The Arkham Sessions: Psychology of Batman & More
THE ARKHAM SESSIONS, by Dr. Andrea Letamendi and Brian Ward, is a weekly podcast dedicated to the observation and clinical analysis of the characters in BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES and DOOM PATROL.
info_outline Episode 188 "Star Wars: Attack of the Clones" 06/13/2022
Episode 188 "Star Wars: Attack of the Clones" Star Wars: Attack of the Clones (2002) takes place ten years after Anakin Skywalker was rescued from slavery by the Jedi community and taken in as an apprentice. But he is increasingly angry, frustrated, and embittered, and his impatience and selfishness grow to a worrisome level. Dr. Drea explains the complex factors that can lead to the kind of destructive behavior seen in Anakin.
info_outline Episode 186 "Avengers: Endgame" 05/24/2022
Episode 186 "Avengers: Endgame" Avengers: Endgame (2019) is heavy and full of heartache. The "snap," the massive extermination of billions of people, amounts to the kind of interpersonal trauma not yet seen in the MCU, but certainly one we can relate to now.
info_outline Episode 185 "Captain Marvel" 05/03/2022
Episode 185 "Captain Marvel" Brian and Drea rewatch Captain Marvel with the explicit intention of picking up on its problems and check their own biases, perspectives, and expectations. How does a story of resilience--one that shows the power of endurance, grit, and self-confidence--fall so flat?
info_outline Episode 183 "WonderCon 2022: The Psychology of The Batman" 04/11/2022
Episode 183 "WonderCon 2022: The Psychology of The Batman" We hit our very first in-person WonderCon in three years! And we couldn't be more thankful to be able to speak about the psychology of Matt Reeves's new movie The Batman with our very special guests, History of the Batman's Londyn Jackson and Heroes Reforged's Hector Navarro.
info_outline Episode 181 "Black Panther" 03/21/2022
Episode 181 "Black Panther" The Marvel film Black Panther (2018) marks a turning point in the comic book cinematic landscape of predominantly white superheroes. The film highlights real global tensions such as the national hoarding of resources and gatekeeping of outsiders; at its core, though, the film is about individual tensions: belongingness, identity, and family.
info_outline Episode 180 "Thor: Ragnarok" 03/07/2022
Episode 180 "Thor: Ragnarok" Once again, Drea gets the chance to analyze Loki! But, in addition to this fan favorite, we also take a close look at Hulk; Scrapper-142; Odin's firstborn, Hela; and, of course, Thor himself! Plus, we discuss the erasure of Asgard's history by the conquerors themselves.
info_outline Episode 179 "Spider-Man: Homecoming" 02/28/2022
Episode 179 "Spider-Man: Homecoming" Spider-Man: Homecoming is a celebration of youthhood, an invitation to find gratitude for our younger days, and to remember what it was like before things got ...complicated. Dr. Drea points out that some early life experiences do accelerate a teenager's psychosocial growth and maturity, including ones that offer autonomy, self-sufficiency, increased responsibilities, and worldly exposure.
info_outline Episode 178 "Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2" 02/14/2022
Episode 178 "Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2" Bounding several fictional planets across the far-reaching expanse of space, Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 (2017) is a journey very close to home. The film handles serious topics such as family violence, abuse, child trafficking, and abandonment through the vulnerability and imperfection of its characters.
info_outline Episode 177 "Doctor Strange" 01/24/2022
Episode 177 "Doctor Strange" Doctor Strange ascends as a master of the mystic arts, but he also demonstrates the importance of the growth mindset - our mental openness, flexibility, and curiosity. Join us, as we explore Dr. Stephen Strange's fall from grace and rise to potential Sorcerer Supreme!
info_outline Episode 176 "Black Widow" 01/10/2022
Episode 176 "Black Widow" At the Black Widow's core is the question of what's real or not real. Natasha's family, though forced together under subterfuge, became meaningful, interconnected, bonded. "Family" is the people around us who give us comfort, connection and belongingness and who see us for who we are. Connectedness, not heredity, has the power to counterbalance adversity.
info_outline Episode 175 "Captain America: Civil War" 12/25/2021
Episode 175 "Captain America: Civil War" In this MEGA holiday episode, which focuses on Captain America: Civil War, we discuss the reality and morality of various "registration acts," and the fictional and real-life elements of brainwashing.
info_outline Episode 173 "The Avengers: Age of Ultron" 11/28/2021
Episode 173 "The Avengers: Age of Ultron" In Avengers: Age of Ultron, Earth's mightiest heroes face off with an A.I. gone wild; Ultron evolves past his original programming and becomes a formidable, violent robot seeking to destroy humans so that his super-sentient army of bots can take over as Earth's more suitable occupants. We evaluate Ultron's plan - is Ultron a global terrorist, or just saving earthlings from their own natural course of destroying one another through warfare, genocide, and terrestrial destruction? The debate, best illustrated by Cap and Tony, is one of control and self-determination.
info_outline Episode 170 "Thor: The Dark World" 10/18/2021
Episode 170 "Thor: The Dark World" Should this episode be titled Thor: The Dark World? Or Loki: The Dark World? Decide for yourself, after you tune in to hear Drea's ongoing analysis of Loki and his moments of closeness and compassion with members of his family to understand the concept of Family Systems Theory.
info_outline Episode 169 "Iron Man 3" 10/03/2021
Episode 169 "Iron Man 3" The seventh film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), Iron Man 3, shows a burnt out Tony Stark struggling with the traumatic ramifications of the interdimensional, interplanetary war seen in The Battle of New York (The Avengers). Drea and Brian first examine the sociopolitical context of Iron Man 3, which places a backdrop of intensified ideas around middle eastern terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, and a singular disconcerting extremist leader (in this case, the Mandarin). Then, they discuss the signs and possibility that Tony Stark has PTSD from the near-death experience and life-threatening events of the Battle of New York.
info_outline Episode 168 "Loki" 09/02/2021
Episode 168 "Loki" We wrap up our very first Marvel "season" of the podcast with our enthusiastic review of the Disney+ series, Loki. After covering all six films in Phase I of the MCU, we proceed by following the alternate timeline that plucks Loki out of the Endgame timeline and propels him toward his quest for self-discovery and, of course, glorious purpose!
info_outline Episode 167 "The Avengers" 08/08/2021
Episode 167 "The Avengers" Knowing how to build a strong team is so important, especially during a crisis. We rewatch the 2012 Marvel film The Avengers and look for psychological tools that could be valuable to us, as our world grapples with its own formidable crisis.
info_outline Episode 166 "Captain America: The First Avenger" 07/24/2021
Episode 166 "Captain America: The First Avenger" Captain America symbolizes equality, justice, and fairness for all, but he could easily be minimized to a simple ideology. We rewatch the 2011 film CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER and explore/question why so many Marvel fans choose Cap as their favorite superhero.
info_outline Episode 164 "Iron Man 2" 06/27/2021
Episode 164 "Iron Man 2" We're reviewing the third film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Iron Man 2 (2010); and discuss the 5 Stages of Grief, as they relate to Tony's impending death by blood poisoning. We also discuss our own "hype songs!" Learn what they are by listening now!
info_outline Episode 163 "The Incredible Hulk" 06/20/2021
Episode 163 "The Incredible Hulk" "You won't like me when I'm angry." But...what if you're just ...excited? We rewatch The Incredible Hulk (2008) from Phase 1 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and discuss the disorders most laypersons and mental health specialists try to assign to the Hulk.
info_outline Episode 162 "Iron Man" 06/16/2021
Episode 162 "Iron Man" We begin our dive into the MCU with 2008's IRON MAN. We discuss the personality similarities and differences between Tony Stark and Bruce Wayne; his damaged ego and shift in vision; assess for post-traumatic stress disorder, addiction, and depression; and weigh in on why his candid, unapologetic nature serves as less a cover for his unease and more of an indicator of his unstoppable drive toward social action.
info_outline Episode 160 "Steven Universe Season 1 Finale" 05/24/2021
Episode 160 "Steven Universe Season 1 Finale" We wrap up our coverage of the inaugural season of Steven Universe and notice that, compared to earlier episodes, the storytelling is more arc-forming and that the stakes are higher--disasters, losses, and crises have very clear consequences.