‘Peacemaker’: The Anti-Hero as the Protagonist

The Suicide Squad is arguably the most anticipated blockbuster of the summer, and Peacemaker could be one of the most anticipated members of the cast. as he is the lead and an anti-hero. Because of this, and the character’s potential, HBO Max ordered a Peacemaker series with James Gunn at the helm. Comics fans likely already knew about the show, but we are here to discuss more recent details that Gunn has released concerning the show and what John Cena’s character represents.

Peacemaker is known as someone who strives for peace, no matter the cost. With a dorky costume and dorkier helmet, it’s odd to see that the character has such a serious personality. John Cena will portray the anti-hero both in The Suicide Squad and the following standalone spinoff TV series Peacemaker. Despite being known for his more comedic roles, Cena is sure to bring dynamism to the character in both works.

Who is Peacemaker… Really?

In a recent interview with Empire, James Gunn discussed more about the iconic character and his motivations. According to Gunn and Cena, Peacemaker is not a good guy, in any sense of the phrase. Cena attributed his character as a “loud, obnoxious, broey douchebag”. Gunn describes Peacemaker as “a piece of $#!+”, but adds that

Peacemaker has a clear set of ideals that I find really interesting. You know: “I want peace no matter how many men, women and children I need to kill to get it.” Sounds like nonsense, but it also makes a lot of sense, and you see in John’s performance how he does not feel good about it – something I thought was the seed of an entire eight-episode show.

Gunn also explained that Peacemaker exists in a world that heroes live in, something that the character wrestles with:

He lives in the world of Superman, Batman, and Aquaman, and that is not an easy thing for him to contend with.

Gunn has been working closely with Cena on Peacemaker as the show’s executive producer, scriptwriter, and director. That being said, Gunn has also been able to describe the storytelling elements of what will make up the show. While Peacemaker will examine the anti-hero’s place in a “big science-fiction story”, the show also deals with some critical real-world issues.

(Peacemaker) represents a part of the world populace that is problematic to say the least, and puts him in a situation where he has to face the choices he’s made throughout his life and the extremity of his views.

Patience for Peacemaker

It seems likely from these descriptions that the Justice League will at least be mentioned in the upcoming series. Hopefully audiences might even get to see the true heroes of the DCEU contribute to Peacemaker’s backstory. I also still have lots of questions however. Does the spinoff show take place before or after The Suicide Squad? Will Peacemaker survive being on Task Force X? Do Peacemaker’s ideals actually drive the anti-hero? No matter the answers and despite the character truly embodying the definition of an anti-hero, I’m excited to watch how Peacemaker becomes so twisted.

The Suicide Squad will debut in theaters and on HBO Max on August 6, 2021.

Peacemaker will be released on HBO Max in 2022.

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