Warning: This article contains spoilers for the Peacemaker finale.
Peacemaker has turned out to be an even bigger success than HBO Max could ever have hoped for. Combining critical acclaim with audience engagement, The Suicide Squad spinoff is officially the biggest series on streaming right now. Still, while its blend of irreverent humor and unexpected heart has won over most folks, you can’t please everyone, especially in the ever-divisive DCEU. Case in point, some fans have a big bone to pick with the presentation of a certain iconic character during their cameo in the Peacemaker finale.
After John Cena’s anti-hero and his team have risked life and limb to defeat the alien butterflies, who were planning on subjugating the planet, the Justice League belatedly arrives on the scene. As Chris Smith carries the gravely injured Emilia Harcourt (Jennifer Holland), the four heroes — Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, and Aquaman — watch them go, with Jason Momoa’s Arthur Curry and Ezra Miller’s Barry Allen sharing some banter in the process.
While this moment broke the internet and a lot of fans were overjoyed at Momoa and Miller’s foul-mouthed appearance, it rubbed some people up the wrong way. As one viral tweet from a loyal Zack Snyder fan pointed out, some felt that Superman not intervening to help Harcourt in any way was totally out of character.
This is a fair point, as it is a little odd that the Man of Steel just hangs in the air for the duration of this scene. However, there’s a pretty valid reason for this — Henry Cavill obviously didn’t reprise his role for the episode so director James Gunn had to keep the hero out of frame in order to sell that this was the real Last Son of Krypton. It’s a very similar use of Kal-El to the final scene of Shazam!, another comedic cameo that didn’t feature Cavill.
So should Gunn have simply left the character out if he couldn’t do anything with him? Well, that depends on your point of view, but seeing Superman’s silhouette appear is certainly a big part of the immediate shock and thrill of the scene, so its impact may well have been lessened if he wasn’t there. Maybe we’ll get a Superman/Peacemaker meeting for real in season two.