Beyond Heroes and Villains

Investigating the nature of good guys and bad guys in fiction and real life

Risky Sessions: Superheroes on the (Steel-Reinforced) Couch

A. Lesk's bibliography of psychiatrists, psychologists in sequential narratives

Super-powered psychiatrist Doc Samson tries to get the Hulk to open up. (The Incredible Hulk #227, 1978)
http://www.supermegamonkey.net/chronocomic/entries/hulk_227.shtml

Andrew Lesk of the University of Toronto has prepared a working bibliography of psychiatrists and psychologists appearing as characters in graphic novels and comic books, most of them as meaningful players in the plot and not simply as facilitators of the main characters' analyses. Andrew has graciously allowed me to share this here for any who might find these examples useful. This is a work in progress, not a comprehensive index.

Bibliography: Psychiatrists/Psychologists in Sequential Narratives (Andrew Lesk)

Note: Comics with a focus mostly or only on illnesses in which the doctor is peripheral (egs. Hempel’s Gregory, Green’s Lighter than My Shadow, Cunningham’s Psychiatric Tales) are not included.

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Bagge, Peter. “...Nothing That Twenty Years on the Couch Couldn't Cure!” Hate #24 (1990). Fantagraphics. Rpt in Buddy Does Jersey (2007)

  • Dr. Panzer

Bemis, Max and Jorge Coelho. Polarity Vol 1. Los Angeles: Boom! Studios, 2013.

  • Dr. Mays. See also: series (2013 - )

Bernstein, Robert and Jack Kamen. Psychoanalysis #1-4, 1955. EC Comics. Rpt 1988, hardcover. Rpt 1999-2000 series.

  • “The Psychiatrist”
  • Reviews of the four issues can be found here.

Brick (John Stuart Clark). Depresso or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Embrace Being Bonkers! London: Knockabout, 2010.

  • the entire medical cast

Crime Detective Comics Vol 1 #9 (1948). Hillman.

  • Dr. Fredric Wertham spoof on the cover

David, Peter. The Incredible Hulk #373-82 (Sep 1990). Rpt  Incredible Hulk Visionaries: Peter David Volume 6.

  • Doc Samson
  • See also X-Factor Vol 1 #87

Dini, Paul and Bruce Timm. Harley Quinn. The Batman Adventures: Mad Love. (Feb 1994). Rpt 2009 in Batman: Mad Love and Other Stories.

  • Dr. Harveen Quinzel (Harley Quinn)

Dr. Anthony King Hollywood Love Doctor #1-4 (1952). Toby

Hernandez, Gilbert. High Soft Lisp (Love and Rockets). Seattle: Fantagraphics, 2010.

  • Dr. Rosalba Fritz Martinez

Hickman, Jonathan. The Nightly News #1-6 (2006-07), Image. Rpt Image 2007.

  • Dr. Thaler

Jansson, Tove. Moomin Book Five: The Complete Tove Jansson Comic Strip. Montreal: D&Q, 2010.

  • Dr. Hatter

Kane, Bob and Bill Finger. Detective Comics #36 (February 1940).

Kane, Bob and Bill Finger. Scarecrow. World’s Finest #3 (1941).

  • Dr. Jonathan Crane
  • Reappears Batman #189 (Feb 1967); staple Batman villain

Lee, Stand and Steve Ditko. The Amazing Spider-Man #24 (May 1965).

  • Dr. Ludwig Rinehart

Lee, Stan and Jack Kirby. Captain America #107 (Nov 1968).

  • Doctor Faustus

Lehane, Dennis and Christian De Metter. Shutter Island Graphic Novel. New York: William Morrow, 2010.

  • Dr. John Cawley, Dr Sheehan

Merrifield, Calvin and Rebecca Merrifield. "Call Me Retman and Have a Ball" (1979). Pub ?

  • Dr. Albert Ellis
  • See also this site

Miller, Frank and Lynn Varley. The Dark Knight Returns. New York: DC Comics, 1986.

  • Dr. Wolper. See also: series: 1986

Mister Anthony's Love Clinic #1-5 (Nov 1949 – Apr/May 1950). Hilman

Moore, Alan and Dave Gibbons. Watchmen. New York: DC Comics, 1987.

  • Dr. Malcolm Long. See also: series 1986-87

Morrison, Grant and Dave McKean.  Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth. New York: DC Comics, 1989.

  • the medical cast of Arkham; Dr Jeremiah Arkham
  • see also various Arkham storylines (some with Jeremiah Arkham):
  • Batman: The Last Arkham (series: 1992; book 1994)
  • Batman: “Knightfall”  story arc ("Knightfall"; "Knightquest"; "KnightsEnd": series: 1993-94)
  • also: Black Mask mini-series; Arkham Reborn mini-series; etc

Moore, Alan and Eddie Campbell. From Hell. Marietta GA: Top Shelf Productions, 1999.

  • Dr. William Gull. See also: series 1989-96

My Romantic Adventures #50 (Oct-Nov 1949) “Love Lunatic”

Oliverira, Ciao. Super Ego. Kickstarter 2013, web series. Los Angeles: Magnetic, 2014.

  • Dr. Ego (Dr. Eugene Goodman)

Perry, Philippa and Junko Graat. Couch Fiction: A Graphic Tale of Psychotherapy. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.

  • Pat

Reed, Gary and Galen Showman. Renfield: A Tale Of Madness. Berkley CA: Image, 2006.

  • Dr. Seward

Robbins, Trina. Chicagoland Detective Agency: The Drained Brains Caper. Minneapolis: Lerner, 2010.

  • Dr. Vorschak

Ruth, Greg. Sudden Gravity: A Tale of the Panopticon #1-5 (1998-99, Caliber). Rpt Dark Horse 2006.

  • Dr. Henry Auget

Sarafin. Asylum Squad. Web comic. aka The Psychosis Diaries

  • Dr. Marsh

Schulz, Charles. Peanuts. Various strips, commencing 27 Mar 1959.

  • Lucy van Pelt

Starr, Leonard, Bill Mono, Vic Martin (et al). Crime Clinic #1-5. (July 51 – Summer 1952) Ziff-Davis.

Vehlmann, Fabien and Denis Bodart. Green Manor. (Dupuis, 2001; trans. Cinebook, 2008). Series.

  • Dr. Thorne

Wolfman, Marvin and Frank Robbins. Moonstone (Karla Sofen).  As Karla Sofen: Captain America Vol 1 #192 (Dec 1975). As Moonstone Incredible Hulk #228 (Oct 1978)

 

Selected Secondary Sources (a starting point for further discovery)

Beaty, Bart. Frederic Wertham and the Critique of Mass Culture. Jackson: UP of Mississippi, 2005.

Bender, H Eric et al. “Putting the Caped Crusader on the Couch.” The New York Times 20 Sep 2011. A31

Estren, Mark James. “The Phantom Psychiatrist.” A History of Underground Comics. San Francisco: Straight Arrow, 1974.

Hadju, David. The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How It Changed America.  New York: Farrar, 2008.

Hsu, Jeremy. “Holy Therapists! Why Batman Drives Shrinks Batty.” livescience 14 Oct 10. Web

Langley, Travis. Batman and Psychology: A Dark and Stormy Knight. Hoboken NJ : John Wiley & Sons, 2012.

Lost SOTI (Seduction of the Innocent) http://www.lostsoti.org/ Site dedicated to Frederic Wertham.

Kane, Joseph. “Batman and Psychiatry—Psychiatry in the Movies.” The British Journal of Psychology. 199 (2011). 359.

Packer, Sharon. Superheroes and Superegos: Analyzing the Minds Behind the Masks. Santa Barbara: Praeger, 2010.

Rosenbert, Robin S, ed. The Psychology of Superheroes: An Unauthorized Exploration. Dallas: BenBella, 2008.

Suskind, Alex. “The Rise of Superhero Therapy: Comic Books as Psychological Treatment.” The Daily Beast. Web 17 Feb 2014.

Weiner, Robert G, ed. Captain America and the Struggle of the Superhero: Critical Essays. Jefferson NC: McFarland, 2009. (Essays by Robert Weiner and Shawn Gillen)

 

Travis Langley, Ph.D. is the author of Batman and Psychology: A Dark and Stormy Knight.

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