Capes on the Couch Avengers,Episodes,Heroes,Marvel Issue 187 – Julia Carpenter

Issue 187 – Julia Carpenter

Issue 187 – Julia Carpenter post thumbnail image

A little late for Madame Web, but we ensnared Julia Carpenter on Dr. Issues’ couch! What does this telepathic single mom have to do to catch a break?

  • Intro
  • Background (6:12)
    • Julia Carpenter created by Jim Shooter and Mike Zeck in Secret Wars #6 (October 1984)
    • Julia Carpenter, the second Spider-Woman, is introduced during Secret Wars
    • Her origin later explained in West Coast Avengers & a 1993 mini-series
    • Julia’s parents were scientists studying plants and spiders in the Amazon jungle, who were often away for weeks or months at a time
    • Julia married her college sweetheart and had a daughter, Rachel, before divorcing Larry after he cheated
    • As part of the Commission, Val Cooper secretly used spider-venom as part of a study to create government owned superheroes, and injected her old college friend Julia under the auspices of a government fitness study – the injection gave her powers similar to Spider-Man, although her webs are psychic in nature
    • Shortly after gaining her powers, she was drawn into Secret Wars – upon returning from Battleworld, she joined Freedom Force and then the West Coast Avengers
    • After being attacked by Charlotte Witter during her assault on all Spider people, Julia lost her powers and was paralyzed for a time – she regained her powers and ability to walk after another injection of the same serum – during this time, she had a relationship with the Shroud
    • Now calling herself Arachne, she joins the pre-registration side during Civil War, only to later reveal herself as a mole for the anti-reg side – she is beaten by Carol Danvers and imprisoned
    • After escaping she begins searching for Rachel – a violent encounter with Araña leaves her defeated, although Carol apologizes and vows to help Julia find Rachel
    • During Grim Hunt, Cassandra Webb is murdered by Sasha Kravinoff, but before she dies she transfers her abilities to Julia, rendering her blind but with telepathic abilities, making her the new Madame Web
    • Helps Peter and the other heroes during Spider-Island, and shortly thereafter has a massive vision of the entire universe, sending her into a coma
    • She’s awakened by Otto Octavius (Superior Spider-Man) damaging the Great Web, and later establishes the Order of the Web, a group of all spider-themed heroes
  • Issues – Theme is “for want of a nail” (9:45)
    • Strained relationship with her parents due to them not being present for much of her childhood
    • Maintaining her relationship with (and custody of) Rachel
    • Major life transitions with regards to abilities and purpose
  • Break (37:03)
    • Plugs for Adventures in Erylia, Cheers to Comics, and Jordan Blum
  • Treatment (38:25)
    • In-universe – Use cerebro-esque technology to unlock her potential
    • Out of universe – Single mom with a strained parental relationship and a career in flux (40:00)
  • Skit (45:27)
    • INTRO BEFORE SKIT STARTS DOC: Just for this occasion, I was asked to make this a telepsych session.
    • **Keyboard/mouse clicking sounds** JULIA: “Don’t bother logging in.*beat of recognition* I already confused you.
    • DOC: *startled* What? When did you…how did you…are you talking in my head?! Get out! Get out!
    • JULIA: I’m not really ‘in your head.’ When I said ‘telepsych’ I meant telepathic psionics, not telephonic psychiatry.
    • DOC: Well…how do I know you’re not an auditory hallucination and I’m just losing touch with reality?
    • JULIA: because I’m doing this to let you know *knock at the door*
    • DOC: umm…come in?
    • JULIA: *door opens* that I was running late. Sorry for the misunderstanding.
    • DOC: Okay…so you’re here in person, but you wanted telepsych, just to tell me that you were running late, so you didn’t REALLY need telepsych! *deep breath* No blame, just trying to calm myself *clears throat* Hello Julia, I’m Dr. Issues.
    • JULIA: *no duh* I know that.
    • DOC: It’s a comforting ritual. Just go with it, alright?
    • JULIA: Sure. *fake but still dry* Hello, Dr. Issues. I’m glad we can talk.
    • DOC: So what can I do to help you?
    • JULIA: Much more than you would care to know yet. I don’t quite understand the details of my visions, but they involve you clarifying the fate of important people close to me.
    • DOC: Like who?
    • JULIA: *matter of factly* All of them.
    • DOC: *pause* Can we stick to one at a time?
    • JULIA: That’s not our choice. We have to figure this out together, because if we don’t something disastrous is going to happen. 
    • DOC: Like what?
    • JULIA: They’re going to either die or get hurt…again.
    • DOC: Sounds like you’ve gone through this before
    • JULIA: I don’t dwell on it.
    • DOC: Not saying you should, but what was it like last time?
    • JULIA: It put me into a coma  
    • DOC: I can see why you don’t dwell on it.
    • JULIA: I can hear that you’re not as sensitive as your trauma-informed approach leads you to think when your wit gets in the way.
    • DOC: Aaaaaaand I guess I put my foot in my mouth, because your medical history indicates you are blind OH MY GOSH I AM SORRY
    • JULIA: *small chuckle* Apology accepted. You’re genuine. I can tell.
    • DOC: Thanks! How do I know you’re-
    • JULIA: *interrupts using telepathy* I. Can. Tell.
    • DOC: *still on her telepathic wavelength* Can I reply back this way?
    • JULIA: NO. One way street. You don’t have the experience I have.
    • DOC: But your cadence is more natural this way. I can tell you’re slowing down for me when we talk out loud. I’m a faster thinker than I am a talker.
    • JULIA: So you had your mouth as a filter and still manage to be sarcastic to a woman who is trying to prevent terrible repercussions that I haven’t solved yet?
    • DOC: *out of telepathy* Touche. Well, when does this happen?
    • JULIA: It must be close enough or else I wouldn’t have a vision about it, now would I?
    • DOC: Hmmm…*snaps fingers* It’s a protection mechanism. 
    • JULIA: *sarcastic* Gee doc, what makes you think that seeing a horrible future that you’re trying to change would somehow be protec-
    • DOC: Not the premonition. Your RESPONSE to the premonition. Maybe it’s a catastrophic dissociation, or sublimation, or repression…whatever, we’ll have to work the details out, but you shut down for some reason. Perhaps I can guide you through it in real time, and make sure you don’t get hurt.
    • JULIA: This isn’t exactly the best opportunity for guided meditation. Do you realize how bonkers that sounds? I thought I’d give you a description and you could…I don’t know, interpret it. Like a dream.
    • DOC: That’s not my role. If you want dream interpretation, I’m sure you can call upon any number of super-powered friends to assist you with that. Or look them up online, although I’m sure I don’t have to warn you about the quality of people who advertise online. They’re so obviously fake even a bl…*catches self* bloviating fool can suss them out.
    • JULIA: Good catch.
    • DOC: So since we’re not doing that, maybe we can suss out deeper meanings by not being so hamfisted. I haven’t done word association in a while.
    • JULA: I think there’s a reason for that.
    • DOC: Be that as it may, I’m up to the challenge! Also because free association takes too long and one of us would fall asleep. Here goes…’Spider’
    • JULIA: OH COME ON! *sigh* Predictable.
    • DOC: Power
    • JULIA: Sacrifice
    • DOC: I almost expected Respon
    • JULIA: Finish that sentence. I DARE you.
    • DOC: *gulp* Right, moving along…’Loss’
    • JULIA: Guarantee
    • DOC: Whoa, that’s heady. Need to elaborate
    • JULIA: Is it that difficult to understand? If you stick around this world long enough, we all lose something. That’s just the way it is. 
    • DOC: So what have you lost?
    • JULIA: My old powers, my life, my loves, my child, my eyesight, my sense of a normal life…just the little things.
    • DOC: Sweating the small stuff, eh?
    • JULIA: *small laugh* Yeah, you could say that. 
    • DOC: So what keeps you going? Have you gained anything? 
    • JULIA: Perspective…and lots of it. Some patience I guess…existential dread. Tenacity, but I don’t think I needed to gain that. I was already pretty stubborn. 
    • DOC: So how do we know that this…thing you’re experiencing is something that is going to definitely happen, and not a part of your own spin on what the world will be if you mess up? Maybe it’s not as set in stone as you think it is. I think there’s a possibility that your own mind is shaping the future so you’re more useful when the time comes.
    • JULIA: Doctor…that is perhaps one of the most asinine ideas I could think of to explain the fate of our corner of the universe in such a concise amount of time.
    • DOC: Heyyyyy! I’m really trying here!
    • JULIA: And I can tell you’re sincere! That’s why I’m giving you another chance.
    • DOC: *exasperated* Another chan-ANOTHER chance? Look, I’m just a random psychiatrist trying not to die at the hands of some incomprehensible cataclysmic force for once, and I have the common decency to not make the obvious jokes about asking for lottery results, but ALL YOU CAN DO IS INSULT ME. So I speculate about your psyche. That’s all I can do at this point. You’ve survived worse. And if I have to be the one to come up with 1000 ways that won’t work, I will, until we stumble upon the one that does.
    • JULIA: *pause* I guess you have more of a backbone than I thought. Alright, I’ll compromise, because I agree this is taking way too long. I’ll do random sessions with some psionic insight, but only briefly so you don’t get overloaded. Deal?
    • DOC: Brief psionic therapy…if we started there, we would have probably figured it out by now. Gee, I wonder who gave that idea in the first place?
    • JULIA: *pause* Damn it. Well, go ahead, gloat, you were right
    • DOC: I don’t gloat…in public. *internally* Told ya so, told ya so, told ya so.
    • JULIA: *internally* I could shut your brain down with a thought and leave you drooling on the carpet.
    • DOC: *aloud* I think we’re done for today.
  • Ending (53:56)
    • Recommended reading: 1993 miniseries
    • Next episodes: Speedball, Deathstroke, Jack Russell
    • Plugs for social & GonnaGeek Network


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