WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Peacemaker Episode 1, "A Whole New Whirled," streaming now on HBO Max.
With the current state of the DC Extended Universe, it was always a longshot to believe that Peacemaker would have any impact on the stories of characters like Superman or Wonder Woman. However, as disconnected as the show is from the greater DCEU, Episode 1, "A Whole New Whirled," still takes time to give a shout-out to Batman, and in the process, reveals that the public perception of the hero has changed drastically since Justice League.
Peacemaker kicks off with Chris Smith leaving the hospital after recovering from the injuries he suffered in The Suicide Squad, ready to start his life anew. But just when things are looking up, A.R.G.U.S. agents storm his trailer and demand he joins them on a mission. Chris has no choice but to accept, but he needs some things before they get started. He then goes to visit his father, who has a nosey neighbor that recognizes him as Peacemaker.
The man refers to Peacemaker as an "evil supervillain," which Chris points out is a misconception. The neighbor still doesn't agree, however, and after Chris claims that Peacemaker is a hero, he fires back by claiming that "Batman is a superhero." And while this line could just be a bit at Peacemaker's expense, it implies that after the events of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League, the public sees the Dark Knight in a whole new light.
When Ben Affleck's Batman arrived on the scene in Batman v Superman, he was a hero who had lost his way. Having Robin die at the hands of the Joker and witnessing the destruction of Metropolis firsthand left a mark on Bruce Wayne, so much so, no longer pulled his punches and was known around Gotham as more of a threat than a hero. But his vigilante practices came back to bite him when Clark Kent caught wind of Batman's actions and decided to step in.
The only issue with that, however, was that Batman was already preparing to take on Superman, with Lex Luthor putting a plan in motion to force the two icons to duke it out. Of course, this would lead to an epic showdown that concluded with the death of Superman at the hands of Doomsday, a moment that made Batman see the error of his ways and promise to do better. And that came to pass because, in Justice League, Bruce is the uniting force for the team, working diligently to prepare for Steppenwolf's invasion and save the world.
Well, all that hard work paid off because, as Peacemaker shows, Batman is no longer seen as a monster but as a hero on the same level as Superman. Affleck's Dark Knight may not be long for this universe if rumors are to be believed, but at least he can hold his head high that he was able to crawl out of the darkness and make himself a superhero.
To see how Batman is perceived after Justice League, Peacemaker is streaming now on HBO Max.
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