Anthony: Hello and welcome to Capes on the Couch. where comics, get Counseling. I’m Anthony Sytko. And
Doc Issues: I’m Dr. Issues.
Anthony: This is a fun one. Gear up folks and get your game on because we are gonna be taking a look at Arcade, one of the most colorful villains in Marvel’s catalog. Certainly he makes for good entertainment.
Not exactly the most successful villain. Definitely not an A-lister, but he always makes for a good illustration. I will say the, the artists always gets really pull out the stops when you’re dealing with arcade because of the nature of murder world. Yeah, yeah,
Doc Issues: absolutely. Have
Anthony: a lot of fun. Yeah, and at the games I never played what was the one for, I think it was for Super Nintendo and Genesis.
Right, right, right. No, I never
Doc Issues: played that either. I know what you’re talking
Anthony: about. Yeah. There, there was a murder world. Yeah. X-Men Game for, for the 16 bit Systems. I’ll have to play that one one of these days just to, for, I guess, nostalgia purposes. I would say nostalgia, but I didn’t play it. I’ll have to go back and see if it still holds up in any case.
Matt w picked this one and so you know, there’s gonna be some good stuff here as always, with a Matt selection. But first, let’s get into the background
arcade, created by Chris Claremont and John Byrne in Marvel team up number 65. January, 1978. He debuted as a hitman trying to kill Spider-Man and Captain Britain. Brian Braddock in a game like Complex called the Murder World. So he often reappears. Regularly establishing a new murder world with the help of various assistances Ms.
Locke, Ms. Chambers all of them designed to kill different heroes or pairs of heroes. Murder world is always filled with elaborate traps to extract maximum entertainment out of the killing. But arcade always leaves his victims a sporting chance to escape, which they overwhelmingly do. One of his biggest stories, however, was Avengers Arena, where he kidnapped 16 teen heroes and brought them to an island, forcing them to kill each other until one survives battle Royal style.
Unlike most previous stories, he does manage to kill off several of the heroes, those who survive, end up coping with a lot of stuff. And that was the subject of the follow up run, Avengers Undercover, showing how some of the heroes have P T S D, understandably so, and the various other fallouts. Between characters and relationships that came as a result of what they underwent on the, the island.
Doc Issues: Oh, I’m, I’m sorry. I, I wasn’t paying attention. I was reading the synopsis of the Hunger Games. Yeah,
Anthony: the Hunger Games, or Lord of the Flies, or Battle Royal or any number of other things. It was very much inspired by that. Obviously this was, I wanna say 2007, 2008, so very much in that timeframe of, of when these things were popular.
But it worked and it was still a really compelling story, even if it was obviously a homage, past prestige off of some of these other concepts. So, unlike many characters, though, little is known about arcade’s background. He claims to have grown up wealthy, but he was cut off by his father whom he murdered in response.
But we don’t know how true that is. We don’t know his name. We really don’t know anything about him. So, having said all of that, again, most arcade stories are he tries to kill the heroes, sets up murder world, they escape, beat him up. He manages to escape either because he’s a robot or he slips away.
Lather, rinse, repeat the, the joy in reading an arcade story is the way that murder world is tailored to the heroes that are being captured. It’s very much specific to each of the inhabitants of murder world, so to speak. Which is what we’re gonna get into right now when we talk about the issues. So Matt says, arcade is what Kevin McAllister probably would’ve become had he not grown up to be the jigsaw killer instead.
The guy who’s goofy panache and gimmicky trademarks belay a very dangerous and accomplished assassin. Arcade is one of those characters who’s not even remotely a mystery in terms of issues. So issue number one, obsession with violence for the sake of entertainment. Think of the amount of work that goes into building the murder worlds we’ve seen in the comics.
Finding the physical space, laying the foundation for construction, the blueprints, the design, building a structure strong enough to withstand the impact of superpowered beings, meticulously engineering, multiple complex mechanical, electrical, computer, and robotic systems that all have to work in tandem with one another.
Countless quality assurance tests to make sure everything runs the way he intends them to. And he custom designs these giant death chaps for every. As an assassin. If his objective was just to kill, he could easily just use a 10 cent bullet. The sheer lengths that he goes to in order to carry out his hits are proof positive that it’s not about the killing or the money he’s being paid to kill For him.
He really, really enjoys watching his target struggle against his machinations and the entertainment level that the violence in mayhem provide him.
Doc Issues: So if we were talking about children of a young age, we would be talking about conduct disorder, things like that. Where some of the traits that we look for are cruelty to animals, fire setting, testing of limits in general with whatever the rules are, and a total disregard for how people respond to your negative actions.
So I don’t know if Arcade had all of that exactly as a child, but dog gone. It does. He seem to fit. If you put all that stuff together. Here’s the part though that I think Matt is touching on, and maybe it wasn’t even his intention, but I’ll go ahead and I’ll run with it. A person’s personality traits, or even if they have a personality disorder, that doesn’t necessarily define everything else about who they are.
Ironically, even though we call them personality disorders. So if someone, let’s say is antisocial or borderline or narcissistic, or a combination of those things, that doesn’t change perhaps their skillset with regards to how well they can complete tasks, how well they can learn a job, how well they can still do the things that other people do in any other sphere.
So you can really end up with strange and unique combinations. And arcade is a great example of that. This dude is a contractor and an engineer basically, and does those things incredibly well. It just so happens that it dovetails with doing this other thing that is clearly a detriment to society and lethal.
So how do you mix those two together? The answer is you really don’t. You have to take them for what they are. So the fact that he puts his all effort and energy into it kinda reminds me of what I remember being told when we were reviewing psychoanalysis cases during my residency. Although it’s not the intention sometimes during the course of therapy, if a person happens to be a thief, you end up making them a better thief.
So this is incredible where there are many other parts of grit, determination, and, and. Whatever else you can come up with that would allow him to even survive something like this. Cuz let’s be honest, this isn’t even a matter of what you view in society as right and wrong, and this is simply anyone that’s looking to do this enough times is gonna end up dead because either the people that he’s doing it against are going to kill him.
Or society if, if you’re in a certain format, you’re gonna end up getting a death penalty and you get caught. So it’s unlikely that anything like this would come up this way in real life, at least at this level. But the idea that there are people that love the idea of torture, that love the idea of seeing other people squirm and making their lives complicated and miserable just for the sake of their own entertainment, there are plenty of people that exist like that.
On a small level, on a one-to-one personal level, or even on a business or other organizational level, doesn’t just have to be stereotypical like, oh no evil boss man doesn’t. Do things that are fair. It could be within families, it could be within friend groups, whatever. So these things can take very mild forms, and Arcade is just amplifying that with intense magnitudes.
I, I can continue to rant about this, but really it’s, it’s just fascinating And, and in all honesty, if it weren’t for the fact that I knew more about the Joker based on my comic book reading, I think Arcade may have taken that place instead.
Anthony: Yeah, he definitely has some similarities with the Joker in terms of the doing it for the lulls or the evils.
But to your real world analog point, it is terrifying to think that there are people out there who would even come close to this that might view arcade as something to aspire to. That level of sociopathic disconnect from humanity. Is sadly not something we really have to fantasize about. I think we’re just fortunate that we haven’t seen more people try to actively do this, or at the very least if they try, they’re caught before they’re really successful.
Least I would hope so, but I will move on. Speaking of the dissociation, that’s the second point that Matt brings up, so it’s a perfect segue. Disassociation with his actions, much like the jigsaw killer arcade, will never build a death trap that doesn’t allow his victims a sporting chance to escape.
Arcade has no philosophical motive towards making his target’s appreciate their lives. However, he just doesn’t think the game is any fun if the outcome is predetermined in advance. This does tend to cause him to overlook part of his own responsibility in what he’s doing. It’s not me killing these people, it’s murder world.
It’s completely possible for them to win the game I’ve put them in, they’re just not very good at it.
Doc Issues: Yeah. Now see this goes, it can apply to antisocial, but I think this is much more in the narcissistic realm. The idea is that your responses or your actions are purely based on what your anticipation is of what other people do, and they play more of a role than you do.
So a great example that’s well known if you look it up, is if someone is caught shoplifting, sometimes the person will say, well, I mean, it’s not even hurting anyone. We’re talking about a big nameless corporation, and they already bake shrinkage into their numbers, shrink. Its being the term for shoplifting in the industry.
So their point is, I’m not harming anyone just because I’m breaking a law, which really messes things up. If you take that too far, even on its, most basic level. So, You could see how that really gets extrapolated here. The idea that you’re contracted to do something and you put all of this constructed effort into it once it’s done.
And, and as creators, we have to be careful about this too. When we create something sometimes, we’ll say, and I, I also admit this, that’s something I put out there. So whatever anybody does with it, like that’s up to them. I can’t control how things go from there. Like, well, n no, no, you, you continue to have a certain level of responsibility when something is produced, even if it has unintended consequences.
So in this case, they were intended consequences. It’s, it’s not even like you can add that extra layer of buffer in terms of why a person would have one thought completely different from another thought. And yet, arcade shows that all the time. He also has been shown to be. Cold blooded. I’m not even talking about the murder world stuff itself.
He has killed workers who we thought were not either backstabbing him or just plain old not doing things the way he would appreciate them doing it. So he’s not above being that petty. And yet, usually when he’s doing it, if you see it, I, I looked at some panels, and by, by the way, let’s make this clear.
For those who aren’t familiar with Arcade, he looks like a regular dude. He just kind of either wears a bow tie or, you know, just whatever. He’s not meant to, to be super exaggerated. He could be flashy, but not to the point of what you would consider to be classic super villain or whatever.
For the most part my point is the times where he makes those types of decisions, he’s shown a much different way. Usually he’s shown much more, not, not this frenetic, fun-loving guy, but much more of the ho hum. Yeah. This is just what has to be done. Sometimes you’re dead. it’s a wide range and it doesn’t always match what you would expect, which I think also goes along with the idea of dissociation.
Your emotions are not matching your actions and for usual cases. With him, it’s more the idea, how can you find joy in so many people suffering? But once in a while, it’s more like, how can you be so mundane about the fact that people are dying either way. It’s really not cool. The most common human reaction to death is either the sense that it’s wrong or it’s sad, or it’s scary.
He doesn’t get any of that, so I think that’s really the most disturbing part to him.
Anthony: Yeah, it’s clinical for him that, oh, I was hired to do a job and I have to do it. I’m going to do it a certain way with my own flare. But the killing isn’t the part that. Bothers him. It’s the planning, it’s the rigamarole. That’s the part that I guess frustrates him or, or that he’s focused on. Not whether or not someone dies that’s incidental almost, or just just an outcome.
It’s the planning that annoys him, which is really messed up. And if he were perhaps a little better at it, then maybe he wouldn’t have to worry so much about issue number three that Matt brings up, which is inferiority complex. As revealed in the Avengers Arena, arc Arcade has an extremely poor reputation among both the superhero and super villain community.
Although he has a sterling record killing run of the mill targets, he has failed to kill every single superheroes he ever, he’s ever been contracted to assassinate. This causes him to suffer deep depression when he finds out about it at his own birthday party, no less.
And it’s the third or fourth issue of this, of the arc where it cuts to him basically flashing back to his party. And he is like, they’re all laughing at me. They all think I’m a joke, so I’m going to show them I’m not. And boy, howdy. Does he manage to overcompensate, which is a topic we just recently discussed.
Doc Issues: Oh yeah. In this case though, it’s definitely narcissistic injury. Just the idea that everything that you know about yourself, either someone points out is wrong or just greatly misinterpreted, or even if it’s not misinterpreted, it’s. A much different magnitude than what you expected it to be.
So you could think of yourself as being the absolute best in something, and yet other people around you don’t see it that way. But more importantly, heaven forbid anyone shows you direct evidence that proves that your own perception of a situation is highly inaccurate to the data that is gathered at hand.
That type of splash of cold water can really demoralize you. And the idea when it comes to the depression that’s mentioned is that it’s not just that you have not done something as well as you had hoped. It’s what does it say about you? And Anthony hit the nail perfectly on the head with that description.
You somehow are valuing yourself less because of your words and actions. And on the surface that sounds like, well, that makes sense because you’re a product, you’re a summation of your words and actions, but not your inherent value. There is a huge difference there, and it can be subtle if you’re not paying attention to yourself.
The fact that you exist as a human being means that you’re worthy of dignity and respect. Please remember that anything that happens above and beyond that may have huge impact on your interactions with others on the consequences of said actions. And yes, there may be things that need to be improved, but that inherent value should still be there, and when that gets trampled upon, and once again, the only thing that really can trample upon it is your.
I’m not talking about physically, I’m not talking about those other consequences. If you go to jail because you did something wrong, so be it. If you got beat up physically because you were abused, that’s a horrible thing and shouldn’t have happened to you. But it doesn’t take away that inherent value. If someone really needed to hear that, I, I hope that they’re getting that message right now.
Arcade is in a very unique circumstance where I think universally everyone would agree the types of things that he’s doing are detrimental, are horrible, are, are catastrophic and all of that. And yet, and this is the thing that I think is difficult for us as a society and and humanity as a whole to, to appreciate sometimes and arcade makes it very difficult.
There’s still some value there. And that person should be allowed to have that value so that they can, in theory, make improvements and do better in the future, or at least do. As little harm as possible as they continue to go through their lives, even if it has to be in a protected environment so that no one else gets hurt.
So all of this being said, what do you do if that value is in theory, destroyed? And you only know one way to act, you lash out. You have an intense level of anger. I know I’ve talked about depression being anger turned inward. Well, it’s not a one-way street. It’s not a, you know, it’s a, it’s more like a revolving door so that anger can go right back out towards everybody else and that when it happens can have some really dire consequences.
And that’s what we see.
Anthony: Yes, I do absolutely agree that everybody has inherent value. It may not always come across in a productive way, and I think that’s where there’s a struggle with a lot of people. And even I think we all as, as individuals and collectively as society, we sometimes struggle with trying to find value in individuals who seem to only value tearing things down.
Destruction is necessary in order to rebuild, and if focused towards a collective positive, I think you can really find some fantastic benefits from it. The problem comes from, as I said, finding value in those individuals who only seem to be completely interested in themselves and are willing to destroy everything else around them in order.
Either find or increase their own self value. There’s an inherent conflict there, and I don’t know how to resolve it as, as a person. Conceptually as a society, I’m not entirely clear what to do with that because I think that some of the potential solutions run counter to the notion of freedom and free society and things of that nature.
I mean, we could go like clockwork, orange Lu, Ludovico technique on some of these people and try and rewire their brains or what have you. Obviously that’s not healthy, that’s not ethical. There’s a whole host of other problems. But how do you still maintain moving forward as a society, as a culture, as a planet, as a species, while allowing people like this to do what they do?
It’s the tolerance paradox. You cannot be tolerant of intolerance or you end up with nothing and everything bursts to the ground. Obviously this is a topic that is meant for philosophy and, and sociology and things of that nature, but it definitely comes across with somebody like Arcade because he can provide value if he just chooses to direct his talents such as they are towards something perhaps a little less violent.
And spoiler alert, we do get into that a little bit in the skit. So, We’re gonna take a break, plug some shows and we’ll get back. We’ll get into treatment. Stay tuned.
And we’re back. So treatment
starting first with the in Universe doc. What are you doing to help Arcade be a little less murdery? So
Doc Issues: I love Matt’s description of how meticulous he must be in building murder world, and I’m going to continue this rift that I’ve been on when it comes to in universe treatments. I don’t have a degree in engineering.
I don’t know all of those details. I understand some physics concepts and I’m sure if. Would have an opportunity to find out, just how much pressure is necessary to, crush someone’s skull and what exactly is the velocity that you need to have something pushed as a projectile, even if it’s like two tons to just barely give a person an opportunity to dodge it at near superhuman speed, et cetera, et cetera.
Like just to get more into the nuts and bolts and not necessarily focus on the death part or the attempts at death. And see if I could deconstruct a little bit, why even go to these lengths? Like what, what really is that final, level that puts it over the top? And does arcade even recognize that?
Does he notice the difference between, let’s say if it’s a Jack in the box that projects a person 20 feet in the air and they land on their neck to die. Like, what would happen at 15 feet? You know, would that not do it? And do you get more benefit out of that then if they were to survive?
How is that, trying to connect the emotion back with the actions. Now there’s one real problem with this, and if anybody is picking up on it in my voice I have some traits that I’m not proud of where my brain kind of works in certain ways about different topics that I don’t really talk about in public, because if I did, it would really make me sound like I, I don’t care about humanity and that’s not the case.
That’s not true. But you can’t do this in polite society. So Arcade gives me an opportunity to let loose a little bit with that dark side of me and do it in a way that hopefully will be beneficial to him to say, Hey, maybe there’s a way that we can talk about these things so that you don’t act on them and people don’t have to die.
Now that’s obvious pie in the sky thinking that wouldn’t work. But that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t try more than once. And maybe the fact that he would have somebody that has such a perverse interest in learning how he’s going through these things would actually put me in his good graces long enough that I could start to have him adapt to what will be considered better cultural norms in society so that even if he created these things, people wouldn’t necessarily be at the point of death.
interesting idea. I like where your head’s at. I Oh. Oh
Doc Issues: you. You may not like where my head’s at. Trust me. There’s plenty of stuff I even centered when I was talking about that. Man. Oh man. As a matter of fact, this is, you know what, right now I’m gonna dive into something. This is Paton only. Okay? Okay. But it’s, it’s worth it.
It’s worth it. So we’re recording this on a Sunday. I am spiritual. I’ve made that clear. I was raised in a Baptist church. I am baptized, stuff like that. So I have a Christian background. Daughter’s being raised catholic. Wife is Catholic. Okay? This is all relevant to the story.
So they attend church by going online. I’m there too, but I’m doing something different. I’m not exactly listening to the homily directly, but I could tell because at the time of year this has taken place that a lot of it has to do with rebirth and all of that. And they actually gave the story of Lazarus in the homily.
So I proceed to talk to my daughter because her point is she can’t stand some of the philosophical things that are coming up, but I wanna make sure that she. Continues with her attention because it is about the idea of of afterlife and all this stuff. I basically go on this diatribe about what happens to the body where if it’s in a temporary paralysis and put in a shallow grave, which often happened in Caribbean islands where people thought to be dead would end up coming back and were considered to be zombies, but they were shunned by society.
And then what happens sometimes with people when they do die and how rigor mortis sets in and how their bodies contract into certain forms. But if you didn’t know that from when they were first seen dead, you would think that they were actually coming back to life, which gives the idea of monsters. And then also the idea with the fact that most microorganisms don’t really care about what your actual physical state is once you’re dead and start decomposing you, that gases build up.
And the idea that sometimes bodies would become bloated, meaning that they would look like they had eaten and people would see blood coming outta certain areas, including the mouth and nose thinking that somehow that was a source of their. Food, meaning the idea of vampires. And therefore if you actually did press a wooden steak into someone’s chest at that time, remember you still have some of the physical air the physical structures there, including your trachea, which means that the air and gases, particles that would be released if you were to make that sort of immediate thrusting pressure you might actually hear a little bit of a groan, like indicating that you are actually killing something that was alive.
And you know, just remember the idea that sometimes things that are dead can seem like they’re alive even when they’re not. That my daughter was getting all this information from me while my wife was hanging her head in shame as to me corrupting her. All I was doing was acknowledging a part of her that if you don’t acknowledge, she would probably explore on her own and it would probably be safe, but I’d much rather say, I know this particular devil, rather than keeping it an unknown and hoping for the best.
Anthony: Okay. I, I get where you’re coming from with that.
I don’t think that is any major issue or makes you a bad person or whatever. That’s just a different way of viewing things.
Doc Issues: This is why you’re my brother. Your ability for tolerance of certain. Above and beyond what many people would be willing to tolerate is an absolute comfort to me, which is why I have no problem saying that, and for the patrons that hurt all of that. Believe me, I have never once actually done anything to intentionally harm anyone in my life.
That is the truth, both physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. So, yes, there is this true dichotomy that can exist in the world. So if you were wondering about it for yourself, you don’t have to wonder anymore.
Anthony: I was just gonna say, as an agnostic, it didn’t phase me one bit when you were talking about, oh, the spiritual, I was more fascinated like, huh, okay.
I guess that’s could be potentially where some of the zombie stuff comes from. Zubi and all that. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I, I understand. All right. Okay. I dig it. So out of universe, Matt, A comparison would be people endured to the concept of violence when they see it on TV or a computer screen. Fans of contact or combat sports who turn themselves off to the pain being endured by the athletes for the sake of their entertainment, and as a possible in universe or out of universe, way of diverting his talents to something not quite so evil.
Tell me, arcade with his proclivity for presentation, entertainment and high stakes wouldn’t make a perfect booker for a professional wrestling company. Paul Haman, eat your Heart out.
Doc Issues: You know, it’s, it’s fascinating because you’ll see how we do this with the skit and where my brain went with it, but I appreciate Matt’s conclusion as well.
I think it’s, it’s within that realm of possibility. Let’s make this clear. I think that there is definitely. A part of joy in humanity when it comes to these things, and we know it. If you’ve ever watched America’s Funniest Home Videos, you know exactly what I’m talking about. There’s a certain level of entertainment from seeing random things happen, but even then, we know there’s a limit.
We know what it is. I almost feel like it’s the equivalent of saying the definition of pornography in terms of where you draw the line. So arcade is the ultimate example, but there are plenty of people that might need that guidance and therapy can do that. Now we really are talking at kids at a young age because they may not have the concept of permanency of death and other major consequences when it comes to their actions, and that’s the time where really you can make the most difference.
You make sure which naturally can happen as children’s brains develop, but even if it’s not on pace, You meet them where they’re at in terms of what they may understand and what those consequences are and why it’s important to understand why people feel bad when certain things happen, even if they don’t understand it for themselves or don’t feel that same way.
It’s very hard for someone who hasn’t developed empathy to just randomly teach it and show them what it is, but you can show a construct that will allow them to do things in a way that they won’t get in trouble in the future and nobody gets hurt. That’s definitely clear and that type of pure, I’m not even talking cognitive behavioral therapy, I’ll talk to pure behavioral therapy, that sort of thing has been in existence for a long, long time because you’d rather do it that way than waiting till someone’s in the jail cell, you know, or whatever other consequence happens as a natural result.
So it really is as basic as that. Being a role model, mirroring certain behaviors, emulating exactly what it is that’s considered to be acceptable, getting your classic Skinner behavioral responses and going from there. So it can be as basic as that. Now, once the person is an adult, and let’s say you’re past that point, as we’ve said, there are plenty of other avenues that a person can go through.
Entertainment often is the way, because at least people recognize part of entertainment is the unknown. We all love a good story, but we don’t want to know all the details all the time. So the more that you can find variations on those details, then you can have a lot of fun. And stories are good because of conflict and the idea that you have control over that conflict can be an amazing thing.
So yes, wrestling is an example of that. Any type of storytelling. And here’s the other thing, there is storytelling in the world. Are you a marketer and advertiser? Are you a person that is willing to be a salesman? You’re basically telling people, I’m taking my life energy, which really is another definition of what money can be, all of your work and effort, you know, in a way that can then be changed for goods and services.
Are you willing to demonstrate to people just how important it is that they take a part of that life energy and put it into something that you consider to be important? There’s lots of different ways that a person can start to manipulate these things in a way that’s not harmful and actually can be beneficial.
So I don’t wanna just stop there and saying, we’re trying to do the least amount of harm like we actually can do good. So I think therapy is a wonderful way to have someone explore this. And there are also other ways that people can do this for their own, in terms of self-assessment. What are your strengths and weaknesses and what can you do with them so that you don’t end up killing people?
Is that really that high? A bar to set?
Anthony: Yeah. Modeling empathy is so important as a parent. I mean, I’m just looking at it from them perspective. Nevermind as a society, but just with my own kids trying to explain to them why certain things are or are not acceptable and tying it back to this notion of very simply, it’s the golden rule.
Would you like this if it happened to you? No. Okay, then maybe let’s not do this to other people. Telling my son, you can’t just go around doing things to your baby sister because she’s not going to like it very much. And would you like it if someone did this to you? No. And that’s where at least, you know, in his four year old brain, he goes, oh, it clicks because it really is that simple.
But you have to make the connection logical. It has to be a direct and logical and causal connection between A and B. You can’t just say, if you do this, I’m going to punish you in some way that’s not related to whatever. If you do this, I’m going to take away your toys. If you hit her, you can’t play video games because there’s no connection.
There’s no relation to that. If you throw the toys all over the house, then they’re going to break and you’re not gonna be able to play with them anymore. Daddy understands if you hit her, then she’s going to get upset and cry, and you wouldn’t like that. If someone did it to you, then he gets it again.
He’s a child. He’s four years. So he’s not always necessarily going to be able to do everything because he’s still emotionally mature. He’s four years old, but you do the work now so that when he’s older and less impulsive and more mature, he has a foundation of understanding. I think that a lot of problems with people that lack empathy are because they didn’t have good enough role models for that kind of empathetic behavior when they were growing up.
And it’s very much for children. A case of if you don’t see it, I don’t wanna say you can’t be it, but it’s really hard to become what you can’t see. And so that falls on all of us. Help the next generation, whether it’s our children, our the children that are adjacent to us, nieces, nephews, what have yous, or even just kids that we see and encounter be some.
Something I read recently was be the person that you needed in your life when you were younger, and that kind of really resonates. And Arcade never had that because he grew up, I mean, we didn’t really talk about this in the issues, but we didn’t talk about the fact that he grew up very wealthy with a very detached family and his dad cut him off.
Assuming we take what little of his backstory, we know at his word, his dad cut him off. So he probably didn’t have the most supportive family growing up. That’s why he’s detached from humanity and that’s why he just chooses to. His frustrations out on people the way that he does. It’s a shame, but it’s a very Freudian response.
So, yeah, and to Matt’s other point, I would really, really love to have seen Arcade book, the Attitude era, especially with the hardcore stuff like Ec Dub would’ve been absolutely bonkers, man. Oh,
Doc Issues: oh man. You know, honestly, in terms of like don’t kill or whatever, but the, oh man, I’m really trying to think of which pay-per-view it was.
I think it was a backlash pay-per-view, but it was basically just this insane overbooked, like, I still think one of the best moments ever of, I’m trying to think of all the people that were involved in it, was definitely the rock, stone Cold, triple H. I definitely think mankind was involved, but just in terms of, people coming outta nowhere and then with chairs and, you know, everybody hitting their finishers all within like a, like seven minute time period.
It was just like, what are, what is all of this? You know? Like, what, who really thinks that this is the way things should go? And I love it. So anyway, I, I know that’s way off tangent, but
Anthony: I wanna see him book like, you know, a c w barely legal 1997. You know, like gimme yeah, gimme arcade booking. Like, oh my God,
Doc Issues: I forgot you got access to New Jack.
Oh, no, no. Oh,
Anthony: new Jack. Now we’re, now we’re saying, man, I’m saying now we’re not even talking
Doc Issues: the pony. I’m saying now we’re, now we’re not even talking hypotheticals, you know? I mean,
Anthony: Oh, if Arcade is booking Nuj Jack, somebody dying.
Somebody’s going to get murder.
Doc Issues: Oh, freaking sabu. All of a sudden just does like the first, like 1240 splash or something. I don’t think a person’s supposed to revolve that many times. Well, hey,
Anthony: when they’re shot out of a cannon, they will,
oh, what’s this new Jack brings a staple gun to the match. He’s not even trying to wrestle. He’s just straight up just jamming things into
Doc Issues: people. Oh
Anthony: yeah, yeah. Paul Haman, eat your heart out. So with all of this being said, let’s see what happens when we get arcade on Dr. Issue’s couch.
Doc Issues: Oh, what? Where am I?
Arcade (Anthony): Hello, Dr. Is Issues. Welcome to Murder World.
Doc Issues: Who are you?
Arcade (Anthony): I’m your friendly host arcade. You remember your stay here for the rest of your life, unfortunately, for you, that’ll be oh, about five more minutes.
Doc Issues: What? You won’t get away
with this. Soon as I call,
Arcade (Anthony): call whom? With what? You have no phone, no technology, no nothing. Let’s face it, doc, you’re lonelier than a pimple face teen on prom night. But it’s not all bad news. Let me give you the rundown on exactly what’s going to happen. You’ve got precisely five minutes to find the door that leads to your freedom, or this whole place will explode with the force of a hydrogen bomb sending your atoms back into the oblivion from once they came.
Doc Issues: Why do I have a feeling you’re not exactly being honest with me?
Arcade (Anthony): What would I have to gain from lying? You find the door, you walk away free on, my honor.
Doc Issues: N all offense intended. That’s not exactly encouraging. What’s the catch?
Arcade (Anthony): Fair enough? Good, sir. Now, if you walk through the door, you are free. Getting to the door, however, I make no promises. Oh, and your clock starts now.
Doc Issues: Okay, I, I think I see something in this wooded area. Whoa,
Arcade (Anthony): Ahaha. Here’s your first test. Sure. There’s a doorway just a few feet away. If only the ground walls and ceiling wasn’t covered with Arthur pods, bugs, and more legs then the Rockettes Christmas spectacular.
Oh, that’s right. I forgot. You are terrified of bugs
Doc Issues: jokes on you. I’m not scared of bugs anymore, and I made it through the door with plenty of time. Aw man.
Arcade (Anthony): Oh, right. Fine. You made it through that one. But here’s your next challenge, public speaking. All you have to do is recite the Hippocratic Oath in front of this crowd of strangers and TV cameras, and it’s such a shame.
I forgot to have a copy printed out for you in advance. Clocks ticking and all that. Well, I guess you’ll just have to
Doc Issues: uh, all right, let’s do this. I do solemnly swear. Bye. I wish, I hope most sacred that I will be loyal to the profession of medicine and just, and generous to its members. I will lead my life and practice my art in uprightness and honor and unto whoever house I enter, I shall be for the good of the sick to the utmost of my power holding myself apart from corruption, from tempting, from vice.
I’ll exercise my art solely for the cure of my patients, and I’ll perform no operation for criminal purpose, even if solicited.
Arcade (Anthony): All right. Hurry up and get to the finish so you can just die.
Doc Issues: But I didn’t,
Arcade (Anthony): you didn’t stumble at all. Yeah, that’s all right. Sorry. I’m not worried though, because there’s no way you’re going to make it through this last trap.
Besides, you’ve only got about 30 seconds left, and you are not going to be able to solve this math problem right here.
Doc Issues: So the, the, the limit does not exist.
Arcade (Anthony): I, I really thought I was gonna do it this time. I did my research. I, I found out what you were afraid of. And, and then the math thing, I mean, like, who, who can do differential calculus in their head like that?
Doc Issues: You got some old data. Man, I haven’t been scared of bugs in years. Public speaking, dude, I’ve done plenty of speeches and I host a podcast and the math thing.
Did, did you do all that just for a mean girls reference?
Arcade (Anthony): I, I gotta be honest, this this wasn’t my best work. I, I don’t have my usual resources. I put a lot into Bitcoin and whatever wasn’t cash I had in Silicon Valley Bank, this, this kind of got slapped.
Doc Issues: Yeah, I can tell My question is why.
Arcade (Anthony): Well, ever since I knocked off those teens, I, I was riding high for a while and things came crashing down and I needed another big win.
I thought taking out the psychiatrist to the Cape community would put me back on top,
Doc Issues: but why do you have to be back on top? Do you realize the level of engineering and coordination it takes to set something up like this? You have an understanding of logistics and detail. Most people can only dream of.
If you stop trying to focus on killing people and you know, pivoted towards a legitimate business, you could be the best in the field at that.
Arcade (Anthony): But where’s the challenge? The sport and watching someone try to figure out if they’ll live the adrenaline rush that you get, seeing a person’s head explode like a balloon.
Without that, it’s all just blueprints and greenbacks. There’s more to life than money. Surely. You can appreciate that.
Doc Issues: I can and far be it for me to tell someone not to pursue their passion, but when that passion comes at the expense of creating dangerous and deadly situations for innocent people, that’s where,
Arcade (Anthony): oh, come off it, doctor.
You can’t possibly believe these Cape Clowns are innocent. How much collateral damage do they cause on a regular basis? I’m willing to wager that even your office has been impacted by them on more than one occasion.
Doc Issues: That’s not the point. That’s no reason to hurt or kill them.
Arcade (Anthony): I didn’t hear a denial. And anyway, it’s all in the name of entertainment.
If you watch sports, football, boxing, M M A, I just take humanities innate thirst for blood and guts and take it to its logical extremes. All right, I’ve rushed those two cuz I could feel the sneeze coming on. Lemme try that again. We thrill at the idea of someone pounding a man’s skull until he is incapable of speech, leaving him functionally brain dead towards the end of his life, but someone giving him the mercy of delivering a killing blow that’s beyond the pale.
Let me ask you, would you rather remember Ali going out gracefully in say, 1978 or as a pale shell of his former self at the end of his life?
Doc Issues: Even if that’s not a horrible analogy, which it absolutely is. You’re ignoring the most important thing. Choice.
You kidnap these people, enforce them to kill or survive. That’s not fair at all.
Arcade (Anthony): It’s not a guarantee that they’ll die. There’s always a sporting chance something has to keep it Interesting.
Doc Issues: Interesting for whom? That’s my.
Arcade (Anthony): For me, of course, of what difference does it make if it doesn’t interest anyone else.
But you know, that’s false too. Have you witnessed bare knuckle brawls and slap fighting high speed racing? No one is there for competition alone. They all wanna see someone’s life change forever or ended.
Doc Issues: I’m going to go back to this again. There’s one thing you keep forgetting to mention. Choice free will.
It’s obvious that you want complete control and you want violence. That’s a terrible combination.
Arcade (Anthony): We are made to compete. It’s our nature, and we are destined to die. I make sure these happen at peak performance value.
Doc Issues: Then what’s the difference between a game and a game? That’s it. A game.
Arcade (Anthony): What are you getting at ?
Doc Issues: Ever seen wipe? Most extreme elimination challenge, ninja Warrior. You know, those are all voluntary shows with some brutal consequences, but people consider them to be in poor taste, not horrific.
Arcade (Anthony): And so?
Doc Issues: Look, with what you do, you could out plan all of those contraptions, I’m sure of it. But here’s how stuck on one note that you’re limiting your creativity. It’s death or nothing for you. That actually sounds dull.
Arcade (Anthony): So you mean permanent disfigurement?
Doc Issues: Broader. How about temporary embarrassment, self-doubt leading to self-actualization. Impossible. Mortals fe being made possible to the non-camp community?
Arcade (Anthony): Well, Menti is where I draw the line.
Doc Issues: Anyway. My point is, do you think you could create a course so devious that no one could solve it and still not die?
Arcade (Anthony): You know, there’s a lot coming from me, but you weren’t absolute madman. Do you know that?
Doc Issues: Well, I’m sure it would have the backing of several major networks worth billions of dollars to the adventure and producer, which would allow you to create even more things in the future.
Arcade (Anthony): My world is spinning right now. This is all absurd. You don’t put people through trials and torture just to watch them succeed.
Doc Issues: Is it really that much worse than putting them through trials to die and they still succeed?
Arcade (Anthony): Perhaps not. We’ll just have to agree to disagree then.
Doc Issues: That’s all. Like no extra ranting, no threats to kill me or something like you just, that’s it. Just let me go.
Arcade (Anthony): I gave you my word. You’re not an interesting target anyway. You have no abilities, no talent, and it’s obviously you don’t do much for patients besides giving them guilt trips.
Doc Issues: Oh, that, that’s a low blow compared to some of the things you said about me.
Arcade (Anthony): I think we’re even So no hard feelings shake on it.
Doc Issues: You serious right now?
Arcade (Anthony): Always find ways to be serious when you’re having fun, doctor.
Doc Issues: Alright.
Arcade (Anthony): Oh, you cheater.
Doc Issues: I may not know combat techniques, but I learned how to perform a patient tape down. You’re not going anywhere until the proper authorities arrive.
It’s not a great idea to leave restraint equipment around even if you don’t think anyone’s alive to use it.
Arcade (Anthony): This isn’t fair. I demand a do-over a reset.
Anthony: So you turned the game on him? Yeah. Yeah.
Doc Issues: I mean, I would say it was a matter of survival, but I’d already survived, but I didn’t trust him. So hopefully we get some really awesome obstacle course races that, you know, fun for all ages and deadly for none. It’s gotta be little
Anthony: dead, not, not death deadly, but just, just a little dangerous.
Of course. Go for it. So, recommended reading is Avengers Arena. It is a great story, even if it is a clear pastiche of the battle Royale, hunger Games, Lord of the Flies, et cetera, it’s still a, a good story and it does a lot with some of the lesser known, lower tiered characters. And I’m not saying that as an insult, it’s just a fact of the matter.
Metal and hazmat. Not really the top tier names. I think the biggest name involved there is probably Nico from the Runways, so definitely check that out. Upcoming episodes. Then we’ve got Jonah Hex, Mr. Sinister, and a Creators on the Couch. Interview with Jeremy Whitley and Bree Indigo, the creators of the upcoming Dog Night Ogn.
We had a lot of fun talking to them. Good interview and definitely looking forward to getting my hands on the dog night story. So as always, you can find all of our episodes on our website, capes and the couch.com. We are on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok AD Keeps on the couch. You can also find us at the Gonna Geek Network.
We are proud members of the Gonna Geek Network. Go to Gonna geek network.com and listen to other fantastic shows like Better Podcasting or Adventures in Erylia. Where you can check out things that are not comic book related, but still worthy of your time and attention. And if you listen to us on a platform that allows you to like, rate and subscribe and review, please do so.
If you leave us a review, email us at capes on the email@example.com with a screenshot of the review and your address, and we’ll send you a sticker as a way to say thank you. So as always, we appreciate our fans sharing and spreading. The Love Doc
Doc Issues: sometimes have to admit it’s all about the game and how you play it. It’s all about control. And if you can take it, it’s all about
Anthony: your debt. Nephew can pay it. It’s all about paying it.
Doc Issues: Who’s gonna make it?
I’m not doing the whole song first
Anthony: off. You’d have to like tilt the microphone up above your head. And I know I
Doc Issues: am not, no, I I, I’m sorry. I I’m not doing the Emmy route. No way. No way.
Anthony: Lenny is God. Whew. Rest in peace to a legend for doc issues, I’m Anthony Sytko saying thanks for listening. We’ll see you next week.