Peacemaker Premiere Canonizes a Major DC Comics Organization

Warning: spoilers for Peacemaker episodes 1-3 follow. The wait is finally over. James Gunn's Peacemaker debuted on HBO Max on Thursday, delivering the first three episodes of the eagerly anticipated DC series spinning out of The Suicide Squad. The series picks up five months after that film's mission to Corto Maltese which saw Task Force X tasked by A.R.G.U.S. Director Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) to destroy all traces of Project Starfish. Now, Waller has a new task for Christopher Smith/Peacemaker (John Cena), Peacemaker isn't along on this new mission, either. He's joined by a handful of other squad members, including Emilia Harcourt (Jennifer Holland), an A.R.G.U.S. agent who has been assigned to the mission. It's through Harcourt that Peacemaker brings a major DC Comics organization into things: the DEO.

In Episode 3, "Better Goff Dead", Harcourt reveals that prior to working for A.R.G.U.S. she worked at the DEO, or more officially the Department of Extranormal Operations. In comics, the DEO first appeared in Batman #550 in 1998 as created by Dan Cutis Johnson and J.H. Williams III. The organization's role is to monitor people and beings with "extranormal" superpowers with the intent of preventing threats to the general public. Of course, as with any government agency in comics, that arguably good intention doesn't always work out so well. At various points in comics, the DEO has been run by Mister Bones, Amanda Waller, and Cameron Chase.

While the Peacemaker reference to the DEO is the first for the DCEU, it's not the first time the organization has been referenced life-action.  The DEO is briefly mentioned as an agency under the secret support of Sen. Robert Hammond in 2011's Green Lantern movie. It is also a major organization in The CW's Arrowverse, first appearing in Supergirl as the agency where Kara Danvers/Supergirl's (Melissa Benoist) sister Alex Danvers (Chyler Leigh) works, first as a scientist and an operative and, later, as director of the organization.

Interestingly, the DEO isn't the only item from DC Comics to be included in both Peacemaker and the Arrowverse, Adrian Chase/Vigilante (Freddie Stroma) is also a part of the team assigned to "Project Butterfly" in Peacemaker and while on Arrow Josh Segarra played Adrian Chase — who was the villain Prometheus rather than Vigilante.

New episodes of Peacemaker premiere Thursdays on HBO Max.