segunda-feira, outubro 18, 2010

Psychiatry & Superheroes -- Doctors Trying to Diagnose Batman

Holy Paxil, Batman! Not that Batman would even know what Paxil is -- he's too busy fighting crime to take stock of his own mental health. Luckily, some nerdy doctors are here to help.

Psychiatrist Dr. Daniel Debowy just gave a talk at New York Comic-Con titled "Psychiatry and the Superhero," and apparently mental health experts can't even get a read on the guy.

"He just lives his life," puzzled Dr. Debowy, but it seems to us like it might go a little deeper than that: The dude dresses up in a bat costume, fights crime and has serious commitment issues. (At the same time, commitment schmomitment -- look at those abs! Hubba hubba *old-fashioned horn noise* *panting* *etc.*)

It's funny because psychiatry is not portrayed particularly flatteringly in Batman lore. Arkham Asylum is closer to "Shutter Island" than a respectable mental hospital, and many shrinks in the comic end up becoming villains. But he remains interesting to doctors as a weird literary representation of post-traumatic stress. (He sees his parents murdered and then, um, puts on a bunch of rubber and fights evildoers.)

Don't these doctors who are trying to tackle Batman know that tackling Batman will probably get you a face full of grappling hook? We feel like they may be reading too much into things. But then again, that's what we pay them the big bucks to do.

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