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. 128 – “World’s Finest”
Excited to examine Batman when he’s out of his element, we eagerly turn to Superman: The Animated Series to see how Bats and Supes interact when they have similar goals but very different missions. In some ways, Bruce Wayne seems free of his self-doubt and suspiciousness when he is working in Metropolis. His immediate coupling with Lois Lane shows he is ready to be vulnerable, to welcome intimacy, and to even begin integrating Bruce and Batman. Of course, this becomes complicated, and he abandons the relationship by the end of the 3-part special. An interesting relationship that came up in this episode was the one between Superman and kryptonite. Certainly, kryptonite exposure leads to symptoms of extreme fatigue, muscular weakness, vision impairment, dizziness, mental disorganization, among other side effects. In some cases, it seems as though Superman exaggerates the impact of kryptonite, leading us to wonder if his experience is “psychosomatic” in nature. Can physical symptoms be “all in our head,” and what if the so-called “imagined,” unexplained symptoms become so chronic and pervasive that they are debilitating? As we examine the interconnectedness between the mind and body, we look to a treatment called Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, a psychosocial intervention proven effective in pain management. A sample of a mindfulness session is shared and others can be found here at the UCLA Mindfulness Research Center.
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