Easter Eggs You May Have Missed In Peacemaker Episode 1

(This article contains SPOILERS for "Peacemaker" episode 1. Proceed with caution.)

We still have a few months to go until we thaw out for spring, but it's never too early for an Easter egg hunt. Luckily, there's a new HBO Max original series based on an obscure DC Comics character to carefully comb through, courtesy of a filmmaker known for throwing references into his work left and right. So without further ado, let's take a fairly deep dive into the Easter eggs contained in the first episode of James Gunn's "Peacemaker."

The Suicide Squad & The DCEU

Since this show is a direct sequel to the epic 2021 super-powered team up "The Suicide Squad," it's no surprise that this John Cena-led series references that movie quite a bit. When we first see our "hero," he is recovering from the events of the film. Once he's discharged, he lays out his personal belongings, which include the following: 

  1. A postcard from Corto Maltese (the island where "The Suicide Squad" takes place)
  2. Money from Corto Maltese
  3. A matchbox from La Gatita Amable, the gentleman's club where the Suicide Squad finds and kidnaps Gaius Grieves, AKA The Thinker
  4. A scrap of paper that lists the Task Force X roster and their powers
  5. A phone number from someone named Valentine
  6. A key on a keychain
  7. His uniform, which still shows the wear and tear from its last mission

Once he meets his new team, Peacemaker mentions killing Rick Flag for Amanda Waller and Project Starfish. This new task force also features familiar faces Jennifer Holland and Steve Agee, who appeared alongside Cena in Gunn's film. They reprise their roles of Emilia Harcourt and John Economos, respectively. Both characters have roots in DC Comics history. Economos was introduced in 1987's "Suicide Squad" #1 as the warden of metahuman prison facility/Suicide Squad base Belle Reve. Harcourt debuted in the team's book in 2016 and was later revealed to be a terrorist spy.

Before the mission begins, Christopher Smith drops by his father's house for the first time since being incarcerated four years ago to pick up his best friend/sidekick Eagly and a new helmet. August Smith is not pleased to see his disappointment of a son (Auggie's feelings, not ours), but he lightens up when Chris tells him about Bloodsport's rat phobia, the torture that caused it, and being on a team with Ratcatcher II, who controls rats. Of course, his feelings quickly shift back to disappointment again when he learns that his son was shot by the [insert the outdated, racist, sexist, and homophobic language used by this incorrigible POS] with the rat phobia.

Speaking of Bloodsport shooting Peacemaker, you can clearly see the scar left by Robert DuBois' smaller bullets when Smith is singing and dancing in his underwear after his one night of passion.

Members of the Suicide Squad aren't the only characters from the DCEU that get name dropped in this episode. Batman gets a quick mention by August Smith's neighbor and the Wayne Foundation logo appears on the forged journal that Leota Adebayo is meant to plant in Peacemaker's trailer. Interestingly enough, the logo looks less like the one seen in any of Ben Affleck's appearances as the Caped Crusader and more like the one from Christian Bale's stint as the Dark Knight.

But there's a more substantial discussion about Aquaman at the top of show, and it starts because Peacemaker definitely does not like this ocean-dwelling member of the Justice League. Thanks to @pepethefrog89 on Twitter, he learned that the King of the Seven Seas has his way with fish at an aquarium. This is a good reminder that not everything you read on the internet is accurate. (Except that last sentence. That's very accurate.)

The Comics & Beyond

The Easter eggs in "Peacemaker" aren't limited to references to the cinematic universe that the show inhabits. There are a number of allusions to other things in pop culture as well. First, Peacemaker's house number is 1138. This number frequently appears in the films of George Lucas, including "Star Wars" and "American Graffiti." It originated from his directorial debut, the dystopian sci-fi film "THX 1138," which started out as the legendary filmmaker's student film from his days at USC.

Then, when Smith first learns about Project Butterfly, he thinks that he's about to face off with a Mothra. Agent Murn assures him that they won't be fighting the massive kaiju, but Peacemaker requests a jetpack anyway. Not only would it help in a fight with a Mothra if it comes up, but his comic book counterpart often utilized a jetpack. Speaking of Peacemaker's comic book history, we also see a number of different helmets in August Smith's TARDIS closet that resemble the various helmets that Peacemaker has worn over the years. Each one has a different ability, but he ultimately goes with the one that has sonic boom capabilities, an attack he has been known to use in the comics.

After suiting up, Peacemaker meets his team at a local restaurant for salad and zoodles. For Chris, local means Evergreen, Washington. In the comics, this town was once the residence of Hal Jordan AKA The Green Lantern during the brief period when he traded in his gig at Ferris Aircraft so he could sell insurance at the Evergreen Insurance Company. He and Green Arrow also visited the town when they faced off with a villain known as Old-Timer.

Also at the restaurant, we meet Adrian Chase (and his world famous butt dance). While he's first seen as a bus boy, we first hear him in the episode as Vigilante, Peacemaker's fellow crime fighter that clearly doesn't take being ghosted very well. Smith notes that Chase is his friend Doug's brother. In the comics, Vigilante does have a brother, but his name is Dorian. At one point after Adrian's death, Dorian takes up the mantle of Vigilante. In my own head canon, this version of Adrian Chase has a brother named Dorian too, but Peacemaker just misremembers it.

I'd also like to note that Peacemaker takes a clothesline during his big fight with the rocker chick that he picked up at the bar after Harcourt turned down genital to genital contact. Even when he's not in the ring, John Cena still finds ways to take a bump. 

Finally, my favorite Easter egg in this episode is one that the fans found before the show even premiered. When the trailer dropped, some very Eagly-eyed fans noticed a picture on Peacemaker's dart board. They realized that the figure depicted there was none other than Eclipso, DC's incarnation of the God of Wrath and the Angel of Vengeance. It's not clear whether this is the same version of the menacing villain that we see in "Stargirl" season two, but James Gunn himself confirmed that the picture is definitely Eclipso.