The Arkham Sessions Podcast, Episode #115: “Old Wounds”

We take a break from the Arkham video games and return to The New Batman Adventures to dissect one of our all-time favorite episodes called “Old Wounds.” 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 long-term, 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.

The Arkham Sessions is a podcast dedicated to the psychology of the show, Batman: The Animated Series. Have psychology related questions about Batman? Write to us via twitter @ArkhamSessions or on Facebook.

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One Response to “The Arkham Sessions Podcast, Episode #115: “Old Wounds””

  1. PH says:

    Barbara was always older than Dick until recently. When she was first introduced, she had a PhD and ran the Gotham Library. She even served in Congress for a short time. She was already retired as Batgirl before Killing Joke.

    They also establish in Batman: TAS that Jim Gordon was the same age as Bruce’s father.

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