Issue 175 – Adam Warlock
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: It’s good to have you back, doc from last week where we unfortunately missed you talking with Jeremy and Bre about the dog night.
Doc Issues: Yep. I apologize some things came up, but you know, I’m glad to be back.
Anthony: Yep. I’m glad to have you back. And Jeremy did say he’s willing to have you on his podcast to talk about progressive viewpoints on horror films and all of the ways in which horror movies do a terrible job of depicting mental health and psychiatry. So y yeah, yeah,
Doc Issues: I definitely would look forward to that. I’m, I’m totally on board,
Anthony: So this month we are doing another theme. I know couple months ago we did all of the lanterns and now our patrons have selected that may will be Marvel Cosmic Month, and we’re kicking things off with a character that will be making his M C U debut this week in Garden to the Galaxy Volume three, we’re gonna be talking Adam Warlock.
As I said to debut in James Guns finale in the Marvel Universe before he goes off to play in the D C U D C eu, whatever terminology they’re gonna use to call his rebooted version. Now he’s writing in directing Superman and overseeing everything, and they still have those last little remnants of.
Stuff to Peter out before it completely reboots yet again, because that’s what DC do. A friendly reminder, if you are in the Atlantic City area to come check us out at PuchiCon next weekend, we will be delivering our panel on Sunday morning. That is Sunday, May 14th at 11 o’clock. We will be talking Vash, the stampede from Trigun.
And doc and I are putting together a fantastic panel. It’s gonna be a little tighter schedule. We’ve only got 45 minutes as opposed to our usual hour, which means we’re not gonna be rambling on like this, you know? Yeah. With now like, like all of this now. So anyway, let’s jump right into this then.
And we’ll get into the background. So Adam Warlock, created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and Fantastic four numbers 66 and 67. September, October, 1967. There’s some discrepancy as to 66 is kind of like a cameo. And 67 is the first real appearance.
That’s also a earlier version of the character known as him. He was a genetically engineered human who rebelled against his creators, the enclave. Then he meets the high evolutionary who’s going to play a role in Guardians Three high evolutionary names, him Warlock and gives him the Soul Gem. And then he encounters a group of teenagers who call him Adam.
So he goes from him to Adam Warlock. He then runs into the Universal Church of Truth. Which is run by Magus, and he learns that Magus is an alternate version of himself from the future. So he kills another future version of himself to prevent the Magus from existing hashtag because comics. During these adventures, he allies himself with Gamora Pip the Troll, and even Thanos at one point.
After Thanos turns on the group with the Infinity Gems, Adam is captured inside the Soul Gem, but he does manage to temporarily escape to defeat Thanos. And then we reach one of the greatest stories in Marvel comics and certainly fodder for a good portion of at least the first three phases of the M C U, the Infinity gauntlet story.
Long story short, Adam and other heroes banded together to defeat Thanos, who has acquired all of the Infinity Gems, and Adam ends up with the gauntlet Chan. He is charged by the Living Tribunal to separate the stones, and he gives one each to Gamora pip Drax, moon dragon, and a reformed Thanos in this tale is told in Warlock and the Infinity Watch, and this kind of spins out of infinity gauntlet.
But as he ascended to godhood with the gauntlet, he separated and eliminated his good and evil sides, basically becoming a creature of pure logic, which when I was in my twenties, is kinda what I thought I was. Hmm.
Doc Issues: Much too. I remember. I remember those days.
Anthony: Yeah. Yeah. Wait,
Doc Issues: wait. Let. Hold on. Hold on. Let me not do that.
Look, you were an amazing guy. You were fun to be around. There’s no question. Obviously we, you know, stuck with you. It’s just that part of it. Y yeah.
Anthony: Listen, if you’re not cringe in your teens and early twenties, are you even really a person?
Doc Issues: Great point, great point. Coming from, well, we’ve, we’ve documented at this point what I,
used to do, so, yeah.
Anthony: Yeah. And I do think that is a sign of maturity and growth that if you look back on your older self and you go, Ooh, ooh, that’s just rough and I’m amazed I am still allowed out in society, then I think you’re doing okay. It’s, if you look back on those times and you go, wow, I wish I could go back and be that person that I was 15, 20 years ago, that younger, more immature version of myself.
Anyway, we’re getting off on a tangent before we even get into the issues. So as I said before, he ascended to godhood with the gauntlet. He excised himself of his good and evil sides, and this created the goddess and the magus and these. Entities end up triggering Infinity War and Infinity Crusade.
And if you go back way early on and listen to our Thanos episode, we do talk at length about just how heady Starlin gets while writing, especially Crusade. Gauntlet is a tight story. War gets a little wonky at times. Crusade is just, I don’t even know what the hell he is talking about. I’ve reread it. I, I don’t know how many times I still can’t make heads or tails of what I, I get the general idea.
But good grief, man. Somebody really needed a Reign Starlin in with the editing, but I digress. So he joins the new version of The Guardians of the Galaxy following Annihilation Conquest. This is the Abnet and landing team that then inspires all of the James Gun movies. He becomes Magus once again, but he is killed and resurrected.
Sensing a theme here. The new reincarnated warlock is sought out by Annihilus, wonderful guy that he is to power a reality destroying weapon, which actually succeeds, but Warlocks essence manages to survive and appeals to the one above all, which is basically God in the Marvel universe. And I’m talking like, God, God.
Mm-hmm. Not like, oh, we’ve got Thor and all of these mm-hmm. Norse beings and Khonshu and these entities that are worshiped as God’s. No, I’m talking straight up. This is God, capital G, the one above all others. There’s a couple of different names for it, and it ranks higher than, you know, eternity.
The Living Tribunal, everything. Like this is the entity. And this entity recreates the world and restores things to where they were because status quo is God. So more recently in the Infinity Wars storyline, he gets decapitated by Gamora, who is on the hunt for the Infinity Gyms to reclaim a portion of herself that was lost inside the soul gem.
He’s resurrected yet again. So that makes four times now, I think. And after reality was restored, he gave the gems sentience and sent them off to fend for themselves. But that also means he no longer controls the soul gem, because it takes one look at warlock and says Juices. I’m outta here. And he said, oh, I feel like a part of myself is missing, which also describes me in my twenties.
see, I circled it around back there. Yeah. Nice. Let’s call the callback. That’s comedy folks. So the issues, so the theme is the uncanny valley of human perfection. And the first issue is he was genetically created to be the perfect human. And to borrow a phrase from, I think it was Man of Steel, he is among them, but not of them. Basically he has all the powers of close to a God. I mean, this is even before he acquires the gauntlet, but he still kinda lives among humanity.
And that’s a tricky balancing act. Yeah.
Doc Issues: But I mean, Is that really any different than the arc of, in terms of what happened with Jesus, what happened with Buddha, what happened with Muhammad, with so many other religions and, and things where the idea is not necessarily that you need God to be among the living you need.
You need someone who is a person and you recognize that first before you can acknowledge that we’re all trying to strive for something above and beyond what we consider to be humanity. And that’s what I take from that. And I know this is getting very philosophical. Please people, let’s just be real, this character.
Is going to be in this style. So I’ll be honest, if this isn’t for you, then by all means check out one of our many other episodes where we get much more practical and witty and funny and whatnot. So this might dive a little deep, not even in the dramatic sense, just the fact that these types of topics tend to skew this way.
So what I take from this is when I have patients who, it, it’s not even a metal, it’s not narcissism, it’s, it’s just the idea that they can’t process what it is that we are supposed to be doing in this world because they just see a lot of things that are super screwed up. And many of them do seek out religion, not just for the answer of what our purpose is, but like to even.
Organize what life is supposed to be and why is it worth it? So Adam Warlock, as something that’s created to just pretty much be the main thing may not have to struggle if it weren’t for the fact that he has encounters with regular people or other superpowered beings that aren’t perfect or whatever.
It’s the relationships that make everything so imperfect in theory. Because if he were left to his own devices, and this is true for any person, it doesn’t have to be a, you know, freaking God-like thing. If we just had to deal with the things that we wanted to deal with in life, then would there ever be any conflict?
I mean, that’s, that’s really a philosophical question that you could ask for yourself. But at the same time, I can tell you that biologically that doesn’t work because I have yet to meet that person that at least on a permanent basis all the time says I want nobody else around because I just know that everything I do is only important to me and only has to be important to me.
And that’s it. So this is so weird, the idea that for some reason, even if you were to take it to a single realm, let’s say you are the single best, I don’t know, single best podcaster in the world, you are the greatest of all time. The goat. Nobody is going to ever hold a candle to you at any time.
Podcasting is mentioned, your name comes up as a number one. You weren’t born that way. Podcast didn’t exist for a long time. Radio did, but. The whole point I’m getting at with this is it’s all just this really weird construct of what we think is important to us and why we try and understand why we do what we do and why we keep doing the things that we do.
And somehow it’s the fact that we have relationships with other people and we compare everyone to everything that creates this idea of perfection. This is so ridiculous in so many ways that the fact that you have characters like this, and I know it’s always gonna be a trope that you have people wanting to do this.
I don’t know it, as you can tell, it’s not really my cup of tea.
Anthony: I absolutely understand. I think there are so many heroes, so many characters that. Are in this vein of among them, but not of them. Superman being the most famous, Dr. Manhattan certainly being another example. And I really find that interesting that it seems almost like there’s there’s a spectrum of where they can go in terms of the humanity versus the godhood.
And we do see that dichotomy. That’s the whole point of doomsday clock is Superman versus Dr. Manhattan. Superman really focusing and keying in on the human side of things that he views himself as Clark Kent, who just happens to have these incredible abilities versus John. Dr. Manhattan, who really no longer sees himself as John.
And that was kind of one of the driving storylines within Watchmen, is that he’s so far detached from humanity that it no longer has any meaning for him. Adam is, I would say, closer to Superman than Dr. Manhattan in this regard, but there are definitely times where he can veer dangerously close to where he is heading that way.
And I do appreciate the way that in certain storylines, not every storyline, but in certain storylines, there is that struggle within him. And I think that’s what makes him a compelling and lasting character. And similarly, that’s what I, I think, at least for me personally, is intriguing about Superman. Is not Superman being so incredibly op that he’s just gonna go punch everything.
It’s Superman struggling with his humanity and saying, I can’t solve every problem for the world because then they will never learn for themselves, and then I would become this benevolent dictator, and that’s not who I want to be. That’s not how I want to be perceived. Adam, I don’t think has quite those hangups in terms of being seen as a God or a God-like character.
But I also know that he does not necessarily want to be the singular focus and the one deciding everything, at least not anymore. When he purged himself of emotion and said, I’m just gonna be a logical being, that was kind of his arguments to the Living Tribunal is. I am best suited to make decisions for everyone because I am purely logical and therefore I should retain the power of the Infinity gems.
And the tribunal said, yeah, no, you’ve gotta split ’em up. And he said, fine, then I will give them to whom I deem necessary and worthy. And because I’m a God, my judgment is infallible. That version of Warlock has, I think, been tempered by experience, which I do appreciate that he’s learned some things. But I’m very curious to see where they go next, because I know there is a new series.
Mm-hmm. Adam Warlock Rebirth. Yeah. That like just came out. So I’ll be very curious to see where they’re going with that, because obviously much like we’re doing an episode on Adam Warlock, because the movie’s coming out, corporate Synergy is going to say, we need a comic out because of the movie. So check in with me in about six months and I’ll tell you how the story’s going.
I’ll have to swing by my local comic shop. If you’re in the Union County New Jersey area, go to rogue comics in Cranford, New Jersey and tell Pete that Anthony sent you. So the second issue, which we’ve mentioned a couple times, is he purges himself of emotion, which creates the magus and the goddess.
Now, setting aside the fact that obviously these two entities go on to create a whole host of problems for reality, the very notion that you can live a life devoid of any feeling and just go purely on this Solomon esque logical bent is folly for fictional characters or real people as, yeah, again, I indicated with my twenties.
Doc Issues: Yeah, because biology exists, and more specifically neurology exists, you have a brain that is actually organized and structured in such a way that the environment that you’re in stimulates certain responses, regardless of if you’re conscious of them or not. In humans, we have come to know that it’s not just the survival mechanisms that kick in, it’s the memory of said survival mechanisms and how you felt about those moments that get integrated.
It all comes together in one package. It’s kind of like if you have, coffee and you have it with cream, you can’t just later on say, I just want purely the cream back and I just want. The black coffee, I don’t need both of ’em together, eh? It’s a package deal. Now you’re going to have both.
That’s just the way it is. You’re going to have emotion. You’re going to have your own logical processes. You’re going to have your memory of events. And yes, you can have different ratios of one versus the other depending on how your amygdala decided to process it at that given time. But they’re gonna be there.
And therefore, it is purely, and as you’ve said, it’s not just folly. It is actually a very complex, almost near delusional system that you create for yourself. If you say that you’re purely of logic, it means that you’re disregarding data. Now, that doesn’t sound logical to me. That sounds like you’re trying to make sure that you don’t integrate parts that are potentially painful.
Parts that are time consuming that are complicated, and it’s understandable for a person to want to do that. I know Anthony has come clean about him doing that, but I’ll be very honest, there are times where I have professed that I thought I was doing it. And I think most people at certain points, we say, well, if you take the emotion out of it, and that, that type of reasoning can be okay.
If you’re trying to get someone to look at the facts of a situation devoid of how every individual person, if it involves more than one person, if you want to, to separate that out, that’s understood. But that doesn’t mean that for yourself you’re going to do that. You think you are, you clearly are not.
And in that case, what that means is why are you trying to stunt the growth of what you are supposed to be experiencing in a situation? Because you certainly do have control over your own thoughts, and you do have the ability to modify your moods after you have your initial reaction. So when you say you’re removing them, then well, you’re actually giving up more control.
It’s, it’s very paradoxical.
Anthony: I never thought of it that way. Huh? That makes perfectly logical sense. And I have no strong feelings about it one way or another.
No. See what now? Now I need the time, gem, so I can go back to 23 year old Anthony, slap the shit outta him and go, listen, dumb ass.
Oh, if only, if only, boy, yeah, let’s not just go, let’s just not go down that rabbit hole. Let’s just not. So the third issue is a recurring thing, at least in the beginning, stories. He’s worshiped by the Universal Church of Truth, which is a horrible name that you should run away from really fast, if ever I heard one.
The Universal Church of Truth. Okay, are they based outta Clearwater? Now we’re gonna get sued by Tom Cruise and he discovers it’s run by Magus. Who, as we just said, is the evil future version of him who keeps popping up over and over and over again, and Magus again, literally personifies all of the horrible, worst traits about you.
And it would be like meeting a version of yourself that is every bad thought, every negative impulse, every terrible facet of your personality that you possess. Basically the version of me when I was 23. So I look, I had to keep it going, okay, because I hate Blink 182, but they’re right. Nobody likes you when you’re 23.
So this is a very trippy thing to deal with.
Doc Issues: Yeah. So what happens when you are the cult of personality when you didn’t wanna be the man? Oh man. There are so many people that fall into this where let’s say you’ve done many things that people consider to be positive or, or influential, let’s say. Cuz even if you don’t think some of the things you’ve done were the right thing.
But people said, yeah, well you, you had the best of intentions and we know where that leads. But the point being, you now are in a situation where, I know we’ve talked about the idea of being a, a mentor to someone or being idolized and all of that. This goes above and beyond.
You’re considered infallible. You’re just at such a level that in theory, you could be manipulative to the point of, you know, giving. An example of Munchausen’s by proxy. You can just have people just march off a cliff and they’ll do it for you. Most of us I don’t think really have ever been in that type of situation, but I’ll be honest, there are times where your children may view you that way.
If you have fostered that type of positive bond, I don’t wanna make it sound like it’s all negative, but that also means that you are in the precarious situation that you, you can create some very fragile some fragile emotional ties with people that way because I, once again, I, I love these potentially philosophical things, but the paradox that you become so closely bonded with someone and enmeshed with what you consider to be their ideal, that any random moment.
Maybe not the first time, maybe not the second time, but the point is almost inevitably, there will be a time where you’re not matching the ideal of what that person or group of people have created for themselves. And what happens then? Lots of different possibilities. You yourself, let’s say you wanted to live up to that ideal, but you’re not, does that create a response within you that leads to anxiety, depression, anger, et cetera, et cetera?
Does it lead to you having acceptance that you can’t meet that ideal? So it isn’t creating a traumatic experience for you, but it does for the other people because they’re the ones that now are angry and are they angry at the fact that their ideal has been crushed? Or are they angry at the fact that you are not matching that ideal and therefore they’re taking their frustrations out on you, or the disappointment or whatever.
So the relationships themselves can change. Does someone try and fill that void? Is it that, okay, we had this false idol, but now we’re going to raise this other person that kind of sorta is similar and put them on that pedestal? Is it that someone else said, I’ve been waiting for this opportunity for a long time.
I wanted to usurp this because you should have never been in that spot in the first place. There’s lots of opportunities for this to create incredible emotional disturbance. And I could say that at least from a family dynamic standpoint, I have lived, I mean, I have seen it. I know that in work environments it certainly happens.
I’m grateful that the area that I work in, it doesn’t really happen this way, but I know of other. Healthcare environments where, where clearly if you wanna look at some legal documentation in terms of what doctors, nurses, and administrators have done to each other, it, it definitely takes this, this format where it almost seems like certain people are placed in, in positions where they could do no wrong until it found out that they were intentionally doing wrong and were just trying to hide it.
So, you know, I, from reading what I have read of, of Adam, it’s not that he has done such things as Adam nearly as much as dealing with the fact that a version of him has done that in Magus and he’s tried to tackle it head on. He has tried to subvert himself, he has tried to walk away from it. He has tried to say, well, as we’ve already discussed, like, I will just then be the best version of me that I can be so that I can really live up to this and, and.
I’m not even saying that any of these are the correct way, to be honest with you. And maybe this is my still developing brain speaking cuz this is probably an immature way to look at it, but it’s my bias. Don’t ever get in that situation in the first place. And I know I’ve said this before, if people are putting you on a pedestal and you’re worried about what those consequences are, then you can still be a leader, but break the damn pedestal.
Just be there with the people trying to lead the best you can as opposed to being above them. And wondering why when you’re looking down, you’re seeing a whole bunch of smiling, worshiping faces, but as soon as you turn your back to do your thing, all they’re looking up at is, well, you can finish that.
Anthony: How else am I supposed to feel better about myself if I’m not looking down upon other people?
Because I feel so small and insignificant that the only way for me to feel large is by foisting myself up above others. And I’m saying this personally from a sarcastic point of view, but there are lots of people who think this legitimately, that cannot conceive of a version of themselves that they’re satisfied with, unless it is in relation to someone else.
And I’ve said it before, I it, it takes a lot of growth to admit that the only person you should be comparing yourself to is you from yesterday. Or the younger version of you, and only insofar as hoping to improve and learn more. But I mean, a lot of the stuff you were saying, frankly, really hit home with me in terms of comparing yourself to this idealized version of you.
That’s where so much of my anxiety comes from is looking back on the version of me, the younger version of me. And I know I just spent a whole lot of time, you know, crapping on myself from my twenties, but going back even younger than that and saying, yeah, but that kid got straight A’s was doing great in school and all this and that, and what am I doing with my life now?
You know, if I don’t have an academic ranking to show my success, And even, at least to show, to demonstrate where my failures are. How am I supposed to be able to determine what kind of person I am? You know, if I don’t have a letter grade or a number assigned to my daily output, how am I supposed to conceive of self?
Doc Issues: Wow. That’s an amazing point. And I think though, that I know you’re, you’re pointing it out from your perspective, based on your experience when it comes to that system. But I think beyond that, as adults, we still do that. And I know I’ve mentioned this in other episodes your self-worth is not your net worth.
And I know this only because I’ve been accused of that. Because, I’m glad that I’m in the situation I’m in. I’m blessed. I’m not denying that. But at the same time, at no point did I say to myself, Well, as a doctor, I’m going to base who I am as a human being based on the amount of money I make or the amount of wealth I accumulate or whatever.
But there are plenty of people that do that or whatever it is now. Now, from a social standpoint, ironically, cuz I’ve been harping on the idea that it’s relationships. It’s who you care about as being, you know, some of the most important things in life. Well, now the substitute for that has been codified and gamified with likes, with subscribers.
Anthony: Yeah, you shouldn’t be chasing those things, but please seriously, go find us on social media and like a following comment. Right? But I so that the algorithm boost us.
Doc Issues: Yeah. I’m just saying, it’s the false substitute where if you’re making that a sign of your value to humanity, that if you’re doing that with any metric that is artificially constructed, that’s not really a healthy thing.
So, it’s fascinating that you mentioned that. And yeah, I mean, I would say a lot of people that you know, are influencers sometimes when they are taking their selfies in certain locations with the idea of, of what they’re trying to portray as their life are creating their own worshipers and want to reach that status.
And yet that’s just it. It’s your literal status. Please get something else.
Anthony: Yeah, and I mean, we can go on like a meta conversation about this because certainly we want to grow the show. We want to expand our reach insofar as we would like more people to listen to the show. We would like certainly more people to subscribe to our Patreon or share the, our social media links or whatever the case may be, but we are not doing it.
And I know we’re gonna say, obviously the Road to Hell’s Paper, good intentions, but we’re not doing it out of this desire to promote ourselves. We are doing it because we are trying to help people. We are trying to help people be the best version of themselves. And that has nothing to do with us. It’s the message.
It’s the idea. And that notion is bigger than Anthony or Doc as individuals or even capes on the couch as a brand. The notion is to get people to do the hard work internally, to make better choices, to grow beyond their trauma, to grow beyond their self-limiting beliefs, whatever terminology you want to use and, and improve because that’s how society gets better.
That’s how the world gets better. So, We can certainly fall victim to some of those mindsets and those foibles from time to time. But I think we don’t get caught up in that quite as much because again, it’s not about us individually. We’re not doing it to fill a void in our personal lives. Something that we’re, we’re missing, you know, we’re not looking for likes because we lack love.
It’s we’re trying to help people accomplish things. Maybe if Adam reframed some of those things, maybe he could in turn, go for a higher purpose. Something along those lines. We’ll never know. But docu you seem to, because I think, I know we have to do it the proper way. I think we need to get to treatment.
All right, well, we’re gonna take a break. We’re gonna plug a couple shows and we get back. We’ll get into treatment. Stay tuned.
And we’re back. So, getting into treatment and in universe, before the break, doc seemed to be very excited about something that we were discussing.
We were talking about Adam as an influencer. I don’t know if that’s at any point related to what it is that you’re gonna talk about, but go ahead.
Doc Issues: Not, not in that way. But you, you mentioned the idea of purpose and higher power and things like that. So I just realized because I, I kept saying, oh, and this, this was before we started recording, this is too heady.
This is too existential. It’s all this stuff. And I realized, wait a minute, what am I doing? Instead of like, I. Running away from it. I need to lean into it. So the only other time, and I’ll, I’ll be honest, for, for certain reasons, I’m not gonna reference exactly what I referenced in Nathan Fantasy episode, but I think some of these ideas still would be great.
It’s, it’s really a challenge to Adam Warlock and, and be very careful people if you do this for yourself, because it, it can be one of those like kind of mind altering things who does God pray to? Because the idea that you have an entity that has overwhelming power and, and control and, and you know, could do so many things, it just raises the question.
I’m not saying even to have the answer, but just bringing forth the idea that. Is this something that just keeps going in and of itself, but it, it takes a lot to not just say, I can do almost anything and then flip it and say, what if I did nothing? And I’m not saying abandoning people. I’m not saying be completely, you know, the, the original deist idea of the great watchmaker and just walking away.
That’s not my point. My point is that at even the highest levels of existence, there can always be a consideration for an alternative. And if you’re willing to do that, then you might have a greater expansion of what it is that you consider to be the ideal in the first place. This is a very philosophical thing and there is a term for existential psychiatry, which is definitely not my bailiwick.
I am not A person that, that really would be qualified to give someone that type of treatment on a regular basis. But to introduce the idea, I think I, I could certainly do and monitoring the response of someone that’s doing that, let alone you know, a near God-like figure I am not qualified, but hey, since it’s my treatment, I’ll certainly watch the results.
Anthony: Okay. Okay.
You know, you got very excited when I was talking about the stuff when we were in the issues. So I was curious exactly what it was that I had said that kind of garnered that response because I knew even if I didn’t necessarily hit the nail on the head, I was, I was in the ballpark. So, and we say all the time, we write out a lot of the show, and then some of this is.
Left a chance, and actually when we were plotting the show, doc said, oh, I’ve got an idea, but I’m not gonna tell you what it is, and I got close to it anyway. Which may just speak to our connection over the years or, yeah, yeah, definitely. Okay, let’s go with that. So, out of universe then, obviously resurrection is not a viable option.
Doc Issues: Yeah, so, so I, I do have, I have a subset of patients that I’ve experienced in my life. They’re not, let me make this clear, they are not god’s and I’m not even talking about people of power. Actually. Some of these people are homeless. But what I’m getting at here is there is a subset of people where it does not matter whether or not you talk about their day-to-day life.
It doesn’t matter if you talk about the basics of where they live. Who their families are, what medication they’re taking, et cetera, et cetera. If you do not include some point of the world as a whole in terms of their place in it or what their ideals are, or what they think humanity could be, if you don’t at least touch on one of those points during your session, they completely shut you out because they think that you’re a plebe.
They think that you’re, you’re just trying to be like everybody else and just get through the day and ignore some of the huge things that go on in the world. And on one hand, I will fully admit that those patients are infuriating to me. Cuz my point is, dude, I’m not worried about the state of like hunger in, in.
All the different parts of the world when you often go without a sandwich for days on end, I want you to survive. And yet, if I start by saying that, like I said, they, they just basically start insulting me about how unintelligent, and many of these people actually pseudo intellectualized, they use a vocabulary that Anthony and I certainly can match, but the way they use the words, I’m like, you’re not making nearly as much sense as you, as you think you are.
You’re, you’re trying to block real connection by doing so. And in that way, the reason they’re doing it is because they want to sound erudite. They want to sound like, you know what? I’m above all of this and I’m above you and I’m above treatment. I’m a blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And my job is to thread the needle of yes.
All of these things both in existence and the world and, and you know, your important goals and, and, and values. Yes they are important, but doggone it. So is your every day, so is your survival. So is your medication, so is your daily treatment, so is your wellbeing. And I’m not going to ignore that. And like I said, these, these people can be, can be incredibly challenging to deal with.
And yet the ones that will randomly come to me, even with a scowl on their face, complaining about whatever it is that they just read in the news, will still come to me because they want to have the conversation and that tells me that they’re making a connection and that is what gives me hope with those people.
Anthony: Okay. I really like that. And I think it’s important to know what recharges you. Just as it’s important to know what can drain you. And if you find that you’re dealing with more of the drain than the recharging, then you need to reconfigure stuff. So there’s a lot to unpack there. I’m certainly not even gonna attempt.
So what I will attempt to do is help Doc get Adam Warlock on his couch.
Doc Issues: Hello, Adam. I’m Dr. Issues.
Anthony: Good day, doctor.
Doc Issues: So what can I do for you today?
Anthony: You are a mental health professional, correct?
Doc Issues: Yes.
Anthony: Good. Then analyze my thoughts.
Doc Issues: Okay.
Anthony: I often give strong consideration to how the universe could be a better place.
There are so many things that trouble me. I try to create safeguards so nothing gets out of hand, but that doesn’t work in a vacuum.
Doc Issues: I can’t imagine it would. So
Anthony: indeed, I figured delegating to others would limit any consolidation of power, but it just made the subsequent problems unpredictable.
Doc Issues: Perhaps you should take a more active role then
Anthony: Unfortunately when I do that, I get accused of being too heavy handed.
Doc Issues: Well heavy is the head that wears the ground.
Anthony: No, I meant heavy handed because it was a gauntlet anyway, where was I? Right. The whole destruction of existence as we know it. I ponder how to best manage the combination of allies and enemies without angering too many people at once. So far, I have yet to determine the exact balance to make everyone happy. If failure is the mother of success, then I have spawned innumerable children.
Doc Issues: It sounds like you have plenty of experience. What have you learned along the way?
Anthony: To avoid Yes, men, you seem like the type of person to intentionally make people uncomfortable for your own amusement, so I figured you could prevent me from aligning with sycophants.
Doc Issues: I. I. Thanks. I don’t quite know what to make of that.
Anthony: I’m sure you’ll understand more as you learn more about me or you’ll go insane yourself from dealing with the power of the cosmos for too long if I stick around, either way, you’ll be serving a good purpose. Were you available to an earlier me at another time, you may have been considered for a spot on the Infinity Watch.
Doc Issues: I’m not sure this is practical for you or for me. I’m not as philosophical as you may think, at least not on a regular basis.
Anthony: Who is being philosophical? I am war room planning with you.
Doc Issues: That sounds grandiose.
Anthony: No, it’s not. I still have a fragment of the vision Stone. If you wish to understand further, I can show you.
Doc Issues: Nothing in my training or experience will ever prepare me for the type of stuff that patients like you put me through. Why is there always random shit happening to me? What is my role in all of this madness? Death, destruction, I mean is, is this predicting?
Anthony: No, this is what is happening somewhere at some time and I am attempting to gather my thoughts. So the damage is limited.
Doc Issues: I get it. I get it. No offense or, or take offense. I don’t care. Why are you on my couch when you could? Oh, I don’t know. Do anything to end this.
Anthony: Your frustration is noted, but you may be familiar with the expression. Measure twice. Cut once,
Doc Issues: then measure quickly, please.
Anthony: Well, I have the idea that if I segment my focus on an individual topic, oh, it, it doesn’t
Doc Issues: stop, stop. No more segregating or delegating or pondering, or calculating, or plotting or scheming or idealizing. Just do it yourself. Doesn’t have to be perfect. I, I know with your position, people will get hurt, perhaps even on a massive scale, but for someone so idealistic about what the perfect answer should be, you let it all get in the way of imperfect action that you could, you know, potentially approve upon later.
Anthony: Your dramatic presentation is overstated but appreciated. But forewarned, anything I do beyond this session will have dire
Doc Issues: consequences. Consequences, yeah. Yeah. I know. Consequences on the universe as we know, yada, yada, yada. Look, if I blink out of existence, I’m sure you or one of your compadres will find some way to reset everything and heck, even if they don’t, I wouldn’t be around to know about it anyway.
H, how can I be more comfortable about this stuff
than you are?
Anthony: I’m intrigued, doctor, your reputation as flippant proceeds you. I did not expect it to reach the level of asshole. However,
Doc Issues: it’s uncommon for me to encounter someone that gets lost in the weeds more than I do. You really managed to lose yourself in.
Anthony: I do not agree with that. I know for a fact that without my intervention, none of us would exist. If I don’t take care the next time that happens, I won’t be able to do it again.
Doc Issues: Are you even listening to yourself? How am I supposed to help you if you’re mixing a predetermined outcome with a nihilistic future? Unless we perfectly thread the needle. I’m not exactly the best sounding board for that kind of stuff because I’m too optimistic of a pessimist. Great. Now, I’m not sure if I’m making sense.
Anthony: Do not fret. If you learn to channel your inner existential God, you will be just fine.
Doc Issues: Existential.
That’s it. That’s it.
I’m done. I’ve had it. I’ve had it. You’re too heady for me. I’ve dealt with, immortal beings, unstoppable monsters, ageless, domineering. You, sir, are beyond what I can comprehend. I’m just gonna sit back, take some deep breaths, and watch as all of existence unfolds in the time it takes for you to explain how I’m supposed to help you in.
Just this one session to save everyone.
Anthony: Are you done?
Doc Issues: Yes.
Anthony: Good. Then while you were incessantly whining, I did manage to formulate a proposal to the Living Tribunal about the value of your practice on a galactic level.
Doc Issues: Come again.
Anthony: Your honesty and humility in the face of overwhelming odds are still an asset.
Whether you accept them or not. I’m no fool. You know of my rivals, I’m sure of that. Even if you can’t divulge such wisdom, and as you said, you persevered, don’t think of this session as the end. It is just the beginning. Any diagnosis you have for me will likely be different than what you would have for others like me.
Doc Issues: I’ve been through too much. Are you trying to tell me that this whole thing I, I just got roped into some sort of in Infinity Clinic?
Anthony: If that understanding suits your tastes. From what I understand, you will be made invulnerable during said sessions, so you do not have to concern yourself with retribution.
But it only lasts for the session itself and is at the whims of he who is above all.
Doc Issues: Well, shit, I guess I can’t say no to that, huh? No. Then I guess good luck with saving everyone again and make sure to bring your journals so I can understand whatever it is that happens. I just wish I were less professional so I could. Bring some popcorn because this sounds, this sounds out of this world.
Anthony: If you’d like, I can will some to appear before you so that you can
Doc Issues: No, no, no, no. Let’s just, just keep it above board.
Anthony: As you wish.
See now some popcorn. Sounds good. I actually just had some earlier popcorn and grape juice. That is my, my favorite snack.
Doc Issues: Popcorn and grape juice. What, what, what are you? Five years old?
Anthony: Oh, man. It’s a perfect combination. You get the saltiness and the, the savor savory flavor of the popcorn. You wash it down with some sweet grape juice.
Grape juice is the best of all juices and I will fight anyone who argues otherwise.
Doc Issues: I I Is that why communion is based on a wafer being the. Body and, and wine being the blood.
Anthony: See, I hate wine. Oh, it’s gotta be grape juice. Although I will say the kosher grape juice is really good stuff. Shout out to Manchez. Got it.
Oh man. It’s, it’s the ke Keem. Okay. Keem. I, I don’t, I don’t know how you pronounce it.
Doc Issues: It’s, you know, New Jersey actually has this reputation, like literally all we make is is dessert wines. So, you know, I’m surprised.
Anthony: Well, we’ve got enough cranberries.
Doc Issues: Wow. I, I didn’t expect to have that conversation.
Anthony: Me neither. But here we are. So recommended reading for this episode is Warlock and the Infinity Watch, and obviously we cannot talk about a Marvel cosmic character. Certainly not somebody like Adam Warlock without mentioning the Infinity Gauntlet storyline. It is the masterpiece of. Marvel cosmic storytelling and has influenced, as we said, so much of Marvel comics moving forward.
Certainly had a outsized influence on the M C U for phases one through three. It’s definitely interesting going back and rereading it now after having seen Infinity War and Endgame and seeing the tweaks and the different things that were referenced. And I went back and I was rereading it and I was like, oh, silver Surfer falls through Dr.
Strange’s house. It’s not the Hulk, because Marvel didn’t have the rights to the Silver Surfer, but they still wanted to incorporate that. And just these little things here and there, and then death and the use of the gauntlet with him. Just thinking about it. There’s no need to close the fist. That was for practical reasons more than anything else, but I digress.
Point is go read the Infinity Gauntlet and then read Warlock in the Infinity Watch because it spins directly out of it and then leads into Infinity War and Infinity Crusade. Maybe you can skip crusade, like I said, unless you maybe smoke a big bag of weed and then read crusade going, man, I get it now.
Enjoy things responsibly, folks. Yes, all things in moderation, including moderation or as doc likes to say, just say no to most drugs. Yeah. So continuing on with the theme of Marvel Cosmic for the month of May. We’ve got upcoming episodes on Nova Sam, Alexander Galactus, and then Nova Richard Rider. So kind of a nice little sandwich around the world eater.
Such as it is. Again, reminder, if you are going to be in the New Jersey, Delaware, Eastern Pennsylvania area, come check us out for PuchiCon. We will be there. We’ll have some giveaways. We’ll be talking and sharing stuff on social media as we talk. Vash the Stampede from Trigan. As always, you can find all of our episodes on our website, capesonthecouch.com. We are on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok ad capes on the couch. And we are proud members of the Gonna Geek Network.
Go to Gonna geek network.com and check out some fantastic shows. My episode with Chris from Play Comics. Just dropped our rerecorded discussion about the Ninja Turtles Cowabunga collection. And you can also go back and listen to Doc as he talked. What wrestling game was that? Muscle, muscle. Muscle. It took me a second.
I, I, I was getting there. I was getting there. It’s been a long day, long week and it’s only Tuesday. So that’s gonna wrap it up for us before we head out, doc.
Doc Issues: So remember, a warlock is basically a wizard. Someone that takes their situation with things that they have at hand and creates some things that are really unexpected.
Let’s hope that if you have that ability with your own mind and emotions, that you do so responsibly and in a way that makes you a better person and those around you.
Anthony: I was waiting for something of a pun with familiar, but I like your call to action. Better.
For Doc issues. I’m Anthony Sytko, thanks for listening. We’ll see you next week.