History Comicbook / RedSkull

16th May '16 12:35:41 PM nombretomado
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The Red Skull appeared in the MarvelCinematicUniverse as a villainous {{Chessmaster}}, [[StupidJetpackHitler Nazi super-scientist]], and the founder of HYDRA in ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheFirstAvenger''. The MCU version is a CompositeCharacter of the comic book Red Skull, Baron Strucker (the founder of HYDRA in the comics) and Baron Zemo (the StupidJetpackHitler elements), although both Strucker and Zemo later appeared in the MCU in their own right. It amused many fans that HugoWeaving was cast to play yet another [[Film/TheMatrix powerful enemy named "Schmidt"]] with an appropriately and enjoyably [[LargeHam OTT performance]].

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The Red Skull appeared in the MarvelCinematicUniverse Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse as a villainous {{Chessmaster}}, [[StupidJetpackHitler Nazi super-scientist]], and the founder of HYDRA in ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheFirstAvenger''. The MCU version is a CompositeCharacter of the comic book Red Skull, Baron Strucker (the founder of HYDRA in the comics) and Baron Zemo (the StupidJetpackHitler elements), although both Strucker and Zemo later appeared in the MCU in their own right. It amused many fans that HugoWeaving was cast to play yet another [[Film/TheMatrix powerful enemy named "Schmidt"]] with an appropriately and enjoyably [[LargeHam OTT performance]].



** This is surprisingly averted in the MarvelCinematicUniverse. The prequel comic to the first ''Captain America'' movie establishes that the Skull finds Hitler's racism to be stupid, as he believes {{Ubermensch}}es can only be created by the SuperSerum, and would likely be a new race unto themselves. Thus, he dismisses the idea that blonde, blue-eyed Europeans are genetically superior to everyone else as quackery.

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** This is surprisingly averted in the MarvelCinematicUniverse.Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse. The prequel comic to the first ''Captain America'' movie establishes that the Skull finds Hitler's racism to be stupid, as he believes {{Ubermensch}}es can only be created by the SuperSerum, and would likely be a new race unto themselves. Thus, he dismisses the idea that blonde, blue-eyed Europeans are genetically superior to everyone else as quackery.
15th May '16 11:15:20 AM nombretomado
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* EvilVersusEvil: The Skull has an ongoing on-and-off feud with DoctorDoom, and has bashed heads with {{Magneto}} more than once. (Most memorably in ''Captain America'' #367.)

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* EvilVersusEvil: The Skull has an ongoing on-and-off feud with DoctorDoom, and has bashed heads with {{Magneto}} ComicBook/{{Magneto}} more than once. (Most memorably in ''Captain America'' #367.)
3rd May '16 4:54:32 PM IdumeanPatriot
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* AdaptationPersonalityChange: In the more recent ''Captain America'' movie, the Red Skull character is not a Nazi true believer, but a purely power-hungry villain who even betrays Germany as part of his dastardly plot. There's no indication that he's personally close to Hitler, either.



* AlternateUniverseReedRichardsIsAwesome: A major motivation for Red Skull's villainy is to bring this about, and [[VillainWorld when his plans succeed]], he usually does. One such AlternateUniverse had giant flatscreens and modern computers ... in the 1960s.



* BadassArmy: His handpicked multinational force of elite troops from the Axis countries during the war.



-->'''Red Skull''': No! ''No!'' Those are ''lies,'' do you hear?? '' '''[[VillainousBreakdown All lies!!]]''' ''

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-->'''Red Skull''': No! ''No!'' Those are ''lies,'' do you hear?? '' '''[[VillainousBreakdown All lies!!]]''' ''ALL LIES!!]]''' ''
* BewareTheSuperman: As befits a Nazi, Red Skull wants to control all possible threats against humanity. He doesn't like superheroes, and ''hates'' [[FantasticRacism super-powered mutants]], who usurp humanity's destiny. He also wants to destroy ComicBook/SubMariner and his empire of nonhumans, who often threaten and invade human countries.



* BiggerBad: The man behind Baron von Strucker, Baron Zemo, HYDRA and most of Marvel's assorted Nazi-themed and ex-Nazi villains.



* BrokenAce: An evil genius who [[FromNobodyToNightmare rose from the literal gutter]] to become first a Nazi hierarch and then a full-blown supervillain. Red Skull is both [[CulturedBadass literate]] and [[BadassNormal hard as nails]], and an [[DarkMessiah inspiring leader]] for millions of neo-fascists ... But his [[DarkAndTroubledPast childhood in the streets]] and [[ShellShockedVeteran traumatic war experiences]] have left him deeply scarred in more than one sense.
* BroughtDownToNormal: After the Cube Cult caper, he was mysteriously stripped of most of his memories and forced to live as an anonymous nobody in a nightmarish cyberpunk world. He reverted to his old pattern of life as a downtrodden menial laborer, until memories of Hitler began to reemerge in his dreams and guided him back to his real life.



* ChestOfMedals: When he wears a real dress uniform. Usually, however, he doesn't bother with the decorations, except maybe a lone Iron Cross.



* ContemplativeBoss: Whether watching dawn's early light or the lesser lights of the city at night.



* CunningLikeAFox: Especially young Johann Schmidt, who also looks vaguely fox-like with his red hair and pale, thin face.



* DaddysLittleVillain: His daughter, Syn. [[OffingTheOffspring He tried to kill her]] [[DisproportionateRetribution for not being a boy]], but she grew up into the kind of hateful homicidal maniac a father could be proud of. [[WellDoneSonGuy He still ignored her,]] but it's the effort that counts.

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* DaddysLittleVillain: His daughter, Syn.Synthia. [[OffingTheOffspring He tried to kill her]] [[DisproportionateRetribution for not being a boy]], but she grew up into the kind of hateful homicidal maniac a father could be proud of. [[WellDoneSonGuy He still ignored her,]] but it's the effort that counts.counts.
* DarkActionGirl: His daughter, who (at least when written by Creator/EdBrubaker) is ''more'' violent and evil than Red Skull himself.
** [[FauxActionGirl Faux Dark Action Girl]]: But if she ever stops posturing and actually ''fights'' anyone (except maybe some nameless {{Mooks}}), she loses every single time. Usually quickly, too.



* DarkerAndEdgier:
** J M De Matteis's Red Skull was largely true to his origins in relatively family-friendly [[Creator/StanLee Stan Lee-esque]] supervillainy through most of his run, but in the last story arc he wasn't just evil but [[AxeCrazy totally insane]]. Probably justified, however, as by then Skull was in his 80s and seemed to be suffering from acute senile dementia.
** Somewhere in the darkening of comics in the 1980s, Mark Gruenwald apparently figured Red Skull wasn't evil enough if he was "just" a Nazi villain. So then he started writing him as a sadist and wife-beater as well.
* DarkestHour: For him, the downfall of Germany in 1945.



* DeterminedDefeatist: Although his optimism in face of tall odds is legendary, sometimes the sheer weight of the world's enmity and the magnitude of his defeats causes him to doubt his chances. Even then, however, he will usually carry on every step of the way.



*DreamingOfThingsToCome: Supposedly, the young, poor Johann Schmidt dreamed of a man with a calm, deep voice who would show him his true purpose in the world. Years later, he came to remember the dream after he met Hitler.



* ElitesAreMoreGlamorous: For a Nazi fanatic, Waffen-SS, of course.



* ExpansionPackPast: Like with Captain America (and often in the same stories), writers often want to make up new World War II adventures for him.



* GalacticConqueror: One of his motives for his villainy is to bring about mankind's expansion to the stars, and so ensure the survival of his species for the millennia to come. (Both by securing new resources for man and by pre-emptively destroying the [[ScaryDogmaticAliens expansionist aliens]] who often attack the Marvelverse Earth.) In an AlternateUniverse where he succeeded in unifying the planet under his rule, he made the Marvel humans [[AlternateUniverseReedRichardsIsAwesome start using their comic-book supertech intelligently]], and now governs an emergent interstellar empire.
* GeniusBruiser: Genius who has worked [[TrainingFromHell very hard]] at ''becoming'' a bruiser.



* TheGunslinger: Red Skull is a marksman with many weapons, though it's his ability with pistols that stands out. Established all the way back in his original origin story in the 1960s.
* HandCannon: His heavy, customized Luger-like pistols, which depending on the story can be either traditional semi-automatics or more fantastic weapons like futuristic lasers.



* HeartbrokenBadass: A platonic example, since his great love was Nazi Germany.



* HopeBringer: The darkest example imaginable. He brings hope to the persecuted and marginalized fascists and Nazis of the Marvelverse, and inspires them to continue the struggle against the overwhelming might of liberalism and democracy.



* HorrifyingTheHorror: Has terrified much more superhuman enemies like Kang the Conqueror and Korvac, and even ComicBook/DoctorDoom on occasion.
* HotBlooded: He ''wants'' to be cold and calculating, and can sometimes pull off a convincing impression of it, but the mask soon slips. In everything he does, he is actually ''extremely'' passionate.



* IKnowKarate: Red Skull is a master of martial arts (and has specifically been mentioned to know several styles of karate). He still loses many of his unarmed battles, but that's because his opponent is frequently [[SuperWeight Captain America]].
* IShouldHaveBeenBetter: If he had been, maybe he would have been able to defeat Captain America and save fascist Europe. So now he pushes himself [[TrainingFromHell twice as hard]] to be the best of all.



* ImprobableAimingSkills: Back when he was fresh out of training in the early 1930s, he shot the buttons off a man's jacket easily and single-handedly. His aim hasn't gotten any worse since.



* ItSucksToBeTheChosenOne: And not just if you're the chosen one of ''good'' ... Arguably, Red Skull has suffered ''even more'' tragic and traumatic events than his GoodCounterpart Cap, which is no mean feat; see other entries on this page. It's rather harder to feel sorry for him, though, since he also [[PayEvilUntoEvil inflicts them]] on others.



* TheLeader: Mainly the first and fourth type, though he has shades of all. At least some writers seem to deliberately base his style of leadership on that of the real-life Hitler, which was also a lot like this.



* LethallyStupid: Sin, throughout the [[Creator/EdBrubaker Brubaker]] ''Captain America'' run. Almost ''everything'' that goes wrong with the Skull's plans in this period is due to her gleefully juggling the VillainBall and the IdiotBall, and she causes a lot of unrelated havoc besides. Arguably, this arc ''justifies'' everything bad he's been saying about her.
* LivingLegend: Already during World War II, when he was a famous and highly decorated Nazi general, but more so in later decades. In-story, he has become the archetypical image of Nazism in much the same way as Captain America has become that of liberalism.



* MadScientist: More like mad engineer, and even this is pushing it for most interpretations. But even if he doesn't ''do'' much mad science himself, Red Skull is an enthusiast for science and technology who often ''sponsors'' bona fide mad scientists like [[EvilutionaryBiologist Arnim Zola]]. In an AlternateUniverse where the Nazis survived World War II and he succeeded Hitler as Fuehrer, ComicBook/DoctorDoom was one of his science advisors.



* MultipleChoicePast: Caused mainly by multiple [[RetCon retcons]] over the years:
** The original background story by Creator/StanLee, somewhat based on the historical Hitler's real background, had him as a poor orphan, menial worker and sometime thief without family of friends, a miserable loner who failed at everything he tried and grew ever more angry with both himself and the system. This version was totally despondent and plodded along in life from day to day, until one day (and quite by chance) he met Hitler, who recognized his potential and invited him into the Nazi hierarchy.
** Later writers then largely adhered to this story, but put in various embellishments. For example, when J. M. De Matteis retold the Skull's origin story, he added a lot of DarkerAndEdgier material to the effect that he was really a psychotic SerialKiller long before he met Hitler.
** Then there is the recent miniseries by Greg Pak, which changes the story around a lot by making the young Johann Schmidt a member of the Communist underground and a hired killer.



* NecessarilyEvil: Those versions where he recognizes his deeds are evil (and doesn't [[ForTheEvulz glory]] in the fact).
* NervesOfSteel: When your hand is cut off by a rampaging mutant, do you a) scream with pain for minutes and bleed to death, or b) scream with pain briefly, then apply a torniquet and continue barking orders to your followers?
* NoSocialSkills: Had none in his youth, when he was both uncultured and painfully shy. Has since worked ''hard'' to avert this, and by sheer effort seems to have obtained a [[TheSocialExpert significant]] degree of success.



* NotSoDifferent: A subtle example when he sometimes rails at Captain America for being an unrealistic dreamer with his mind trapped in the past. This from the guy who keeps ranting about Hitler's great vision and trying to rebuild Nazi Germany in the 2010s...



*NumberTwo: To Hitler, before he became Number One after the war.



* OneManArmy: Doesn't show it off very often, since as a high-ranking officer he rarely does the super-agent stuff himself anymore. But when he does, it's time for the {{Mook}} SHIELD agents (and etc) to be ''very'' afraid.



* OnlySaneMan: ''Thinks'' he is this (or nearly, at any rate) as a survivor of better times in an age of [[PoliticalCorrectnessGoneMad universal madness]].



* PhotographicMemory: Whether it is truly eidetic or not, his memory is extraordinary; for example, he has been shown to recall conversations verbatim decades after they took place. This is yet another way he mirrors the real-life Hitler, who often embarrassed his minions by quoting their own words from months or years previously back at them when they failed to adhere to them.



* RagtagBunchOfMisfits: His men used to be immaculate Waffen-SS commandos, but since most of them are now long dead (and [[BreakingTheFourthWall comics editors want more toy-friendly supervillains]]) those who remain are more like this.



* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Many, of varying sophistication, usually addressed to Captain America. The generally recurring theme is that Cap's liberal ideals are either empirically wrong, flat-out ''[[WhatIsEvil evil]],'' or both.
* RecurringDreams: Of his traumatic failures, which continue to haunt him.
** When he was exiled to an IronicHell where he was stripped of his conscious memories, recurring dreams of Hitler and his struggle for the Nazi vision remained with him, and eventually brought back his full personality.
* RecruitedFromTheGutter: Almost; he wasn't ''quite'' in the literal gutter when Hitler recruited him (though he came from there), but his station was still very lowly.
* RedBaron: His real name is Johann Schmidt, but it's very rarely that anyone calls him anything other than the Red Skull.



* RightWingMilitiaFanatic: The Skull isn't one himself, but sometimes sponsor them because they share many of the same goals and ideals. For example, he bankrolled the Watchdogs, a Christian conservative militia who [[FamilyValuesVillain attacked pornography and immorality]].

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* RetroUniverse: The AlternateUniverse where the Skull took over, a [[RepressiveButEfficient high-tech dictatorship]] where it's reasonably nice to live if you fit in, [[TallPoppySyndrome but not if you don't.]] For example, there are maglev trains and flat screen TV, but people [[NiceHat still wear hats]].
* RightWingMilitiaFanatic: The Skull isn't one himself, but sometimes sponsor sponsors them because they share many of the same goals and ideals. For example, he bankrolled the Watchdogs, a Christian conservative militia who [[FamilyValuesVillain attacked pornography and immorality]].



* {{Sadist}}: Surprisingly, usually averted, as Red Skull leans more toward [[VisionaryVillain ideologically motivated]] villainy and its [[PragmaticVillainy coldly rational]] execution. However, some writers portray him like this, particularly when DarkerAndEdgier is in style.
** Also seems to be [[PsychoSupporter Sin's]] default characterization.



* SmugSnake: Generally averted with the Skull himself, as his villainy is on too grand a scale. [[DarkChick Sin]] plays it very straight, however.
-->'''Sin''': Sorry, Sharon. Looks like you lose -- ''[[AlphaBitch Again ...]] ''



* SophisticatedAsHell: Varies between sophisticated eloquence and quite vulgar language, sometimes in the same comic. Probably accidental, but fits the character's background as a former LowerClassLout who has acquired his cultured sophistication as an adult: When he's [[VillainousBreakdown thrown off balance,]] his old dockworker manners slip through.
* TheSpymaster: This was basically his job under the Third Reich.
* StartOfDarkness: The Red Skull miniseries by Greg Pak has shown most of how the Skull spent his childhood in Germany and how he began his path to ruthlessness.



* StrategyVersusTactics: Presents an aversion of the regular stereotype that Germans are good at operations but bad at grand strategy. Red Skull is good at both grand-scale, long-term strategic planning and tactical improvisation, but weak on the intermediate level of operations; this is where most of his schemes tend to fail. Interestingly, this is also how military professionals tend to judge Hitler's conduct of World War II, though this is probably pure coincidence.



* TheSpymaster: This was basically his job under the Third Reich.
* StartOfDarkness: The Red Skull miniseries by Greg Pak has shown most of how the Skull spent his childhood in Germany and how he began his path to ruthlessness.

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* TheSpymaster: This was basically his job under StreetUrchin: His childhood and youth.
* SuperIntelligence: Not outright stated, but pretty much a [[RequiredSecondaryPowers requirement]] for explaining how an ex-street urchin could pick up [[CunningLinguist several foreign languages]] and learn how to [[SmartPeopleBuildRobots design and program autonomous military drones]] in a few years' time.
* SuperSoldier: Basically,
the Third Reich.
* StartOfDarkness:
Nazi version of Captain America. The original Red Skull miniseries by Greg Pak has shown most of how no ''overt'' superhuman powers (just CharlesAtlasSuperPower and TrainingFromHell), but some versions (including the Skull spent his childhood in Germany and how he began his path movie adaptation) use something similar to ruthlessness.Cap's SuperSerum.
* SuperheroTrophyShelf: Rather, super-''villain'' trophy shelf, but otherwise it fits. When depicted, usually doubles as ContinuityPorn by showcasing mementos from obscure adventures.


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* TakingYouWithMe: ''' ''Always.'' '''


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* TheTeetotaler: Well, not quite, but almost. In his youth, depressed over the fate of Germany and his own failures, he would often get drunk to dull the pain. Since he sobered up, he never has anything stronger than an occasional glass of wine.
* ThisIsSomethingHesGotToDoHimself: Sometimes averted, sometimes played straight. As he's typically the leader of his operations, he often stays out of the fights, but when ItsPersonal (for example, often when facing Captain America) he'll make an exception.


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* TragicVillain: Usually averted, as he's written as too unsympathetic. ''Possibly'' qualifies in some comics, for example ''Captain America'' #14. There's never any question of him being anything but a Nazi, but his background is truly tragic. After a lifetime of [[FriendlessBackground loneliness and failure]] he met his one friend (Hitler), who helped him pull together and make something of his life. Then he came to believe in a cause, helped rebuild his country and became successful and respected. And then he lost everything again, and all he cared about was destroyed. Now his motivations are a mixture of trying to regain what he lost and taking revenge on the enemies who destroyed it.


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* UnderdogsNeverLose: Averted, and/or subverted. Like the real-life Nazis in World War II, Red Skull has only a fraction of the resources his enemies can bring to bear, which means he has to be a lot smarter and more audacious to keep up. Even so, with rare exceptions he still [[TheGoodGuysAlwaysWin usually loses]] in the end.


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* VillainRespect: Most versions can respect and even admire the competence and determination of the more worthy among the heroes he fights, though disagreeing with their ideals. Especially [[WorthyOpponent Captain America.]]
* VillainWorld: Some alternate universes show worlds where his schemes succeeded and he took over, one way or another. Usually they look [[PuttingOnTheReich a lot like Nazi Germany.]]


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* VillainousFriendship: With Hitler.
* VisionaryVillain: Wishes to remake the world, and when given leeway by sufficiently fantastic technology, the universe. On the more down-to-earth level, he seeks to establish a Nazi world state, [[RepressiveButEfficient high-tech and orderly]], with a place for everyone and everyone in his place (which, however, for some people means [[FinalSolution six feet under]]). When dreaming bigger, he aims for massive space colonization and outright [[CrystalSpiresAndTogas techno-utopia]].
* WeCanRebuildHim: Usually by courtesy of Arnim Zola, and before him, AIM. One version even had his mind transplanted into a clone of Captain America.


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* WellDoneSonGuy: The one person whose approval he cares about (and indeed, eagerly seeks) is Hitler. Even decades after World War II, the highest praise he can give for anything goes along the lines, "The Fuehrer himself would have been proud!"


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* WillNotTellALie: Played with. Generally speaking, he will lie as part of a disguise, or sometimes to misdirect enemies while executing a plan, but not [[VillainsNeverLie face-to-face concerning important personal matters]].


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* YouAreBetterThanYouThinkYouAre: Either played straight or very darkly subverted, depending on your point of view. The young Johann Schmidt was a miserable loner who had failed at everything he tried and felt completely worthless, to the point of considering suicide. But then he met Hitler, who saw in him a "man of worth" and persuaded him that the new Germany he was building needed men like him. It was the great turning point of his life.
26th Apr '16 4:49:46 PM Bissek
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** Similarly, his uniform in the film contains a mixture of insignia reserved for commissioned officers and insignia reserved for non-commissioned officers. There's a good chance that simply didn't care that his uniform was incorrect.

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** Similarly, his uniform in the film contains a mixture of insignia reserved for commissioned officers and insignia reserved for non-commissioned officers. There's a good chance that he simply didn't care that his uniform was incorrect.
24th Apr '16 12:13:52 AM Drayco90
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!!Media
[[AC:ComicBooks]]
* ''ComicBook/CaptainAmerica''
* ''ComicBook/TheInvaders''
* ''ComicBook/CaptainAmericaCorps''
* ''ComicBook/CaptainAmericaWinterSoldier''
* ''ComicBook/UncannyAvengers''
** ''{{ComicBook/Axis}}''

[[AC:{{Anime}}]]
* ''Anime/MarvelDiskWarsTheAvengers'' (portrayed by Motomu Kiyokawa)

[[AC:{{Film}}]]
* ''Film/CaptainAmerica1990'' (portrayed by Scott Paulin)
* Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse (portrayed by Creator/HugoWeaving)
** ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheFirstAvenger''
** ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheWinterSoldier'' (Posthumous Photographs/Video only)

[[AC:WesternAnimation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheMarvelSuperHeroes'' (portrayed by Paul Kligman)
* ''WesternAnimation/SpiderManAndHisAmazingFriends'' (portrayed by Creator/PeterCullen)
* ''WesternAnimation/XMen'' (portrayed by Cedric Smith)
* ''WesternAnimation/SpiderManTheAnimatedSeries'' (portrayed by Creator/DavidWarner)
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSuperheroSquadShow'' (portrayed by Creator/MarkHamill)
* ''WesternAnimation/TheAvengersEarthsMightiestHeroes'' (portrayed by Creator/SteveBlum)
* ''WesternAnimation/AvengersAssemble'' (portrayed by Creator/LiamOBrien)
* ''WesternAnimation/HulkAndTheAgentsOfSMASH'' (portrayed by Creator/LiamOBrien)
* ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerbMissionMarvel'' (portrayed by Creator/LiamOBrien)

[[AC:VideoGames]]
* ''VideoGame/CaptainAmericaAndTheAvengers''
* ''VideoGame/CaptainAmericaSuperSoldier'' (portrayed by Keith Ferguson)
* ''VideoGame/MarvelAvengersAlliance''
* ''VideoGame/MarvelHeroes'' (portrayed by Creator/LiamOBrien)
* ''VideoGame/LEGOMarvelSuperHeroes'' (portrayed by Creator/SteveBlum)
* ''VideoGame/MarvelFutureFight''



!!Examples:

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!!Examples:
!!Exhibits examples of:
14th Apr '16 10:59:31 AM IdumeanPatriot
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* AsLongAsThereIsOneMan: A villainous example. Paraphrasing his dialogue, as long as he and others like him keep fighting, the flame of Nazism will shine in the darkness of democracy, and not be extinguished, no matter how many of them the US forces kill.



* BadPresent: Similarly to Captain America, Red Skull is a FishOutOfTemporalWater who grew up roughly a hundred years ago. The present seems like a pure nightmare to him, and absolute proof that the Nazis were right: This is what they fought to save the world from.
** Subverted in ''Uncanny Avengers'', where he thinks the present is ''a lot like'' his own formative period in Weimar Germany. Given [[CrapsackWorld what this period was like]], however, this is hardly a compliment.



* BadassLongcoat: Occasionally when shown in real (or [[CustomUniform semi-real]]) German uniforms. Also, in civvies, the clone Skull in ''Uncanny Avengers'' seems to like these.



* BeingEvilSucks: Being a ''Nazi'' in the 21st century sucks, when you care enough about the ideology to be [[DeliberateValuesDissonance horrified]] by all the third-world immigration, affirmative action, homosexuality, etc. If he wanted to, he could just be a rich crime lord and live happily off the money his syndicates make; as it is, ironically it's his very devotion to Nazism that keeps him unhappy.
** Doubly emphasized when he's dumped in an AlternateUniverse where things are a lot like in the main comic, but he's a poor German nobody without connections and Captain America is the US President. He tries to convert his fellow Germans to Nazism, spending all his spare time holding [[SoapboxSquare impassioned speeches]] at a street corner. [[AloneInACrowd No one cares.]]
* BerserkButton: Insulting Hitler. In one comic, Captain America called Hitler a coward and boasted of how the Allies had destroyed Germany and the Nazi ideals forever, which produced a near meltdown on the Skull's part:
-->'''Red Skull''': No! ''No!'' Those are ''lies,'' do you hear?? '' '''[[VillainousBreakdown All lies!!]]''' ''



* BreakoutVillain: The original [[TheGoldenAgeOfComicBooks Golden Age]] Red Skull was intended as a single-issue villain, a native-born American Nazi spy who died in the first story he appeared in. However, the character was popular enough to return, and in the [[TheSilverAgeOfComicBooks Silver Age]] revamp of the ''Captain America'' title, he got his more familiar backstory (as recounted above) and his status as Cap's ArchNemesis. The first Skull was then [[ActuallyADoombot retconned as an agent]] of the real one.



* CapitalismIsBad: Because it engenders [[ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney corruption,]] [[{{Greed}} greed]], [[BreadAndCircuses materialism,]] [[HumansAreMorons stupidity]] and "evil" generally. Also, it's wasteful; imagine how much good the government could do with the money people waste on [[ConspicuousConsumption the latest iPhone]]. As Red Skull would remind you, Nazism is short for National ''Socialism'', which prefers the common good over private greed. ([[ShownTheirWork A real Nazi slogan!]])
** This is those versions of Skull which ''are'' real Nazis; the writers who make him a [[ForTheEvulz pure nihilist]] sometimes shunt him straight into the CorruptCorporateExecutive role.



** The Red Skull has returned in ComicBook/UncannyAvengers thanks to Arnim Zola having cloned him.

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** The Red Skull has returned in '' ComicBook/UncannyAvengers '' thanks to Arnim Zola having cloned him. him.
* ColonelBadass: His official rank is never stated, but when he wears a semi-real German uniform, it's often that of a Standartenfuehrer (SS colonel).



* CommieNazis: The 1950s depiction of the Skull joined the Soviets after World War II to continue the fight against American capitalism. This was later [[RetCon rewritten]] as a psywar ploy by the KGB, using an impostor.



* CulturedBadass: At least some versions, familiar with art, literature, music and philosophy. Made more impressive by the fact that he grew up poor and uncultured and did not even finish school. It's implied he learned a lot of this from Hitler, who was also an autodidact and famously thought of himself as a philosopher and artist.



* EatTheRich: He ''hates'' the wealthy elites who run the world, both for ideological reasons (the Nazis despised plutocracy and "decadent" upper classes) and because he used to be poor and starving himself.



* EvilVirtues: Varies with the writing, but generally speaking, the Skull is portrayed as an {{Expy}} of Hitler, albeit usually an [[HistoricalVillainUpgrade exaggerated]] one. He accordingly shares most of his "good" traits, such as [[XanatosSpeedChess resourcefulness]], [[KnightTemplar utter conviction]], [[VillainousValor physical bravery]] and [[{{Determinator}} iron willpower]].



* TheFatalist: Like Hitler, he believes in hard predestination, i.e., everything has already been decided before time. Also like Hitler, however, he [[{{Determinator}} keeps fighting]] to the bitter end, regardless of what fate appears to have decreed.
* FightingForAHomeland: He and his remaining Nazi expatriates, who no longer have one. A few times they have even tried to liberate [[{{Ruritania}} Latveria]] from the rule of Doctor Doom to make it a homeland for dispossessed fascists.
* FishOutOfTemporalWater: Nazi born in the early 1900s, now in the 21st century. Depending on which version, after "dying" in World War II, he was in suspended animations into the 1960s, the 1980s or just recently, giving him varying degrees of drastic change to cope with. In general, he likes the scientific progress, but hates the social changes; effectively, from his point of view the future suffers badly from the LowCultureHighTech syndrome.
* FlingALightIntoTheFuture: A villainous example. At the end of World War II, when it was becoming apparent that Germany would lose, the Skull sequestered equipment and funds and helped a number of devoted young Nazi officers escape the downfall, so they could keep the Nazi cause alive and fight another day.



* FriendlessBackground: He never had a friend before he met Hitler.



* GermanicEfficiency: Though like some versions of the stereotype, sometimes hampered by ComplexityAddiction.



** The ''Marvel Handbook'' writes that his initial training period lasted "months" rather than weeks, and even when it was done he wasn't immediately given huge power. He met Hitler in 1933 (or 1934, depending on the story), so by the time he faces Captain America in 1941, he's had some years of on-the-job training and promotions. It's still an unusually rapid rise through the ranks, but not quite as meteoric as the 1980s story suggested.



* HeroicAmbidexterity: What to do when a raging mutant cuts off your gun hand and leaves it to his FlyingBrick friend to pulp you? Whip out a [[HandCannon fantastic Luger]] in your ''other'' hand and take them down at point blanc!



* HopelessWar: The Skull's struggle against liberalism. He believes he's still fighting for the Nazi ideals and keeping Hitler's dream alive, but the world only gets more liberal with each passing year. It seems nothing he does ultimately matters. Sometimes it causes him to [[VillainousBreakdown despair]].



* IControlMyMinionsThrough: Most of his people, at least the ones working directly for him, are hardcore fascists who follow him out of genuine loyalty, often quite fanatical such. While often portrayed as a BadBoss, he can also display admirable loyalty and even kindness toward loyal subordinates.
** "Kindness" is a bit much, but there's certainly some mutual affection and respect between the Skull and at least some of his henchmen.



* JerkJock: An [[AxCrazy extreme]] example when he went insane after his mind was moved into a clone of Captain America. See below.



* LastOfHisKind: One of the very few original Nazi leaders who still survive, and possibly the only one who still keeps the flame of the ideology burning. In one comic, he reminisces about the old days when he and the Fuehrer dreamed together of remaking the future. Then, back to the present:
-->'''Red Skull''': But now, he is dead! Only the Red Skull still remains to fulfill the Nazi dream!



* LowerClassLout: Was this once, has since worked ''very hard'' not to stay this way.
* MadeOfIron: Due to supreme willpower. He suffers damage like an ordinary BadassNormal, but can cope exceedingly well with even highly debilitating pain. Once, when he had his hand cut off, he was able to continue directing a battle within seconds, even as he had the wound bandaged.



* MenAreBetterThanWomen: For a European man born in the years before World War I, this is hardly avoidable. His general views on women are [[StayInTheKitchen old-fashioned]] at best, and some depictions make him a rampant misogynist. But he's also been shown to respect and admire capable and competent women like [[ComicBook/Agent13 Sharon Carter]].
* MightMakesRight: An interesting treatment, arguably a subversion for a villain. The Skull believes this is how the world works, but he doesn't think it's ''right'' in the moral sense that it has to.
* MilitarySuperhero: A villainous example, as befits Captain America's evil counterpart.



* NoSwastikas: Usually averted in the comics, but the movie played it straight; instead of a Nazi, their Skull was made an operative of [[NebulousEvilOrganization HYDRA]].
* NotSoWellIntentionedExtremist: Of the second type. ''Believes'' himself to be a real WellIntentionedExtremist ... But the [[UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans great purpose]] he's fighting for is National Socialism, also known as ''Nazism.''



* ThePhilosopher: Often alludes to various philosophers the real-life Nazis liked, like Spengler and Nietzsche. Surprisingly, and amusingly, the [[PokeThePoodle Disney-villainous]] Silver Age version often does it ''better'' than many [[WordSaladPhilosophy more pretentious]] modern writers manage.



* RacialRemnant: The Exiles, a Skull-led enterprise of unrepentant survivors of the Waffen-SS who secretly moved to an uncharted island to raise families and uphold a Nazi society in miniature.



* TheRemnant: Leads the hard core of fascist diehards who, in the Marvel universe, refused to surrender when Germany was destroyed. To them, the war never ended.



* RightWingMilitiaFanatic: The Skull isn't one himself, but sometimes sponsor them because they share many of the same goals and ideals. For example, he bankrolled the Watchdogs, a Christian conservative militia who [[FamilyValuesVillain attacked pornography and immorality]].



* SkullForAHead: Used to be a mask, now is a deformity.
* TheSocialDarwinist: He has abandoned Nazism (it was "out of date"), but he still believes in a world where the strong rule and bully the weak.

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* ScaryDogmaticAliens: In ''Spider-Man: The Animated Series'', the Skull was sent by [[AGodAmI Beyonder]] to a planet of [[RubberForeheadAlien humanoid aliens]]. In a couple of years, he somehow [[GloriousLeader made himself dictator]] of one of its powerful nations and turned it into a [[PuttingOnTheReich carbon copy]] of Nazi Germany, making its citizens this.
* ShadesOfConflict: The Skull has obviously never been portrayed as a good guy, but just how repulsively evil he is varies a lot between [[DependingOnTheWriter different depictions]]. At his "nicest" he's basically just a Nazi general who believes in his cause and is prepared to do whatever it takes to win the war. This version is [[KnightTemplar fanatical and totally ruthless]], but not personally sadistic or murderous. On the other hand, some versions are ''nothing but'' sadistic and murderous and believe in no principles or ideals, Nazi or otherwise.
** Similarly, his enemies can be portrayed as [[KnightInShiningArmor all-American, "apple pie" crusaders]] or more cynical government agents. Or the writer can have him fight [[EvilVersusEvil the Commies or the evil mutants]] for a change.
* ShellShockedVeteran: It doesn't come across in the most exaggeratedly crazy versions, but many of the Skull's depictions display a lot of the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder: vivid memories and nightmares of traumatic episodes, avoidance symptoms, sudden outbursts of irrational anger... Probably caused ''both'' by his [[DarkAndTroubledPast horrible childhood]] and what he's been through since as a soldier.
* SinkTheLifeboats: Surprisingly, averted; when his wolfpack sink an Allied convoy, he orders the commodore to rescue the survivors. Possibly justified, since they might provide valuable intelligence.
* SkullForAHead: Used to be a mask, now is a deformity.
deformity.
* SlidingScaleOfFreeWillVsFate: The Skull believes in fate, and, like Machiavelli, that one should try to work with it rather than against it. But if fate is ''wrong'' (as he sees it), he'll fight it [[ScrewDestiny every step of the way]] -- Even if he ''knows'' it's hopeless.
* SlobsVersusSnobs: Despite of (or maybe ''because'' of) his own poor background, Red Skull ''hates'' lower-class slobs almost as much as he does the [[UpperClassTwit wealthy elite]]. May be psychologically justified, in that he has worked ''[[HadToBeSharp very]] [[TrainingFromHell hard]]'' to better himself in spite of his humble origins, and is disgusted with people who won't even try.
* TheSocialDarwinist: He has abandoned Nazism (it was "out of date"), but he still believes Either in a world boorish, brute-force terms or with relatively sophisticated philosophical justifications, depending on the story. Also averted or subverted in some versions, where the strong rule and bully the weak.he champions a more collectivist racialist ideology. Notably, in one comic he even called Social Darwinism "hogwash" in so many words.


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* SurvivorGuilt: The original Skull [[DeathIsCheap "died"]] in Berlin in 1945, shortly before Hitler's death. Thanks to [[AppliedPhlebotinum technobabble]], it turned out he was merely left in suspended animation for two decades. In at least one comic, he curses fate which left him alive and let the Fuehrer die.


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* TakingUpTheMantle: He considers himself the executor of Hitler's legacy, who will fulfil the dead Fuehrer's dream.


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* TomTheDarkLord: The Red Skull's real name is Johann Schmidt, the German cognate of [[MrSmith John Smith]].
** In German it makes him sound like a bit of a country bumpkin -- Which is [[BilingualBonus precisely what his family were!]]


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* UndyingLoyalty: To Hitler and Nazism, at least most versions. He has devoted his entire life to avenging Hitler's death and making his dream of a reborn Nazism come true.


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* WeCanRuleTogether: Not often, but on occasion. In one fairly recent story, Red Skull tried to persuade Captain America that they are really fighting for the same goals: to rid their countries of present-day corruption and decadence and restore their former glory. Specifically, he played on the fact that they both grew up before World War II, and so share a common viewpoint in seeing [[PoliticalCorrectnessGoneMad a lot things]] in America having [[ValuesDissonance changed for the worse]] since the 1940s. While Cap might think Nazism is bad, isn't it still better than the [[CapitalismIsBad bankster capitalism]] and [[SoapBoxSadie lunatic identity politics]] of the 2010s? ''[[FaceHeelTurn It almost works]]'' -- Though a lot of that is due to Skull cheating and using MoreThanMindControl.


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* WesternTerrorists: Of course, the Skull and his men [[YourTerroristsAreOurFreedomFighters don't view themselves]] as this.


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* WorkingClassHero: An extreme ''villainous'' example.


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* WrittenByTheWinners: Naturally thinks this is true of all "Western" history. Also, a [[DramaticIrony hilarious meta-example]], since ''Red Skull himself'' is written by writers who despise everything he stands for, and [[HateSink write him accordingly]].
3rd Apr '16 4:38:01 PM IdumeanPatriot
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* DarkAndTroubledPast: The young Johann Schmidt grew up as a homeless orphan in [[CrapSackWorld Weimar Germany]], and survived off odd jobs, begging and petty crime. Apart from insecurity, he also suffered horrible abuse from criminals and Communists; even the original SilverAge origin story showed him being savagely beaten by a street gang as a small boy, and later versions have only gotten progressively [[DarkerAndEdgier more]] violent and disturbing.

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* DarkAndTroubledPast: The young Johann Schmidt grew up as a homeless orphan in [[CrapSackWorld Weimar Germany]], and survived off odd jobs, begging and petty crime. Apart from insecurity, he also suffered horrible abuse from criminals and Communists; even the original SilverAge [[TheSilverAgeOfComicBooks Silver Age]] origin story showed him being savagely beaten by a street gang as a small boy, and later versions have only gotten progressively [[DarkerAndEdgier more]] violent and disturbing.
3rd Apr '16 4:20:35 PM IdumeanPatriot
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* Determinator: Heroic willpower alone has saved his life on many occasions. And despite a near century of failure and the combined hostility of most of the rest of the world, he keeps fighting for the Nazi dream.

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* Determinator: {{Determinator}}: Heroic willpower alone has saved his life on many occasions. And despite a near century of failure and the combined hostility of most of the rest of the world, he keeps fighting for the Nazi dream.
3rd Apr '16 4:12:21 PM IdumeanPatriot
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* AlikeAndAntitheticalAdversaries: To CaptainAmerica, obviously. Cap is the symbol of America and leads a team of Allied/NATO heroes, while the Skull is the symbol of Nazi Germany and leads a multinational team of fascist villains.



* ArtDeco: His custom-built bases tend to go with the "Nazi chic" style, i.e., this mixed with some Classicism.



* AvengingTheVillain: One of the Skull's major motivations is to succeed where Hitler failed and avenge his fallen mentor. He wants to take revenge on the Allies who killed Hitler and Nazi Germany, but even more to rebuild it, to show that his Fuehrer was right and that his ideals triumphed in the end.



* BadassBookworm: Like the real Hitler, obsessively studies everything from military history to engineering, in order to make up for his lack of formal education.



* BreakingLecture: Delivers a number of them to his enemies (especially Captain America) over the years, of varying quality. Usually about how rotten and corrupt the American democratic system is. One that seems somewhat influenced by the "Occupy" movement was offered in the early ''Uncanny Avengers'' run:
-->'''Skull''':You imagine that if you fight hard enough, one day you will wrest control from the ''bankers'' who ''own'' you and return this nation to its ''former glory.''
-->But in reality ''this'' is, and will remain, your America. An uneducated population fixated on competition, material wealth and voyeurism. Violent ''monsters'' doused in antibiotics to offset their diet of sugary sweet drink and mounds of carcinogenic cow flesh! '''This is what you fight for!'''



* CaptainPatriotic: For the Nazis, as befits the evil counterpart of Captain America.



* ComplexityAddiction: Like most Silver Age supervillains, the Skull suffered heavily from this.



* CunningLinguist: Despite never having any formal education beyond elementary school (at most), the Skull speaks at least three languages in addition to his native German: Russian, Hebrew and English. In English at least he can also fake dialects convincingly, from Harlem Ebonics to Old Stock Yankee.



* DarkAndTroubledPast: The young Johann Schmidt grew up as a homeless orphan in [[CrapSackWorld Weimar Germany]], and survived off odd jobs, begging and petty crime. Apart from insecurity, he also suffered horrible abuse from criminals and Communists; even the original SilverAge origin story showed him being savagely beaten by a street gang as a small boy, and later versions have only gotten progressively [[DarkerAndEdgier more]] violent and disturbing.



* DefiantToTheEnd: The first time he died, in the ruins of Berlin in 1945, his last words expressed his conviction that Nazis of future times would finish what he and Hitler started.
* DeliberateValuesDissonance: If the rest of the page doesn't tell, well... One recent example had him platonically admiring the captured [[CuteWitch Scarlet Witch's]] bravery and beauty before coolly dismissing her as [[FantasticRacism Not Even Human]].
* DemocracyIsBad: He believes that since the ApatheticCitizens only vote for whoever TV tells them to, anyway, it will inevitably be ruled by [[SleazyPolitician corrupt demagogues]] and the [[CorruptCorporateExecutive greedy plutocrats]] who bribe them.



* DespairEventHorizon: His entire childhood was one. More recently, when he was caught in the [[IronicHell metaphysical nightmare]] of living as a poor German man in modern, multicultural Berlin and seeing everything he and Hitler tried to prevent come true.
* Determinator: Heroic willpower alone has saved his life on many occasions. And despite a near century of failure and the combined hostility of most of the rest of the world, he keeps fighting for the Nazi dream.



* DisproportionateRetribution: When he noticed a black man seducing a (white) female SHIELD agent, the Skull took time off from his general villainy to kidnap them both and lecture them on the evils of miscegenation.



* EqualOpportunityEvil: Played with (and subject to considerable [[DependingOnTheWriter authorial flip-flopping]]). Though the Skull, being a Nazi, holds very politically incorrect views on the matter of race, he is also [[PragmaticVillainy pragmatic]] about working with people from other backgrounds. For example, in the Civil Rights riots of the 1970s he cooperated with Black militants to bring down the US government, though this was a somewhat extreme case. More commonly, his top officers and agents are shown to include women, Chinese and other non-whites among their ranks, and he seems to hold no bias against them, so long as they agree with his fascist politics.
** Which is either a case of ShownTheirWork or (more probably) AccidentallyAccurate on part of the writers, since while the real-life Nazis are (rightly) known for extreme racism today, they had no trouble working with [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amin_al-Husseini Arabs]], [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_Legion Indians]], Japanese and other non-whites, because they disliked liberalism ''more'' than other races and viewed right-wing non-Europeans as allies against their [[DirtyCommies common]] [[EagleLand enemies]]. [[RealityIsUnrealistic In fact, there were even whole divisions of non-white SS troops during the war.]]



* EvilGenius: In so many words in the ''Marvel Handbook.'' The same goes on to call his brilliance comparable only to that of Napoleon. And that's merely his political and military acumen, before going into more [[SuperScience comic-bookly]] territory...



* FamilyValuesVillain: Stretching the definition, perhaps, but his views on sexual deviants might qualify him. As a conservative German who grew up in the early 20th century, it's probably unsurprising that he should be hostile to homosexuality and miscegenation. More radically, he also contemptuously dismisses [[PluckyGirl Rogue]] as a "whore" because of her unmarried relationship with Magneto.



* FromBadToWorse: As of Uncanny Avengers, the Red Skull now has Psychic powers at the same level as [[ComicBook/XMen Xavier]].



** Meanwhile, later writers apparently thought this made him too sympathetic, and wrote different versions where he was ''born'' AxeCrazy and a lunatic SerialKiller long before he met Hitler.
* FromNobodyToNightmare: He was just a bitter, angry street kid who had somehow managed to get a job as a bellhop at a posh hotel. Then Hitler noticed him, and took him under his wing.

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** Meanwhile, some later writers apparently thought this made him too sympathetic, and wrote different versions where he was ''born'' AxeCrazy and a lunatic SerialKiller long before he met Hitler.
* FromBadToWorse: As of Uncanny Avengers, the Red Skull now has Psychic powers at the same level as [[ComicBook/XMen Xavier]].
* FromNobodyToNightmare: He was just a bitter, angry street kid who had somehow managed to get a job as a bellhop at a posh hotel. Then Hitler noticed him, From poor orphan and took him under his wing.school-leaver to second in command of Nazi Europe.



* GuiltFreeExterminationWar: Against the [[FantasticRacism Marvelverse mutants]].



* HeWhoFightsMonsters: This is how the Skull views himself, and all of Nazism: They may have done some [[DirtyBusiness Bad Things]], but only because they tried to stop the much more villainous [[CorruptCorporateExecutive international bankers]] and [[DirtyCommies global Communists]] who are destroying the world, and got desperate enough to copy some of their methods. Incidentally, this is also pretty much what the real-life Nazis said to justify themselves.
* HeroicResolve: Or, well, villainous, but he certainly has willpower. Has experienced situations (buried under tons of rubble, trapped underwater, captured and tortured for long periods...) which would leave any normal person a ruined wreck, and not only survived, but kept going. He simply refuses to die until his work is finished.



* HumansAreBastards: After living out his childhood in the streets of chaotic interwar Germany, the Skull was already convinced of this. WorldWarII with its massive war crimes and atrocities on all sides really hammered home the point.



* ManOfWealthAndTaste: In some appearances, though usually when he seeks to influence others who might be impressed by such displays. Privately, he's still [[WickedCultured intellectual]], but rather more frugal and unaffected.



* MisanthropeSupreme: On a bad day.



* MugglePower: Like many X-Men villains, the Skull considers the superhuman mutants of the Marvel world an existential threat to humanity's survival. Naturally, his solution is to [[GuiltFreeExterminationWar strike back first...]]
* MultinationalTeam: The Skull used to lead one of elite agents from different (mostly Axis) countries who had banded together to fight for fascism against capitalism and Communism. (After World War II, they remained fascist bitter-enders and became known as the Exiles.) Known members include:
** [[NaziNobleman Marshal Gruning]], German.
** [[YellowPeril General Ching]], Chinese.
** [[OliveGarden Signore Baldini]], Italian.
** [[EvilCripple Prince Cadavus]], unknown nationality.
** [[HighClassGlass "Ironhand" Hauptmann]], Bavarian.
** [[RenegadeRussian Colonel Krushki]], ex-Czarist Russian.



* PoliticallyIncorrectVillain: Aside from the fact that he's a (former) friggin' ''Nazi'', he's also pretty sexist, to the point of nearly killing his own daughter because she wasn't a ''boy'', though he's expressed a certain level of respect for certain supervillainesses like Madame Hydra, and Syn when she grew up. Doesn't make up for his treatment of Mother Night, though, which was outright and frequent physical abuse, and he loved every minute of it too.

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* OrderVersusChaos: Ultimately, order. The Skull ''creates'' chaos in order to bring down what he sees as [[EagleLand corrupt, plutocratic America]], but this chaos is only a means towards the end of a [[UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans new, better and more orderly society]]. Subordinates who cannot grasp this (such as [[ForTheEvulz Viper]]) are shown to the door in short order.
* PatrioticFervor: Willing to die for Fascist Europe, and leads a MultinationalTeam of fascists and Nazis fighting for their countries against the Allies.
* PayEvilUntoEvil: And make sure it's paid with interest, too.
* PoliticallyIncorrectVillain: Aside from the fact that he's a (former) friggin' ''Nazi'', he's also pretty sexist, to the point of nearly killing his own daughter because she wasn't a ''boy'', though he's he has expressed a certain level of respect for certain supervillainesses like Madame Hydra, and Syn when she grew up. Doesn't make up for his treatment of Mother Night, though, which was outright and frequent physical abuse, and he loved every minute of it too.


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* ThePowerOfFriendship: Arguably, darkly subverted. When the Cosmic Cube caught the Skull in a nightmarish [[LotusEaterMachine mind prison]], it was his devotion to Hitler that finally brought him back to real life.


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* RenaissanceMan: Historian, musician, martial artist, strategist, occultist, engineer, art-lover, master rhetorician...
* RepressiveButEfficient: His idea of utopia, [[DependingOnTheWriter at least on a good day]]. A high-tech, ultra-totalitarian civilization patterned on Nazi Germany, free of [[PoliticallyIncorrectVillain deviants and inferior races]]. Interestingly, one early comic suggested that he wanted to unify the world in order to end wars and use humanity's pooled resources to colonize space, thereby securing infinite ''Lebensraum'' for the race.
* RoaringRampageOfRevenge: When he got ahold (again!) of the Cosmic Cube back in the 1990s. This time, his first priority was revenge against America. In the nightmarish BadFuture which showed how it worked out, he made the US suffer everything the Allies did to Germany in World War II and starved the people, destroyed the cities, dynamited the monuments, put the military-age men in prison camps and had the superheroes executed like the Nazi leaders in the Nuremberg Trials.
* RobotMaster: While it isn't really his hat, the Skull has been shown occasionally to tinker with robots. For example, he once built an [[EvilKnockoff android replica]] of Bucky, and is said to have had a hand in the design of the original [[DoomsdayDevice Sleepers]].
* RomanticismVersusEnlightenment: Like the real-life Nazis, an odd mixture. Like the Nazis, he values order, appreciates modern technology and tends toward utilitarianism, but his ideals are largely nostalgic and "heroic" (in the Carlyle/Nietzsche sense, not as in "heroic" as opposed to "villainous").


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* StraightEdgeEvil: The Skull lives a very temperate and austere private life, avoiding alcohol, frivolous sex and other similar vices. (Occasional smoking seems to be the one exception.) He also submits to a grueling regimen of studies and physical training to preserve and improve body and mind. Justified by his Social Darwinist philosophy that personal worth depends on ability: He ''must'' "be all he can be" or become unworthy of his station.


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* TautologicalTemplar: The Skull is at least [[DependingOnTheWriter usually]] a Nazi true believer, who thinks democracy is evil and [[ConspiracyTheorist a front for Jewish Power]], and Nazism the [[WindmillCrusader last best hope of humanity]]. In his own moral universe, he is fighting to save the world, and his hatred of Captain America and his other enemies comes in large part from his belief that ''[[ObliviouslyEvil he's trying to save them, too]]'' from the Capitalist-Bolshevik-Multicultural conspiracy. They ought to join him, but instead everyone hates him, even though he's only trying to do what's right. [[MartyrWithoutACause In some comics, he even views himself as a kind of martyr because of this.]]


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* TotalitarianUtilitarian: The "nicest" interpretation of the Skull. One of his stated motivations for his villainy is a wish to [[OneWorldOrder unify the world]], [[RepressiveButEfficient end wars, waste and inefficiency]] and instead use the freed-up resources to [[TheFinalFrontier colonize space]].


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* VillainProtagonist: In the old (and obscure) ''Super-Villain Team-Up'' comic, there were a few Skull-centric stories. Also in occasional one-shots and stray issues of ''Captain America.''


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* VillainousCrush: Only hinted at, but for a while he seemed to develop an attraction to Sharon Carter, Captain America's on-and-off girlfriend. It was a rather subtle thing, and more intellectual than physical, in that he admired her abilities and determination, as well as her belief in her ideals (however contrary to his own).
* WeakButSkilled: Not weak by human standards, but when compared to superheroes like Captain America. Thanks to TrainingFromHell and martial arts mastery, he can still credibly fight low-tier super types hand to hand (though he usually still loses to Cap when the odds are even).


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* WhatMeasureIsANonHuman: As a Nazi inhabiting a comics/scifi universe, he puts his own species first. Aliens, mutants and other such creatures are NotEvenHuman to him.
3rd Apr '16 3:06:57 PM IdumeanPatriot
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** A recent RetCon has the Skull as an SA rank-and-file before he met Hitler. So he might qualify for the Chevron. And while it certainly wasn't his standard practice, Hitler sometimes did hand out the Golden Badge to late-enlisting but exceptionally worthy followers. So that could be a case of RealityIsUnrealistic.

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** A recent RetCon has While much of the Skull as an SA rank-and-file before he met Hitler. So he might qualify for the Chevron. And while it certainly wasn't his standard practice, above is spot on, Hitler sometimes did hand out the chevrons and Golden Badge to late-enlisting but exceptionally worthy followers. So In that could be a case of particular case, RealityIsUnrealistic.



* AxCrazy: Definitely. This guy is a complete psychopath that loves what he does.

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* AxCrazy: Definitely. This guy is a complete psychopath that loves what he does.[[DependingOnTheWriter Some versions]], definitely. Others are less hysteric, but no less [[NoSympathy ruthless]] for it.



* TheBully: Terrorizes and often kills his own subordinates ForTheEvulz, routinely; savagely beat and sadistically abused his girlfriend, one of his most devoted followers; big fan of RevengeByProxy; tends to laugh like a lunatic when causing the deaths of thousands of innocent people. The Skull is not only TheBully; he is ''proud'' of being TheBully and has made it his ''calling''.
* CardCarryingVillain: Joined the Nazis for the thrill of killing and refers to himself as the "Prince of Villainy".

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* TheBully: Terrorizes and often kills his own subordinates ForTheEvulz, routinely; savagely beat and sadistically abused his girlfriend, one of his most devoted followers; big fan of RevengeByProxy; tends to laugh like a lunatic when causing the deaths of thousands of innocent people. The Skull is not only TheBully; he is ''proud'' of being TheBully and has made it his ''calling''.
people.
* CardCarryingVillain: Joined In the most [[AnVilicious Anvilicious]] version of his backstory, he joined the Nazis for the thrill of killing and refers to himself as the "Prince of Villainy".



* EvilVersusEvil: Him vs ComicBook/{{Magneto}} in issue #367. Magneto wins.

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* EvilVersusEvil: Him vs ComicBook/{{Magneto}} The Skull has an ongoing on-and-off feud with DoctorDoom, and has bashed heads with {{Magneto}} more than once. (Most memorably in issue #367. Magneto wins.''Captain America'' #367.)



* FreudianExcuse: An early story had the Skull telling his origin to Cap, but Cap simply responded with a contemptuous QuitYourWhining since he is not in the mood for sob stories.
* FromNobodyToNightmare: He was just a bitter, angry, psychopathic street kid who had somehow managed to get a job as a bellhop at a posh hotel. Then Hitler noticed him, and took him under his wing.

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* FreudianExcuse: An early story had Like much else with the Skull telling his Skull, whether he has one varies, as DependingOnTheWriter.
** The original
origin story was essentially a somewhat exaggerated version of Adolf Hitler's real-life biography before World War I. It showed the young Johann Schmidt as a struggling orphan who worked menial jobs and sometimes committed crimes against property to Cap, survive; other authors (for example, Creator/MarkWaid) elaborated on this. In this version, Schmidt suffered abuse from the police and other criminals, but Cap simply responded with a contemptuous QuitYourWhining since he is was not in himself violent or insane; however, his experiences gave him a [[TheCynic very bleak]] view of the mood for sob stories.
world, and engendered [[RageAgainstTheLegalSystem massive resentment]] on his part against [[DemocracyIsBad the system]]. He joined the Nazis because he genuinely thought they'd make Germany and the world a better place, and not least because [[EvilMentor Hitler]] was the first person ever to believe in him and treat him as a man of worth.
** Meanwhile, later writers apparently thought this made him too sympathetic, and wrote different versions where he was ''born'' AxeCrazy and a lunatic SerialKiller long before he met Hitler.
* FromNobodyToNightmare: He was just a bitter, angry, psychopathic angry street kid who had somehow managed to get a job as a bellhop at a posh hotel. Then Hitler noticed him, and took him under his wing.



** The comics Skull also denied the Holocaust, and seemed to actually believe it when he said it was all just lies and frame-up.



* PsychopathicManchild: Type C with some Type B traits. His MoralEventHorizon was murdering a Jewish girl when he was just a boy to take out all the frustrations he felt in life, and his core motivation and personality hasn't really changed much, other than the fact that he discovered he ''enjoyed'' it. Very few of his goals are [[PragmaticVillainy pragmatic]] like those of an evil politician or a CorruptCorporateExecutive should be, profit for him is [[ForTheEvulz a means to doing more evil]], not an end. From a certain point of view, since the moment he met [[UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler the Führer]], ''the Skull never grew up''.

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* PsychopathicManchild: Type C with some Type B traits. His MoralEventHorizon was murdering a Jewish girl when he was just a boy to take out all the frustrations he felt in life, and his core motivation and personality hasn't really changed much, other than the fact that he discovered he ''enjoyed'' it. Very few of his goals are [[PragmaticVillainy pragmatic]] like those of an evil politician or a CorruptCorporateExecutive should be, profit for him is [[ForTheEvulz a means to doing more evil]], not an end. From a certain point of view, since the moment he met [[UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler the Führer]], ''the Skull never grew up''.



* SympathyForTheDevil: He claims that his violently abusive father genuinely loved his mother in the same way that Hitler genuinely loved the Jews, the way a victimiser needs victims, without whom there is only madness. He is dead serious and though he never directly links himself to either in the same way, it can be inferred. He relates to the bully more than the bullied, even when the bullying is on a genocidal scale.

to:

* SympathyForTheDevil: He claims that Averted; despite his violently abusive father genuinely loved tragic origin story, Captain America [[QuitYourWhining cuts him no slack]]. Presumably justified, given his mother in the same way that Hitler genuinely loved the Jews, the way a victimiser needs victims, without whom there is only madness. He is dead serious and though he never directly links himself to either in the same way, it can be inferred. He relates to the bully more than the bullied, even when the bullying is on a genocidal scale.villainy.



** There's also the point that the Skull who told this version of the story was also ancient and [[SanitySlippage rather obviously senile]]. When he first related his origins to ComicBook/CaptainAmerica some forty years earlier, the tale was very similar, but noticeably free of all the extravagant and shocking details.

to:

** There's also the point that the Skull who told this version of the story was also ancient and [[SanitySlippage rather obviously senile]]. When he first related his origins to ComicBook/CaptainAmerica some forty years earlier, the tale was very similar, similar in outline, but noticeably notably free of all the extravagant and shocking details.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Comicbook.RedSkull