As the very first spin-off for the DC Extended Universe, Peacemaker is certainly an oddity among the films. The new HBO Max show deviates from traditional DC superhero flourish and modern god mythology in place of what director James Gunn calls an "alt-right douchebag" of a superhero.
Peacemaker follows the titular anti-hero, also known as Christopher Smith (John Cena), on his bloody and violent quest for peace as he joins up with an unofficial task force that defends the world. The crew is made up of John Economos (Steve Agee), Leota Adebayo (Danielle Brooks), Emilia Harcourt (Jennifer Holland), and a fellow vigilante named, er... Vigilante (Freddie Stroma).
While Gunn encourages audiences to see how the show breaks down the anti-hero's persona as a peace-loving, bloodthirsty maniac, when does this show actually take place in the DCEU?
When does 'Peacemaker' take place?
The character of Peacemaker was first introduced in the 2021 film The Suicide Squad. As a soft reboot of the 2016 Suicide Squad film, the new movie introduces several new characters. Though Peacemaker was believed to have died in the film, a post-credits scene revealed that he survived and is recovering in a hospital. Not only that, but Amanda Waller's (Viola Davis) assistants plan to recruit him to "save the f--king world."
The Peacemaker show picks up right where the movie left off. The violent anti-hero has woken up from his coma and is ready to fight for peace by any means necessary. This puts the film squarely as the most recent event in the DCEU, right between The Suicide Squad and the Aquaman sequel.
But while the show takes place in modern times, we will get to see some past events. Namely, we'll get to see Peacemaker's origin story.
Is Peacemaker a prequel or a sequel?
While many of the new villains in The Suicide Squad received short origin stories, Peacemaker was noticeably quiet about his past throughout the course of the film. So, it's likely that the movie saved his origin story for the show.
Peacemaker takes place in the present, but the show will explore the anti-hero's origins at length. To that end, we're also projected to meet Peacemaker's father, Auggie Smith (Robert Patrick). The series is very much a sequel that frequently dips into the past.
Early reviews for Peacemaker have been largely positive ahead of its release. The show currently holds a 93 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, with many critics calling it some of the Guardians of the Galaxy director's finest work in the superhero genre.
James Gunn has proven to be an expert at depicting douchebags who mean well, and it'll be interesting to see how Peacemaker stacks up to his contemporaries.
The first three episodes will drop on HBO Max on Jan. 13, with weekly releases after that.