Valentine’s Day is here, which means that love is in the air. For everyone’s favourite toilet-bowl-helmet-wearing madman, this love can come from anyone. Creator James Gunn and star John Cena of “Peacemaker” discussed the character’s sexuality in an interview with Empire magazine (due out on newsstands on February 17, 2022), explaining that it came easily to Peacemaker while working on “The Suicide Squad.” Peacemaker is interested in having sex with just about anyone as long as they are a consenting adult human, as I predicted earlier this week in an article titled “Peacemaker is the Messy Bisexual Hero We All Need,” and his developing bisexuality probably had something to do with his father’s hatred of him. He turned to androgynous sex, drugs, and the hair metal genre of rock ‘n’ roll as a result, finding solace in the crowds.
“Nah, he’s not straight”
Gunn revisits his contention that Leota Adebayo and Peacemaker’s relationship is the primary relationship of “Peacemaker” season 1 in the interview (Danielle Brooks). He explains that she is practically his exact opposite, and that Cena offered more to the character than he had anticipated:
“She is his polar opposite in so many ways, politically. She’s a Black, gay woman. He’s a white, straight nah, he’s not straight [laughs] white, whatever-he-is male. And yet they really like each other. They have a lot in common. […] Peacemaker is an interesting character because he’s so f*****-up in so many ways, and then in other ways, he is kind of weirdly forward-thinking. John does improv all the time, and he just turned Christopher Smith into this hyper-sexualized dude that is open to anything sexually. I was surprised by that. But I thought, ‘I guess it makes sense that this guy isn’t one-dimensional.'”
In Cena’s opinion, Peacemaker had been raised in a particular way, but he later recognised that Peacemaker was more open-minded than he had been. He used his time in jail as a “period of experimentation” that broadened his perspective on life. Also, I think he’d be up for anything,” Cena adds. Almost anything, actually. Gunn claims that there is one logical no-go for Peacemaker, and it is fairly specific:
“We see in the show that he doesn’t have any issues with sexuality. As long as you’re not f****** animals that he’s not into. But besides that, he’s pretty open. And yet other things he’s completely close-minded on.”
Music as an Escape
At its foundation, “Peacemaker” is Christopher Smith’s story of redemption. In “The Suicide Squad,” he’s a despicable jerk, but the circumstances of the film drive him to change, and in the first season of “Peacemaker,” we see him develop into a sympathetic adult. Smith is known for his love of glam rock and hair metal, which allows him to escape the poisonous masculinity of his childhood. Gunn clarifies:
“I think the hair metal is actually kind of a beautiful thing about Peacemaker. It does have that cocky male swagger that he has, but hair metal is also a way he rebelled against his father. There’re the androgynous aspects of it, and his dad probably called him all sorts of homophobic slurs because he was listening to it. But he owned it. It was his. Something that was outside the realm of his father. He loves that music and he’s able to just escape into it and rock out and be okay. I think he’s grateful to the music for that.”
This information helps to explain why Peacemaker feels defensive when Emilia Harcourt (Jennifer Holland) makes fun of the band Poison’s appearance. He is defending both his own sexuality and the band behind “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” with his answer, “I believe their preferred pronoun is long live rock, and you are sounding pretty awesomephobic.”
The fact that Peacemaker’s sexuality isn’t forced or overt is one of its best qualities. His sexuality is just a part of who he is, just like in real life, and he expresses that in his own unique way. He is the bisexual hero we all need and deserve, in a true sense.