Who among us hasn’t awoken one day to learn we’ve potentially inspired the lunatic ramblings of a monstrous comic book villain? Such was Tuesday for Jordan Peterson, the controversial professor, psychologist, podcaster, and conservative firebrand, who discovered his beliefs seemed to have been parroted by no less than Captain America baddie Red Skull, in a new comic penned by acclaimed writer Ta-Nehisi Coates.
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? https://t.co/waFsAvWlfd
— Dr Jordan B Peterson (@jordanbpeterson) April 6, 2021
Peterson has made a name for himself by attacking political correctness and identity politics, in media appearances and in self-help books like 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, plus its sequel Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life. In the former, he referred to chaos as “the eternal feminine,” and labeled women “choosy maters (unlike female chimps, their closest animal counterparts).” He is very popular among lonely men.
So imagine Peterson’s surprise when someone pointed out some of the things Red Skull, one of Cap’s most iconic adversaries, was saying in Coates’ latest issue. Cap talks about a young boy he knew “disappearing into the internet,” only to return with a “new theory of the world” — one he learned by watching Red Skull videos on YouTube.
“What has happened to the men of the world is truly one of the great tragedies of our time,” Skull rants. “Once, the American man was a conqueror. Now he is but a caretaker.” He goes on: “No more shall women be summoned to fight your battles. I offer steel for your spine and iron for your gut. I offer you the sword of manhood.”
Cap, at least, sees right through it. “[Skull] tells them what they’ve always longed to hear,” Cap says. “That they are secretly great. That the whole world’s against them. That if they’re truly men, they’ll fight back. And bingo. That’s their purpose. That’s what they live for and that’s what they’ll die for.”
Neither Marvel nor Coates — the former Atlantic correspondent and author of the beloved book Between the World and Me, who has long moonlighted as a comics writer — have yet publicly commented on whether or not Peterson served as the basis for the Marvel villain, last seen onscreen in a brief appearance in Avengers: Endgame and played by Hugo Weaving in 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger. But Peterson seemed convinced, spending much of the day afterwards tweeting and re-tweeting about it.
Others pointed out that maybe it’s not great if you recognize your tenets and beliefs in a larger-than-life villain.
Jordan Peterson apparently thinks that the Red Skull is being used as a parody of him.
….you know, maybe if your whole persona can seamlessly be applied to the Red Skull, you might be the problem. pic.twitter.com/kTGGiwp3FF
— Ant 🍻 I Really Hope 2021 is Better (@AGramuglia) April 6, 2021
Sweetheart, if someone thought "yeah, those Jordan Peterson quotes would be in character for Red Skull", maybe it's time to think LONG AND HARD about your personal values and politics.
Just saying. pic.twitter.com/thUTR7e9yZ
— 🐱 That pink cat who definitely needs a vacay 🐱 (@HugoThePinkCat) April 6, 2021
Many agreed that this is really funny.
It's pretty funny that Jordan Peterson is complaining that the Nazi Supervillain Red Skull sounds like him pic.twitter.com/orX1LWCU3C
— Lily Simpson (@LilySimpson1312) April 6, 2021
ta-nehisi coates writing a marvel comic about evil jordan peterson is so fucking funny i love living in the dumbest society of all time
— dunkin donuts finland (@sweetandbeloved) April 6, 2021
Ta-Nehisi Coates trolling Jordan Peterson through his comics writing is… *chef's kiss*
— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) April 6, 2021
Jordan peterson and the red skull pic.twitter.com/KcebXinfZp
— Ducksfortea (@ducksfortea) April 6, 2021
Others praised Coates for (possibly!) trolling Peterson in such a fashion.
Wait wait wait wait. You’re telling me TNC logged off of Twitter only to dunk on Jordan Peterson via CAPTAIN AMERICA COMICS??
He enters the pantheon. Amen amen. https://t.co/Q5AW1s8fOo
— Lil Nas X Stan Account👁 (@csilverandgold) April 6, 2021
Jordan Peterson has just discovered that Captain America fights fascism
Cap's current author has given the Red Skull some a familiar characteristics, and its driving Peterson and his fans fucking insane
Ta-Nehisi Coates we applaud you pic.twitter.com/bRo8KjvlOG
— Sir Woofingtons (@Sir_Woofingtons) April 6, 2021
Okay, but looking past the lolcow that is Jordan Peterson getting angry about comic book villain Red Skull can we appreciate how Ta-Nehisi Coates gets the ideology of nazi dirtbags completely right? pic.twitter.com/KzHwtUoPjC
— The HomoGexual Agenda (@LordSMAF) April 6, 2021
Others put actual Peterson quotes over top Red Skull images to see if they gibed.
Just for fun, and to show the Godwin's Law level of absurdity here, I took some pictures of the Red Skull and put ACTUAL Jordan Peterson quotes on them.
I hope they entertain you as much as they've entertained me. pic.twitter.com/Sr3ojkz4SK
— Nymdok (@Nymdok) April 6, 2021
But it turns out Coates isn’t the first comics writer to lampoon Jordan Peterson.
Apparently Jordan Peterson got offended that Ta-Nehisi Coates did a parody of his ideas with Red Skull, and someone consoled him by linking one of my comics, which none of them seem to realize is also a parody of people like him lmao. pic.twitter.com/HA4ETmgqD3
— Existential Comics (@existentialcoms) April 6, 2021
Others speculated whether or not Peterson’s own backstory sound similar to the one for another comic book baddie: DC’s Scarecrow.
While we're comparing Jordan Peterson to supervillains, it's worth remembering that according to his official biography, his early life is literally the origin story of The Scarecrow from Batman pic.twitter.com/fzE33HSKf2
— Rapid Onset Wooloo (@MockWooloo) April 6, 2021
And some imagined a future in which every comic book villain is a thinly veiled takedown of far right pundits.
it's the year 2030. every depiction of j jonah jameson is now alex jones. every depiction of red skull is now jordan peterson. the injustice league is a racist podcast, and doctor octopus is motivated by having his patreon suspended
— Jack Saint (@LackingSaint) April 6, 2021