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.
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
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.
SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
Bar Rescue: 13 Behind The Scenes Facts You Should Know About Jon Taffer’s Reality Show
About The Author
(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.
More From Ben Sherlock