The DCEU Mocks John Cena’s Superhero Casting In 3 Ways

The three-episode premiere of HBO Max’s Peacemaker show mocked John Cena’s superhero casting in three different ways. The Suicide Squad member and lesser-known DC Comics characters is Cena’s first live-action superhero role. After appearing as the ruthless Peacemaker in James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad movie, Cena is getting a chance to headline his own superhero TV series.

Due in large part to his physique, Cena’s name was brought up in numerous discussions about various superhero roles. Over the years, he’s been talked about as a potential candidate for characters like Captain America, the Thing, and so many more. Though many have supported the idea of Cena playing a major Marvel or DC superhero, some have been against the notion of either studio casting professional wrestlers as its biggest superheroes. However, Cena’s performances in movies such as Bumblebee helped change some minds. In fact, many considered him to be a serious contender for the Shazam role that eventually went to Zachary Levi.

Gunn having Cena playing the patriotic Peacemaker in the DCEU was an interesting choice and one that was even mocked by the show itself. The common complaint about John Cena being too big was addressed by a comment about his clothes being too small for his body. The janitor at the hospital said that Smith was “too buff” and made a remark about them typically having the bodies of gymnasts. In the third episode, Leota Adebayo (Danielle Brooks) ridiculed people who think professional wrestling is real, which could be taken as a dig at the career that made Cena a star in the first place.

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In addition to that, Peacemaker joked about the possibility of the character being on steroids. In one scene, Adebayo insulted him by saying that he played for the “Milwaukee roided-up toilet bowl heads“. Instead of denying steroid use, Cena’s Peacemaker seemingly accepted it and instead took issue with her saying he was from Milwaukee. What stands out about this is the long history of the steroid debate surrounding Cena. Because of their muscular statures, Cena and so many other professional wrestlers have been accused by fans of taking steroids. The question of whether or not Cena takes steroids has been asked since the early 2000s.

The ways in which Peacemaker brought up the steroid issue and how professional wrestlers don’t always meet the expectations that people have of superhero actors helped prove that Cena truly was the right choice for Smith. For a character like Peacemaker, what the DCEU and Gunn needed was an actor willing to poke fun at himself. The Suicide Squad and the first three episodes of Peacemaker made it clear that not only is Cena perfectly comfortable with this sort of humor, but it also suits him well.

Peacemaker releases new episodes on Thursdays on HBO Max.

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