The Arkham Sessions Podcast, Episode #132: “The Demon Reborn“

We take one last lap around the DC Animated Universe with a look at the episode, “The Demon Reborn” from Superman: The Animated Series. It depicts the coming of Ra’s al Ghul to Metropolis and the last team-up of Superman and Batman in this series. Much like a drug, the Lazarus Pits now have little effect in restoring Ra’s’ youthfulness, and he’s desperate to find a new method to extend his life further. Frail and weakened with old age, Ra’s recruits his daughter Talia to steal a “magical” Native American Shaman’s staff and kidnap Superman to draw the power from him. Compromised by the power of the staff, Superman relies on Batman’s strength and capacities in useful ways. In fact, Superman admits that implementing “logic” is sometimes more effective than brute force.

In this episode, we tackle the difficult subject of “end-of-life” care, which refers to the medical and counseling planning around a person’s last days of life. Psychologists are increasingly using their expertise to help people with terminal illnesses have so-called “good deaths.” Studies, in fact, show that medical experts are uniformly poor at predicting when a particular patient will die – yet a psychological approach allows for the proper processing of confusion, fear, grief, traumatic loss, and other reactions to the end of life. Ra’s al Ghul and his daughter, for instance, are fixated on extending his life rather than reflecting on Ra’s life accomplishments, his contributions to the world, and even the joy they both have experienced while he was on the earth. We explore what this “compassionate care” might look like for someone who has sought immortality.

 

Additional Links:

Death Clock – http://deathclock.com/

Nadine Burke Harris’ TED Talk – https://www.ted.com/talks/nadine_burke_harris_how_childhood_trauma_affects_health_across_a_lifetime?language=en#t-452331

Stay tuned, as we begin covering season one of Doom Patrol, beginning November 8, 2019!

The Arkham Sessions is a podcast dedicated to the psychology of Batman, with a focus on the 90’s show, Batman: The Animated Series. Have psychology related questions about Batman? Write to us via twitter @ArkhamSessions or on Facebook.

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