Podchaser - Reviews4Good - NUEXGUY - “CAPES ON THE COUCH is one
of my favorite podcasts for the unique perspective and insight they
bring to the superhero genre. I haven't heard another podcast go so
deep into the psychological arguments around these characters. One
of the most informative and entertaining podcasts around. Did I
mention there are skits as well?”
Black Mask (Roman Sionis) created by Doug Moench and Tom
Mandrake in Batman #386 (August 1985)
Roman Sionis born to wealthy parents who didn’t care for him -
they dropped him on his head early, possibly causing mental
Hated Thomas & Martha Wayne, who his parents were always
sucking up to - this led to a fascination with masks, because he
believed his parents were phony
Once he came of age and became VP of his father’s cosmetic
company, he burned down the family estate, killing his parents, and
took over everything
After running the company into the ground, it was rescued by
Wayne Enterprises, but he was fired - he went to his parents grave,
dug up the coffin, and destroyed it - he used the pieces to make a
new mask, and called himself the Black Mask
Created a gang, the False Face Society, and began going after
the Wayne Foundation and its members, including Bruce - after a
failed attempt on Bruce’s life, he set fire to his family’s house
once again, and in a battle with Batman fell into the flames,
fusing the mask to his face
During No Man’s Land, he becomes the head of a cult known for
ritualistic scarring - he’s taken down by Batman and Huntress
Later gave up the theme of masked henchmen and decided to run a
drug trade out of the East End of Gotham, putting him into conflict
Tortures and nearly kills Stephanie Brown during War Games
Killed by Catwoman after threatening to kill all her loved ones
- he’s resurrected during Blackest Night as a Black Lantern, but
was defeated by Ivy and Harley, trapping him in a pitcher plant
that digested his body as it regenerated
New 52 gives him largely the same backstory, but now his mask
gives him low level psychic abilities - he also has split
personalities, with Roman and Black Mask being distinct
DC Rebirth abandons the psychic abilities, but has him allied
with the Penguin
In-universe - Let him roleplay in different masks to learn
Out of universe - (35:08) Reframe to get more buy-in from the
Hello Roman, I’m Dr. Issues. - What do you want?
This isn’t a house call, and it’s not like I asked to meet with
you. You’re required to -*cuts off* I know what you’re here for.
Let’s get this straight: I’m not trying to change. I’ve changed
enough for my lifetime, thank you very much.
*pause* I appreciate your honesty. It saves me time. Goodbye.
*sound of walking away, distant* Oh man, I gotta try *walking
back* Sorry, I’m not going to give up. -Sucker.
As dangerous as this may sound, the goal of therapy for a thief
may be to make them a better thief - You can’t be serious. Nobody’s
that stupid, especially against me.
I don’t mean being better at bad things for society. I mean
being more in tune with your mental state so that you are better at
your personal goals. What you do with them is none of my business.
-What sort of backwards schooling did you do? This is
How long did you originally plan on talking to me? -Negative 2
seconds, then find someone to kill you.
And how long have you actually talked to me? I’ve already
exceeded your lowly expectations. -I just can’t get over how
bonkers this is. You’re just like that Harley chick...oh yeah, same
field. See, I knew all shrinks are weirdos.
So what can this self-proclaimed weirdo do for you? I’m all
ears. -You’re really trying to analyze me, huh? *pause* OK then. I
want my enemies dead. I want unlimited access to every major
corporation’s bank accounts in Gotham. I want enough firepower to
take down a small nation’s army...or Batman. It’s about the
equivalent budget. So *claps hands* get to it, chop
Not a single emotional goal. You really don’t have the
vocabulary for that, do you? -Who says what I want won’t make me
Well, how much did you have before? -Well, let me do some quick
math...a hell of a lot more than you ever will.
And were you happy then? -I wasn’t locked up, chastised, and
made to do interviews with the likes of you.
So you didn’t have the same intellectual stimulation, but you
didn’t answer the question. I appreciate your deflections. It’s a
strong intellectual coping skill -How long are you going to keep up
with this psycho-crap? I’m not trying to be some prissy high-status
goody two shoes.
Fascinating. You equate being high status with somehow being
good. I’ve definitely seen examples across a full spectrum with
regards to that. Does that attitude date back to direct experience
as a crime lord, or from your interactions at a younger age? -It
dates back to being annoyed by someone who is not a henchman,
partner, associate, or target talking to me as if somehow any of
I see. That’s how you view your spheres of influence. If no one
fits into those spheres, then you don’t expend mental energy on
them. That’s an advanced skill to maintain locus of control. How
did you learn that? -I don’t know. That sounds like common sense to
me. If someone isn’t worth my time, then they’re a guaranteed waste
of my money. The best examples are the ones who keep asking
questions when they’ve been given every hint to stop.
I’m picking up what you’re putting down. But what about those
that are in your sphere of influence and you can’t kick them out?
-They don’t exist.
Au contraire; I’m talking about your adversaries. They probably
take up most of your mental bandwidth, and make you feel worse
because you’ve lost to them. -*defensive* I don’t lose. I
You’re impressing me with your knowledge of mindset focus
techniques. How does that translate when you’ve had to make such a
transition from full mob boss to anonymous inmate number? -It
translates just fine because no inmate is asinine enough to have
drawn out stalling conversations with the man responsible for their
Oh, I’m going to have to challenge you on that one. You’re
forecasting a future that may never happen. I’ve dealt with
clairvoyants before, and they’re not perfect, either. That type of
bias will get you into trouble. You need someone to watch those
psychological blindspots. -*exasperated* You’re really just going
to stay there and act like I’m not insulting you, warning you to
get the hell away from me? You really are off your
Every conversation is an opportunity for growth. Even when I
have my own doubts of the benefit, I’m willing to try. Surprises
only happen if you take a chance. How long have you focused on such
a restrictive life? - Come here inside this cage, I’ll show you
Thankfully we only resort to restraint when it’s absolutely
necessary. If you decide to be unruly, then 4-points are readily
available, along with injection medication depending on your
symptoms. Thankfully, I don’t have to directly get involved in
that. - Too scared? Don’t want to get your hands dirty and make the
hard choices? You’re soft. Especially on the outside. I bet you go
down after… let’s say 3 hits.
Well, I’ve been hit 4 times and got a broken rib, so you’re not
too far off. Nice guy though, just let his delusions get the better
of him and incorporated me. You on the other hand, are all about
making direct threats and intimidating people that have no interest
in such things. I’m sorry if I’m coming off aloof now. You’re
getting away from the meaningful topics in your life to show
yourself as a class D thug. - I came within inches of killing
Batman. I left Stephanie Brown for dead. You want to call me
D-class? Do so at your own risk.
*non-chalant* I...just did. Your wit is sharp enough that I
don’t have to repeat what I said. Don’t miss the point that you
present yourself that way, but have the potential to… - And we’re
done here. Todd, if you don’t mind.
Wait, you’re supposed to protect m-*gate unlocks* You can lock
up my body. But you never took the time to freeze my assets. And
those are MUCH more powerful than anything I do physically. Having
said that, let me show you what I can do. I don’t normally enjoy
this… wait, who am I kidding, I love this! They say love what you
do and never work a day in your life. In my case, that’s been true
since day one. Now then…
*muffled* Good self-actualization - Aww, if you think it’s hard
to speak now, let’s see how well you talk when your jaw is in 3
pieces. The crowbar, please, Todd.
Saving the world doesn't necessarily mean you go home happy. How's the mental health of your favorite superhero? A comic aficionado and a board-certified psychiatrist look at the various neuroses of your favorite heroes and villains and provide options for treatment.