10 Best Characters James Gunn Brought To The DCEU

10 Best Characters James Gunn Brought To The DCEU

During the brief stint in which James Gunn was fired from directing Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 for Marvel Studios, he was snapped up by their closest rival, DC Films. Now, in the time that Disney has been waiting for Gunn to come back and do the third Guardians film, the filmmaker has written and directed The Suicide Squad and created and showran its eight-episode streaming spin-off Peacemaker.

RELATED: Every Main Character In The Suicide Squad & Their Guardians Of The Galaxy Counterpart

Peacemaker was recently renewed for a second season and its finale suggested that Gunn has big plans for the DCEU. In a franchise seriously lacking in well-rounded characters, Gunn has introduced such fan-favorite gems as Bloodsport, Ratcatcher 2, Vigilante, and of course, Peacemaker.

10 Sebastian

Ratcatcher 2 in an orange prison uniform, Sebastian the rat is on her shoulder waving, in The Suicide Squad

Since introducing a baby version of Groot in the Guardians of the Galaxy sequel, adorable CG characters have been a recurring trope in Gunn’s work. Ratcatcher 2’s pet rat, Sebastian, is a prime example.

Even viewers who were particularly averse to rats before watching The Suicide Squad had their hearts melted by Sebastian. He’s a loyal companion to Ratcatcher 2 and he’s friendly to strangers (he can’t talk, but he can wave to show affection).

9 Leota Adebayo

Peacemaker Leota Adebayo Danielle Brooks

There were many compelling character dynamics in Peacemaker’s first season, but the heart of the show was the titular antihero’s friendship with Leota Adebayo, played by Danielle Brooks. Since she has a moral compass and values human life, Adebayo is Peacemaker’s exact opposite – but, surprisingly, they get along.

Adebayo turns out to be the daughter of Amanda Waller and, in the finale, she chooses her friendship with Peacemaker over her allegiance to her mother and leaks Task Force X to the public. After this twist, Adebayo could have a major role in the DCEU’s future.


8 Starro

Starro the Conquerer breaking out of Jotunhein in James Gunn's The Suicide Squad

Starro, also known by its full name Starro the Conqueror, has a significant place in the history of DC Comics. The giant kaiju-sized alien starfish was, surprisingly, the first villain to fight the original Justice League of America back in the Silver Age of Comic Books.

The character made its live-action debut in The Suicide Squad, in which Gunn raises the stakes for the finale by unleashing Starro on the war-torn island of Corto Maltese.

7 John Economos

Peacemaker John Economos Steve Agee

Alongside Jennifer Holland as Emilia Harcourt, Steve Agee reprises his Suicide Squad role as A.R.G.U.S. agent John Economos in a much larger capacity in the Peacemaker series. In the first few episodes, Economos is the butt of a running joke about his dyed beard.

But in the back end of season 1, he emerges as a more well-rounded (and badass) character. After earning Peacemaker’s respect by chainsawing a superpowered gorilla to death, Economos gives a heartfelt monologue in the finale – nailed by Agee in the delivery – in which he bears his soul to a Butterfly.

6 Eagly

Peacemaker and Eagly

In the Peacemaker series, Gunn introduced yet another cute CG animal character. In true patriotic style, Peacemaker has a pet bald eagle named Eagly.

RELATED: 7 James Gunn Trademarks In Peacemaker

Eagly is friendly and majestic – and even hugs Peacemaker with his wings a couple of times – but he can use his beak ruthlessly if he or Peacemaker are threatened (as seen during the police raid scene at the trailer park).

5 Polka-Dot Man

Polka-Dot Man sat in a cinema theatre, in his polka dot costume, in The Suicide Squad

One of a few Marvel actors who jumped ship to DC to appear in The Suicide Squad, David Dastmalchian, gives a surprisingly nuanced turn in the movie, considering his character’s name is Polka-Dot Man.

This is easily one of the most ridiculous characters in the DC Comics universe – his suit is covered in magical polka-dots – but Gunn used childhood trauma to turn him into one of the DCEU’s most tragic figures.

4 Vigilante

Peacemaker Vigilante Freddie Stroma James Gunn

As a sociopathic goofball, Vigilante is one of the most hilarious characters in Peacemaker – and Freddie Stroma knocked the role out of the park with unwavering enthusiasm. Vigilante is introduced as Peacemaker’s wannabe sidekick who looks up to him like an older brother.

This version of the character is closer to the wrench-wielding vigilante from Gunn’s subversive superhero satire Super than the more straightforward superhero in the comics.

3 Ratcatcher 2

Daniela Melchior in The Suicide Squad

Most of the antiheroes recruited for Project Starfish in The Suicide Squad are bad people because they were traumatized by their terrible parents. Ratcatcher 2 is the only wholly likable one, because her father actually loved her when she was growing up.

RELATED: 10 Unexpectedly Great Character Duos In The Suicide Squad

Her mantle is “Ratcatcher 2” because she took on her father’s superhero moniker to continue his rat-based crimefighting. Ratcatcher 2 is the heart of the movie, and Daniela Melchior gives a star-making turn in the role.

2 King Shark

The Suicide Squad King Shark BTS Image

Nanaue, better known as “King Shark,” is sort of the Groot of The Suicide Squad. His voice is provided by a growly-voiced action movie legend – Sylvester Stallone this time, not Vin Diesel – and he’s a big, cuddly, adorable CG creature who can only communicate with a couple of words.

Like many Guillermo del Toro protagonists, King Shark is a sympathetic monster who feels isolated in the world and just wants to fit in, despite being different.

1 Peacemaker

John Cena in Peacemaker

Of all the characters that Gunn has introduced to the DCEU, he’s invested the most in Peacemaker. After helming The Suicide Squad as a true ensemble piece, Gunn chose John Cena’s jingoistic peace-lover to adapt into a full-blown TV series.

Throughout Peacemaker’s first season, spending extra time in this character’s head allowed Cena to show off previously unseen dramatic abilities. And, with a second season on the way, he’s just getting started.

NEXT: 7 Ways The Peacemaker Finale Sets Up Season 2

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About The Author

Ben Sherlock
(3346 Articles Published)

Ben Sherlock is a writer, comedian, independent filmmaker, and Burt Reynolds enthusiast. He writes lists for Screen Rant and features and reviews for Game Rant. He’s currently in pre-production on his first feature (and has been for a while, because filmmaking is expensive). You can catch him performing standup at odd pubs around the UK that will give him stage time. Previously, he wrote for Taste of Cinema, Comic Book Resources, and BabbleTop.

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