Jordan Peterson and Red Skull connection explained: Twitter reacts

Jane Corscadden April 6, 2021
Jordan Peterson and Red Skull connection explained: Twitter reacts
Carlos Osorio/Toronto Star via Getty Images

What’s going on with Jordan Peterson and Red Skull? A Twitter thread has led to some users discussing the potential influence some of Peterson’s ideas may have had on the Captain America villain. But was this intentional? Let’s take a closer look.

Who is Red Skull in Captain America?

Red Skull is the arch enemy of Captain America.

His real name is Johann Schmidt and he’s the former head of HYDRA, the special weapons division of the Nazi Schutzstaffel.

Schmidt gained ambitions of becoming the superior man, leading him to test a Super Soldier Serum on himself.

This resulted in his disfigurement and gave him the nickname Red Skull.

While leading HYDRA, he found the tesseract which he believed would help him control the world.

But his plans were thwarted by the Allies’ only super soldier – Captain America.

Jordan Peterson’s connection to Red Skull

So, how is clinical psychologist and author Jordan Peterson in any way linked to Red Skull?

On Twitter earlier today, 6 April, a user tagged Jordan Peterson in an image featured in a Captain America comic.

Social media users have pointed out it was the 28th issue of the comic, written by Ta-Nehisi Coates and published on 31 March.

The person who posted the image said to Peterson: “Let me know if any of this looks familiar.”

The image shows Red Skull on a computer screen talking about “ten rules for life.”

This is an allusion to Jordan Peterson’s 2018 book 12 Rules For Life: An Antidote To Chaos.

So naturally, Peterson wasn’t thrilled with being compared to a Marvel villain:

He later tweeted another image from the same comic. He commented: “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?”

But in the debate around whether comics should be political, a Twitter user has posted a thread showing that a political message is exactly what the creators of Captain America had aimed for when creating Red Skull.

They point out that using Red Skull as a tool to criticise the views of Jordan Peterson shows similarities to using Glorious Godfrey as an analogue for American evangelist Billy Graham:

Twitter reacts to Red Skull x Jordan Peterson debate

Naturally, Twitter users have had a lot to say about today’s developments…

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Jane is a freelance journalist from Belfast, Northern Ireland specialising in news, culture and politics. She studied Politics at Queen’s University Belfast before completing a Journalism MA at the University of Ulster. Always trawling social media and keeping up to date with the latest trends and crazes, her main interest lies in digital culture and internet trends.