John Cena’s Peacemaker is the break-out star of James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad. For most of the movie he’s an amusingly psychotic character devoted to his mission of achieving peace, no matter how many men, women, and children he needs to kill to achieve it. This is generally played for (dark) laughs, though things take a more sinister turn when it’s revealed he’s a mole with a secret mission to cover up the USA’s war crimes.
He kills Rick Flag and is about to finish off Ratcatcher II, only for Peacemaker to prove he’s the better combatant with his “smaller bullets” and take him out. But you can’t keep a good bastard down for long.
The post-credits scene reveals that Peacemaker has been recovered from the battlefield with serious but though not fatal injuries. Task Force X staff Emilia Harcourt and John Economos visit him in hospital and say he’s got to recover fast, as his next assignment is “to save the fuckin’ world”.
That’ll take place in Peacemaker on HBO Max in early 2022. This eight-episode series will reveal the character’s origins, which were only briefly alluded to in The Suicide Squad. But if he has to save the day in his future, we must be getting a split narrative with flashbacks to the past.
It’ll be fun to see how closely they stick to Peacemaker’s comic-book backstory, where his brutal philosophy is informed by his father having been a Nazi death camp commandant. In a twist eerily reminiscent of Polka-Dot Man, the comics Peacemaker believes his father’s spirit haunts him and criticizes his decisions.
It’s also notable that Peacemaker was the inspiration for Alan Moore’s The Comedian in Watchmen, so I’m hoping they really lean into making him a despicable hero.
James Gunn is writing all eight episodes of the show and directing five of them, so I’m hopeful Peacemaker won’t pull any punches.
The Suicide Squad is available to stream on HBO Max now and Peacemaker is scheduled for January 2022.