Jordan Peterson appeared to discover on Tuesday that he’s the inspiration for Captain America’s archenemy in the latest version of the Marvel comic.
The comic: Twitter users alerted Peterson, a Canadian psychologist and popular self-help guru, that the supervillain, Red Skull, has been reincarnated as “an angry Jordan Peterson stand-in blogger,” in the words of one comics commentator.
- A widely-retweeted panel from the new comic, “Captain America,” Vol 9 No. 28, released on March 31, shows Red Skull deploying Peterson-like language, including “Ten Rules for Life,” to recruit young men online.
- “What the hell?” Peterson responded.
Peterson later called out the “Captain America” series’ writer, journalist and racial justice advocate Tah-Nehisi Coates, for another panel in which the superhero implicitly derides the real-life psychologist’s fans as “Young Men. Weak. Looking for purpose.”
- “He tells them what they’ve always longed to hear. That they are secretly great. That the whole world is against them. That if they’re truly men, they’ll fight back,” Captain America says of Red Skull and his minions.
- “And Bingo — that’s their purpose. That’s what they live for. And that’s what they’ll die for.”
Marvel’s Red Skull character is a former Nazi general and Adolf Hitler confidant bent on world domination; Peterson has been widely an often inaccurately vilified as dangerous reactionary and sometimes likened to Hitler.
The reaction: Progressive Twitter users, like blogger and transgender rights activist Parker Malloy, mocked Peterson’s reaction to what they suggested was the comic’s apt comparison of him to Red Skull.
On the right, Micah Meadowcroft, the managing editor The American Conservative, was among those who lamented woke ideology’s growing influence on “Capitan America” and other formerly “ethically complex” comics.
“Avengers Assemble!”: A forthcoming limited Marvel comic book series will star a gay teenager as Captain America.