Peacemaker's finale shows Marvel how to end a superhero series on a major high

It's hard to top these cameos

Peacemaker HBO Max poster / John Cena in Peacemaker finale
(Image credit: Katie Yu / HBO Max)

DC's Peacemaker finale has now rolled out on HBO Max and has already earned itself some major accolades. Most notably, director James Gunn and lead star John Cena took to social media to confirm that Peacemaker has become the biggest single-day performance for an HBO Max Original series ever.

Viewership was also up a further 44% – a huge figure considering the streaming service is not available worldwide as of yet. It's also worth noting that Marvel's latest Disney Plus series, Hawkeye, was down 30% over Loki, the previous show to launch, and the lowest across all MCU series to date, according to Samba TV

While Marvel is clearly still king of the box office, there are still a few things that the Disney Plus shows could learn from the first DCEU series. The biggest of which I found was how to leave the audience on an incredible high, bringing in major cameos from the wider DC universe, that let's be honest: no one expected.

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Warning: spoilers for Peacemaker season one

Peacemaker season one wraps up in fantastic blockbuster fashion with Project Butterfly being destroyed and Adebayo revealing the existence of the alien threat, Task Force X and Amanda Waller's role in all of it. The biggest surprise of the show happens just after the team defeats the Butterflies, as only the Justice League show up! Albeit a little late to the action. 

Superman, Wonderman, Aquaman and The Flash all stand there in the flesh (kind of). In actual fact, we only see Jason Momoa and Ezra Miller's versions of the superheroes with the other two being portrayed by stands-ins. Still, it's an enthralling moment as Peacemaker tells the group that their late and tells Aquaman to go "f**k a fish". It's unlike anything we've seen prior and gives fans the amazing hype moment a show of this quality deserves.

Furthermore, it's a big testament to James Gunn's writing that two years ago I had no idea who Peacemaker was, yet now I love the character and eagerly await season two. It's something the director perfected with Guardians of the Galaxy and The Suicide Squad, taking these D-list characters and making you give a damn about them. That's across the whole cast too. It's something I can't say the same about Marvel. The finales have lacked that major punch that Peacemaker delivered with the Justice League. 

Outside of the lead characters, I've felt it difficult to connect with those in supporting roles. Hawkeye came the closest. But it does feel as if the MCU invests everything into its lead characters, rather than spreading the load to those on the sidelines. Maybe it's because the MCU is always looking ahead to the next thing instead of focusing on the present and DC is taking one project at a time (for the minute). I don't know. What I do know is that it worked and the results and critical acclaim back it up. 

Lastly, I had to take this opportunity to highlight Peacemaker's opening credits, which honestly might be my favourite of any show ever now. Just everything about it is brilliant. The choreography, the choice of music (Wig Wam – nice), the sheer commitment from everyone involved and Eagly the Eagle to top it all off. Check it out for yourself below and tell me I'm wrong:

Peacemaker stars John Cena, Danielle Brooks, Freddie Stroma, Chukwudi Iwuji, Jennifer Holland, Steve Agee and Robert Patrick. The full eight-episode series can be streamed across HBO Max now with a second season on the way. 

If outside the US, check out some of the best VPNs on the market to start watching right away. Meanwhile, The Batman is set to premiere in theatres next week and already director Matt Reeves has been speaking about what villain could potentially show up in a sequel.  

Matthew Forde
Staff Writer

Matthew is the Staff Writer for T3, covering news and keeping up with everything games, entertainment, and all manner of tech. You can find his work across numerous sites across the web, including TechRadar, IGN, Tom's Guide, Fandom, NME, and more. In his spare time, Matthew is an avid cinema-goer, keen runner and average golfer (at best). You can follow him @MattForde64