Photo via HBO

James Gunn celebrates weirdness of newly-canon ‘Peacemaker’ character

'Peacemaker' showrunner James Gunn is celebrating the absolute bat-shit craziness of one very obscure comic book character.

Peacemaker showrunner James Gunn is celebrating the absolute bat-shit craziness of one very obscure comic book character that was recently made officially canon within the DC shared cinematic universe.

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We’re talking about Matter-Eater Lad, who is referenced in Peacemaker episode four. The character is mentioned by John Cena’s Christopher Smith, AKA Peacemaker, who recounts to his boss, Chukwudi Iwuji’s Clemson Murn, the time he saw Matter-Eater Lad eat an entire Wendy’s Restaurant.

Gunn took to Twitter Friday to revel in the weirdness, sharing a picture of Matter-Eater Lad from the comics, showing off the character’s ability to eat “matter at super-speed.”

Created in 1962 by Jerry Siegel and John Forte, Matter-Eater Lad’s real name in the comics is Tenzil Kem, and he hails from the far future as part of the Legion of Super-Heroes. However, since he’s been known to pal around with Peacemaker, it seems the DC shared universe version of the character probably exists in the present day.

But you don’t have to tell James Gunn any of that information, as he explained in a follow-up tweet that creating Peacemaker didn’t require “studying the depths of DC,” as one fan suggested since he already knew the lore in his “bones.”

Peacemaker is a delightful series so far, with its intentional pranking of the DC universe still staying surprisingly true with the comics.

For instance, film producer and Mandy writer Aaron Stewart-Ahn remarked in a reply tweet how he was “shocked to discover the white supremacist character and Peacemaker’s PTSD are faithful to DC comics canon.” In the comics, Christopher Smith’s father was secretly a Nazi war criminal. In the show, Robert Patrick’s Auggie Smith — an antagonist — is portrayed as a small-town racist who formerly donned the white supremacist vigilante persona of the White Dragon. Basically, he’s a supervillain clansman.

“I assumed only you could come up with that, extraordinary to see you’re being faithful and ultra relevant & grounded all at once,” Stewart-Ahn wrote.

HBO Max’s Peacemaker show also previously canonized the bonkers Batman character from DC comic’s Silver Age, Bat-Mite, “a two-foot-tall interdimensional imp who stans Batman,” as Steve Agee’s John Economos explained.

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Danny Peterson
Danny Peterson covers entertainment news for WGTC and has previously enjoyed writing about housing, homelessness, the coronavirus pandemic, historic 2020 Oregon wildfires, and racial justice protests. Originally from Juneau, Alaska, Danny received his Bachelor's degree in English Literature from the University of Alaska Southeast and a Master's in Multimedia Journalism from the University of Oregon. He has written for The Portland Observer, worked as a digital enterprise reporter at KOIN 6 News, and is the co-producer of the award-winning documentary 'Escape from Eagle Creek.'