Psych Ward

Psych Ward: Mister Hyde

The new resident Thunderbolts brute is evaluated for psychological fitness and the good of the team

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By Tim Stevens

Calvin Zabo presents as an adult male of approximately middle age who is in moderate physical fitness. His alter ego, the super criminal known as Mister Hyde, is an adult male of tremendous proportions beyond typical human presentation. For the sake of evaluation, this writer met with Zabo as “himself” for a session and then with him after he had converted to Hyde. The purpose of these sessions was to evaluate Zabo’s fitness to serve in the Thunderbolts program in both of his unique mental and physical states.

While many of the inmates being considered for inclusion in the Thunderbolts program have “alter egos” in the sense that they wear costumes and assume other identities, this subject presents as literally two separate individuals. In addition to the obvious physical differences listed above, there are significant shifts in personality and intellect. Zabo came across in session as somewhat meek and anxious to fulfill this writer’s expectations of him. Hyde, on the other hand, was aggressive and seemingly went out of his way to be obstinate and disagreeable. Zabo asked questions, Hyde made demands. Zabo appeared to try to distance himself from past crimes; Hyde bragged of them and often graphically fantasized about other crimes he’d like to commit in the future.

Intelligence-wise, Zabo demonstrates above average to near genius level intellect on standardized tests like the WAIS-IV. Hyde, however, shows a marked decrease in such functioning after the transition. On the other hand, his skills for manipulation and enacting emotional cruelty seem to increase. This writer hesitates to refer to it as emotional intelligence as that typically denotes pro-social behavior, but certainly knowledge of how to use and exploit emotions seems to become more prominent with Hyde as opposed to Zabo.

From these results, it may be tempting to conclude that Zabo can be reasoned with and kept in line and Hyde can be a blunt instrument on missions and thus the “package deal” makes sense for the Thunderbolts. This writer would strongly suggest that this is a fallacious conclusion. Zabo began a life of crime before her ever took the serum that turned him into Hyde and continued to exhibit symptoms, if not possessing a full blown diagnosis, of Antisocial Personality Disorder while not in the Hyde persona.

Additionally, as Hyde, he is such a monstrous person in both strength and mental state that this writer thinks it is unlikely, nanites or not, that the program would be capable of controlling him for any sort of extended period of time.

While Melissa Gold (aka Songbird) is also slated to evaluate Zabo/Hyde for fitness to the Thunderbolts from a non-psychological perspective, this writer would urge all involved to forgo this step and simply not select him as his negatives far outweigh his benefits, however attractive those may appear.

Additionally, although this might be a minor point, neither aspect of Zabo has shown any desire to make amends for past crimes. Successful members of the Thunderbolts have been motivated, at least in part, by a want for atonement and rehabilitation. Zabo seems to only wish to secure a quicker release.

If the decision is ultimately made to include Calvin Zabo in the program, his next sessions are scheduled with Doctors Jeff Parker and Kev Walker on September 7 and October 5. The session notes can be found in files THUNDERBOLTS #163 and #164, respectively.

Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens, MA is a Practicum Trainee at a Federal Correctional Institute and a Dialectical Behavior Therapy Consultant.

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