Is the Arch-Villain Red Skull in Marvel’s New Captain America Comics Inspired by Jordan Peterson?


by Aleksandra Serebriakova

 ‘What the hell’ was Jordan Peterson initial reaction after a social media follower shared an image from the new Captain America comics centred around Nazi-era villain Red Skull, suggesting that some of the anti-hero’s preaching, including ‘Ten Rules For Life’, resembled the psychologist’s works.

At first Canadian professor and psychology guru Jordan Peterson was shocked that his philosophy could have acted as inspiration for the wicked ideas of Captain America’s archenemy Red Skull, but now the famed speaker seems to have embraced the irony.

The “villain” thread started when a Twitter user replied to Peterson’s post about the “insanely bullying and self-righteous culture” The Atlantic magazine “has helped develop”.

The user shared an excerpt from ‘Captain America Vol 9 #28’ comics released on 31 March written by The Atlantic contributor and Marvel Comics author Ta-Nehisi Coates, which features Nazi-inspired villain Red Skull talking about ‘Ten Rules for Life’ and ‘Chaos and Order’ – in a cryptic nod to the Canadian professor’s ’12 Rules for Life’ bestseller.

Contributors to the Atlantic like Ta-Nehisi Coates are moving on to comics.@jordanbpeterson let me know if any of this looks familiar.

— Seth (@DidymusSeth) April 5, 2021

​Captain America moves to characterise the villain as an Internet preacher who inspires vulnerable young minds to die for their beliefs:

“It’s the same for all of them. Young men. Weak. Looking for purpose. I found the flag, you found the badge. They found the Skull,” Captain America says in the comics.

“He tells them what they’ve always longed to hear. That they secretly are great. That the whole world is against them. That if they’re truly men, they’ll fight back. And bingo – that’s their purpose. That’s what they’ll live for. And that’s what they’ll die for,” the protagonist adds.

Peterson was first a bit lost over the unpleasant association with a genuine “What the hell?” reaction.

“Do I really live in a universe where Ta-Nehisi Coates has written a Captain America comic featuring a parody of my ideas as part of the philosophy of the arch villain Red Skull?” he asked his followers, pinning the comics on his profile.  

Do I really live in a universe where Ta-Nehisi Coates has written a Captain America comic featuring a parody of my ideas as part of the philosophy of the arch villain Red Skull?

— Dr Jordan B Peterson (@jordanbpeterson) April 6, 2021

But then the University of Toronto professor and his fans decided to make the best out of the apparent parody, combining Jordan Peterson’s real quotes with Red Skull’s images.

Literally “worse than Hitler”…

— Dr Jordan B Peterson (@jordanbpeterson) April 6, 2021

Red skull says

— Dr Jordan B Peterson (@jordanbpeterson) April 7, 2021

Better than red skull by quite a margin… 🙂

— Dr Jordan B Peterson (@jordanbpeterson) April 6, 2021

Peterson even created a poll to make his followers chose what would be the best motto for the Supervillian: “clean your room” or “stand up straight”. So far, the first option is winning.

Supervillain motto poll: Red Skull says

— Dr Jordan B Peterson (@jordanbpeterson) April 6, 2021

Neither Ta-Nehisi Coates nor Marvel Comics have confirmed that they were inspired by Peterson’s preaching when re-creating the legendary villain. But Peterson and his followers now believe that this is a stark possibility.

“It’s hard not to be shocked by the sheer surreality of the time we inhabit…” Peterson said, as the media outlets started to share his “shocked” reaction to the situation.



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