What is it that makes me so warranted to explore the psychosis of Yolanda Catallus? I mean, I could try this with any of the characters. Maybe it’s because her changes have seemed to be all part of the plan for quite some time. It almost makes her irrational changes in character seem intentional.
We are, however, talking about a series that has had random character change for some time. Characters like Kal Jerico and Scabbs have remained almost coherent, even if somewhat nonsensically. Nemo only changed when a new author was given reigns to continue his story. Cardinal Crimson is a mess, and many others seem to have been killed off before they got old.
As I said not moments ago, Yolanda has also been through some strange changes: The out-of-the-blue change of colours, her undecipherable motivation and ways of getting ahead. But the fact that Lasgun Wedding seems to be attempting a full circle to the hinted Kal-Yolanda sexual tension started in Yolanda, it’s all too convenient.
It started with a thought: Could Yolanda have Stockholm Syndrome? Given a bit of research it only seems slightly possible. If anything, it’s the way Scabbs almost dispatches her that could even make this scenario possible. Kal, after-all, is actually in the sway of one of his more likeable moments. He may be an egotistic who craves adventure, but he is by no means a turrist. This also takes into no account, whether or not Scabbs was only joking about in cahoots with Kal. But the art didn't seem to convey it this way.
Stuff like this interests me, to be frank. Batman has always remained interesting by its wildly diverse rogues gallery and their backlog and character flaws (usually some form of psychosis involved). So it seems unlikely that Yolanda is suffering from Stockholm Syndrome. So what could be her psychosis? There is definitely something unstable about her. Well, there’s a tie-in in this paragraph. You see, I searched what mental illness The Joker could be suffering from a while back. The answer was more than satisfactory; APD. Antisocial Personality Disorder – to possess this disorder one must display three of the following seven traits. 1) Failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviours as indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest; 2) Deception, as indicated by repeatedly lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure; 3) Impulsiveness or failure to plan ahead; 4) Irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults; 5) Reckless disregard for safety of self or others; 6) Consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeated failure to sustain consistent work behaviour or honour financial obligations; 7) Lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another.
Let’s review this shall we.
1) Failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviours as indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest. There’s a definite. Even after she gives up her path as an outlaw to be a bounty hunter, she’s still barely lawful by current standards. And that’s after giving up her life as a spire noble. I’d say she has a mind set on de-establishing conformity.
2) Deception, as indicated by repeatedly lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure. Known back at the beginning of this comic as “Outlands Annie”, it’s more than possible she’s used a fair few aliases, although there’s no actual evidence of this. Lying? Not really, or at all, come to think of it. Not in a conventional sense anyway. Conning others for personal profit or pleasure? Would robbing a caravan of its most valuable possession for the untold riches in The Nemo Agenda count? I think so. Also see the end of Blood Royal. Not as extreme, but still counts.
3) Impulsiveness or failure to plan ahead. Vowing vengeance against Jerico at the end of The Nemo Agenda; Joining forces with Scabbs in Scabbs and Yolanda and later Jerico too in Homecoming. These are the major examples, but pretty much everything Yolanda does is impulsive and lacking significant forethought.
4) Irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults. Oh boy yes. No second thought about it.
5) Reckless disregard for safety of self or others. How about pulling Scabbs against his will into an onslaught of Ratskins?
6) Consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeated failure to sustain consistent work behaviour or honour financial obligations. This honestly sounds more like Kal. However, this does apply to Yolanda. The two, after-all are more than a little alike.
7) Lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another. How about having Kal beaten by her lackeys in The Nemo Agenda? She never looked back on or apologised for that.
Okay, she displays all of the symptoms in some degree or another. She’s classifiably antisocial. Would that I know many mental illnesses off by heart then I could explore this further. Alas, accurate Wikipedia articles (y’know, the properly sourced ones) are all I have to go by.
Before I cordon this off, I'm going to refresh my Stockholm Syndrome allegations. It struck me mid-way through writing this that there is a scenario where she displays these exact symptoms. In Blood Royal she’s captured by a group who harass, beat and threaten her, and by the end of the book she only ends up sympathising with them and helping them out.
There we are, Yolanda Catallus – sufferer of APD and Stockholm Syndrome – just a bit of a psychopath.
Catch y’all soon for my Cardinal Crimson review.