The speedster sprints into our therapist’s office!
The client, Pietro Maximoff (birth name possibly Mateo Maximoff), may be best known as the superhuman called Quicksilver. Maximoff has long identified as both a mutant and the son of the mutant extremist Magneto, however, recently he’s been presented with evidence that not only is he not the offspring of Magneto, but he may not be a mutant at all. According to the criminal geneticist known as The High Evolutionary, the client—and his twin sister Wanda (A.K.A. The Scarlet Witch)—are actually results of one of his highly illegal experiments on human subjects. The client remains conflicted about accepting this reality.
We have discussed this revelation with some depth and the client has admitted to three significant reasons he has not yet decided to trust this information. The first—and, arguably, the most logical—is that The High Evolutionary has a long history of manipulating the victims of his experiments, often purely for the sake of seeing what might happen.
The second reason for Pietro’s uncertainties has a more emotional origin: to accept that Magneto is not his father would be to accept that most of his early criminal behavior was done on behalf of a power-mad terrorist instead of a family member. It may seem a minor distinction, but for Maximoff, the change would be significant; he can rationalize activities he did for his father as motivated by a kind of love and thirst for respect. Without that personal aspect, his activities were coldly calculated acts of terror.
The final reason for the patient’s skepticism relies on his connection to mutantkind. Although he has long been known as a member of various Avengers’ teams, he’s also been an outspoken crusader for mutant rights. Having worked tirelessly on behalf of equal protections for all mutants, he now feels like an outsider looking in at the one community he thought of as his own.
The High Evolutionary’s discovery also comes at the end of several years of significant personal and professional upheaval for Maximoff, which serves to complicate all matters. In no particular order, the client has seen his sister decimate the mutant population by taking away the vast majority of their powers (including his own); sought to return powers to his fellow mutant comrades by stealing Terrigen Mists from his Inhuman former in-laws; regained powers that aged him at a rapid pace; reconciled with his daughter; joined and rejoined the Avengers twice; and fought against a Captain America seeking to plunge America into Hydra rule. In short, even his good days were marked by significant changes in the status quo of his life.
Unfortunately, as this writer was warned by Doctor Sampson, Pietro’s tolerance for therapy has proved incredibly low. He expects solutions as quick as he moves and generally rejects the concept of process. Questions requesting clarification or observations that do not fit his perspective are often mocked and discarded with little thought. Worse, he views his own natural vulnerability as a weakness; one can almost literally feel him shifting his own attitude the moment he starts to open himself up to any therapeutic methods.
Given that he has been visiting in the immediate wake of a making a tremendous mistake when battling a villain called The Juggernaut, his defensive stance seems more resolute than ever before. The closer we get to “touching” that incident, the shorter and more agitated he becomes. This single event brought him to the office, but he refuses to discuss it, making our sessions more like power struggles on multiple occasions.
This serves no one well, so this writer has decided to refer the client out to a previous therapy team that the client once experienced a level of therapeutic rapport with, who therefore may be better able to break down the client’s defensiveness more quickly and efficiently. A team of doctors, including Mark Waid, Al Ewing, Jim Zub, and Pepe Larraz, will meet with him for evaluation on January 24 with notes on their session available in folder AVENGERS #677. After that session, a decision will be made if he will transition to their observation permanently.
Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens is a Staff Therapist who must go faster, must go faster!
While the world asks “Where is Tony Stark?” our resident therapist asks “How is Riri Williams?”
Riri Williams, the client, presents as a healthy late adolescent woman. Cognitive and IQ tests reveal a genius level intellect, with a particular propensity for tasks related to science, math, and engineering. Her history supports these test results; she attended M.I.T. in her mid-teens, which led directly to her current role as the armored hero known as Ironheart.
The client has a relationship with the office, dating back to her early childhood when she first began to understand the implications of her father’s death prior to her birth. After that period of brief existential therapy—which she processed with surprising intellect for someone her age—Williams left therapy for several years.
However, after the violent—and seemingly accidental—deaths of her stepfather and best friend, Williams returned to the office. Therapy at that time focused on issues of trauma, guilt, and radical acceptance. Client again self-discharged after short-term treatment. While this writer felt she could have done more work in a global mental health sense, he supported her choice without objection.
After Williams was ostensibly forced out of M.I.T. due to her unapproved acquisition of materials and equally unapproved creation of a high tech homemade suit of armor, she returned to therapy once more to process her feelings of sadness, fear, and guilt. She has continued on since then as she became a super hero and the protégé of Tony Stark as Ironheart.
Most of our focus in therapy has centered on emotional regulation, techniques for dealing with high levels of stress, and processing those thoughts when events return to baseline. However, we’ve also begun to take a psychodynamic approach to her life and begun to explore her feelings about the repeated loss of father figures she has endured—her father before her birth, her stepfather in her early teens, and, most recently, Tony Stark. We have also looked at how the women in her life have helped her survive those experiences, and what, if any, issues remain unaddressed even with the tremendous level of family and family-adjacent support she has received.
Similarly, we are exploring her relationship to same age peers after the death of her best friend and how that death—and her intellect—may be giving her an “excuse” not to seek out strong, lasting relationships with peers.
Due to a past history of mental illness related to armor use, as documented in previous users including James Rhodes and Tony Stark himself, Riri Williams is attending a two-session diagnostic scan for any possible signs of organic brain disturbances with Doctors Brian Michael Bendis, Stefano Caselli, and Alex Maleev on December 27 and January 17. The results of those tests will be found in INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #595 and #596, respectively.
Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens is a Staff Therapist who could’ve gone to M.I.T. at the age of 15, but he missed the bus and it just became this whole thing.
Who is spreading symbiotes through NYC? Marvel.com’s resident therapist hypothesizes.
After being contacted by the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Bobbie Morse, aka Mockingbird, this profile of the super powered criminal known as Maniac was prepared. As details are scant, this summary relies on a significant amount of conjecture and hypothesis in lieu of an in-person intake or other therapists’ notes. Please account for this in reviewing it.
The subject, the criminal — colloquially, a super villain — Maniac is most likely Lee Price. Price had recently been identified as a criminal associate of Felica Hardy, aka the recently regressed criminal Black Cat, and a former host of the symbiote that creates the Venom identity (former hosts include Eddie Brock and Flash Thompson).
The subject’s childhood was marked by chaos and trauma. His parents frequently fought with one another and abused him in multiple ways including verbal, physical, and via neglect. To make matters worse, Price did not connect well with others his own age — either because of difficulties in his home or other personality factors — and as a result had a limited social support network. The one friend this writer was able to locate mention of in old New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) records reacted violently when authorities attempted either contact or arrest — depending on accounts — of said child because he was a mutant.
Maniac’s apparent attempts to spread symbiotes to others, when viewed through the lens of his past, thus makes a kind of sense. He is creating a network of friends/families on whom he can rely for companionship, comfort, support, and shared goals. However, he is unable, seemingly, to trust others to be with him because they wish to – he does not trust them to do it of their own free will. Thus, the bits of symbiote he ensnares them with eliminate their free will and, essentially, force others to become his friends/partners in crime.
Previous to now, the only place that Price seemed to feel mastery and find a sense of camaraderie with others is as a member of the US Rangers. This also offers some explanation for why he’d desire to build his own team. However, ultimately, the Rangers cost him three fingers and medically discharged him, leaving him once more alone. Therefore, once again, he is seeking to control his environment by refusing to allow others the free will to “ruin” his group.
The subject is definitely fueled by a desire to achieve mastery once more. This is held up by testimony from Eddie Brock via his connection to the Venom symbiote. When Brock helped separate the symbiote from Price and successfully rejoined it, he claims the symbiote provided him information about the previous host. In this case, the alien “told” Brock that the subject refused to merge with the creature and “work together” and instead sought to bend the symbiote to his will. Rather than fully tap into what the alien could offer the subject, Price made it more of a tool, choosing control over increased power and/or efficiency. Again, this speaks to a lack of trust in others to stick with him.
What this does not do is offer much insight into what Maniac’s end goals might be. Does he seek to infect everyone and thus, in essence, make everyone his family? Is he looking to strike out at old resentments, a possibility reinforced by rumors about those he has recently converted? Is this a limited time thing or would he prefer to maintain it as long as possible? This writer hesitates to guess at this time with the resources available to me.
For a more in-depth exploration of symbiotes and how they can influence behaviors, I have referred S.H.I.E.L.D. to Doctors Mike Costa and Gerardo Sandoval who are experts in the field. Even though Lee Price has sought to dominate his alien “companion” it may still be influencing his thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and any thorough profiling should account for that. The report will be available on January 10 in the file marked VENOM #160.
Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens is a Staff Therapist who is only influenced in his thoughts, feelings, and behaviors by the union of chocolate and peanut butter.
How is it to live every day seeing the flaws in everyone and everything?
The client, Karnak Mander-Azur, is a self-identified Inhuman and longtime advisor to the Royal Family. Currently he belongs to an Inhuman/S.H.I.E.L.D. collaborative organization known as the Secret Warriors, although I am unclear on whether or not this is a formal designation or a colloquial title adopted by the group. He presents as a man in above average physical health who is noticeable by the facials tattoos that indicate his membership in a religious movement known as the Tower of Wisdom.
Karnak joined the movement after his parents refused to let him undergo the Terrigenesis process due to how the Mists affected his brother Triton. Instead, Karnak studied under the Wisdom monks, learning both philosophy and a variety of martial arts. These studies are credited with his abilities — the client is a master planner who is evidently able to see the flaws in everything including people, objects, and plans — although it is unclear if this is a “power” or just a highly developed skill. It also marks him as distinctly different from the rest of the Inhuman population who undergo exposure to the Mists; while not all react to the gas and change, participation in the process is nearly 100 percent. The combination of his experiences, his skillset, and being this literal outlier often leaves him feeling very separate from others. In therapy, we have also explored if he furthers this sense of separation on his own, choosing it instead of reaching out, but so far the client is fairly resistant to this avenue of discussion.
Karnak has recently undergone some fairly significant life changes. In the first place, in response to knowledge he still has not fully articulated, he ended his own life. Through a process this writer confesses he does not wholly understand, but hinges on another Inhuman that was genetically related to Karnak that could absorb the genetic memories of dead Inhumans, Karnak was reborn. While retaining his memories, he lost his distinctive head shape. While this seems to have cost him nothing, it is worth note as it is significant change to his appearance.
Since his rebirth, he has been far more paranoid, secretive, and withdrawn as well. While being a member of a team, he often seems to be working at odds with their goals or following a very different route without explaining or alerting his teammates to his choices.
Additionally, most of the Royal family, arguably the individuals he is closest to and calls friends and family, have left the planet and did so largely without explanation. While he largely downplays this development on his psyche, for an individual who is slow to trust and has few supports, this sudden loss of so many people from his life has undoubtedly affected him.
Due to his overall hesitance to open up, much of our therapy has been focused on daily coping skills. With his ability to see flaws everywhere, day-to-day life is a series of encounters that scream at him to solve problems that he cannot, for many reasons, starting with the fact that it is impossible to make a person perfect. For another example, it is difficult to get anyone to listen to you when you claim there is a structural flaw in a building that will cause it to collapse in 96 years. We are working on active ignoring, how to evaluate which flaws are fixable and worth focusing on now, which can be delayed, and which, ultimately, must be accepted. Along with this we are working on emotion regulation to help him connect better with others and reduce his susceptibility to anger, disappointment, etc., with normal human failings. Lastly, we have been practicing mindfulness techniques, something the client has taken to very well given his experiences in studies in the Tower of Wisdom.
As part of his therapeutic process, Karnak Mander-Azur has agreed to attend a group session as a kind of exposure therapy for managing his emotions and his reactions to the flaws of others. He will attend Doctors Matthew Rosenberg and Javi Garron’s group starting on January 10, 2018 and information on his progress with be available in file SECRET WARRIORS #12.
Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens is a Staff Therapist who thinks you—yes, you!—are flawless.
The Most Dangerous Woman finds herself beset by the return of friends she thought long gone.
Gamora Zen Whoberi Ben Titan, a former member of the Infinity Watch and current member of the self-titled Guardians of the Galaxy, contacted this writer on recommendation of a few of her colleagues.
In the course of doing the intake, the client revealed herself to be one of the adopted children of the space tyrant known as Thanos. While I have no direct knowledge of Thanos or what kind of father he is, given his history and the details provided by the client, it seems unlikely Gamora was raised in an environment that was at all helpful or supportive for her.
Instead, as a child, the client was subjected to extensive training with the goal of turning her into a warrior/assassin type in the service of her adoptive father. Despite the distance with which he treated her and the not entirely occasional cruelties, she grew to be a devoted lieutenant to him, a connection that was only increased after she was attacked and nearly killed while on a mission and Thanos rescued her and, using non-organic materials, saved her life and mobility.
It took multiple betrayals, abandonments, and one complete erasure from the universe for the client to finally break ties with the so-called “mad” Titan. Initially she almost immediately sought love and comfort from another distant figure — Adam Warlock — but eventually left him as well, of her own accord, when she felt that her love was not being reciprocated. They would later reunite during a time he was emotionally available and Gamora, seemingly, broke the cycle of seeking validation from people who are, in some way, unable to give her the affection and support she truly needs.
Since then, she has done much to distance herself morally from Thanos, but seems to continue to gravitate back to him again and again, if just for the purposes of foiling his various plots. Nonetheless, both according to her and from official reports, it appears that she doesn’t experience any kind of ambivalence in opposing him at this point.
Where she might experience ambivalence, however, and what is motivating her seeking therapy, is the seeming resurrection or return of two people she cared very deeply for – the Nova Corps member known as Richard Rider and the aforementioned Adam Warlock. While she denies any active romantic feelings to them, she still cares deeply for them and mourned their deaths. To have them both return to life — or being revealed to have never died in the first place, possibly — so close together has been incredibly wonderful and terribly confusing. To encounter anyone who you believed dead and had come to terms with that death, is a significantly disorganizing event. Add in the knowledge that she is supposed to be happy — therefore sparking guilt that she is not purely happy — has led to even more complex feelings and an individual very confounded by her own emotions. Given the straightforward zeal with which she has pursued goals in her life, this kind of confusion—hard for anyone—is even more difficult for her to process.
Unfortunately, due to her being in space and my office still being on Earth, long-term therapy with this writer does not seem like the best idea at this time. Video conferencing is an option, but after discussion we agreed an in-person presence would be a better arrangement for her. Therefore, she will meet with Doctors Gerry Duggan and Marcos To on December 6, 20, and January 3 for evaluation. The results of their findings will be found in files GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #148–150.
Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens is a Staff Therapist who would love to know how one gets licensed to do space therapy. Because Tim Stevens, Space Therapist! is an incredible title.
The young woman discusses her turbulent history with Marvel.com's Resident Therapist.
The client, Lana Baumgartner, has admitted to this writer that she is one-half of a mother-daughter crime team known as the Bombshells. At some point, recently, the client had a change of heart and stopped using her powers for a period of time. Eventually, she did don her costume again, but has been doing so to be a costumed crime-fighter alongside the younger Spider-Man and a self-identified mutant known as Goldballs. Unfortunately, her mother took no such hiatus hiatus, nor has she decided to utilize her powers for good. The client is not sure what identity her mom is currently committing crimes under, just that she is.
Understandably, this is causing significant cognitive dissonance for the client as she struggles to make sense of her old life of crime, her new life of crime fighting, and how to reconcile these choices with a parent who guided her into crime and continues to commit illegal acts.
While working with Baumgartner, we began our relationship by discussing confidentiality and where the lines were. I outlined my approach to working with minors and the “rules” I discussed with her mother and her mother’s agreement to them, meaning that the client is largely protected, but not fully as her mother does have rights to request certain information given her role as custodial parent. We also discussed the client’s ability to discuss criminal acts. Here, I stressed that I could not report her for already committed acts and unless the future crimes being discussed had a specific intent of causing fatal harm to a specific individual and a plan to do so, I would be under no obligation to report them either and, in fact, if I did, I would be violating our therapist-client relationship. The client appeared largely satisfied by these answers.
Most of our work since has been based on exploring and discerning her own morality. After years of largely just following her mother’s directives and assuming that if her mother is telling her to do it, there is nothing too wrong about it. This writer normalized that for her, stressing that while most people her age are not urged to commit criminal acts by their parents, they do tend to follow what their parents tell them and assume those directions are morally appropriate. Then, in their teens—again, like her—youth begin to push against their parents’ rules and start to assemble their own set of values, what they believe, and what qualifies to them as “right” and “wrong.”
We have recently spent significant time discussing the morality of protecting her mother versus turning her in, as well as the fallout of either choice on emotional and practical levels. My role as the client’s therapist has been helping to see the choices and to extend out how those choices may impact her but I have resisted giving advice or offering edicts. In the case of Baumgartner in particular, it is important for her to reach her own choices because, up until now, she has so often been denied control over her own choices and morality. To continue that will not improve her emotional life and will interfere in her maturation process. It is important I act as a facilitator, not as an arbiter.
Unfortunately, the trajectory of our sessions was greatly interrupted by a late session admittance by the client this week. She confessed to me that she has reconciled “on a professional level” with her mom and has returned to crime. Keeping with the spirit of radical honesty we have established in our sessions, I confirmed that I was disappointed to hear that and very worried for her but that I did not feel anger or hate towards her and had no intentions of abandoning her during this difficult time.
Given this turn of events, we agreed that it is a good idea for her to start attending the support group for children of super villains that meet monthly and is conducted by Doctors Brian Michael Bendis and Oscar Bazaldua. The next meeting is set for January 3, 2018 and summary notes will be found in file SPIDER-MAN #236.
Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens is a Staff Therapist whose dad works in insurance and never once asked him along for some kind of heist.
No need for a white noise machine when the Master of Sound visits Marvel.com’s Resident Therapist.
Ulysses Klaue is a former human male who now exists as a being of pure sound. He still presents as, roughly, human in form, and is able to hold himself together barring any significant disruptions in concentration or attacks on his physical form. His medical records indicate he is otherwise healthy although this writer has been unable to parse exactly what that might mean.
Because of his “condition,” his voice has been altered. He remains understandable but the electric hum quality to his speech can prove difficult to listen to for extended periods of time leading to headaches and difficulty maintaining focus. The therapist is continuing to work on solutions to this situation so the client can receive his full session but currently the only workaround has been to be take a brief break around the halfway point for this writer to leave the room, take some ibuprofen, clear my head, and then return for the remaining time. While not ideal, the client has asserted he has no objection to this—beyond his existing objection to having see a therapist at all—and therefore will continue to be utilized until some other solution is found.
The client has a long history of criminality dating back to early young adulthood. According to his own disclosure and reports from others in his life, he began his criminal career seeking vengeance for his family name against the Royal Family of Wakanda. However, after that, most of his criminal activities seem predominantly motivated by greed and self-interest. That Wakanda has often been the target of those greedy and self-interested behaviors would suggest, though, that revenge remains, at the least, a subconscious motivator.
As of late, however, Klaue’s motives have become a little more difficult to discern. With the loss of his physical body and therefore a loss in the ability to experience pleasure, he has pursued activities that seem at least somewhat out of character, such as attacks on Daredevil or attempts to aid the Wizard in the claiming and controlling of an alien symbiote that, when merged with Cletus Kasady, is known as Carnage. He has declined to discuss such matters with this therapist insisting he has always acted as he wanted and these choices are merely an extension of that.
What the writer has had more luck exploring with the client is his near death experience. After being stabbed by the above mentioned Carnage, Klaue appeared to burst and dissipate. He was, however, able to stay cohesive enough to help subdue the symbiote when it appeared the alien might kill Klaue’s teammates. However, the client believed that that effort had cost him his last bit of strength and resigned himself to full dissipation.
While unclear as to how he survived or what exactly occurred between that moment and when he was able to “pull together” fully again, he is not unclear on the emotions both realizing his death was imminent and then being proven wrong evoked in him.
He endorses what sound to be like some PTSD symptoms, a sense of mental disorganization, and some halting steps towards re-evaluating current choices. He also finds himself obsessing over what it might mean for him to die, as he is purely sound, regardless of the presence of an afterlife or not. More concerning to him is the possibility that he might not be able to truly die, only dissipate and reform, ad nauseam, in ways that are largely beyond his control. The idea that not even death is something he can count on anymore have led to moments of dissociation, panic, depression, and even extreme euphoria. It also makes him feel isolated and lonely, as it represents a reminder that his humanity is something he only maintains from memory.
Unfortunately, though the client denies, another side effect of this thought seems to be the idea that if he is no longer mortal, he has no reason to hold back, no reason not to attack who he wants, when he wants, with as much bloodshed as might occur, as long as it slates whatever psychological hungers he is experiencing.
Due to this therapist’s recommendation and referral, the client will attend an appointment with Doctors Ta-Nehisi Coates and Chris Sprouse so they can evaluate him regarding his state of mortality at this time. The appointment will be December 27 and any and all information gained will be available in file BLACK PANTHER #168.
Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens is a Staff Therapist who is also a being of pure sound, but his sound is deep, soothing, and very danceable.
Marvel’s most dangerous mind controller endures a therapy session.
The client, Zebediah Killgrave, presents as an average adult man with the exception of the tincture of his skin, eyes, and hair, which are various shades of purple. Coming along with this unusual skin tone—apparently caused by exposure to an experimental nerve agent—comes an ability to control others’ decisions, apparently via pheromones. Due to this, our sessions are conducted in person but the client remains in a special prison throughout that protects this writer and others from possible exposure to these chemicals.
Additionally, it reflects his image off a mirror rather than allowing the therapist to see it directly and the speaker alters the sound of his speech to ensure that I hear his words but not in his true voice. These are further safeguards because the full range of his abilities has never been verified due to the inherent danger of trying to do so and the probable ethical issues related to any such studies. His skin also inspires his alias of “Purple Man.”
In session he presents as arrogant, typically, although at times he does try to play act a persona in the hopes of gaining some level of identification or kindness from the writer. Although I strive for an open non-judgmental stance with all clients and empathy is part of that stance, I can be empathetic for Killgrave while recognizing the monstrousness of many of his actions. Therefore, his attempts to curry favor or manipulate my feelings towards him have largely failed and he has therefore reduced his attempts at pretending to be someone he is not over the course of our sessions.
The client is motivated by a combination of his arrogance—he believes he is entitled whatever he wants, whenever he wants—and a desire to be seen as a genius. Being in control is, ultimately, not enough for him. He hungers for recognition as well. As such, his crimes follow an inevitable pattern of many behind the scenes moves being eventually undone by him revealing himself, which leads to his defeat.
It must be said at this juncture that it is this writer’s assertion that the client is largely beyond the help of therapy. This is due, in part, to his refusal to engage in the process. However, it is also clear that the client is as archetypal an Antisocial Personality Disorder diagnosis as I have encountered. Even if he was to take to therapy, it risks making him more effective at being a “sociopath” which hardly seems an improvement. If not ordered to perform these sessions by the court as part of his sentence, this writer would’ve dismissed this client some time ago.
Allowing for some humility though, I will confess that perhaps some other therapists might be able to reach him. Killgrave is obviously insecure and exhibits intense feelings of jealousy and is quick to have his ego wounded. Theoretically, if one could help him see himself in a more stable and secure manner, his motivation to control others to love him and carry out his will may fade. I do not imagine this is likely but it is possible.
The client will attend his yearly state psychological evaluation on December 27 with Doctors Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos. The evaluation will be found in file JESSICA JONES #15.
Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens is a Staff Therapist who looks great in purple.
New Jersey’s newest super hero takes a trip to the City to see a man about some therapy.
The client, requested an appointment under the name Laal Khanjeer — the apparent Erdu phrase for Red Dagger, the name he has been using as a costumed identity here in the States — but allowed the therapist to call him Kareem in session – no surname provided. He presented as a late adolescent to early young adult male in above average physical fitness. While he declined to name exactly where he came from, he did submit that he was a foreign national on American soil on a short-term basis.
He confessed that he did not intend to engage in costumed actions while abroad but a combination of the mystique of the New York City area and the inspiration of fellow super hero Ms. Marvel made the lure of doing so irresistible. He has found himself stunned, excited, and more than a little scared of how quickly the local media has embraced and elevated him. He also confesses a degree of guilt because he feels as though he has eclipsed Ms. Marvel despite all the good she has done and that she is “a real super hero, I’m just athletic.” He is especially worried his popularity might have something to do with her recent apparent disappearance.
In addition to his conflicted feelings about his costumed identity, he also indicated some difficulties transitioning to life overseas. While there have been no charged incidents that he indicated, just being away from home and in an environment that he has heard has been less than kind towards people that look and sound like him has him on edge. Also, he confessed, he is worried about making friends and fitting in with his new classmates for however long his time in the U.S. lasts.
This writer validated the client’s feelings extensively and reinforced how normal and natural it was to feel unmoored during a time of transition, to worry about how others might see or view him based only on his appearance and immigrant status, and to miss his home.
I also validated his concerns regarding being treated as the new, exciting costumed crime fighter in a way that might make Ms. Marvel feel slighted while also reminding him he cannot take responsibility for how others might treat the two of them. As long as he is honest about his role in activities and tries to give her credit where she is due – both to her personally and through the press should he choose to speak to them – then he is doing right by her.
Finally, I confessed to him there were some nuances of his culture I was not familiar with and did not want to make him feel unheard or misheard because any lack of cultural competency on my part. I offered him options, pledging I would strive to study up on whatever he thought important and ask questions in the moment if I did not grasp some aspect of what he was discussing, but that I could also offer him a therapist with whom he might share more commonalities.
We hit upon a compromise wherein he would do another intake style session with Doctors G. Willow Wilson and Nico Leon on December 20 and then evaluate from there. Details of that session will be found in the file labeled MS. MARVEL #25.
Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens is a Staff Therapist who could help stop a moving train if he wanted to, but he’s super busy this week.
With sights set on Inhumans, the criminal geneticist drops in on Marvel.com’s Resident Therapist.
Thank you for the invitation to speak to your class “Criminological Theory in the Age of Costumed Offenders.” I am excited for the lecture and discussion. Enclosed is a brief write up on the criminal known as “Mister Sinister.” Please distribute it to the students and ask them to read it in advance of class as I will be referring to it and calling on them to participate. Again, thank you, and I will see you next week.
The client, Nathaniel Essex — far better known as the criminal Mister Sinister — discovered that, while he was assumed dead, this writer did a presentation on him as a guest lecturer to a “Criminological Theory in the Age of Costumed Offenders” course. He claimed to be visiting to “meet the arrogant plebe who would think so highly of himself to believe himself my better,” and no other reason.
He presented with a poorly hidden wounded narcissism and insisted on being called “Mister Sinister”—as I hypothesized he would in my class presentation—throughout session. I will therefore treat that as his name for the purpose of this note.
Despite his insistence on being my better and my work being completely “misinformed and off the mark,” the client confirmed many of my hypotheses in short order. He demonstrated an underdeveloped sense of morality, a rejection of conventional rules in place to protect others besides himself, and a fulfillment of several categories necessary to diagnosis Antisocial Personality Disorder.
His narcissism also seemed to make it impossible for him not to, in essence, tell on himself. After confirming that his seeming obsession with the Summers family—especially the late Scott aka Cyclops—has also admitted that since that person’s death, he has found himself searching for a new purpose and found it with turning his genetics fixation to the so-called Inhumans.
As in the presentation, I feel comfortable predicting that any kind of meaningful healthy change for the client is unlikely, even with therapeutic intervention. Overall, the subject is smart, arrogant, and nearly entirely without empathy. The only reliable means of “controlling” him would seem to be to give him a project that captures his imagination and give him the free rein to explore it fully. However, what he might do in his quest to solve that problem and/or when he became bored would be, undoubtedly, wholly unacceptable.
Given this, I also would predict that it is highly unlikely Sinister will return. His arrogance permits him to see no other outcome but that he bested this writer the moment he showed up at the offices, so the actual outcome of our session is immaterial. His ego integrity returned by “showing” me, he’ll now have no compelling reason to return.
That said, this writer did do his due diligence and made a follow-up appointment for the client. However, given the dynamics in the room, should he return for the next appointment on December 13, he will be seeing Doctors Matthew Rosenberg and Javi Garron. Any session notes will be found in SECRET WARRIORS #10 file.
Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens is a Staff Therapist who welcomes Mr. Sinister — or ANYONE else — to try and out-arrogant him.