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It's a movie miracle that Peacemaker survived after being buried beneath a collapsed building in 2021's "The Suicide Squad." It's even more surprising that a new TV spinoff is every bit as entertaining as any DC feature film, and further proof that major special effects and a cast packed with A-listers are not needed to successfully adapt comic book tales.

Streaming on HBO Max, the fun of "Peacemaker" starts with the opening credits. John Cena, reprising his role from the 2021 film, leads the cast in a dance sequence to Wig Wam's "Do Ya Wanna Taste It." Their robotic moves suggest that Lex Luthor is forcing them to audition for "Soul Train." It's hilarious.

Cena, one of the most popular pro wrestlers of all time, has transitioned into one of the best comic actors. Part of his appeal is the willingness to be the butt of jokes, running from bad guys in tighty-whities, busting out an awkward Axl Rose impression and being taunted by schoolkids. I can't recall Arnold Schwarzenegger or Dwayne Johnson ever being that brave.

In the eight-part series, Peacemaker has been relegated to a new task force trying to prevent an alien invasion. They're barely up to the task. His cohorts include an overweight techie who would probably be rejected by the Geek Squad, a busser with a shaky ethical code and a former dog-shelter manager who owes her new gig to nepotism.

What they lack in qualifications they make up for in wit. Their exchanges about everything from the importance of the big toe to Aquaman's sexual fetishes are more compelling than any of the fight scenes.

Give credit to James Gunn, who wrote all the episodes. No one, with the possible exception of Quentin Tarantino, does a better job of injecting dark humor into action flicks.

You've probably already gotten a kick out of his "Guardians of the Galaxy" films (a new one is set for a 2023 release). But you may not have seen 2010's "Super," available on demand. Rainn Wilson ("The Office") plays an angry crimefighter whose only power is the willingness to bash bad guys with a wrench. It's so violent, you feel ashamed that you're laughing yourself silly.

The "Peacemaker" episodes, most of which were also directed by Gunn, aren't nearly as graphic, although there are numerous cases of insects crawling out of victims' mouths and a scene in which a gorilla gets ripped in half by a chainsaw.

But the real draw here is the over-the-top humor. It took awhile for DC to be as irreverent as Marvel, which learned a long time ago that Iron Man's quips packed more of a punch than his killer inventions. Thanks largely to Gunn, DC has finally caught up.

Robert Patrick is frightening fun as Peacemaker's father, a white supremacist with an "Eraserhead" haircut. Freddie Stroma, who plays the dimwitted sidekick, steals every scene he's in. And then there are the tunes. Watching our misfit heroes wig out to Motley Crue and Poison will give you a whole new appreciation for heavy metal.

I had never previously heard "Do Ya Wanna Taste It," that number from the opening credits. Now I can't stop singing it around the house. Prepare to be doing the same.