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Characters In Peacemaker That Are More Important Than You Realize

The character of Peacemaker (John Cena) began his live-action career alongside an ensemble cast in James Gunn's "The Suicide Squad." He's no stranger to working with and/or for a host of wild and driven individuals with unique perspectives or abilities. In the "Peacemaker" TV series on HBO Max, Peacemaker — or Chris Smith, as he is known by some — is wrapped up in another conspiracy involving alien creatures that could potentially wreak havoc on planet Earth as we know it.

Despite the title, however, Peacemaker is hardly alone and shares the load with a host of other witty, crass, and fierce characters seeking to get the job done. He's most certainly part of a team once again, just like his days in the Suicide Squad. To make matters worse, he's also still under Amanda Waller's (Viola Davis) thumb. The series aims to explore Peacemaker's character through his interactions with his teammates and, ultimately, see some character growth from those relationships — even the bad ones. We're here to help you analyze the cast and understand that some of these characters are far more important than you might've thought.

Leota Adebayo

If Peacemaker weren't the headlining character, Leota Adebayo (Danielle Brooks) very well might've been. Her character arc is just as pivotal as the growth Peacemaker experiences throughout the series. For starters, she is indirectly under her the command of her mother, Amanda Waller, who has proven that she can be ruthless and careless toward the lives of innocents. Using Leota's desperate need for a job and planting her on a dangerous mission is either very brave and confident in her own daughter's abilities or completely cold and foolish. Regardless, Leota has to come to grips with operating on a team that may have to skirt the lines of moral boundaries in order to see the mission through to the end.

For a while, Leota said and did all the right things to make Peacemaker feel seen and not like such an outcast. Ultimately, she followed through with her mother's task of planting a fake diary with incriminating scribblings in Peacemaker's home, alienating the tormented hero while simultaneously putting a massive target on his back (perhaps to send him right back into Amanda Waller's arms as an operator for Task Force X once again). In the finale, Leota single-handedly saves most of the team as she rushes in to provide support after Harcourt and Vigilante (Freddie Stroma) are shot. She even sends her own mother's head spiraling as she reveals Waller's secret task force to the public in an effort to do right by Peacemaker and clear his name. As a character, Leota is an absolute game-changer.

Clemson Murn (Butterfly)

Clemson Murn (Chukwudi Iwuji) isn't exactly the man he initially says he is. In fact, he was never really a man at all. In a wild reveal, Leota discovers that Murn is a butterfly — one of the very aliens the team is combating. The character of Murn we've known since the start of the season is actually an alien wearing a human skin suit. However, unlike the rest of the Butterflies, Murn has more altruistic motives. While the Butterflies seek to force humanity to do what's best for their home planet, Murn believes in free will. He rebelled against his own kind and believes the methods of his fellow Butterflies have put them on the wrong path.

Without Murn, much of the knowledge that helped the team complete their ultimate task of extinguishing the Butterflies would never have been uncovered. Furthermore, Murn shows the greatest understanding for humankind as he connects with his hosts' memories and emotions. Once discovered as a butterfly by Leota, he utters a line that means far more once the full scope of the Butterfly's invasion is realized in the season finale. He tells Leota that he inhabited the worst person he could find — someone who was a cold-blooded murderer — and says, "But still, I know his thoughts. He's ... Even he could have changed." This moment really signifies the divide between Murn's desire for humanity to enjoy freedom and the rest of his kind.

John Economos

Every team needs a solid insurance plan. While John Economos (Steve Agee) might not seem like a competent operator, luck manages to place him in the right moments to save the day for the rest of the members of his team. In other words, he acts as the team's unlikely insurance policy. Being the tech liaison, John goes just about everywhere with the team but is typically positioned just outside of the operating area to oversee the mission and assist with intel. However, every so often, good ol' Dye-Beard springs into action like a hapless fool and manages to subvert expectations by protecting his teammates.

During the planned assault on the Glan Tai Bottling Company to take out the Butterflies' means of distributing their food source, John steals the show after an infected gorilla attacks the team, and he takes down the giant ape with a chainsaw. John also happens to run down Judomaster with a van after the devious little green ninja attempts to escape. That's right — a skilled fighter who bested Peacemaker, Vigilante, and Harcourt was subdued and captured by John, even if by unconventional means. Also, because he's largely remained outside the hot zones of each mission, he is the perfect unidentifiable candidate to infiltrate the Butterfly barn containing the cow in order to plant the sonic boom helmet. He may be the butt of countless jokes throughout the series, but John's value to the team can't be understated.

Auggie Smith

The award for the most disliked figure in the entire series goes to Auggie Smith (Robert Patrick) — Peacemaker's own father. Auggie is a racist and bigot of the highest order. He wears those labels on his sleeve with a sense of pride, earning the disgust of all those who come into contact with him. Auggie harbors nothing but contempt for his son, Chris, who he blames for his other son's death. While posing as an average backwoods, temperamental racist who harangues his neighbors, he is actually the leader of a clan of skinhead-like characters, not unlike some modern factions of neo-Nazis or the KKK. Known as the White Dragon, he commands the respect and attention of other repulsive men like himself.

John frames Auggie for Peacemaker's killing of Annie Sturphausen (Crystal Mudry), who the titular character kills in self-defense. Peacemaker is embittered by the apparent betrayal of his team getting his father placed in prison, so he visits Auggie in lock-up. For most of the series, Peacemaker demonstrates a truly unconditional love for his father, despite Auggie's hatred for him. Eventually, Auggie plans to kill his own son simply because he believes him to be weak, having embraced a worldview of acceptance. Auggie attacks Peacemaker, ultimately forcing Peacemaker to kill his own father. 

Auggie had a great hold over Peacemaker for many years. Yet despite the torment he put Peacemaker through, Auggie managed to show his son the very man he didn't want to become, furthering Peacemaker's own growth.

Emilia Harcourt

An A.R.G.U.S. agent who once worked directly under Amanda Waller during the events of "The Suicide Squad," Emilia Harcourt (Jennifer Holland) was reassigned by Waller to Project Butterfly under the direction of Clemson Murn. Hardened by her time under Waller's often-amoral direction, she refuses to divulge her first name for quite some time and simply operates as Harcourt. She keeps her distance by often dressing down Peacemaker for his seemingly idiotic actions and remarks, but after the operation to take down the Glan Tai bottling factory, she begins developing a bond with her teammates.

Of all the members of Project Butterfly, Harcourt is the one who always keeps her head on her shoulders. She is straight-laced and analyzes each situation carefully to gain a true understanding of what's at stake. Notably, she's the first to find out that Murn is actually a Butterfly, but she obviously hears what he has to say and makes the decision not to out him (even if that moment occurred off-screen). 

Harcourt also often designates the strategy for coordinated operations with her team. Without Harcourt's firm leadership and her combat prowess in the field, the team would be in complete disarray. Early on, she often finds herself cleaning up her own team's mess, like Peacemaker's run-in with the Butterfly-controlled Annie Sturphausen. With volatile characters like Peacemaker and Vigilante on the team, someone of the opposite caliber must be present to keep them grounded.

Royland Goff (Butterfly)

Royland Goff — or simply Goff, as she is referred to by Peacemaker and his team — is the Butterfly leading the entire operation to supplant the humans in power and deter them from making destructive decisions. Royland Goff is actually the name of the U.S. Senator that the Butterfly leader first inhabits. However, Murn explains that her name is too difficult to enunciate for humans, so she was simply designated as Goff. Peacemaker makes a connection with Goff and keeps the Butterfly in his home, feeding her without the knowledge of the rest of his team. Because of Peacemaker's compassion for the creature, she later offers him the chance to understand their mission.

After the Butterfly infects Detective Sophie Song (Annie Chang), Goff leads a manhunt against Murn's team, ultimately killing Murn in the process. When Peacemaker attempts to kill the Butterflies' food source, however, Goff explains that they are here to help humanity not make the same destructive decisions that her own kind made on her home planet. She shares that Goff did not agree with their ideals because it removed humankind's ability to make its own choices, and he rebelled. Goff is ultimately the primary antagonist of the series and the cause for the entire operation undertaken in Project Butterfly.

Adrian Chase/Vigilante

The Vigilante (aka Adrian Chase), as presented in "Peacemaker," is markedly different from his comic book counterpart in several ways. Most notably is that he is a friend and ally to Peacemaker. In the pages of comic books, Vigilante actually seeks revenge against Peacemaker for killing a close friend of his. Of course, in the comics, Vigilante does begin to lose his sanity, but "Peacemaker" basically presents him as a high-functioning psychopath. He clearly doesn't fully understand regular emotions and constantly tries to emulate what he perceives to be a superhero. However, he doesn't sweat innocent casualties or collateral damage like typical folks.

Vigilante's combat capabilities are quite remarkable, despite his dopey Deadpool-esque humor and his penchant for childish antics. Because he's so attached to Peacemaker, he becomes part of the team. Murn understands that Vigilante is a bit crazy, but he also knows that the team is severely lacking in the firepower department. Vigilante proves his worth when he assassinates the Senator's Butterfly-infected family without remorse. He also provides plenty of tactical distractions for the team, often emerging unscathed, with the exception of a missing pinky toe. Alongside Peacemaker, Vigilante acts as the team's much-needed muscle and is willing to do the dirty deeds others aren't ready for.

Amanda Waller

Director of A.R.G.U.S. Amanda Waller hardly receives any screen time. In fact, her visual presence is limited to brief cameo-like appearances from Viola Davis. However, her influence permeates the series, as the characters often refer to her throughout. The Project Butterfly team was created by Waller to operate in secret, affording A.R.G.U.S. and the federal government plausible deniability in the case that the entire mission blows up in their faces. That notion alone makes it even more curious as to why Waller placed her own daughter, Leota Adebayo, on the team. What Leota comes to realize, however, is that Waller needed someone she could trust. Who better than her flesh and blood?

Waller wants her daughter to place a fake diary in Peacemaker's home that incriminates him in any fallout from the operation. This would protect Waller's A.R.G.U.S. operators like Harcourt, Murn, and especially her daughter, Leota, while single-handedly sending Peacemaker back to prison. The idea is likely that he'd wind up back at Belle Reve under Waller's thumb once again. Instead, that entire plot blows up in Waller's face when her daughter rebels against her wishes and publicly outs and denounces Task Force X in the finale of the series. Waller's influence over the team is seemingly another obstacle for them to overcome, despite not being ever-present in the series.

Keith Smith

This is another character that only saw mere seconds of screen time. However, the Peacemaker's brother, Keith Smith (Liam Hughes), leaves a brutally lasting and traumatic impact on him. Peacemaker has fond memories of his brother growing up, but his father was obviously slimy and repugnant in his treatment of his children and those around him. Perhaps most disturbingly, he forced his two sons to fist fight while he and his friends bet money on the winner. Chris (Peacemaker) sucker punched his brother so hard it gave him a seizure and caused him to die. Instantly, Auggie blamed Chris for killing his son.

Peacemaker carried that guilt with him for so many years. It is constantly a source of his own grief and torment and likely fueled some of his more erratic behaviors later in life. However, Peacemaker's team becomes more of a family to him than Auggie ever was. Leota even tries to convince Peacemaker that he isn't responsible for his brother's death — that Auggie is responsible being the abusive father that he was. Peacemaker finally accepts that Keith's death isn't his to own when he ends Auggie's life. Keith may only have a minor flashback role, but his impact on Peacemaker is unmistakable.


Peacemaker's aptly named partner-in-crime is none other than an actual bald eagle named Eagly. Throughout the series, Peacemaker is mocked for giving the bird an entirely unoriginal and dull name. When Peacemaker reunites with the bird in the first episode, Eagly hilariously gives him a hug, which shocks and delights Peacemaker. He even tells the story to Leota, who has a hard time believing an eagle hugged him. But near the end of the series, when Leota resolves to leave the team high and dry, she actually witnesses Eagly giving Peacemaker a hug, which she views as a sign to stay and help the team complete its mission. That small moment had a strong effect on a valuable member of team Project Butterfly, and Eagly will never know it.

Despite Eagly providing Leota a crucial turning point in her narrative, the bird manages to actually be a worthy combatant, viciously taking down baddies for Peacemaker as he swoops down from the sky. While everyone thought Peacemaker's fondness for Eagly was a joke, the animal truly does have Peacemaker's back when he needs it most. His companionship means the world to Peacemaker.


Judomaster is a bit of a thorn in the side of Peacemaker and his comrades. Size truly doesn't matter as this small martial artist is capable of single-handedly taking out Peacemaker, Vigilante, and Harcourt, even if it's a surprise attack. Regardless, he's big on taunting his opponents and often comes across as a bit of a jerk.

The real question, however, is whether Judomaster is bad or good. Which side of the fence does he sit on? Right before Leota shoots him, he tries to tell Peacemaker that the Butterflies aren't what she thinks they are. In the final episode, when Peacemaker confronts Goff, she tells him that Judomaster understood the Butterflies' plan to help save humanity from itself and was completely on board. Just like Murn is a Butterfly who rebelled against the majority of his kind, Judomaster is a human who understood the Butterflies' plot but moralistically agreed with their decision and sought to aid them by working against his fellow humans. While Judomaster doesn't play a deeply impactful role, his very stance on the matter demonstrates a diversity of thought when it comes to the moral implications of the Butterflies' overall plan for humanity.

Caspar Locke

Caspar Locke is something of a mystery, which is what makes him so intriguing. He was sent by Waller to assist Murn in keeping the operation a secret. Locke is inserted as captain of the police precinct and rejects Detective Song's newfound evidence of Auggie's innocence in the murder of Annie Sturphausen so that Peacemaker can remain out of the detective's line of sight (though that doesn't stop Detective Song).

Caspar Locke is as maniacal as Amanda Waller, as we see him later remorselessly killing police officers — even ones who are unconscious — to help Peacemaker escape being taken into custody. Locke has clearly seen some awful things as he knows the man Clemson Murn once was before he was infected by a Butterfly — a killer who operated alongside Locke in the fictional war-torn country of Nyasir. When Locke executes several police officers, it's a moment that finally causes Peacemaker to accept that he's no longer comfortable simply killing people because leadership demands it. He's finding an increasingly sensitive respect for life that is driven by his own guilt.

Keeya Adebayo

Keeya (Elizabeth Faith Ludlow) is Leota's wife, and she offers her the moral support she needs to help her overcome the heavy burdens she deals with on a daily basis at Project Butterfly. Both Leota and Keeya are in between work at the start of the show, which is the reason Leota accepts a position on the team from her mother, Amanda Waller. While Keeya often has very minimal screen time, she is a grounding force that ensures Leota never flies too high into the ether and becomes willing to commit the same atrocities her mother did to complete the mission. But ultimately, Leota often longs to return home from a hard day's work to her Keeya. It's not hard to figure out that Leota ultimately makes the decisions that she does in the finale of the series because she has someone like Keeya in her life. Maybe Waller should take a break and attempt to find love — if that's even possible.