Peacemaker references DC’s Doll Man

In true James Gunn fashion, Peacemaker referenced a Golden Age hero who was the first of its kind in superhero comics.

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Peacemaker Episode 3, “Better Goff Dead“, streaming now on HBO Max.

The Suicide Squad has always spotlighted obscure DC Comics characters, both in the comics and on the big screen, and its TV spinoff continues that trend. Peacemaker, Judomaster, and Vigilante are all deep cuts from DC, but that hasn’t stopped James Gunn and Co. from touching even stranger corners of the DC Universe. Batman’s biggest fanboy, the interdimensional imp Bat-Mite, was hailed with former Peacemaker Suicide Squad teammate Harley Quinn in Episode 2. And in Episode 3, Gunn references a DC character. even more obscure: Doll Man.

After discovering what turns out to be a miniature spaceship in Butterfly Annie Sturphausen’s apartment, Peacemaker opens Episode 3 by talking about his distaste for homunculi, who he suspects created the craft. Peacemaker uses Doll Man as an example, citing his one millimeter finger as the reason for his revulsion.

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DC Comics Male Doll

Doll Man may sound like a concept created by Gunn, or proof of his credibility as a B-movie for fans of the Full Moon Features movie of the same name, for the uninitiated. But he’s actually a Golden Age hero created by the legendary Will Eisner, and like Peacemaker and Judomaster, he was originally published by another company, Quality Comics, which also published future DC characters. like Plastic Man.

Real name Darrel Dane, Doll Man made his first appearance in 1939 Featured Comics #27 and was the first superhero to use shrinking powers, predating DC’s first Atom Ray Palmer and Marvel’s Ant-Man by decades. Like his descendants, Doll Man’s powers come from science, a chemical formula he developed that allows him to shrink to six inches tall while retaining full strength.

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The character starred in his own comic strip for forty-seven issues over twelve years. But after Quality went bankrupt in 1956, DC acquired their characters and introduced them in 1973. Justice League of America #107, by Len Wein, Dick Dillin and Dick Giordano. Doll Man was paired with quality characters like Uncle Sam and the Phantom Lady as members of the Freedom Fighters, a super team fighting the Nazis on Earth X, an alternate reality where the Nazis won World War II.

Dane would be part of WWII hero teams in multiple realities until 1986 Crisis on Infinite Earths streamlined DC continuity, merging his history to be a member of the All-Star Squadron. After Crisis, Dane sank into limbo, not returning until 2007 Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters #3, where it was revealed that he suffered from mental instability due to years of maintaining his shrunken form.

John Cena in Peacemaker Episode 3

Doll Man was a pioneering character in the history of superhero comics, but he never achieved the iconic status of the characters he preceded because he was published by a company that went bankrupt before. the second superhero boom of the Silver Age. Being absorbed by DC meant he would escape total darkness, but at the cost of being in the shadow of the Atom. However, his name falls in Peacemaker opens up the possibility that he could appear in a future project, which would finally give him the spotlight he never really got.

To see Chris’ name drop Doll Man, Peacemaker is streaming now on HBO Max.

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