Darkseid's Couch
A Comic Book Podcast That's Sometimes About Comic Books

Batman No. 80 (1953)

The Joker's Movie Crimes!

This time on the Couch: Mike, James, and Shée celebrate their 80th episode AND Batman's 80th anniversary with Batman no. 80! The 1950s were a more innocent time, when the Joker could call up the Gotham Gazette and advertise his crimes like he's selling a used Honda, kid sidekicks could bounce between staying at multiple eccentric millionaires' homes without arousing suspicion, and scientists easily got the zoning permits needed to build islands full of dangerous robots. It's the kind of simple, old-fashioned fun that warped your grandparents into the barely-functioning embarrassments they are today. Plus, Casey the Cop can't be trusted to help anyone, we discover where that lady who said the dingo ate her baby probably got the idea, and tips from the FBI on how to avoid swindlers in the 1950s. Just Google them, stupid!

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The Doom Patrol No. 90 (1964)

The Enemy Within the Doom Patrol!

This time on the Couch: Mike, James, and Shée check out the early adventures of streaming's newest niche IP, The Doom Patrol! Robotman! Negative Man! Elasti-Girl! The Chief! What they lack in clever codenames they make up for in torturous existential ennui! In 1964's Doom Patrol no. 90, the team have to figure out who's the spy among their ranks, begging the question: What kind of psychopath volunteers to hang out with a gang of clearly miserable freaks and their unstable parental figure? The answer is Madame Rouge, of the nefarious Brotherhood of Evil! Actually, for a bunch of villains that includes a gorilla with a machine gun and a super pissed-off brain in an aquarium, they really have the healthier group dynamic. Because why bother dedicating your life to evil if you're not going to build lifelong friendships along the way?

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Starfire No. 1 (1976)

A World Made of War

This time on the Couch: Mike, James, and Shée visit yet another goddamn dystopian future when they read 1976's Starfire no. 1! Don't get too excited, though; It's not the Starfire you've heard of, but instead some lady you've never seen before who's trapped in a confusing world of lizard monsters, child brides, and "unfamiliar rods"! Her only friend is eternal good-guy Dagan, to whom Starfire is unwaveringly devoted. Dagan stays virtuous through all temptation, even though you have to assume he's wishing he would've left a little more space in the crotch when he was sewing his pantaloons. Dagan dies on the rack having never gotten even a little and Starfire devotes the rest of her life to blowing off her frustration by killing tyrant space lizards. It just goes to show that, when aimed correctly, sexual repression is like an unstoppable canon of justice, which is why Darkseid's Couch officially endorses raising the age of consent to 30.

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Star Wars No. 48 (1981)

The Third Law

This time on the Couch: Mike, James, and Shée wage war on fun with 1981's Star Wars no. 48! Somewhere in the loose, foggy continuity that comes with cheap tie-ins, Princess Leia has to travel to a distant planet to acquire an exciting weapon that could bring the Empire to its knees! Just kidding, she actually needs a bank loan. Some dumb kids in the '80s ponied up $.50 expecting a grand space adventure and instead got a crash course in filling out FAFSA paperwork. Next, Darth Vader shows up and you think things are about to get real, but then they all have to go hang out at a butterfly ceremony and sip space tea together. Did Leia just pull out a phaser? Nope, it's a toy from the gift shop. Are those jets scrambling for a dogfight? Not a chance, just showing off their yaw control. This kind of bait-and-switch bullshit goes on for 22 torturous pages like the comic book equivalent of edging. More like Star BORES, amirite!? But for real, this isn't a good book.

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Star Trek No. 7 (1980)

Tomorrow or Yesterday

This time on the Couch: Mike, James, and Shée accept their 37-minute mission to explore 1980's Star Trek no. 7! Kirk, Spock, and the gang discover a race of freakish french fry people who are about to die from radiation poisoning and decide to stick their phasers where they don't belong by ignoring the Prime Directive and rescuing the adorable schmucks. And schmucks they do indeed be, as they refuse to leave for reasons they don't feel like explaining. Supposedly it has something to do with a time paradox, but probably they're just lazy. Plus, Scotty burns his hands hotwiring the transporter, James doesn't know when someone's wearing a wig, and Marvel Comics implies that Spider-Woman is aroused by word puzzles intended for children. (Credit to The Sihd for outro music.)

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My Love No. 10 (1971)

No Man is My Master!

This time on the Couch: Mike, James, and Shée pretty much fix every problem with relationships when they read 1971's My Love no. 10! Marvel's reprint cash-in delivers a mixed bag of mixed messages about feminism as poorly-developed female characters try to figure out which is more important: Giving up your personal agency to have a man in your life or giving up your self-respect to have a man in your life. It's all rounded out by an advice column that's almost certainly ghostwritten by Stan Lee, so if you were a teenage girl in the 70s who desperately needed a middle-aged man to answer your questions about becoming a woman, help was only 15 cents away. Also, you probably have some pretty bad psychological scars now. Sorry about that, True Believer.

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X-O- Manowar No. 13 (1992)

The Darkside to Victory

This time on the Couch: Mike, James, and Shée ride a light ray all the way over to the Valiant Universe for the very first time! In X-O Manowar no. 13, the flagship hero of the fifth or sixth most popular superhero universe must team up with Solar to take down a super pissed-off batch of The Vine in order to rightfully earn the Shanhara armor! Don't know what any of that means? Dude, it doesn't matter at all. Basically, if you wanna see a beefcake in purple briefs wrestle a space tigerman, your very specific wish has been granted. And if by some chance that's not what you listen to comic book podcasts for, stay tuned for an eye-opening discussion about the phenomenon of post-sex male guilt. It's called post-coital tristesse, and now you've been tricked into learning something, sucker!

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The Incredible Hulk Versus Quasimodo (1983)

The Incredible Hulks Meets the Hunchback of Notre Dame!

This time on the Couch: Mike, James, and Shée learn the true meaning of Christmas when they read the Incredible Hulk Versus Quasimodo! In 1983 somebody realized these two guys had a lot in common, namely that they're both freaks who can't seem to stop complaining about their not-so-terrible lives, and decided that was reason enough to throw them together. Bruce Banner heads to France to find a miracle cure for Hulkington's Disease but runs afoul of the Hunchback of Notre Dame and his giant bat friend. Quasimodo steals the cure and turns back into a man and the Hulk decides to just let that slide considering he just gruesomely murdered Quasi's pet bat. Things end with both guys deciding to maybe stop being such whiny little bitches about everything, although this story isn't part of official Marvel continuity, so don't expect that lesson to stick. It's a Non-Canonical Christmas Miracle!

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Fantastic Four No. 371 (1992)

This Flame, This Fury

This time on the Couch: Mike, James, and Shée get caught ogling 1992's Fantastic Four no. 371! Sue Storm has a smokin' new outfit for the 90s that offers dramatically reduced protection but makes up for it with trashy sex appeal. Unfortunately Mr. Fantastic isn't biting because he's an unrelatable supergenius who's evolved beyond the concept of lust. Meanwhile Johnny Storm's unsolicited advances on a fellow student attract the wrath of Paibok and Devos! That's right: Two D-list villains have teamed up! That's the comic book equivalent of one Mysterio! Plus, Mike reveals his shocking real-life connection with disgraced Speaker of the House/pervert Dennis Hastert. It's what made him the man he is today!

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The Atom No. 16 (1965)

Fate of the Flattened-Out Atom!

This time on the Couch: The fun is so small you'd swear it's not even there when Mike, James, and Shée read 1965's The Atom no. 16! In this novel-length adventure, kids in the 60s finally got what they were clamoring for in their comic books: A superhero who complains about being sleepy all the time and then loses a fight to an old man. While trying to get some rest on a local tree branch (sure!), the Atom is confronted by an elderly creep who wants his sweet lactic acid (sure!!). The minuscule mite seems to forget that he can change his size to deal with things like this and ends up flattened out by a science iron. Flat, prone, and alone, the tiny titan has to sit around thinking about his poor life decisions while his geriatric superior hits the casino. Also, the Atom kills a bird. It's messed up, man.

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