Peacemaker’s Adebayo Is Similar to a Tragic Suicide Squad Character | #computerhacking | #hacking


Today, we look at how Adebayo in the Peacemaker TV series evoked a classic (and sadly tragic) character from the Suicide Squad comic books who was an early ally of Barbara Gordon when the former Batgirl became Oracle. Naturally, this will involve spoilers for both the TV series and the comic book from 30+ years ago.

This is a feature called “Written in the Book.” It is basically the reverse of another feature of mine called “Follow the Path,” where I spotlight changes made to comic book characters that are based on outside media, as well as characters who entirely came from outside media. Nowadays, there are so many comic book films and TV series out there that we can spotlight examples of TV and film adapting specific and less famous comic book stories to other media (so no “Spider-Man lifts up debris” or stuff like that).


Last week I noted that there was a certain character that fit both of my features with regards to adaptations. I have another one called “Glimpse of a Story” that involves more surface adaptations, you know, where just the name and visual of the character is used in the adaptation. So last week, I explained how the Flo Crawley we saw was different than the one we saw in the comics. Now, I’ll show how Adebayo in the hit Peacemaker HBO Max TV series was more of a direct adaptation of Flo Crawley in the comics (but not quite a literal adaptation).

RELATED: How Peacemaker’s Father Haunted Him in DC Comics


WHAT WAS ADEBAYO LIKE ON THE PEACEMAKER TV SERIES?

Adebayo in peacemaker episode 8

Leota Adebayo (played by Danielle Brooks) was a fascinating character in the first season of Peacemaker. She was a young woman who had just recently gotten married to her longterm girlfriend but had then lost her job. Desperate for a way to provide for her new family, Adebayo was convinced by her mother, Amanda Waller, to join Project Butterfly as an operative (hiding her connection to Waller from the others), with the plan to always frame Peacemaker at the end of the operation for being a lone gunman type who was behind the whole operation himself (as the idea of an alien butterfly “Body Snatchers” style invasion of Earth could easily sound like the ravings of a madman and thus once the invasion was stopped, the whole thing could be covered up by making it look like that was exactly what it was).


Adebayo was by far the most empathetic member on the team, which caused Christopher “Peacemaker” Smith to warm up to her easily which was very hard for him, normally, as he had always been extremely defensive throughout his life. That’s why it obviously hurt him so much more when he learned that Adebayo had been the one to frame him.

By the end, though, Adebayo had proven herself to her teammates by defying her own mother and instead banding with them to stop the invasion while also clearing Peacemaker’s name. She also found herself actually doing field work, shooting aliens and even trying to use one of Peacemaker’s superpowered helmets to destroy the alien “cow” that produced the nutrients that the aliens needed to survive on Earth (after she failed, Peacemaker then used voice activation to kill the cow by dragging Adebayo as a “human torpedo” along for the ride).


Peacemaker forgave her and she also made him feel better about killing off the aliens, who turned out to be benevolent tyrants (but tyrants, nonetheless). She was clearly the heart of the series.

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WHAT WAS FLO CRAWLEY LIKE IN THE SUCIDE SQUAD COMIC BOOK?

For some reason, Flo’s first appearance had her mis-colored as being White, so I’ll skip that one. Just like her second appearance in Suicide Squad #3 (by John Ostrander, Luke McDonnell and Karl Kesel), though, she was mostly just a background support staff character…

It wasn’t until Suicide Squad #10 (by Ostrander, McDonnell and Bob Lewis) that we learned two very important things about Flo. One, that she had a major crush on the heroic Bronze Iiger, Ben Turner, and two, that she was related to Amanda Waller (Flo was the daughter of one of Waller’s cousins) and Waller promised her cousin that she would keep an eye out for Flo, which meant that Flo was going to specifically remain a behind-the-scenes member of the team…


The various staff members all saw Flo as a sort of kid sister, including John Economos, who would give her love advice…

In Suicide Squad #23 (by Ostrander, McDonnell and Kesel), Flo is complaining about her situation with Bronze Tiger (while Ben, meanwhile, is telling Economos how annoying he finds Flo’s crush on him, as he is fully committed to his teammate, Vixen) when she is contacted by the mysterious computer hacker known as Oracle for the first time…

When Flo tells Waller about Oracle in the next issue….

Waller surprisingly wants her to send Oracle a virus, as Waller was not thrilled with someone hacking into her system…

Well, two issues later (by Ostrander, Grant Miehm and Kesel), Oracle responds by toying with them, but she is nice, because she knows that Flo wouldn’t have done this on her own…

This is also when we get our first (BIG) hint as to who Oracle really is…

In the next issue (by Ostrander, Kim Yale, John Snyder III and Pablo Marcos), we see an interesting exchange where Flo is kind of devilish about her crush on Ben, but really, I think the idea is that she’s harmless and just naive…

Things take a major turn in Suicide Squad #33 (by Ostander, Snyder and Isherwood), as Flo again tries to get on to a field mission…

After she is rejected again, the Suicide Squad member Duchess (secretly the Apokoliptian villain, Lashina) offers Flo a chance for a field mission…

In reality, Lashina kidnaps Flo and some others to give to Darkseid as an apology for her previous actions. Bronze Tiger manages to get to Apokolips to save them and Flo reacts to his arrival but is shocked when he is clearly only thinking about another one of Lashina’s kidnapped victims, Vixen. And we soon see why Flo wasn’t on field missions, because she is too distracted to notice the Parodemon behind her…

When the Squad is finally ready to go home, Waller has to mourn Flo’s death…

and reject Darkseid’s offer to resurrect her…

In Suicide Squad #38 (by Ostrander, Bob Greenberger, McDonnell and Isherwood), Oracle is informed of Flo’s death and we learn for the first time that Oracle officially IS Barbara Gordon…

Flo’s death forced Oracle to become a more direct member of the team and eventually she even became the leader of the Squad after Waller was out of commission after a failed assassination attempt, so Flo turned out to be a major part of Oracle’s coming out story as a superhero (Ostrander and Yale did such an amazing job coming up with Oracle after Gordon was paralyzed in The Killing Joke). So Flo had a lasting legacy on the DC Universe (her death also partially led to that specific era of the Squad coming to a close, with the Squad going freelance soon after).

If you have any suggestions for future Written in the Book installments, drop me a line at brianc@cbr.com!

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