Fans of the DC comics universe have been waiting for a glimpse into how their favorites might make it to the big screen. One fan fiction idea has already made its way onto screens and is about to be adapted: Peacemaker. Could this story ultimately bring back long-dead characters like Green Lantern, Swamp Thing, Phantom Stranger or Zauriel?
The “suicide squad darker ending” is a rumor that has been circulating the internet for a while. The rumor suggests that Peacemaker could be adapting an iconic DC Comics arc.
HBO’s second trailer is here. The first television series based inside the ever-evolving DC Extended Universe, Max’s Peacemaker, premiered on Friday. The Suicide Squad spinoff will find Christopher Smith / Peacemaker (John Cena) reconnecting with ARGUS’ Emilia Harcourt (Jennifer Holland) and John Economos (Steve Agee) on a new mission, plus a host of new characters. While the teaser mostly focused on the irreverent Peacemaker, one section may support a popular hypothesis that the series’ objective is based on the legendary “Janus Directive” crossover narrative arc.
“The Janus Directive” was a story about hidden organizations in the DC world that ran from May to June 1989 across multiple issues — Suicide Squad, Checkmate!, Manhuter, Firestorm, and Captain Atom. The story started with a conflict between the Suicide Squad and other government agencies, which was later revealed to be part of Kobra’s cult’s greater agenda. Kobra intended to assassinate Squad commander Amanda Waller and replace her with a lookalike who would carry out his orders, but Waller murdered her counterpart and adopted the role of a double agent. Kobra’s plan was for the Waller lookalike to assist him in using space technology to wipe off mankind, unleash the Kali Yuga, and repopulate the Earth with a space ark. Members of the Squad, Force of July, Checkmate, the C.B.I., and Project Atom joined forces to destroy Kobra in his space ark at the end of the event.
So, what role does this play in the Peacemaker series? For starters, “Project Peacemaker,” a tiny crew of handlers charged with invisibly monitoring Peacemaker and assisting him with his heroic actions (so invisibly that Smith isn’t even aware of it), is one of the other entities involved in the Janus Directive narrative. While the circumstances in Peacemaker are a little more overt, Harcourt, Economos, and the rest of Smith’s current team fit that description well. We know from The Suicide Squad’s post-credits sequence that the group’s objective is protecting “the f-cking globe,” and it’s reasonable to think that Kobra or another villain covertly attempting to bring real havoc on Earth a la “Janus Directive” would be a major issue.
It’s unclear if the crew is aware of the bigger goal, particularly since Smith’s job is to destroy “butterflies” – targets that pose “threats to American civilians,” according to the second trailer. There’s a good likelihood that this goal is part of the bigger “Janus Directive” scenario — specifically, causing conflict and anxiety among multiple teams and government organizations — only to be exposed later as a ruse to disguise global dominance. To top it off, a figure looks to be standing in front of a swarm of drones about 2:24 into the second video, which fits the concept of Kobra’s space ark.
(Photo courtesy of DC Entertainment and HBO Max)
We also know that Judomaster (Nhut Le), a figure with links to Kobra in the comics, will appear in the series. Tommy Jagger, the character’s second form, works for Checkmate but goes undercover as a member of Kobra’s cult for a short period. While there are a variety of reasons why Judomaster and Smith are at odds, a version of that status quo would be fascinating to see develop.
On a bigger scale, “The Janus Directive” seems like the ideal narrative for Peacemaker to parody — it’s well-received and thematically distinctive in the DC timeline, but it’s still modest in scope and focuses around characters who aren’t quite household names. The themes of government openness and loyalty in the crossover fit well in with what we’ve seen of Peacemaker thus far, with Smith grappling with his pacifist, yet lethal, moral compass in the second trailer. Plus, contrasting Smith and his new friends’ raucous, underdog narrative with “The Janus Directive’s” devastating stakes has the potential to be a fascinating — and immensely entertaining — story.
Whether or whether Peacemaker implements “The Janus Directive” in any form, viewers should anticipate a wild and surprising take on superhero television. Even still, it doesn’t seem inconceivable that parts of the incident may be woven into the series’ eight episodes.
Peacemaker is set to premiere exclusively on HBO Max on Thursday, January 13th.
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The “suicide squad twist” is a rumor that has been circulating for a while. It was said that Peacemaker could be adapting an iconic DC Comics arc.
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