One of the characters that DC introduced in the hit 2021 action-comedy film, The Suicide Squad, is John Cena’s Peacemaker. Now, one of the things that we learned about Peacemaker was that he did anything to make sure that peace was kept. And by anything, we mean anything, which includes allowing innocents to get killed and keeping a national secret hidden. That said, is Peacemaker a hero or a villain?
Peacemaker is technically a villain. However, he is not the conventional type of villain in the sense that his motives are evil or self-serving. In fact, his main motive is to keep the peace no matter the cost. And in trying to keep the peace, that is when he does acts that can be considered evil.
In a way, Peacemaker is the type of character who represents the gray areas in between good and evil. This means that he is neither a hero nor a villain in terms of what he does. However, because of his actions, it seems that he leans more towards villainy, regardless of what his motives may be. Hence, his actions are why he is considered a villain.
Is Peacemaker a Superhero?
When The Suicide Squad was released in 2021, one of the more interesting characters we saw on the screen for the first time was Peacemaker, played by none other than John Cena himself. While we do know that Peacemaker was in jail, we also know that doesn’t necessarily mean that someone is good or bad, especially if the reasons why a person is in jail are circumstantial.
Nevertheless, we see Peacemaker joining Amanda Waller’s Task Force X, or the Suicide Squad, as they would like to call it, in an infiltration mission against an armed island nation. He was one of the team’s best members, as he was capable of using any kind of weapon and was a master of both armed and unarmed combat. As the movie progresses, we see Peacemaker showing his loyalty towards the team’s main objectives despite the fact that Rick Flag, the team’s leader, wanted to expose the United States in trying to hide a national secret from the public.
Of course, the reason why Peacemaker was intent on sticking with the mission and in making sure that the US would not get exposed is that he believed that it was the best way to keep the peace. This forced him to take up arms against the rest of the Suicide Squad in an effort to stick with the mission objectives. He appears to die in the movie but is saved by Waller’s team.
It was announced that Peacemaker would have his own spin-off show on HBO. In this case, he is the main character of the series. So, does that make Peacemaker a hero? Or is he a villain?
Peacemaker is most definitely a villain. However, he is not the type of villain that you would categorize with other villains because his motives were never self-serving or evil. Instead, Peacemaker is the type of villain who would do what it takes to keep the peace. That means that his motives are good, but he does bad things in his effort to keep the peace.
James Gunn, the director of The Suicide Squad, once said in a Tweet that “most of us aren’t really that simple to only be one or the other” when asked whether or not Peacemaker is a hero or a villain. Gun also added that “Peacemaker is a guy who believes in peace at any cost, no matter how many people he needs to kill along the way.” John Cena himself said that Peacemaker is the douchebag version of Captain America.
That said, Peacemaker is a complex kind of character because he does not fit the usual standards of a hero or a villain. He is not like Batman, who is a vigilante but carries out his brand of justice with a moral compass. He also isn’t like the Joker, who does evil things just because he wants to.
But while we did say that Peacemaker is somewhere in between the gray areas of good and bad, what we can say is that he is a villain because he does things that are evil. He may have good intentions in mind, but the way he achieves his goal is evil.
As the saying goes, “the ends do not justify the means.” In this case, just because Peacemaker wants to achieve peace, it doesn’t mean that he is good. As long as he is doing bad things to try to achieve peace, that constitutes him as a villain. But he is a villain that belongs to the lighter side of the spectrum because he wants to achieve good things with the bad things he does.
Is Peacemaker a Criminal?
While we did say that Peacemaker is the “good” kind of villain, there is a fine line between being a criminal and being a villain. Not all criminals are villains in the conventional sense, especially when you are talking about fictional characters that fight crime. Going back to Batman, we can say that he is a criminal because he is a vigilante. However, Batman is neither evil nor villainous.
But what about Peacemaker? Is Peacemaker a criminal?
In Peacemaker’s history in the comics, he actually massacred a lot of different people in an attempt to keep the peace. He was even tried for war crimes. In that sense, not only is he a vigilante, but he is also a murderer.
Of course, the fact that Peacemaker was kept behind bars when he was first introduced to us in The Suicide Squad means that, at one point in his life, he committed a crime that warranted some jail time. That means that he is a criminal.
The Bottom Line: Is Peacemaker Good or Bad?
The bottom line is that Peacemaker is a villain with good intentions. He is in the gray area between good and bad, as he is neither when it comes to the conventional sense. However, once you factor in his actions and the fact that he is very much a criminal, we can say for sure that he is someone who leans more towards the bad side of the gray area.