The first three episodes of Peacemaker made their debut on Thursday, showcasing an action-packed and hilarious new corner of the DC universe. The series follows the newest adventures of Christopher Smith / Peacemaker (John Cena), a pacifist vigilante with a unique reputation among superheroes and supervillains. Amid the bizarre and violent conspiracy at the center of Peacemaker, there have been some pretty off-the-wall references to DC canon — including one of the weirdest characters in Batman’s arsenal. Spoilers for Episode 2 of Peacemaker, “Best Friends, For Never”, below! Only look if you want to know!
Midway through the episode, Peacemaker and John Economos (Steve Agee) began to bicker about the mission at hand, and whether or not Peacemaker is the ideal antihero to take on Project Butterfly. At one point, Economos expresses that he would rather be working with Bat-Mite than Peacemaker.
Created by Bill Finger and Sheldon Moldoff in 1959’s Detective Comics #267, Bat-Mite is a bizarre inter-dimensional imp who frequented the Batman comics of the early 1960s. Presented as a small man in an ill-fitting Batman costume, Bat-Mite uses an ever-growing array of magical powers to create scenarios to draw out his idol, Batman. In the post-Crisis world of DC, Bat-Mite has only sporadically appeared in comics, and has often partnered up with Superman’s own imp antagonist, Mr. Mxyzptlk. Bat-Mite even got a monthly comic series in 2015.
While Bat-Mite has only appeared in a handful of animated properties, this name-drop in Peacemaker is the first acknowledgement of him existing in live-action. Of course, the question remains as to which incarnation of Batman he’s been annoying in live-action.
“It’s almost like playing a massive prank on the DCU making Bat-Mite canon,” Peacemaker creator James Gunn recently told ComicBook.com. “I think I can’t say there was some big thought process to it. I’m writing, and these things come up, and then I just sort of go with them. I do think that Peacemaker’s relationship to other superheroes is very specific. He is envious. He wants to be in that holy trinity of Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman. He is not. He wants to be a member of the Justice League, and they would never let him into the Justice League. He wishes that people loved him as much as they love Aquaman, but they don’t.”
“So he believes anything and kind of picks out what he wants to believe on the Internet, which any random Joe has tweeted or put on,” Gunn continued. “He also doesn’t quite understand the Internet. He’s not very well versed in the Internet, so he sees something on Facebook, and somehow he thinks that’s fact. But I think that it also serves his envy to be these things about people.”
New episodes of Peacemaker debut Thursdays exclusively on HBO Max.