Confessions of a Comic Book Guy is a weekly column by Steve Bennett of Super-Fly Comics and Games in Yellow Springs, Ohio. This week, Bennett explains why Spider-Man should be in therapy, and looks at WarnerMedia's puzzling decisions regarding The Banana Splits and Hanna Barbera.
Usually, this is usually where I would advocate for DC to close Arkham Asylum, or how both Marvel and DC should stop literally demonizing mental illness with their villains. But this time I’m going to attempt a different track and suggest that a good way of helping to change this country’s attitudes about mental disorders and psychiatric treatment would be if a major superhero was in therapy on an ongoing basis. And I would like to nominate Spider-Man; given his popularity, especially with kids, he’d be the perfect candidate; and no one could argue that he doesn’t really, really need it.
Apparently, he was unaware doctor-patient confidentiality applies to therapists, and while some jurisdictions do require them to report their patient's criminal behavior, that shouldn’t have been an impediment. Over the years, Spider-Man may have been charged with a lot of things, but the official answer to the question "What is Spider-Man wanted by the police for?" has usually been "questioning."
But as far as I know (there are a lot Spider-Man comics and even I haven’t read them all) he’s never gone back, which is sad. If any Marvel superhero could benefit from talking about his problems in a therapeutic setting on a regular basis, it’s Spider-Man. Back in the early 60s, there was still a stigma associated with seeing a psychiatrist or psychologist, but the world has changed a lot since then. Of course, Peter should do some research first to make sure he finds someone with a good professional reputation; maybe he could reach out to some of his friends in the superhero community. And maybe after he becomes comfortable with it, Aunt May could come with him; they still have a lot of issues to work through.
And let’s not forget Miles Morales; a Spider-person that young dealing with everything he has could undoubtedly benefit from some counseling. There are an awful lot of Spider-People these days; they might want to consider group therapy. So, Marvel, Mental Illness Awareness Week 2019 starts on October 6; let’s make this the year Peter finally gets the help he needs and deserves.
Watch:The Banana Splits First Trailer Gives Horrific Twist To Beloved Children's Show. points out, the show was a while ago, and even "that hilariously arcane Banana Splits joke from the original Mystery Science Theater 3000 might be too old a reference to get." So, before I can go forward I’m going to have to back up a bit.
An End of Hanna-Barbera at DC Comics?
It’s just a rumor, something I automatically ignore, but it’s been months since it was first posted and while it’s yet to be substantiated (the only site I found that treated it as fact was the Scooby Apocalypse Wikia page) it also hasn’t been refuted. The piece quotes unnamed "good sources" that "all the Hanna-Barbera properties will be canned at DC Comics this year," apparently because a Warner Bros. executive was "increasingly unhappy with the way the characters have been reinvented” in titles like Snagglepuss, The Flintstones, and Scooby Apocalypse. Scooby Apocalypse was canceled; the last issue was #36 which came out in April and so far no DC/HB books have been announced for 2019. So, it could be true, and if it is, I have to wonder, why would Warner allow "a slasher-flavored revival" of a "beloved children’s brand" to be made? Though perhaps the better question would be, how could this possibly be good for WarnerMedia of the Hanna-Barbara brand?
The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of ICv2.com.