Gotham psychologist

Andrea Letamendi is a clinical psychologist who specialises in the treatment and research of traumatic stress disorders but also has a passionate interest in how psychological issues are depicted in comics.

She puts her thoughts online in her blog Under the Mask which also discuss social issues in fandom and geek culture.

Recently, she was paid a wonderful compliment when she appeared in Batgirl #16 as Barbara Gordon’s psychologist.

I’ve always been of the opinion that comics are far more psychologically complex than they’re given credit for. In fact, one of my first non-academic articles was about the depiction of madness in Batman.

It’s also interesting that comics are now starting to explicitly address psychological issues. It’s not always done entirely successfully it has to be said.

Darwyn’s Cooke’s Ego storyline looked at Batman’s motivations through his traumatic past but shifts between subtle brilliance and clichés about mental illness in a slightly unsettling way.

Andrea Letamendi has a distinctly more nuanced take, however, and if you would like to know more about her work with superheroes do check the interview on Nerd Span.

Link to Letamendi’s Under the Mask (on Twitter as @ArkhamAsylumDoc)
Link to Nerd Span interview.


  1. Posted March 30, 2013 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    Psychologists and psychiatrists tend not to have a good reputation in Batman’s Gotham. Especially with his archenemies the Scarecrow (aka psychologist Jonathan Crane) and Dr. Hugo Strange, an evil psychiatrist who plays mind games with the Dark Knight. I’d also add Harley Quinn (aka Dr. Harleen Quinzel) but my nerd credentials are already well established here.

    You have to wonder how long it will before Andrea Latamendi straps on the mask and spandex…

  2. Tammy Stratford
    Posted March 30, 2013 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

    Good for Ms. Letamendi! The only problem I have with the article is that your last sentence is missing some words. I believe you forgot to put in “would like to know more” about her work.

  3. Gus
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Bad thing they mispelled her last name at the comic vignette.

  4. B.W.
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    I don’t need help…

  5. Christine C
    Posted April 6, 2013 at 3:43 am | Permalink

    Nate Powell wrote a fantastic graphic novel called “Swallow Me Whole”, looking at mental ill health, families, and falling apart in adolescence. Well worth a look.

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