Showrunner James Gunn made Peacemaker his own in The Suicide Squad and the titular HBO Max series, having little concern for DC or Charlton Comics’ source material, and surely, no one could save the character from Gunn’s liberal imagination or Warner Bros. TV.
Not that this bothered a filmmaker known for his lewd body horror and subversive comic book adaptations; Gunn was only using the Peacemaker IP to push the message Hollywood never tires of sending out – which is “humanity is bad.”
See, the major twist in the season finale was (spoiler ahead) that the mind-body possessing alien parasites Amanda Waller commissioned Peacemaker and company to stop were actually trying to save humans from themselves, and specifically “anti-science” climate-altering behavior.
The lead Butterfly Goff, who was using police detective Sophie Song (Annie Chang), even says as much about her species’ plans of conquest. Gunn, writing her dialog, naturally is of like mind.
He admitted, though, to Variety he thinks he made the Butterflies layered by borrowing motivations from Marvel’s Thanos. “I didn’t want to make their goal something that was just, you know, ‘Hey, we want to take over the universe, we want to conquer, we’re thoroughly evil!’” he said.
“I wanted the Butterflies to be characters that were as multi-layered as the other characters were, and I think that Goff, in particular, as the leader of the Butterflies, is a character who I like a lot and find really interesting. She’s very much like Peacemaker,” he added.
Kind of, except climate change was on her mind more than it would be Peacemaker’s – who’s an arrant alt-right caricature by design. Although the lead and hero of the story, he serves as a commentary on everything James Gunn takes issue with. That includes denying “science.”
“We made the show while vaccines were starting up. I mean, there’s so much anti-science out there,” Gunn said. “Anti-climate change to me is the really big thing.”
He added, “Believing that climate change is not affected by humankind, that’s anti-science. It’s not believing anything that has to do with people who are experts in their fields and have been working their whole lives do that, whether it’s with vaccinations or climate change or whatever.”
Gunn draws from his own experiences with the internet that got him fired once and how he sees America. “I think a lot,” Gunn says of how much Peacemaker “lines up with that [experience].”
“Some of that lines up [with] what we’ve seen uncovered in the United States over the past few years and has nothing to do with me,” he explained. “I mean, the fact that Peacemaker believes any Facebook meme he reads and somehow thinks that’s totally fact — that’s how we get to the place where, you know, people believe that somehow masks cause us harm. I mean, it’s just nonsense.”
Interestingly, it’s Gunn who appears to be anti-science, as a non-peer reviewed study from August 2021 claims, “That children born during the pandemic have significantly reduced verbal, motor, and overall cognitive performance compared to children born pre-pandemic.”
And it specifically brings up mask wearing as one of the possible causes, “Masks worn in public settings and in school or daycare settings may impact a range of early developing skills, such as attachment, facial processing, and socioemotional processing.”
That’s his opinion. What’s yours? Make it known below.