John Cena returns as Christopher Smith AKA Peacemaker, but is the DCEU TV series, Peacemaker, a prequel or a sequel to Cena’s first DCEU movie?
John Cena is returning in Peacemaker as DC introduces its first TV series to the DCEU timeline as a follow-up to The Suicide Squad (2021). John Cena debuted in the DCEU as Peacemaker as part of Amanda Waller’s Task Force X mission to Corto Maltese. In the movie, Peacemaker is obnoxious and ultimately becomes an antagonist, but the Peacemaker TV series is set to give the character more depth.
In The Suicide Squad, Task Force X is tasked with destroying Project Starfish, but Waller trusts Peacemaker with a secret assignment to ensure that no files implicating the US government left the island. This led to Peacemaker killing Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman) in an effort to complete his mission, driven by his blind patriotism. Ultimately, Bloodsport (Idris Elba) shot Peacemaker in the neck, and he was left for dead.
As Peacemaker appeared to be killed in The Suicide Squad, there was a window of speculation that the Peacemaker TV series might a prequel to the movie. However, The Suicide Squad’s post-credits scene revealed that Peacemaker had somehow survived the shooting and was recovering in hospital. Peacemaker episode 1 reveals that Peacemaker has been recovering in the hospital for around 5 months and his wounds can be seen to have become nothing more than scars. This means that Peacemaker takes place about 5 months after the events of The Suicide Squad.
While the TV show makes it clear that Peacemaker takes place months after The Suicide Squad, there is still some ambiguity as to when either takes place within the large DCEU. The Suicide Squad is definitely set after both Suicide Squad (2016) and Birds of Prey based on the conversations with Harley Quinn and Captain Boomerang. However, the anti-hero-focused entries in the DCEU rarely include direct references to the events of the hero-focused movies, so calculating their timeline in relation to each other becomes difficult. The appearance of Ben Affleck’s Batman in the Suicide Squad (2016) post-credits scene secures it as being after Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, but Justice League, Aquaman, and Shazam! all happen independently between the two Suicide Squad movies.
As there are no more concrete clues within the movies or Peacemaker, it is safe to assume that both The Suicide Squad and Peacemaker take place within the DCEU timeline at the same time as their real-world release dates. The Suicide Squad was released on August 6, 2021, while Peacemaker debuts on January 13, 2022. The 5-month gap between the two release dates lines up with the timing given in Peacemaker implying that the DCEU timeline fits neatly onto the real-world calendar.
- The Batman (2022)Release date: Mar 04, 2022
- DC League of Super-Pets (2022)Release date: May 20, 2022
- Black Adam (2022)Release date: Jul 29, 2022
- The Flash (2022)Release date: Nov 04, 2022
- Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (2022)Release date: Dec 16, 2022
- Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2023)Release date: Jun 02, 2023
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