Capes on the Couch Transcripts Issue 178 – Richard Rider (Nova) Transcript

Issue 178 – Richard Rider (Nova) Transcript

Issue 178 – Richard Rider (Nova)

Anthony: Hello, welcome to Capes on the Couch where comics get Counseling. I’m Anthony Sytko.

Doc Issues: And I’m Dr. Issues.

Anthony: This is issue 178 and we are closing out Marvel Cosmic May with a look at the original Nova Richard Rider. So we did Sam Alexander two weeks ago, and then we sandwiched Galactus in the middle there, and now we’re back to the original Nova.

OG Hal Jordan. I’m sorry, I mean Richard Rider. Sorry. It’s just reading the, at least the background. There’s a lot of commonalities here in the origin with Green Lantern, especially Hal Jordan. But just wanna remind everybody again. Next week is the last episode of season nine. We’ll be doing Miguel O’Hara, spider-Man 2099.

Coincide with the release of the across the spider verse. Into the spider. Is it across into, I forget which one. I think it’s across the spider verse. Yeah. Yeah. Into the spider verse is the first one. Across the spider verse is the sequel. So across the spider verse, we’re gonna be doing Miguel O’Hara, but in any case,

let’s jump right to it then, since we’re not done with season nine yet. So let’s get into the background.

Richard Rider, one of the most unfortunate names in comics if you think about it. Created by Marv Wolfman and John Romita Sr. In the man called Nova, number one, September, 1976. Interestingly enough, Richard Rider, or at least Nova, was created by Marv Wolfman about a decade earlier. When he was younger, he just kind of came up with the idea for this character and he worked it and tweaked it a little bit then, and then years later when he was working for Marvel, he said, you know what?

I got this other idea for a character, something I’ve been working on for a while, something I’ve been kicking around in my head. And so he pulled it forward and made some major adjustments to at least the backstory, the design. Was tweeted, but the character overall was completely revamped. So Nova Corman Roman Day is dying and he gives his power to Hal Jordan.

I’m sorry, I mean high school student, Richard Rider. However, he has no instructions on how to use these powers. So Then he goes offline because believe it or not, he’s walking on air. He never thought he could feel so free. I’m sorry. That’s greatest American hero.

Doc Issues: Wow. You’re, you’re really laying heavy into this.

Anthony: Well, to be fair, this preceded greatest American hero, but the idea that, oh, I have the superpowers and I have no idea what to do with them. It just, it kind of stuck with me. And on a side note, my high school track coach once told me that I reminded him of the guy from Greatest American Hero. Oh, right.

In the sense of, you know, like a, like a, basically a doofus. Wow. Oh yeah. Yeah. Mr. Smith was not really a nice guy. If you weren’t like a, an elite athlete, so, I digress. So after some adventures on Earth, he travels to space where he helps the zarian battle scrolls and other enemies. He returns to earth and gives up his powers.

This is the first time that Richard Rider loses his power. We’re gonna keep track folks, but after struggling without them, he regains them and joins the new Warriors. Garth Sal Anova. Corman gone Mad strips, rich of his powers. Second time. So he can rebuild Zandar after Nebula destroyed it. Sal is defeated and his powers are restored.

He defies the Zarian queen in an effort to save Earth and is stripped of his rank and his powers third time. But when his replacement sacrifices himself to stop the death storm, he has returned to Glory. Then we get into Annihilation, the early to mid aughts. Cosmic focus, a lot of AB and landing stuff.

We talked about this with Galactus. We talked about it with Richard Rider, the entire Nova Corps. Save Rich is destroyed by Analis. So the Zarian world mind takes refuge inside his power ring. I mean, inside Rich’s helmet, rich then kills Annis and saves the universe. Unbeknownst to him, the world mind is recruiting new members to the Nova Corps.

And when Rich learns that Mogo, I mean ego, the living planet is among them, he objects and his trip to his rank and powers for the fourth time, having lived with the Nova Force for so long, he is dying without powers. So he borrows Wendell Vaughn’s quantum bans and becomes Quasar after saving the core.

During War of Kings, ego is removed from the Nova Court ranks and Rich is restored as a centurion then. He goes through a rip in space time known as the Fault, and enters the cancer verse where he and Star Lord battle Thanos until the rip closes, trapping all three of them inside, and this is where the three of them remain for quite some time.

Star Lord and Thanos later get ahold of a cosmic cube that frees them, but rich remains trapped. This story is told. This story is told during the Bendis run on Guardians of the Galaxy, which I. Was subscribed to at the time, and not having really read a lot of the cosmic stuff prior to this. It didn’t, I don’t wanna say it didn’t land with me, but I wasn’t aware of the importance of some of this stuff until much, much later.

So I was reading these things going, oh, okay, well this guy’s still stuck in there and it sucks for him. Oh, it wasn’t until later I was like, oh, that’s, that’s Nova. Ooh, okay. That’s, that’s actually kind of important. So when Sam Alexander, and you can go back and listen to our Sam episode, when he contacted the Zarian world Mind to get information on his father, this alerted rich and long story short, allowed him to escape the cancer verse.

Unfortunately, because he was in there for so long, his body became a portal and the inhabitants of the cancer verse tried to use Rich to invade Earth. He and Sam helped rep propel the invaders. They get a hold of a cosmic cube and they come home. Then once again, the entire Nova Corps was once again decimated.

Seems to be a job with a lot of risks. And so Rich became an alcoholic until an NIS showed up and asked for Rich’s help to defeat the cancer verse invasion. So after Rich swallows the entire cancer verse, Comics. He was killed by the century, thus killing the invading forces. And then he was resurrected by an nihilists as a way of saying thanks.

And it takes a lot to get annis to say thank you for anything. So most recently he took over as leader of the guardians after Sarlow was killed, which Rich blamed himself for until he started therapy. So, see, it does happen in comics. Occasionally and not for joke purposes. Like I read the issue where he’s in therapy and he’s talking to the therapist.

It’s, it’s interesting stuff. Maybe for season 10, like we’ll do like a, a Patreon thing where we’ll have doc read comics where characters are in therapy and say, okay, that’s good. That’s not what I would’ve done, et cetera, et cetera, kind of graded on how accurate the therapy session goes. But in any case we’re going to take a dive into the issues.

And the theme here is don’t worry, it gets better. I mean, worse, I, I mean better. I mean worse, I mean better. And nothing displays this more than the constant flux of powers causes him numerous problems because, I think I may have even missed one. So there’s at least four, possibly five instances where he either gets stripped of his powers, or in one instance at least, he voluntarily gives them up only to get them back.

And it becomes apparent and a point, as we said earlier, his body starts dying because he doesn’t have them. Yeah.

Doc Issues: So there are so many analogies I can make with this. The first one right on the surface is if you have a job and you have certain things that you’re supposed to do in your role, and at some point you get demoted or they just say, yeah, you’re no longer a good fit for that.

And maybe it’s a matter of job hopping. You know, you just go from one place to another. Same thing. And maybe it’s a pattern of. You start off great and for whatever reason, maybe it’s economic reasons and it’s just a transient business, or maybe you just aren’t as good at the job as you thought you were and people seem to sniff it out, whatever.

Not putting blame on it, but even if we’re not talking about occupations, what if it’s a situation where you have on, again, off again relationships. You have friends that come in and outta your life. You have family members where. You we’re living with them and it doesn’t work out, but then you’re desperate.

You go back to them and it still doesn’t work out. You go to the next family member and it doesn’t work out with them and whatever it is. The whole point is the idea that you have a pattern of behavior that on one hand you do see enough of a positive that you want to keep what you have, and then sometimes the circumstances can be out of your control and you don’t have what you want.

Or your own actions lead to responses from other people, and you still don’t get what you want either way. The point is you don’t have what you want, and you are now trying to find ways to regain what it is that you’ve lost. It could be as simple as trying again, in the exact same pattern, the exact same way, and for some reason you’re able to do it all over again.

Maybe you have very forgiving people in your life. Maybe you have made significant changes, I don’t know, but you’ve established that this is the way things are, and ironically, the instability itself becomes routine. You’ve actually trained yourself to recognize that you’re going to have this boom and bust cycle in your life of what happens when things are good.

They go well, and it seems like it’ll never end when things go bad. It’s doom and gloom, and maybe this will just be the new version of it, but at some point things are always going to change. So on one hand, some people learn to ride that wave and they actually find some level of consistent enjoyment out of it.

On the other hand, some people think that this is almost like. And ironically, we’re talking about cosmic stuff, but somehow the universe is, is totally messing with them. And what’s the point? And it almost leads to nihilism. Like, what, what, why would I even keep doing this if, if every time I take one step forward, I end up taking two steps back?

So I’m not saying all of these things are guaranteed to happen, but for many people that’s exactly the case. And. It really can influence how you go about just your regular day-to-day mundane life, even if those things aren’t happening in the moment, because we all get trained emotionally with our memories to start to anticipate certain things.

And yeah, it, it’s, it’s gonna lead in well into some of the other things that we’re about to talk about.

Anthony: Yeah. You, you almost, I don’t wanna say you make things happen by your attitude, but. I mean, cuz that’s kind of the concept of the law of attraction. But if you’re always in that situation where you’re waiting for the shoe to drop, then that’s all you’re gonna focus on.

And it, it can take a lot to break that mindset. I can tell you, at least from experience that it, it happened to me a lot early on. When I was dating my wife because all of my prior relationships had failed for one reason or another. So why wouldn’t this one fail? And I don’t wanna say that I was looking for things to go wrong, but there were a couple stories which we joke about now cause we’ve been together eight years.

We’ve been married for almost seven. But we joke about them now. It’s like, Hey, remember when I freaked out really in early on about this little mundane thing? Or she would say, yeah, remember when, like we sat in your apartment and I was crying because it was like, things are going so well. I’m just waiting for them to go bad.

And then they didn’t, but you, it’s this constant fear. We’re gonna talk about PTs D but it is in a very real sense. Trauma that you’re accustomed to. And so for the sake of self-preservation, emotionally and, and mentally, and to some extent physically, you have to guard yourself to prevent a complete, I don’t wanna say destruction, but you get where I’m, where I’m going with this, that your, your heart has been broken.

You’ve experienced disappointment and, and these kinds of breakdowns before. So I’m just not gonna let it get to that point. And that’s, it’s, it’s an understandable and reasonable defense mechanism, but it’s also no way to constantly go through life. You

Doc Issues: Yeah. I’ll just expand one other thing with this one and then we can move on.

So another similar cycle that maybe an example of this are different forms of addiction. The idea that you are doing well, quote unquote, and yet in the back of your mind you’re wondering, okay, but what if I relapse? What if I relapse? And then at some point it actually just leaves to the fact that the stress of even thinking about the relapse, leads to a relapse.

So, you know, that’s, that’s another way that it can manifest. But once again, it doesn’t have to be that way. These are just examples.

Anthony: Yeah. It can absolutely become a self-fulfilling prophecy, which is not what you want. So the second issue is he feels like everything is his responsibility and therefore it’s also his fault that in the episode or the issue where he’s talking to the therapist, he’s flashing back to all of these times where he’s.

Faced with the situation, and he’s thinking, and he remembers saying, it’s all on me. It’s all on me. And these, these are great moments where he’s gonna save people and he’s going to help people. And it’s, it’s a right thing to do. And taking responsibility for yourself and taking initiative is certainly a very admirable quality.

But the flip side to it is that, If it goes bad, you’re also gonna be the first one to blame your own self.

Doc Issues: I certainly agree with that, but I’ll also challenge it and give a little different spin as to what I was observing, just even reading about this character. A lot of it is reactionary, and by definition that’s what comic books are.

You have to. Expect that most events are based on people trying to do major, influential and consequential things that for the sake of a narrative, are gonna be spun in a negative light and therefore a hero type of character is going to have to save or fix it or battle against whatever is happening.

That’s true for literary purposes and and I get that, but for those of us that. Aren’t necessarily living that life or don’t think that we are living that life. This can seem a little weird. What do I mean by that? When you are faced with something that doesn’t allow for your sense of agency, that you have control over the scenario, one of the most basic human things that we do is okay.

Let me find a way to get my fit. What can I do? Or what is my role to take charge in whatever area it is? And ironically, when sometimes there’s nothing else that can be said, then we’ll take blame. We’ll take fault. We’ll say, I didn’t do enough. Even if other perspectives may say, well, Okay. Maybe you didn’t handle it as well as you could have, but that doesn’t mean that you had as much control as you think you did, or let’s even go that route.

Let’s say that you were in charge of something and something went wrong. Are there other things that other people did that also played a role in it? Not necessarily saying that they need to take a role of having emotional blame or, or making someone feel worse, but it’s. It’s okay to actually say that there are other things that happen that aren’t directly in your wheel of action, you know, in your, in your center of control, your center of focus.

It’s okay to say that, and yet mainly because

I’m struggling to figure out a way to say this without sounding sounding negative myself, but. We’re pretty selfish about ourselves. We want to really think that we have more control than we do, and this is a very simple shortcut. The main problem with it, of course, is for the most part, it leads us to feel very negative.

It, you know, lets us feel anger, depression, anxiety, about if it’s going to happen again, et cetera, et cetera. It’s not that productive. Unless you really are the type of person that is willing to balance it out, that when the positives happen, you also take the credit for that. And what I’m about to say, I may get some flack for, and it has to do with my own experience dealing with lots and lots and lots and lots of patience.

But that balance that I keep saying that Seesaw, it usually isn’t balanced. What I’ve noticed is that for the most part, people tend to skew if they take responsibility for something and say it’s their fault. They also tend to say that it was just pure circumstance or luck as to why a positive outcome happened.

So they’re not even getting the positive of the reward for when things go right. So it becomes this like, you know, pretty much double negative. Like you’re, you’re not getting the boost and you’re willing to pull yourself down. That’s what I’ve seen with a lot of people and the ones that do take credit when things go right.

I’ve noticed and, and if, and don’t get me wrong, I know that there are plenty of people that do both, but I’m saying from a patient standpoint, my experience has been those that actually do take credit and things are positive. Often when things are negative, the first thing they do is point out that circumstances just didn’t fit or blame someone else.

And if I’m wrong about this, I really do appreciate the feedback, but I do think that’s what I’ve observed overwhelmingly.

Anthony: I’m gonna slightly tweak a, a quote proverb, whatever you wanna call it. Success has many fathers. Failure is an only child. The common expression is that failure is an orphan.

I know a lot of people. And I’ll throw myself in that category as well. Oh, if things are going great, yeah, we did it. We did it. If something goes wrong, it’s on me. It’s my fault. It’s not the collective team’s fault. And I think it’s because there’s this fear slash guilt of not wanting to throw people under the bus, that there’s this notion that if something goes wrong, And I say, oh, it was so-and-so’s fault that it comes down to blame, or that I’m there, or that I’m saying that they did a bad job and I’m denigrating them in some fashion.

There’s this derogatory notion around the assignment of culpability when things go wrong. And it leads to, as you said, a lot of problems because nobody wants to point the finger of blame, even if it is understandably justified. We see it in sports all the time, that players will, you know, like a quarterback of a football team will take responsibility for.

The breakdown of a play, even if the receiver dropped the ball or there was a fumble or the offensive lineman, missed a blocking assignment, whatever, the quarterback will still say, yeah, but I could have done, I could have evaded the sack. I could have put the ball bet in a better position. At some point, it’s not your fault.

At some point the responsibility lies with another person and. Then of course you have the, the flip side of that where the quarterback will say, you know, so-and-so did this, and all of a sudden now there’s hot takes on S P n or talk radio, whatever, that, oh, he’s throwing his team under the bus. He’s, selling out his offensive line.

He’s doing this and that. He’s creating discord. He’s not a team player. It’s a no win situation. I think what we as a society and as a species collectively need to do better with is understanding that just because something is a direct result of something that you did that doesn’t necessarily make you bad or that doesn’t make you, it shouldn’t make you.

The but of ridicule, it shouldn’t make you the locust of all of that negativity. It just means that it, you know, that you bear responsibility for it. And, well, I’ll flip a quote that you use all the time. It is your fault, but it shouldn’t be your problem. Mm-hmm. Kind of deal.

Doc Issues: That’s a good point. Yeah. Yeah. Well said.

Anthony: So the last thing that I wanna discuss, and this is one of the topics that he does bring up with the therapist in the Guardians. The Galaxy issue is P T S D as a result of the numerous wars and battles. And this kind of cycles back to the first thing that we were talking about.

He’s a soldier. He’s a soldier and a general, and a leader. And many times he’s a one man army. And he has been through a lot. He has died and been resurrected more than once. He has fought countless enemies and as a result, he can be a little gun shy, a little quick to anger. There’s a lot riding there mentally and emotionally.

Doc Issues: Yeah, and the thing that I like to say is PTs d. Is the result of learning your lesson too well. What do I mean by that? If you have survived something that is life-threatening and in his case multiple times, then congratulations. You have become the ultimate survivor. Well, What does that mean for every point of your lifetime?

After that, if something has happened and any hint of something like that happening again is brought up, then you don’t need to have a higher cognitive function in terms of what you’re going to do because your brain. Is really good at shortcuts and your nervous system says, I got this and it will do whatever it did last time and the time before that and the time before that.

And just in case the person themselves may not consciously be aware of it. Your brain has this amazing, and I’m using that sarcastically has this amazing ability to say, well, here’s a highlight reel. And it’ll actually say, if you think that this might be a little similar, well guess what? We’re just going to flip it in front of you and you’re going to be right there.

That way you’ll know now, not just before, like I said, without conscious thinking. Now you can bring conscious thinking into it and do what you did before. Congratulations, you’ll survive again. Except it’s not the same scenario. It’s not the same threat. As a matter of fact, it may be a very benign situation, so you didn’t want to have that response, but you had it anyway.

That’s why it’s a disorder. It’s not just whether or not you’re having these responses, cuz let’s be real, if you or I permanently, like without choice, had to be on a battlefield, like including where you eat sleep. And, and do all of your bodily functions and all of that while all the battle is going on around you and everything else, then in all honesty, that’s not a disorder.

That means that you’re just gonna have to do it as long as you have to survive. So be it. But once you’re out of that environment and you still have this reactions, that’s why it’s a problem. And I think that does tie up everything else that’s, that’s been brought up. The idea of, you know, Taking responsibility for, for your actions, making sure that you have radical acceptance of a situation with, you know, if something is considered your fault, whether it is or not.

Well, that’s because if I do it that way, I know that means I’m more careful about blind spots. If I have had these types of losses before and things like that, I know how to either suppress them or just simply, you know, channel it a different way so that I can continue to fight. You know that all those things still happen, and on top of that, for the most part, unless you were really trying to study it like someone in my line of work does, you are not trying to change that directly.

You are just making sure that whatever it is, it lasts for a shorter period of time as possible, or you’re away from people. That might trigger it, even if they don’t mean to or circumstances that might trigger it. Open spaces you always have your back against the wall or whatever. There’s lots of different other coping mechanisms that are telltale signs of it, and there’s, there’s really nothing easy to, to just deal with it.

I, I wish I could say otherwise.

Anthony: Yeah, I was. Reminded of the Elton John song. I’ve seen that movie too, where you were saying like that in a situation where if you’ve been in a, in an environment before or you’ve been in a particular situation before, your brain will just jump forward and go, okay, I know how this ends.

And just jump forward to the ending. And you go, wait a minute, this, this is not that. But your nervous system has already jumped ahead whether you want it to or not, and to rewire and retrain those fast forward points is not easy. And that’s where, again, folks like you come in, but it, it can be very difficult and I think a lot of the things that you were speaking about certainly apply to.

And can apply to any member of the military in any branch of the armed forces, as well as any emergency first responder, police, fire, ems, those types of folks. They see those types of scenarios and they are certainly potential potentially at risk for PTs. D.

So with all that being said we’re gonna take a quick break. We’ll plug a couple shows and we get back, we’ll get into treatment, stick around.

And we’re back. So treatment

and then he doesn’t, and then he does and then he doesn’t and then he gets it back. What are you suggesting to Rich in terms of treatment?

Doc Issues: So before we were recording, Anthony, Got to experience me fumbling through, which I do all the time anyway, but not as common for treatments. What I was fumbling with was trying to explain what I’m looking to do.

I had the idea, and I hope this comes across as, as well as it does in my head.

It goes back to the original point that everything that. A comic book hero has to do is reactionary by definition, and so the heroism of someone like Richard has to do with fixing things that either have been done to him or are plotted against him as a result of other people’s goals. So my whole point is, rather than reaction, I want Richard’s action.

He has these powers and rather than trying to reverse the wrongs that others are doing, as a result of either him losing those powers or manipulating those powers, what would he do to make an improvement in the universe? What would he do to, to gain something? And I don’t mean that in the egotistical way of, well, he would just want more power.

Ha ha ha ha ha. That’s, that’s not what I’m getting at. Just the idea. If we really wanted to get philosophical with it, I mean, why does the universe itself exist if there’s a higher power? It’s because they figured, well, gotta do something. You know what? If you’ve got superpowers or something like that and it has certain ways of manipulating reality itself, okay, do something cool.

Let’s see. You know, and, and yes, I know there’s huge risks with that, but, but it’s at least different. Because much of what we’re talking about has to do with the completely negative anxiety and anger ridden routine of loss and attempts at restitution and undoing. I mean, those are great defense mechanisms, but what about actually living a life of purpose where you actually are putting something out?

That’s what I would like to see from him, and it may be something I can’t even comprehend, but. All right. That just gives a greater opportunity for growth.

So let’s see it.

Anthony: Yeah. It’s interesting when you get these kinds of opportunities for characters that are so accustomed to viewing themselves and their powers in a certain way to reframe. In a different way. You’re essentially doing C B T on not just the person, but on their power set. You know, it’s not just rich, it’s cognitive behavioral therapy on the whole concept of the Nova Force, you know, and I’ll bring it back again to the Green Lantern comparison cuz I’ve been doing it enough.

It’s, yeah, you’re creating all these weapons and shields and things. What can you create artistically? This is where, dare I say it, and I know I gave him a lot of flack in our green lantern month. This is where Kyle Rainer actually has a great advantage here. Kyle would certainly be able to come up with all kinds of interesting constructs in his, in his head.

I’ll give him credit there. I, I see, I know, I, I know I crapped on Kyle a lot in green Lantern month, but I’ll give credit where credit is due. He could show Rich a thing or two. I know it’s DC Marvel, get off my back. But he could say, Hey, let’s do some stuff with the Nova Force. I know it doesn’t exactly work in the same way with the hard light constructs, but is there something inventive and creative you can do with your powers?

So out of universe, we’ve got somebody who maybe is fluctuating a lot in work. Who feels that when things are great, it’s a team effort. If something goes wrong, it’s their singular responsibility, and maybe they have the P T S D from work, or maybe it’s because of something else, but there’s this constant trauma and a hair trigger concern that something’s gonna go wrong any second now, and I need to be ready for it.

Doc Issues: So this dynamic with whoever the mental health worker is, is so interesting because you’re dealing with two levels. The first level is how the person is processing in real time, whatever their circumstance is. Let’s say it’s on one of the low points, they just lost that position again, and they’re looking for.

A new one or whatever, and making sure they’re not getting so depressed that it becomes a bigger problem and they’re able to function and you can give direct evidence saying, well, you’ve been through something similar before, and what was the outcome of that? And therefore you can give positive feedback about it.

Or, you know, just allow them to process what’s happening now and reminding them that it doesn’t have to be a complete downward spiral.

That’s actually a pretty common playbook because therapists know how to deal with depression and anxiety. It’s a common thing. The other side is much more difficult because you don’t wanna reign on someone’s parade. So if they’re experiencing something that’s positive, they just got a new job or they’re, or things are looking up in their relationships, or whatever it is that is on the upswing, again, you want them to be able to enjoy that.

And yet when the person does bring up the idea, yeah, but what if, and then they point out their history, which once again is legitimate. If it’s been a pattern, then the therapist can’t devalue what they’re saying. It’s valid because once again, the the greatest predictor of future behaviors, previous behavior.

But at the same time, the therapist has to provide the person. With the agency to say, you know, what? Is there something that is different? Or just a slight variation to what has happened before with this situation versus the last one. Is there something that we can do together? Once again, relying on the idea that if something goes wrong, the person doesn’t automatically just blame themselves, but at the same time, you don’t wanna be their ultimate scapegoat and then say like, oh, well every time something’s wrong, it’s because my therapist sucks.

Give them the opportunity for something different and opening their own mental construct that something different can happen because the pattern itself is incredibly hardwired. So from that perspective, that’s, that’s quite the challenge that it really is. Especially if we’re talking, let’s go ahead and add that next layer of P T S D, the idea that, This person has that natural autonomic response to these things saying like, well, I have to be on high alert.

How else can I survive it? To which the point is, well, even if you give yourself just that respite during the good times, you’ll be able to survive the low points even better than you did before. So maybe I can’t change the person’s entire pattern of how they react to situations, but maybe they won’t be as angry or lash out when things change.

Maybe they won’t project earlier than expected. So in other words, maybe I can’t change the idea that the next whatever the next relapse or something happens. Okay. How about it happens in eight months instead of four months? How about instead of saying that my job is going to just completely disappear, you simply have a reduction in time, but you’re still making a living wage.

How about instead of saying this relationship is going to go up in flames, you guys actually just take a break for a couple of weeks and you notice that things can rekindle. Anything that you can do to show that there is a minor alteration to a pattern can lead to the pattern changing more and more each time, to the point that it’s almost indistinguishable from what you would say was happening prior to your intervention.

And maybe that’s too egotistical for me to say as a, as a counselor or a therapist as a doctor, but at the same time, what else will we be looking at? Just doing the same thing over and over again. I’m not gonna say what that is colloquially, but that I think would be the worthwhile goal.

Anthony: Yeah. It’s getting them to realize eventually you make those gradual changes and that’s where.

The growth comes in that you didn’t get to where you are overnight. You’re not going to get things back to a more positive outlook overnight. It is gradual and you have to look at it on the long term because the day to day can be frustrating, and this is some, this is something that can be very difficult for people to understand.

And we’ve talked about this before on the show, that you can’t catastrophize a bad day. They will happen. It just, it’s the nature of the beast. You’re going to have a bad day. It does not mean that you are going to have a bad life. It does not mean you are a bad person. And so that’s again, where the C B T comes in and getting them to accept and acknowledge the gradual nature of these kinds of things.

And that’s also why you need. Multiple sessions of therapy and not two or three discussions with a person and go, okay, I’m good now. No, doesn’t work like that. Nope, nope, nope, nope, nope. So hopefully you get a lot of sessions with Rich Rider on DR. Issues, his couch.

Doc Issues: Hello, Richard. I’m Dr. Isue.

Richard Rider (Anthony): Hello, doctor.

Doc Issues: So what can I do for you?

Richard Rider (Anthony): Well, let’s just say I’m not gonna be an easy case for you. I’m not gonna give you a hard time, but this road is not smooth at all.

Doc Issues: Welcome the challenge.

Richard Rider (Anthony): You say that now, but when I start telling you some things, it’s, it’s, honestly, it’s not even about the confidentiality. This is just some serious stuff. I mean, just some warp shit here, man. A lot of death, a lot of pain, tons of anger, and frankly, that’s just when things turned out okay.

Doc Issues: You’re building up to a multitude of events and I don’t even know the basics about you.

Richard Rider (Anthony): Yeah, yeah. I, I get it. I just, I wish you could fast forward through this stuff or just at least leave off exactly where my last therapist did. Is, is that too much to ask? I mean, do I have to repeat this every time?

Doc Issues: No, of course not.

Richard Rider (Anthony): Well, I gave you permission to look at my files. Isn’t that enough? I mean, what you, you can’t stomach to read it or something? What?

Doc Issues: No, I just want your take not someone else’s.

Richard Rider (Anthony): What? So you think my last therapist was a cook? You think it was that bad?

Doc Issues: Whoa, whoa. You’re judging to rush me. Wait. Wow. Nice. Whoa. You’re rushing to judgment way too early.

Richard Rider (Anthony): Of all the people I get to take my stuff out on, I get someone who wants to start from the beginning as if it wasn’t bad enough going through it the first time. That’s it. I’m outta here. I gotta take a break. I knew this was gonna go bad. I just, I’m tired of this. I all the time people piss me off.

Doc Issues: Well, this is going just great. Oops.

Richard Rider (Anthony): Yeah. Well, I might as well rip a hole in space time. That ought really freak someone like you out. Do you know I’ve had to die just so I can live a better existence?

Doc Issues: Are you trying to intimidate me or test me or I don’t know. What, is this just how you vent?

Richard Rider (Anthony): I don’t vent. I attack.

Doc Issues: Then why are you attacking me?

Richard Rider (Anthony): I’m not attacking you. Well, not you, you, you just happen to be there.

Doc Issues: It’s, it, it’s not like that, Richard. I’m the only one here. I get that you have no other target, but it’s not productive to yell at me Right now. I’m not taking it personally, but I’m still a person.

Richard Rider (Anthony): Oh, you’re a person. Oh, Mac Doc has feelings. You know, if you were out in space with me, you would not last long with that attitude.

Doc Issues: You’re not trying to recruit me. I’m here to help you remember?

Richard Rider (Anthony): Yeah, yeah. Call it experience Dealing with cosmic madness. There’s, there’s no excuse for my disrespect this. This line of work just makes me jaded.

Doc Issues: Well, I’ve heard worse, just not before I got to know. Hmm. You know what? Screw the background stuff. It’s obvious that it pisses you off. What I’ll focus on instead is what do you wanna change about how you’re feeling right now?

Richard Rider (Anthony): Well, like you said, I’m pissed off, but it’s deeper than that. It’s, it’s like something keeps clawing through me, and believe me, I’ve been clawed through, so I know what I’m talking about, but it’s not others. It’s, it’s something about me like, like, I’m not feeling how I should feel. Does any of this make sense?

Doc Issues: All right. Let me see if I understand. You have intense responses to your current state of mind, and it doesn’t match with what you should be feeling based on what you know about yourself.

Richard Rider (Anthony): Something like that. I guess.

Doc Issues: Then, what should you be feeling, if you don’t mind the air quotes.

Richard Rider (Anthony): I shouldn’t even exist. You know, I should have been dead and buried a long, long time ago, but I’m still kicking and kicking ass while I’m at it.

Doc Issues: So survivor’s guilt.

Richard Rider (Anthony): No, I’m grateful, but. How many times do I have to go through this?

Doc Issues: I don’t have a crystal ball.

Richard Rider (Anthony): Well, frankly, even the ones who have that type of power treat me like a wild card anyway, or, or they take my power Sometimes I wonder if I should fight to get them back at all. Then I get pissed off even more and I, I double down and I just promised myself that if I ever get them back, I’m not gonna lose them again.

How? Many fucking times. Like, how do I keep going?

Doc Issues: Well, you were right. I mean, from the start, you were right. This is not a smooth road. If anything, you’re, you’re like, Sisyphus perpetually pushing that rock up the mountain.

Richard Rider (Anthony): I thought you were supposed to make me feel better.

Doc Issues: Hear me out. Hear me out. Look, this is gonna be a matter of perspective.

I mean, you’ve been entrusted with a task that’s incredibly important, but therefore it shows to carry with it a perpetual burden that basically resets from time to time. Yes, you can view that as a curse, but

Richard Rider (Anthony): if you say, that’s a blessing, I swear I will.

Doc Issues: No, no, no, no, no. Nope, nope, nope. I’m saying it’s variety. You’ve learned to adapt to the same goal in ways that most people haven’t endured yet. I mean, that’s beyond unique. That’s a level of discipline that really can’t be taught. If you continue to endure, then you’re providing yourself with more ammo for unexpected challenges, even when the basic premise remains the same.

Just, just think of it like this sunrise, sunset, but no two are the same. You get me?

Richard Rider (Anthony): You know, a part of me wants to rip your spine up through your chest and use it as a javelin to impel my next enemy. You optimistic, pious jerk ass,

Doc Issues: but

Richard Rider (Anthony): mm-hmm. That can’t be all there is to it. Right? Like I can’t make. Keep my powers be the end goal.

Doc Issues: It doesn’t have to be, but you are the one who said that’s what’s eating at you. You know, you’re, you’re becoming a complex study, so I’m sure we’re just scratching the surface and, okay, fine. You think I’m an optimistic jerk? I’m just pointing out that I’m challenging your assumptions.

Richard Rider (Anthony): All right. You got a bit of a bite to you after all.

No wimping out. That’s decent of you. Okay. Hot shot. I’ll tell you what, if you’re willing to take my call, I’ll reach out when I think I’m about to have someone get the drop on me .

Doc Issues: And I’ll be waiting with some antipsychotics for the paranoia.

Richard Rider (Anthony): What was that?

Doc Issues: Nothing. I’ll be waiting. That’s my point,

Richard Rider (Anthony): right? Well guess is as good a time as I need to wrap this up before I piss myself off again later. Bye.

Doc Issues: I’m not even sure how this works. Does my plan cover intergalactic calls? Any your Excellency tribunal thing? Anyway, my, my point is I think I’m going to take a break in my block scheduling for now. No, no. I didn’t say I quit. I mean your sense of time is so much different. Day is a decade to you or vice versa.

Yeah, yeah. It messes with my calendar. Plus I, I, I had something unexpected for. Billing purposes. My accountant doesn’t know how to handle being one with the balance as a form of payment. So, so there’s, yeah. Yeah. There’s, there’s some details to, to, to work out. Chow talk about cosmic slop.

Anthony: So Rich is gonna call you if he needs you, but you’re done with the cosmic stuff for a while.

Doc Issues: Well, I can’t just abandon patients, so I have to be at the ready. But let’s just say I expect some long gaps. Maybe even lifelong gaps in terms of contact, depending on what scale they’re working with.

Anthony: That’s fair. They do tend to view things on a much different scale than you and I. So recommended. Reading anything from the mid to late two thousands. Cosmic Marvel stuff, annihilation, annihilation, conquest, war of King, theos imperative, any of those books, we’ve referenced them before. It’s all. Fantastic, amazing stuff.

And the thing that I I like about it is it is in Marvel, but you can read it separate from anything else that was happening with the Earthbound heroes because there was a, a good portion of time where Cosmic was really off doing its own thing and it wasn’t impacting the earth stuff, and the Earth stuff wasn’t impacting it.

So you could read it free and clear of whatever the Avengers were doing. Moon Knight ain’t never gonna show up in these kinds of stories. It’s just he’s not, you know. You’re not gonna see Luke Cage out trying to deal with eternity. Like they’re, they’re completely different and that’s okay. Different strokes for different folks.

So, upcoming episodes, we’ve just got Miguel O’Hara and that’s gonna do it for the season. So, As always, you can find all of our episodes on our website, capesonthecouch. We’re on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok ad capes on the couch, and go over and check us out. We are proud members of the Gonna Geek Network, so go to Gonna geek and look at other shows.

You might find something that peaks your interest, whether it’s better Podcasting or the Official Gonna Geek Show. They’ve got a host of content there and some really awesome folks. Over there. Join our Discord. We’ve got the links in the show notes as well. Join the community. Gonna be engaging with folks even while we’re on hiatus.

Gonna be doing some social media stuff, as I said, working on some ideas for branding and outreach, social media, things of that nature. So we got some good stuff coming up in the hopper that we’ll be dropping over the next couple of months while we are taking a much needed and well deserved break doc.

Doc Issues: So I can definitely say that Richard Rider has gone through some long and hard times and sometimes he seems to get the shaft, but he does come out ahead even when they are sticky situations.

Anthony: Yeah, good old Dick just manages to ride it through. We waited until the end to make the dick joke. We, we waited until the end, but. We had to stick it in there. For doc issues. I’m Anthony Sytko. Thanks for listening. We’ll see you next week.

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