You can’t accuse John Cena of not bringing his all. Appearing on Monday’s Tonight Show, Cena was rigged out in full Peacemaker gear for his interview with Jimmy Fallon. Who is Peacemaker, you ask? Well, as everyone but everyone knows, he’s Christopher Smith! The DC Comics superhero who is “so committed to peace, he’s willing to kill for it?” The self-proclaimed pacifist diplomat/superhero with the very shiny metal helmet that Cena’s portraying in writer-director James Gunn’s August-arriving Suicide Squad sequel? You know, Peacemaker! No superpowers, but plenty of gadgets? Jet pack? One of the Charlton Comics characters Alan Moore based his Watchmen on? Formed the short-lived L.A.W. (Lethal Action Weapons) team alongside fellow Charlton heroes Blue Beetle, Nightshade, and Judomaster? Array of non-lethal weaponry and an all-consuming lust for peace at any cost? Anyone?
But we kid one of the characters DC considers expendable enough to throw onto its team of also-rans, villains, and many-time losers since nobody would really miss them if, as the team’s name heavily implies, they never come back from one of their morally dubious missions. (Seriously, though, Suicide Squad’s been a fine showcase for DC’s C-list ever since John Ostrander’s initial run in the 1980s.) Anyway, Cena was beaming in from his own version of Peacemaker’s Batcave, which looked sort of like the low-rent bachelor pad of an arrested adolescent, a vibe Cena notes is perfect, since his take on his Suicide Squad sort-of hero is that he’s “like a douchey, bro-ey Captain America.”
And he’s got his own spinoff series! So take that, Wayne, with your family money and fancier super friends than Peacemaker’s real, actual DC counterparts Polka-Dot Man (David Dastmalchian), Flula Borg’s Javelin (uses a javelin), Pete Davidson’s Blackguard (a mercenary played by Pete Davidson described in the film’s press kit as “easily manipulated”), and whatever the hell Nathan Fillion’s T.D.K. turns out to be. (There are tantalizing rumors that he’s playing an infamous joke character originally from the far-future Legion Of Super-Heroes universe, which, please let it be true.) Perhaps even “C-list” was being a little generous.
Anyway, Cena was typically effusive about his first foray into the country’s second-favorite comics cinematic universe, telling Fallon that, in addition to his role in The Suicide Squad, his gung-ho antihero is also getting his very own, slightly unlikely, eight-episode HBO Max limited series after the movie wraps. Now, some might call that a spoiler on Cena’s part, what since the whole premise of the Suicide Squad is that they’re sent on potential suicide missions, and because James Gunn has assured fans that he has DC’s permission to kill off literally any character they’ve let him use. (No offense, but Slipknot’s quick exit in the first film didn’t exactly become the stuff of legend.) So while the success of Birds Of Prey (And The Fantabulous Emancipation Of One Harley Quinn hints that Margot Robbie’s still going to have her gig going forward, Peacemaker’s series is an origin story, so the former/current grappler-turned-actor’s superheroic fate is still very much in the air. Presumably on a jetpack.
Cena was genuinely tickled to be putting his burly charisma into the “horribly beautiful, corrupted mind of James Gunn” for the foreseeable future, although he shared one of those behind the scene stories that shows the downside of such an arrangement. With Fallon showing a picture of the bruised and battered Peacemaker hunched in bloated defeat contemplating a greasy-looking empanada, Cena explained that it was his own dumb idea to wolf down an entire empanada during a particular scene. And then Gunn called for 39 more takes. Nobody said superheroics were easy, son.