Peacemaker’s John Cena Is ‘Eternally Grateful’ to the Show’s Surprise Cameos

Peacemaker’s John Cena Is ‘Eternally Grateful’ to the Show’s Surprise Cameos
Screenshot: HBO Max

If you watched last Thursday’s first season finale of Peacemaker, you know that the show ended on some very special, yet extremely unexpected, cameos by a few DC Comics characters. But they’re more than just mere cameos, which star James Cena is well aware of — and it turns out there may have been more to these cameos we didn’t see.

If you haven’t seen the finale, 1) go do it, and 2) naturally…

Peacemaker’s John Cena Is ‘Eternally Grateful’ to the Show’s Surprise Cameos

Speaking to Fandom, Cena had a great deal to say about the (late) arrival of the Justice League after Peacemaker and his team had just stopped the Butterfly’s alien invasion. It’s wild to see Peacemaker share the screen with Superman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, and Aquaman, even though they’re only seen in silhouette, and just for a few seconds. But then it’s even wilder when Aquaman and the Flash turn around to reveal they’re actually played by Justice League movie stars Jason Momoa and Ezra Miller. It’s also important to Peacemaker as a show, and Cena did not take the stars’ help for granted:

“I’m forever grateful [to Momoa and Miller], because they did us a huge solid by doing that. And they were able to put themselves in the limelight and get everybody talking, but they do so in a way where the joke’s not on them. And they did it for the good of our show. Whether that was their intention or not, it really, really, really, really helped us, especially after eight episodes of people being excited about the show, to put a stamp on it. … And of course, it gives everybody a whole lot of stuff to talk about and James Gunn is really good about making people talk about stuff! So mission accomplished in that regard.”

In addition to legitmising Peacemaker as a major DC character, Cena also believes the scene does prove Chris Smith still more to go on his emotional journey: “Peacemaker is a jealous superhero. Well, I don’t know if he’s even a superhero, but he’s jealous. He’s jealous of the other superheroes because of what they have. And he wants that and he doesn’t have it. So he has to badmouth everybody… Calling The Flash a d-bag, weaving his jokes about Aquaman in there, and talking about Wonder Woman’s desire for him. Everything he says is just indicative of how insecure he is. He wants to be where they are.”

Here’s what’s interesting: In the episode, Peacemaker only yells, “You’re late, ya fucking dickheads!” at the League as he passes them by, then he tells Aquaman to, “Go fuck another fish!” with no mention of Cena’s additional comments about Flash and Wonder Woman. This could mean they were edited out, or Cena improvised several different insults for the League, of which I would gladly watch a supercut.

If I may be so bold, I think what elevates the scene beyond mere Easter eggs is that it pokes a hole in the tragedy of the scene after the battle, where Peacemaker looks for all the world like he’s carrying Harcourt’s corpse. It keeps the end from being too heavy. Additionally, the League arriving late to the battle and getting reprimanded and insulted by Peacemaker follows a long-standing tradition of superhero comedies dissing the grandeur and pompousness of the DC Universe’s greatest heroes, which is always wonderful. This is doubly true of the incarnations who starred in Zac Snyder’s solemn, overserious Justice League movie. One final note: After Peacemaker tells Aquaman to go fuck another fish, Aquaman says, “I’m so fucking sick of that rumour,” to which the Flash replies, “It’s not a rumour.” If Barry knows for a fact it isn’t a rumour, does this mean Barry Allen watched Arthur Curry go down on a fish? Please discuss.