The Arkham Sessions
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.
info_outline Episode 139, "Doom Patrol: Cult Patrol" 01/24/2020
Episode 139, "Doom Patrol: Cult Patrol" Inter-dimensional portals. A battle with an army made of unsent letters. A singing horse head. Cyborg's inflated ego. Our examination of the show Doom Patrol moves forward with one of the oddest episodes yet!
info_outline Episode 138, "Doom Patrol: Puppet Patrol" 01/10/2020
Episode 138, "Doom Patrol: Puppet Patrol" The team goes to Paraguay to rescue the Chief, but instead, come across the infamous lab created by Heinrich von Fuchs--which is now a spa-like experience for all of your customized metaphysical needs. This episode is all about control. Who's in it? And who's not? Visit our new shop (https://www.teepublic.com/stores/the-arkham-sessions?ref_id=11228) for t-shirts, stickers, totes, and more!
info_outline Episode 137, "Doom Patrol: Donkey Patrol" 11/23/2019
Episode 137, "Doom Patrol: Donkey Patrol" In this episode, we get to focus on Robot Man and his relationship with Crazy Jane, the girl with 64 individual personalities--each with its own set of powers. We also meet Cyborg, a hero who's trying to live up to a promise his mother will never hear. Meanwhile, we dive further into the deep, dark recesses of Rita and Larry's psyches, as they explore an unusual dimension with their new cybernetic ally.
info_outline Episode 136, "Doom Patrol: Pilot" 11/08/2019
Episode 136, "Doom Patrol: Pilot" The time has finally come! Dr. Andrea Letamendi and Brian Ward begin their analysis of DC Universe's Doom Patrol! Join us, as we discuss Robotman, Elasti-Woman, Negative Man, and each of their lives and traumas leading up to this glorious moment!
info_outline Episode 135 "Joker" 10/25/2019
Episode 135 "Joker" After a couple of weeks at the top of the box office, Drea and Brian finally get to cover Joaquin Phoenix's take on the Clown Prince of Crime in Todd Phillips' Joker. Up first, we get into a little conversation about our thoughts on the film; followed by Drea's complete Los Angeles Comic Con panel with History of the Batman's Londyn Jackson!
info_outline Episode 134 "I Love You 3000: NYCC 2019" 10/12/2019
Episode 134 "I Love You 3000: NYCC 2019" Drea's panel on parasocial relationships, from New York Comic Con 2019, "I Love You 3000: Managing Real Feelings About Fictional Characters," with guest panelists Dan Slott (Spider-Man); Danielle Paige (Dorothy Must Die) and Kieron Gillen (Wicked + Divine). Moderated by the Daily Dot's Michelle Jaworski.
info_outline Episode 133 "Batman: Hush" 10/01/2019
Episode 133 "Batman: Hush" There's a sinister new presence in Gotham. He has a grudge and... he appears to know Batman's alter ego. But how? It's a mystery that must be solved, before Bruce Wayne's world comes crashing down. It's the animated adaptation of one of the most popular Batman stories ever told and we're analyzing it--and the original book--on this episode!
info_outline Episode 132 "The Demon Reborn" 09/13/2019
Episode 132 "The Demon Reborn" Batman returns to Metropolis to stop Ra's al Ghul from draining the Man of Steel of his strength, once again, prolonging life for the villain. But we explore alternatives to Ra's' addiction to life. We also question Talia's loyalty and Lois' and Superman's cultural sensitivity. Finally, we discuss Brian's Death Clock. Wait, what?! All of that, plus the start date for our analysis of DOOM PATROL, in this episode!
info_outline Episode 131 "Knight Time" 08/30/2019
Episode 131 "Knight Time" In an effort to uncover the truth about Bruce Wayne's disappearance and dismantle the new criminal regime in Gotham City, Superman confidently dives into the crime-ridden streets of Gotham City to play detective. Though this lighthearted episode of Superman: The Animated Series pokes fun at Batman's obvious mood swings, it carries some deeper messages around what it is truly like to be in Batman's shoes.
info_outline Episode 130 "San Diego Comic-Con 2019: The Psychology of Batgirl" 08/16/2019
Episode 130 "San Diego Comic-Con 2019: The Psychology of Batgirl" Writers Brenden Fletcher and Cecil Castellucci join us for an amazing in-depth look at a character with which they're both very familiar: Barbara Gordon, a.k.a. Batgirl. Brenden, along with Cameron Stewart and Babs Tarr, introduced us the world to the mega-popular "Batgirl of Burnside," taking over for Gail Simone. Cecil has only just begun her tenure as the new writer for DC's Batgirl, starting with issue #37 in July. Together, we break down this iconic hero of Gotham City in front of a full room at San Diego Comic-Con!
info_outline Episode 129 "WonderCon 2019 - Psychology of X-Men: The Animated Series" 05/31/2019
Episode 129 "WonderCon 2019 - Psychology of X-Men: The Animated Series" We're taking an ever-so-brief break from Batman and the DC Universe to analyze the X-Men show that, many say, shares the title of the most influential animated series of the '90s. And we're not alone! Joining us for this amazing live panel is the husband-and-wife team of showrunner Eric Lewald and writer Julia Lewald.
info_outline Episode 127 "BTAS Wrap-Up" 03/09/2019
Episode 127 "BTAS Wrap-Up" It's the end of an era. Now that we've seen all of Batman: The Animated Series, including The Adventures of Batman & Robin and The New Batman Adventures, we're answering the questions you've submitted and revisiting some of our favorite rogues, heroes and moments from the show. We'll also tell you where the podcast is going next!
info_outline Episode 126 "The Lost Episode" 02/02/2019
Episode 126 "The Lost Episode" Dubbed by fans "The Lost Episode," the Adventures of Batman & Robin video game, released for the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis, was written by Paul Dini and directed by Bruce Timm and incorporated brand-new cut scenes that were fully animated sequences that put the story directly within the world we've been covering. Therefore, we just had to take a look and we're glad we did, as it gave us the opportunity to re-touch on a very important topic, especially for recent times: empathy.
info_outline Episode 125 "Mystery of the Batwoman" 12/22/2018
Episode 125 "Mystery of the Batwoman" Our Caped Crusader is ticked off to learn there is a new female vigilante in Gotham City. Her strong-arm tactics and masked identity make her a clear counterpart to Batman. In our discussion, we explore the concept of the "inner voice" based in self-determination theory. What does our internal self instruct us to do, and how are we motivated by ourselves? Finally, what is Batman's inner voice and how does he self-direct? Join us for the discussion!
info_outline Episode 124 "Judgment Day" 11/23/2018
Episode 124 "Judgment Day" It's our final official episode covering Batman: The Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures! The Judge is on a spree to serve his own version of justice throughout Gotham City, targeting some of the most infamous and dangerous rogues and a corrupt Gotham City council member asserts that this harsh approach is more effective than sending each criminal to the "revolving door of Arkham." Batman's shrewd detective work leads to a surprising discovery: Two-Face IS The Judge! In our discussion, we explore possible explanations for Two-Face's third persona -- is it best captured with a diagnosis of Dissociative Identity Disorder (multiple personalities)? Or better explained as bizarre personality shifts following a traumatic brain injury? Another possible explanation is Harvey Dent's willful self-destruction. As this is the last episode produced as part of the animated collection, we address how the themes of rogue lawfulness and subversion of community moral standards fit in with Batman lore. Also, announcements about our next chapter are made!
info_outline Episode 123 "Beware the Creeper" 10/06/2018
Episode 123 "Beware the Creeper" What happens when a charismatic investigative journalist is exposed to both the Joker's laughing toxin AND the very chemicals that transformed the dastardly mobster into the Joker? The Creeper! We've got some serious topics ahead in this one; including sexual assault and mania. So tune in to hear what we have to say about the Creeper.
info_outline Episode 122 "Chemistry" 09/21/2018
Episode 122 "Chemistry" Bruce Wayne finally finds the perfect romantic partner to drive him out of the crime-fighting game for good! In this episode of The Arkham Sessions, one member of the duo's opinion of Bruce Wayne changes dramatically, while both acknowledge the tragedy that is the betrayal Bruce feels when he discovers that his wife is actually one of Poison Ivy's pod creations, entangled in a plot to kill Bruce (as well as several other prominent Gotham business men and women) and take his money.
info_outline Episode 121 "Mad Love" 09/08/2018
Episode 121 "Mad Love" It's the episode many have been waiting for! "Mad Love" introduces us to the origin of Harley Quinn, formerly known as Harleen Quinzel. And Drea has a TON to say about this tale, so buckle up and settle in for this extra-long, extra-special eagerly anticipated episode of The Arkham Sessions!
info_outline Episode 120 "Girls' Night Out" 08/24/2018
Episode 120 "Girls' Night Out" "Girls' Night Out" is an unapologetic celebration of the feminine superhero. In this episode, we explore important perspectives on gender differences in cooperation and fighting, including concepts from evolutionary psychology and feminist psychology.
info_outline Episode 119 "Legends of the Dark Knight" 08/12/2018
Episode 119 "Legends of the Dark Knight" This is a strikingly divergent episode, portraying three distinct, stylized representations of Batman: the Golden Age, Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns, and, of course, Batman: The Animated Series. This smart episode can be seen as a celebration of the Batman mythology, legacy, and core aspects of character. In our discussion, we explore the concept of Parasocial Relationships and the feelings of true "distress" when our favorite characters die or favorite show comes to an end.
info_outline Episode 118 "SDCC 2018: The Psychology of Robin, Batman's First Sidekick" 07/27/2018
Episode 118 "SDCC 2018: The Psychology of Robin, Batman's First Sidekick" Were you unable to attend San Diego Comic-Con last week? No problem! We have you covered. This week, we present our 2018 Comic-Con panel: The Psychology of Robin, Batman's First Sidekick; featuring our very special guest, Mr. Loren Lester, the voice of Dick Grayson!
info_outline Episode 117 "The Demon Within" 07/13/2018
Episode 117 "The Demon Within" We're BACK! In this episode Drea and Brian revisit Dr. Philip Zimbardo and the controversial Stanford Prison Experiment to discuss the demon, Etrigan, and his lack of "intelligent disobedience." Plus, you can find out what we're up to at San Diego Comic-Con next week! Tune in now!
info_outline Episode 115 "Old Wounds" 02/10/2018
Episode 115 "Old Wounds" We take a break from the Arkham video games and return to The New Batman Adventures for one of our all-time favorite episodes, "Old Wounds." This is the story of the rift between Bruce and Dick that we've all wanted to see! Are Brian's feelings about Bruce vindicated? Or is Bruce still "doing the best he can with what he's got," as Drea's always said. We have A LOT of fun in this episode of The Arkham Sessions!
info_outline Episode 114 "The Arkham Video Games, Pt. 1" 02/02/2018
Episode 114 "The Arkham Video Games, Pt. 1" You asked for it! In the first of our two-part fourth anniversary celebration, we explore Batman: Arkham Origins and Batman: Arkham Asylum; including some of the games' clinical treatments and therapeutic approaches, and we break down the palpable, intense relationship between Batman and the Joker. We also offer our own reactions to the portrayals of mental health in this video game popular video game franchise. Though highly entertaining, beautifully designed and rich with psychological representations, the Arkham video game series remains a problematic cornerstone in our pop culture because of its disservice to the mental health field. Find out why.
info_outline Episode 113 "Animal Act" 12/08/2017
Episode 113 "Animal Act" This episode stands out as memorable, not because of the Mad Hatter's plan to use circus animals for burglary, but due to Dick Grayson's remarkable resilience as he encounters the place of his parents' death, the Haley Circus. His ability to manage traumatic memories, to face intense sorrow, and most of all, to identify a sense of purpose as a helper to the community within the very context of his personal loss are all aspects of his recovery that allow us incredible insight. Of course, Dick's functioning is juxtaposed with Batman's psychological health and we find them in very different places. Overall, topics discussed include triggers, resilience factors and trauma recovery.
info_outline Episode 112 "Cult of the Cat" 11/10/2017
Episode 112 "Cult of the Cat" This week, we take on cults; specifically, cat cults led by Thomas Blake (aka Catman, in other incarnations of the DC Universe). And, clearly, we can't have cats without Catwoman! Will Selina finally win over Batman in her final appearance? And did her transformation into a cat-woman hybrid in "Tiger, Tiger" change her more than we'll ever know? Is Batman heading his own cult? These questions and more in this week's episode!
info_outline Episode 111 "Critters" 10/20/2017
Episode 111 "Critters" When Farmer Brown's career of genetically enhancing animals crashes and burns at an agriculture fair, Batman has to defend Gotham City from those aforementioned genetically enhanced animals. We talk a little about steroid use, but ultimately, how we just wish this episode were...well...better. We also take a deeper look at a very serious scene from last week's episode, "Mean Seasons."
info_outline Episode 110 "Mean Seasons" 10/13/2017
Episode 110 "Mean Seasons" We dedicate this episode to World Mental Health Day and continue to support this cause by illuminating the experiences of persons with mental health illnesses and struggles through the art and narrative of Batman. In this episode, we explore the nature of self-hatred, shame, and identity. In "Mean Seasons," we're introduced to Calendar Girl, a mysteriously masked villainess who targets high-profile entrepreneurs in Gotham City. As her story unfolds, we learn that she feels burnt by previous employers and agents who refused to renew her modeling contract, and in revenge, she specifically threatens the lives of those powerful people who perpetuate the notion that women must be youthful, beautiful and physically perfect to remain relevant. Her narrative is more than skin-deep. In his parallel story, Batman encounters a new source of anxiety: Aging. As he tracks down Calendar Girl, his own feelings about usefulness and social value begin to haunt him: "What will happen if Batman retires?"