The DC Extended Universe is off to a flying start in 2022, particularly by kicking off its venture into storytelling on HBO Max with John Cena's Peacemaker. Coming as a direct spin-off from James Gunn's The Suicide Squad, Gunn and Cena teamed up to deliver unexpected thrills over the course of six weeks, allowing Christopher Smith to take on wild challenges with each new episode.
WARNING - The rest of this article contains spoilers for all eight episodes of Peacemaker.
With Cena's anti-hero having to face a hoard of butterflies along with the cow that gave them life, the character found out just how many ways there were to obtain some kind of peace. Episode 8 ended with the team killing the cow, even seeing cameos from the Justice League in the process, and the first season came to a close in dramatic fashion even considering everything that preceded it.
Already confirmed for a second season, Peacemaker has made its mark as one of HBO Max's most popular shows since it premiered on January 13, gaining incredible numbers in viewership with each passing episode. Those numbers reached a breaking point with Episode 8, which Gunn and Cena took the opportunity to share with their millions of fans on social media.
Gunn & Cena Celebrate Peacemaker
Peacemaker creator/director James Gunn and star John Cena took to Twitter to celebrate a record-setting day for the show's Season 1 finale on HBO Max.
Cena shared that the episode had "the biggest single-day performance" for any HBO Max Original series and earned a 44% increase in viewership over the pilot. He proceeded to thank the fans while teasing his excitement for Season 2:
"Just learned from the good folks at HBO Max that the #PEACEMAKER finale had the biggest single day performance for a Max Original series and was up 44% over the premiere episode! That is a F#CKLOAD of peace and does not happen without ALL OF YOU! Truly grateful. Ready for Season 2!"
Gunn shared that same excitement along with a GIF from Episode 8, thanking the fans for keeping up with the story every single week:
F#CK YEAH!! Peacemaker finale had the biggest single day performance for a Max Original series ever and finale viewing was up 44% over premiere. Thanks to all the fans who kept showing up more and more every week this season. @HboMax @DCpeacemaker pic.twitter.com/pp8c9JGuGl— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) February 18, 2022
Peacemaker Reigns Supreme on HBO Max
HBO Max has no shortage of widely-popular material, particularly when it comes to content from the DC Extended Universe. After all, this is the service that hosted Zack Snyder's Justice League, a movie more than a year in the making that had a massive following of fans waiting to watch it in all its glory.
For Peacemaker to set these kinds of records is a spectacular feat, giving Gunn yet another major success on his comic book movie resume. Although The Suicide Squad had a rough go in Summer 2021, Gunn and Cena made Christopher Smith and his team something truly fun to watch while connecting it deeply to the story the DCEU is telling.
Warner Bros' first serialized TV show within the DCEU kick-started a major year for the franchise, especially with Season 2 of Peacemaker already confirmed to be in early development.
James Gunn will look to accomplish these kinds of numbers again with another undisclosed DC character while Warner Bros also develops the Gotham City PD show and a Green Lantern Corps property. For now, though, Cena's Peacemaker gets to enjoy its time in the DC spotlight thanks to an unpredictably exciting season from start to finish.
All eight episodes of Peacemaker are available to stream on HBO Max.