Wednesday night. Boy did I feel bad Later on I ate so much crow.

Anthony: Yes you did. Bison,

Doc Issues: I’m giving that just as a, as a lighthearted example, and I know people have gone through some really hard times with things that didn’t go their way and all of that, and, and at the end they think of their hubris. My point is not to, to say that if you have a high sense of self worth, you’re going to get pulled down at some point.

That’s not what I’m getting at. What I’m getting at is there is so much randomness in the world and so many things that you don’t control that if you think you have total control of those things, then your glasshouse is gonna get shattered. That’s what I’m saying. Don’t start applying your positive virtues, values and hard work to absolutely every part of what’s going on in reality, because that is not going to stand the test of time.

Kang is learning that over and over and over again, and it just doesn’t seem to stick. So that’s gonna be my, my, you know, my play on narcissism this

Anthony: time. All right. I appreciate you eating the crow and it always brightens my day a little bit to think about that 2004 Red Sox team and yes, I understand.

Yeah, you had all through high school and college and stuff where the Yankees were winning all kinds of things. I remember cuz y’all rubbed it in my face, but man, when you shit the bed 2004, you really shit the bed , was glorious. So the last one, the last issue is something that I think is applicable to more characters than we bring up, but it’s also not nearly as high on their.

Compared to other issues. So we don’t talk about it as much. Is technophilia I think we may have talked about this with Tony Stark.

Doc Issues: We I think we also did this with

Anthony: cyborg. And Cyborg. Yes. So, but what’s that three out of 168 ? So still pretty low percentage. It’s not like narcissism where we could swing a dead cat and hit a character that’s narcissist.

Technophiles are fewer and much further between. Again, I think there’s more than, than we’ve talked about, but they don’t rank highly enough. But Kang takes it in a very special direction.

Doc Issues: Yeah. When you say to everyone else, I have access to things that you’re not going to have for centuries, that’s, that’s quite the flex.

But. There’s a sense of pride. I know it ties in with narcissism, but the idea that your sense of value of what you’re doing is tied to just how new and exclusive it is. That is what makes this special. You’re not just saying, I like the fact that something new came out. You’re saying I got it and I’m going to flaunt it.

I’m going to make sure that you feel it. It’s both. It’s, I’m going to make sure that you feel worse about the fact that you don’t have this yet. And if it’s exclusive, I’m going to point out that you can’t get it yet. So I know the term is being overused cuz we used to say cutting edge and then it became bleeding edge and you know, people want the beta of something and then some people say like, oh yeah, well I got in on the alpha trials and whatnot.

All those things are simply saying in, in. More or less terms that people don’t like to think, because it sounds negative, I’m better than you. That is as far as some people are willing to go when they make these statements, that’s what they’re trying to say. They’re filling that void of anything else in their life with the idea that something else, that technology itself is meant to be an improvement on how we survive.

If it’s purely for entertainment, if it’s purely for degradation, that may not be a good thing. There are examples of how technologies have been used in a negative, but when I say technopedia, I mean the whole point is consequences be darned. Let’s just keep pushing. Let’s just keep going forward. Let’s move fast and break things.

Uhoh, I think I might’ve just, you know, caught the ire of some people. Anyway, , the point is that it’s at the expense of. Rationality, it’s at the expense of, of someone actually taking their time. And I, I’m just full of all these, these quips right now and quotes sorry. You’re worried so much about whether or not you could, that you forget to think about if you should.

So Kang definitely goes out there, and I’m pretty sure that if we were to, to create the analog for what we’re doing, he probably has, you know, Google Glass on his face and a version that Yeah, they haven’t quite released yet. And don’t worry about it. I’m sure it’s gonna come out, but I don’t know if you can afford it.

And Yeah. But that’s okay because, you know, I’m also making sure that when I give the feedback about it, that I’m gonna have a version that isn’t even considered a part of the regular line of it. You notice how all these things tie into the other issues, by the way, because. That’s how well Kang is constructed.

I’m not saying that as a joke. I mean the character himself, that’s why he’s such a, a lister. It’s fascinating how people will take the unknown and automatically apply more weight and think that it’s an improvement over something that has been time tested and has allowed for survival. Just because something is new doesn’t mean that it’s automatically an improvement.

I’m not saying the opposite. I’m not saying that you need to be a Luddite. I’m just, you know, saying be careful. That’s really all I’m getting

Anthony: at. Yeah. It’s conspicuous consumption with technology, which again, ties into the first issues that we were just talking about with the whole, oh, I have this and you don’t.

Yeah. I know people like this with technology realistically that aren’t necessarily as overt with it, but it’s definitely a, oh, I got this thing. You know, we’re just talking about folks that like to, like to floss, floss and flash with the clothes. Some people like to flex with the tech and it’s like, oh, I got this, I have this giant projection 4K screen, and I have the atmos and I have the this and the that, and I have the, the newest tech and I have the latest gaming system and I have my, my gaming rig and my PC is water cooled and this and that, and I’ve got all Kang takes that to the nth degree.

You know, I, and you can’t.

Doc Issues: Yeah. I, and, and, and once again, this really isn’t, it’s not relevant. I’m just having fun. We do entertainment anyway. I love the fact though, that that also means that you have some people that are still dusting off their betamax while they’re listening to their eight track and, you know, you know, trying to transfer it over to their mini disk that they can use to create a separate audio file for their, Nintendo vr.

There are so many dead ends in technology that I always find it amazing when people are willing to take those leaps, and I appreciate it. We need those people to do that. My point is be conscious of it. Be mindful of it, and for cry out loud, don’t make it about the status itself and don’t denigrate people about it.

That’s all I’m saying. You know, and, and I know we’ve said this many times, you usually say it rather than me, but I’ll say it this time. I think a lot of this just comes down to don’t be an asshole .

Anthony: I thought you were gonna say don’t yuck someone else’s yum. But yeah, don’t be an asshole. Wheaton’s law.

Don’t be a dick. Straightforward. It’s cool to like stuff. It’s not cool to rip other people because they don’t like the thing that you like or worse yet. They like what you like, but they don’t like it for the same reason or they don’t like it the way that you like it. That’s, that’s what it comes down to.

It’s, it’s okay to like stuff as long as you’re, as long as it’s legal, you know? Cuz I know Ethical. Yeah, and ethical. I know people who have gone to jail for being into things that are not cool and certainly illegal and unethical, but like stuff that you like. But if other people don’t, that’s cool. You know, I just got into.

Twitter with somebody the other yesterday or the day before when we’re recording this, and I was like, oh. They made a comment about how Jordan and Parallax and they were like, oh, I don’t, you know, don’t gimme that parallax as an entity. Crap and yada. And I was like, you don’t like Rebirth? And Jeff Johns.

And I was like, oh, I thought, you know, rebirth was a, a great story. And I said, my, my biggest complaint about Twilight was that it gave us the, the dud that is Kyle Rainer. And they responded with Kyle is my favorite lantern and I despise Jeff Johns . So I said, well, that’s the beauty of fandom is everybody likes their own thing, but they responded with like a swing and a Miss gif.

And I wasn’t trying to like, hate on them or say like, you shouldn’t, whatever. It was just like, I really like what Jeff Johns did with the character. And I, I understand Emerald twilight is a storyline. I just don’t care for Kyle. And if you listen to our lantern month episodes, I made that abundantly clear.

But I’m also not going to say, oh, well, you know, like, oh, Kyle’s your favorite or You must be whatever. Like, no, that’s fine. There’s probably somebody out there whose favorite lantern is Boodika, like, all right, whenever cool, man. You do you. I’m a Moon night fan. I get it. And you know, this is long before the TV show, so you know how long I had to deal with like, all the characters and you like moon night.

So yeah, don’t be a dick. So we’re gonna take a break, get into treatment, and when we get back we will get into treatment. Stay tuned

And we’re back. So treatment

and the theme, which we technically should have said for issues, but the theme for treatment is doc. Yeah.

Doc Issues: The idea that when it comes to life in general, you can have anything. You can try anything. You can within reason, do anything but not everything. And that is something that Canne, Canne nice. And that is something that Kang has lost sight of.

So for in Universe,

I think we might end up with some Kang on Kang action, and, and I don’t really know how to handle it. And to be honest, I don’t really think I wanna think about it anymore. I’ll just, I I’m sorry. I, I, I don’t think I could do it. I, I would give my best. I would try to be a humanitarian, but yeah, I, I just don’t know.

I think there’s just too many factors that I wouldn’t anticipate. All right. That’s

Anthony: fair. Out of universe.

Doc Issues: Honestly there’s, there’s one of any number of people. Let’s be, let’s be real narcissistic, all about the bling, all about the flash. You know, like just, oh, I’m not going to lie to you.

I don’t like these cases. I’m not saying I don’t like the person I’m saying I don’t like these cases because, It’s amazing how superficiality can be so Teflon when it comes to dealing with emotion that it makes it incredibly powerful and it’s like the antithesis of everything. I stand for , so I, I really have to try and, and strip away just about everything I can from that.

Now, having said that, if I can find one piece of it that I, at least I can understand because I have some knowledge about it or I can get the person to explain it to me, that can help. But the trouble with that is it can often backfire where the person is. I don’t even know the narcissistic term for mansplaining, but, but just being.

Insulting towards me. Well,

Anthony: mansplaining is narcissism. I mean, it’s kind of No, no. I incorporated into

Doc Issues: it. I know, I know. It’s just, I wanna make it clear that it’s not specific to gender. But that’s the best term for it. It’s horrible to experience because the person, because of one completely unrelated area, tries to apply it to every aspect of what they’re doing.

So let’s, let’s go with what we’ve already used. Let’s say somebody’s a sneakerhead. I’m not, I don’t pretend to be, I’m aware that there are certain brands and whatnot that are important. I might ask that person to talk to me about them, but because they show an encyclopedic knowledge of this and go over their collection and, you know, all this other stuff, they basically say, well, if I know all of this about sneakers, How does that compare to how you are as a doctor in your area?

Are you as good as me? And it’s like, I’m not in a contest, I’m not competing, you know, like that’s it, it, it creates some dichotomies that don’t exist any other way. And it, to be honest, it’s my achilles heel. It really ticks me off. And I have to be careful that I don’t just get into an argument back and forth trying to show my intelligence in my field and whatnot.

I have to earn their respect, but I can’t get into that sort of shouting match back and forth. It’s a situation where I have to at some point cut the person off and say, all right, you proved your point. What else is there? And that’s where the person starts stammering. Where at some point I’m gonna be asking about family.

I’m gonna be asking about their, their actual goals in life, what they consider to be important, what they did before, all of this, et cetera, et cetera. Trying to get underneath all those layers. But. Like I said, these people put a lot of polish. It just so happens that the polish can be a lot of crap. So it it, it’s not fun in my opinion.

I, I admit that there are other therapists that more than likely handle these things better than I do, and I acknowledge it. And if I do have that level of trouble, I have no problem referring to somebody else that is much more comfortable with the type of CBT that would be necessary to really break through this.

Or D B t I should say. Cuz it, it, it probably wouldn’t be just bla just blanket c b T. So

Anthony: there you go. We say all the time that not every person is a fit for a particular therapist, but the reverse is also true. Not every therapist is a fit for every single individual. So that’s why we advise you to try things out.

Maybe see if you can get a consult with a therapist before you actually start. And there’s even not even a guarantee that if you have a consult in. You have a good couple of sessions or a good one or two, then it’s ultimately gonna be a lasting fit. But at least it will give you experience. And as we’ve said, don’t catastrophize it.

Don’t think that if you have a bad fit with a therapist, that you’re not fit for therapy or that it’s never going to work. So, but again, the flip side is also true. Some therapists just go, I can’t deal with this patient. I’m not a good fit. It’s not gonna work for me because therapists are people too. So, well, it is time to get Kang singular, hopefully on Dr.

Issues’ couch.

  • KANG: And now, my boy, it is time for you to DIE!
  • DOC: Wait, it’s not supposed to happen like this!
  • * warp sound* IRON LAD: Doctor Issues, I presume?
  • DOC: What the – who the – what the – 
  • IRON LAD: I understand, the whole time manipulation thing can be overwhelming. 
  • DOC: But you were just trying to kill me!
  • IRON LAD: Oh no, sorry, that’s a different me. 
  • DOC: Excuse me?
  • IRON LAD: You can call me Iron Lad. Or Nate.
  • DOC: So you’re NOT trying to kill me?
  • IRON LAD: Nope, definitely not. I had to warp you out of there, because if you died, it throws the entire timeline outta whack.
  • DOC: But you look just like the guy I was in there… 
  • IRON LAD: Yeah, he’s me from the future, but he showed me what it looked like, and I want absolutely nothing to do with that. So I went back to the past, which is your present, to stop myself from becoming him in the future. But the Avengers were gone, so I found the Vision’s brain and downloaded it into my armor, and now here I am.
  • DOC: I’m so confused…
  • IRON LAD:  I don’t blame you. Sometimes I have to remind myself of who I am now, not who I was or who I might be.
  • DOC: So what happens now?
  • IRON LAD: I’m going to put you back in your office, just a liiiiitle bit earlier in the timestream, so you don’t make the mistakes that lead up to whatever it was that made Kang want to kill you.
  • DOC: That’s just it, I don’t even remember what it was. He just got up out of the chair and pointed a weapon at me. 
  • IRON LAD: Sadly, that’s just how he is. He gets this idea in his head, and no matter what anyone says or does, he will do it come hell or high water. Sometimes I think I do it because I don’t want anyone else dictating my destiny.
  • DOC: Are we talking about him or you?
  • IRON LAD: Uhh… ok, time to send you back now, good luck! 
  • DOC: Oh no, don’t warp me like this, it feels like I’m *warp sound* drowning in-
  • KANG: – the annals of history are *simultaneously* drowning in-
  • DOC: Gaaaaah!
  • KANG: You primitive dare interrupt Kang! You inadvertently prove my point about the vast majority of individuals who are mindless filler for the planet. Important resources wasted on people who can never comprehend how trivial their existence is to the grand scheme of time and history. That is one of my goals, to separate those who are worthy to share in the existence I plan on ushering forth from these… carbon-based cretins. And so far, you have done nothing to dissuade me from counting you in the latter group.
  • DOC: Sorry, it’s just… I wasn’t feeling like myself. As to your point, philosophers have discussed the value of human existence for millenia. 
  • KANG: Those simpering academics? Bah. Very few are capable of acknowledging the meaningless of their lives, and ironically it is those who are best equipped to assist me in my plans.
  • DOC: So… you’re looking for nihilists?
  • KANG: Only in nihilism can you find the ultimate freedom. 
  • DOC: I don’t understand. You keep speaking in circles, can you please be direct and just – talk to me?
  • KANG: Have we not been conversing this entire time?
  • *Warp sound* RAMA-TUT: Don’t listen to me, I can get a little long-winded sometimes.
  • DOC: What the hell?
  • RAMA-TUT: I am Rama-Tut. The me you were in there with is an older version of me, long after I took over ancient Egypt.
  • DOC: How many of you are there?
  • RAMA-TUT: There are as many variants of me as there are grains of sand in the desert.
  • DOC: That’s… unsettling. But why did you take me out of the session?
  • RAMA-TUT: The machinations of Rama-Tut are far beyond your ken. You need only know this: for the universe to avoid never ending calamity, not only must you survive, but you must kill Kang. 
  • DOC: Dude, if you know ANYTHING about me, you’d know I am not going to kill anyone.
  • RAMA-TUT: All mortals have limits, and in order to preserve all of existence, you must push beyond yours. This has been foreseen, and not only by me, but by all Kangs. Why do you think he allowed himself to be captured and brought to you? 
  • DOC: But why me? Literally anyone else could do a better job at that than me.
  • RAMA-TUT: If I divulge that information to you, it would create dangerous ripples throughout the timestream. You must simply trust what I tell you.
  • DOC: Not gonna happen.
  • RAMA-TUT: Nevertheless, I will return you to your session, slightly earlier than before. Take this, it is a chronosword. You must use it to strike down Kang. It will be shielded from him until you are ready to use it.
  • DOC: No, no, no *warp sound* for the last time-
  • KANG: A rather foreboding introduction, Doctor. You speak as though we have met before.
  • DOC: Uh, what I meant to say was-
  • KANG: I have no doubt that my… variants have attempted to persuade you to kill me, have they not?
  • DOC: I’m not exactly sure how client confidentiality works in this type of situation, but I’m gonna go ahead and just say I can’t tell you what I spoke to anyyou else about.
  • KANG: It matters not. I have foreseen this all. The entire series of events that led me, you, us to this moment. I have orchestrated what to your mind would be an incomprehensible amount of coincidences, all building up to my single greatest triumph yet.
  • DOC: Not to be entirely self-deprecating, but if your greatest triumph involves me, somehow I think we need to reestablish your definitions of “great” and “triumph”. 
  • KANG: So simple, and yet you have no idea your function as a keystone in the story still to be told. The annals of history are drowning in-
  • DOC: Drowning in- Gaaaah
  • KANG: You primitive dare interrupt Kang! You inadvertently prove my point about-
  • IMMORTUS: *warp sound* The irony of him daring call anyone primitive.
  • DOC: OK, you all have GOT to stop cutting me in & out. And which one are you?
  • IMMORTUS: I am IMMORTUS. And we haven’t much time.
  • DOC: Now THAT’S ironic. 
  • IMMORTUS: No, truly, the Time Keepers are hunting me down. I must inform you quickly. You are in grave danger.
  • DOC: **No fucking shit.** Yeah, I got that already. You’re the fourth…  you to pull me out of the session already.
  • IMMORTUS: Fourth? *counts to self* that means there’s still time then.
  • DOC: Again, we have nothing BUT time.
  • IMMORTUS: Not true at all. Listen to me, as soon as we return, you MUST kill Kang.
  • DOC: Like I told the other guy, that’s not gonna happen.
  • IMMORTUS: You don’t understand. You must do it before you are pulled from the timestream again. If you don’t, the consequences to all of existence will be dire.
  • DOC: Yeah, I know, Kang will destroy the entire universe.
  • IMMORTUS: No, Doctor Issues. YOU will.
  • DOC: Wait, what?!?!
  • IMMORTUS: It would take far too much to explain, just know that… *beep* they’re on to me. I must send you back now.
  • DOC: No, wait, come here and *warp sound* talk to me!
  • KANG: Have we not been conversing this entire time?
  • DOC: I…
  • KANG: Which one was it? The whiny child? Or the one who is so certain of his immortality he named himself after it?
  • DOC: Again, to avoid any problems with confidentiality, I can’t divulge conversations with other clients, even if they’re kinda sorta you. I mean, I know there have been some shenanigans here, but I don’t want to keep repeating things, otherwise I might as well just be talking to myself…
  • KANG: You have no idea how right you are, my lad…
  • DOC: What does that mean?
  • KANG: He hasn’t told you?
  • DOC: Who hasn’t told me what?
  • KANG: Fascinating. Then there’s still time for me. Allow me to disengage these restraints-
  • DOC: Hold on, those are state of the art, I worked with the designer personally to ensure-
  • KANG: Yes, but as you well know Doctor, you can’t defend against yourself.
  • DOC: Huh?
  • KANG: And now, my boy, it is time for you to DIE!
  • NATHANIEL RICHARDS: *Warp sound* It’s not supposed to happen like this.
  • DOC: Lemme guess, you’re the “he” who’s supposed to reveal some big secret that’s going to change everything.
  • NATHANIEL: I am Nathaniel Richards. Father of Kang, Immortus, Rama-Tut, Iron Lad, and all Kangs across the multiverse. And I’m not just any “he”, Doctor Issues. Or should I say… grandfather.
  • DOC: *flat* what
  • NATHANIEL: The timestreams have been merged and diverted so often things are broken. My own memory of how this came to be betrays me. But I know this: you are my grandfather, which makes you-
  • DOC: Ancestor of Kang.
  • NATHANIEL: Indeed. I had hoped to get this information to you sooner, but I was attacked by-
  • DOC: At this point, does it really matter? My entire life, my entire identity, has been thrown into question. And I don’t care how much you look or sound like me, I need this information straight from the source.
  • NATHANIEL: What?
  • DOC: I have to go back to Kang. I need to speak to him directly.
  • NATHANIEL: I cannot send you back to where I took you from, or you will die, and it will cause a cataclysmic chain reaction that will obliterate the very fabric of reality!
  • DOC: Then send me back to the moment when he decides I need to die.
  • NATHANIEL: I don’t understand.
  • DOC: Look, when I get so much hearsay, I have to strip away all opinion. If Kang wants me dead, I don’t need anyone else’s interpretation. Whatever he does in that moment is the only thing that can resolve this. I am his provider, and it is my duty. If you are truly of my heritage, you’ll understand this, and have some faith.
  • NATHANIEL: I admit I do not understand. But I do have faith. Just know that if this goes wrong, I cannot help you any further.
  • DOC: I know. 
  • NATHANIEL: Then best of luck to you, grandfather. *warp sound*
  • DOC: Hello Kang, I’m… Doctor Issues. For the last time…
  • KANG: A rather foreboding introduction, Doctor. You speak as though we have met before.
  • DOC: Tell me why.
  • KANG: That’s… no… 
  • DOC: I may not understand, but I’m ready.
  • DOC: Don’t blame him, this right now is about why you feel the way you do about me.
  • KANG: For someone who claims to have an advanced education, your understanding of things is below rudimentary. You are responsible for the creation of these other… inferior variants. Ergo, I eliminate you, and they are gone.
  • DOC: As are you.
  • KANG: The threat of vanishing from existence has not stopped me before, and it won’t now. Not when I’m so close to having all that I need. Besides, if there’s no risk, there’s no reward.
  • DOC: Then why do you tell me every time? You are holding something back. From yourself. I can help you confront it. Maybe no one has to die.
  • KANG: You are willing to gamble the fate of the entirety of existence on your ability to speak? We truly are related, ancestor, and I admire your boldness.
  • DOC: Only you would know this. Take us to the moment where we can have the greatest influence.
  • KANG: Very well. Prepare yourself, Doctor. This will be a showdown for the ages. *warp sound*
  • KANG 1: *background*Fascinating. Then there’s still time for me. Allow me to disengage these restraints-
  • DOC 1: Hold on, those are state of the art, I worked with the designer personally to ensure-
  • KANG 1: Yes, but as you well know Doctor, you can’t defend against yourself.*end background*
  • KANG 2: Here we are.
  • DOC 2: And here you come. To think, he gets all the glory. What does that make you?
  • KANG 2: You clever… Now I know where I get it from. *to Kang 1* You’re absolutely right!
  • DOC 1: Huh? *realizes there’s another version of him & Kang in the room* **WHAT THE FUCK**/WHAT IS HAPPENING
  • KANG 2: And now, my boy, it is time for YOU to DIE!
  • KANG 1: No, this cannot be!
  • DOC 1: Why are there two mes?
  • DOC 2: Long story short, it’s all a big timey-wimey ball.
  • DOC 1: How did we end up allying with HIM?!?!
  • DOC 2: Don’t worry about that. Just do me a favor, and keep an eye on who our daughter marries in the future. **If he even LOOKS like a fucking asshole, just lock her in her room. Please trust me.**
  • DOC 1: What?
  • DOC 2: Looks like my Kang has your Kang cornered…
  • DOC 1: But he’s our… my… patient. I can’t let him just do this.
  • DOC 2: If you knew what I know-
  • DOC 1: But I don’t, and I took an oath. If you’re not going to protect a person that you’re responsible for, then I will.
  • DOC 2: Wait!
  • KANG 2: If I were a primitive I might feel shame about ending the life of someone who looks like me. But at this point…
  • KANG 1: Spoken like a true primitive. Alas, you will be the one to fall.
  • DOC 1: Noooo….
  • KANG 1 & KANG 2: *blasts* 
  • KANG 1: *dying* Why?
  • KANG 2: *dying* You simpleton… you have shattered the timestream…
  • DOC 1: *dying* I… I took an oath… 
  • DOC 2: And the first part is do no harm…
  • DOC 1: Nok… *dies*

Anthony: Boy folks, that was something. When Kang is involved, time just gets way outta hand and kind of has a impact on things, you know, especially things that happened in the past impact things in the future and maybe in some roundabout way, things that happen in the future might impact the past. Yeah, it’s,

Doc Issues: it’s one of those things where you look at the philosophy of it, you can speak things into being.

But then when things are how they are supposed to be, maybe you don’t need to worry about the past so much.

Anthony: Oh my gosh, yeah. Yeah. If there’s one memento I can leave you with from this episode, it’s that things may not be in the order that you would expect them, but they’re in the order that they need to be in.

So recommended reading is Kang Dynasty. As we said during the background, there are a great number of fantastic Kang stories and I know that obviously as we continue to advance through the M C U, Marvel is going to do their best at reprinting. A lot of these in trade paperback and omnibus. Don’t be surprised if there are an uptick in the compilation of Kang stories available over the next couple years as we march on towards Kang Dynasty and Secret Wars.

And if you don’t wanna wait until then, there’s always Marvel Unlimited. That’s how I did it, and that’s how, certainly how you can do it. So, upcoming episodes, we’re gonna lighten things up a little bit. Next next week. Animal Sidekicks. It’s a fun jaunty episode, followed by Claire Voyant, a character that I knew nothing about.

She’s an agent of Satan, so that’s fun. And then the penguin. So look forward for my Danny DeVito Impress. In that one, as always, you can find our episodes, including those that are much more linear based on our website capes on the You can follow us on social media, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok at capes on the couch.

If you listen to us on a platform that allows you to like and review, please do so. And as we always say, if you leave us a review, send us an email to capesonthecouch@ with a screenshot of your review and we’ll send you a sticker as a fun way to say thank you very much, because we appreciate all that you do.

And that’s about it. So as I, as we said, you know, we’re gonna have our mini episode, go out and check out Ant Man and the Wasp Quantum Mania comes out this weekend. Should be a rollicking. Good time. And doc, before we head out, just

Doc Issues: humor me. I’m only gonna do one verse. Okay. If I could

save time in a bottle, the first thing that I’d like to do is to save every day till eternity passes away just to spend them with you. Time in a Bottle is one of my favorite songs ever. I just, I just wanted to get that little bit in there, you know, and every

Anthony: That’s fine. It’s beautiful song. I, I just wanted to remind you that that’s a completely separate universe.

That’s, that’s the Fox Marvel movies. Quicksilver and, sorry. It’s just, it’s inextricably linked with that now . So until next time, or maybe the previous time, For doc issues, I’m Anthony Sytko. See you next week or in a little bit. Stay tuned. Who knows?

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