Jordan Peterson reacts to Captain America villain ‘parodying’ 12 Rules for Life in Marvel comic: ‘What the hell?’

Isobel Lewis
·2-min read
Peterson’s fans believe the ‘10 rules for life’ comment was a nod to the psychologist’s 12 Rules for Life (Shutterstock/Marvel)
Peterson’s fans believe the ‘10 rules for life’ comment was a nod to the psychologist’s 12 Rules for Life (Shutterstock/Marvel)

Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson has said that he is ‘shocked’ by a Captain America comic in which the villain, Red Skull, appeared to “parody” his 12 Rules for Life.

In the latest Captain America comic written by Ta-Nehisi Coates, the superhero faces off against his long-time nemesis, who is now radicalising men on the internet. Red Skull tells men “what they’ve always longed to hear… that they’re secretly great. That the whole world is against them”.

One particular panel caught Peterson’s fans attention, in which Red Skull is shown next to the words “chaos and order”, “Karl Lueger’s genius”, “the feminist trap” and “10 rules for life”.

The latter words were judged to be a reference to the controversial psychologist’s self-help book 12 Rules for Life, which was released in 2018.

Responding to the cartoon on Tuesday (6 April), Peterson tweeted: “What the hell? 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?”

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He continued: “It’s hard not to be shocked by the sheer surreality of the time we inhabit…”

The Independent has contacted Marvel Comics for comment.

Peterson, 58, is a contentious figure, having amassed a substantial alt-right following by styling himself as an opponent of “political correctness”.

Last year, a row emerged at publishing house Penguin Random House over the decision to publish his latest book, with employees claiming that the company had been intentionally secretive about the book’s publication to avoid backlash.