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The Arkham Sessions, Ep. 115: ‘Old Wounds’

The Arkham Sessions, hosted by Dr. Andrea Letamendi and Brian Ward, is a weekly podcast dedicated to the psychological analysis of Batman: The Animated Series. Nostalgic, humorous, and even a little educational, each episode promises to lend some insight into the heroes, villains, and classic stories of the Dark Knight!

The Arkham Sessions, Ep. 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 called “Old Wounds.” As the title implies, this is the story of the falling out between the original Dynamic Duo, Batman and Robin (Dick Grayson). Through a series of flashbacks, we learn that Dick’s “last straw” was witnessing Batman’s cruel and violent display of his drifting moral code: threatening, berating, and aggressively hitting a father in front of his young child and wife. In present day, as Nightwing, Dick angrily explains to a young Tim Drake, the new Robin, that Batman “pulls strings, manipulates, does anything to get what he wants.” Despite the Joker making a brief cameo, the villain of the episode appears to be Batman himself. In our discussion, we address Batman’s lack of empathy and inability to understand the psychological damage of his actions. Could the years of exposure to trauma, violence, criminality, and corruption have caused his own moral code to deteriorate? Is he going “numb” or losing compassion for others? Does he not see the parallel between the trauma he imposes on this youth and the one he endured when he witnessed his parents’ murder? Topics include compassion fatigue, post-traumatic stress disorder, and abusive relationships.


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