Welcome to this week’s installment of Geek Girl Authority Crush of the Week, wherein we shine a spotlight on strong women who inspire us. Now, this includes fictional female characters in geeky media and creators. These ladies are a prime example of female empowerment and how crucial it is for youth to have said example to follow.

DISCLAIMER: The following contains spoilers for HBO Max’s Peacemaker.

Leota Adebayo

Fast Facts: 

Danielle Brooks as Leota Adebayo in Peacemaker Season 1 Episode 8 It's Cow or Never

Pictured: Danielle Brooks as Leota Adebayo in PEACEMAKER Season 1 Episode 8, “It’s Cow or Never.” Photo credit: Katie Yu/HBO Max.

Leota Adebayo (Danielle Brooks) is the daughter of Amanda Waller (Viola Davis). By age 14, Leota achieved a Binks-Fendelmire Strategic Combat Certification. The remainder of Leota’s formative years is a mystery. Eventually, Leota married Keeya Adebayo (Elizabeth Faith Ludlow), taking her wife’s surname. The couple resided in Gotham City with their horde of adorable puppies. 

Leota lost her establishment, a veterinary center, leading her mother to recruit her for Task Force X to assist with Project Butterfly. Spearheaded by infamous mercenary Clemson Murn (Chukwudi Iwuji) and featuring the peace-obsessed Christopher Smith/Peacemaker (John Cena), Task Force X must track down and destroy “butterflies,” an alien race hellbent on bending humanity to their will. 

Later, Leota befriends Peacemaker while working on Project Butterfly, along with Murn, Emilia Harcourt (Jennifer Holland), John Economos (Steve Agee) and Adrian Chase/Vigilante (Freddie Stroma). Dubbing themselves “The 11th Street Kids,” Leota and her pals make great strides regarding the butterflies. 

Despite Leota’s deepened bond with Peacemaker, Waller orders her to plant a fake diary in the superhero’s trailer to frame him. Leota struggles with the moral implications of this act and how it affects her budding friendship with him. Unfortunately, Peacemaker discovers Leota’s betrayal, driving a wedge between them. 

After Murn’s tragic passing, Leota and the crew track down the butterflies’ food source — a “cow.” Leota sacrifices herself to save Peacemaker and even kills the cow by donning Peacemaker’s “human torpedo” helmet and flying into the belly of the beast. 

Thankfully, this courageous move mends the divide between Leota and Peacemaker, and the pair become friends again. Leota discloses the mechanics of Task Force X and Project Butterfly to the press, essentially throwing her mother under the bus. 

The Real Deal:

Leota possesses immense intellect accompanied by powerful ambition. She has a solid moral compass and respect for all human life. Leota grapples with the killing aspect of her job, incessantly telling those around her that she’s not “cut out for this sh*t.” Leota thinks critically while never leaving her emotions at the door, utilizing her keen empathy to drive her decision-making. 

Leota sees the good in people, including Peacemaker, who most shy away from because of his seemingly corrosive nature. But Leota knows how to relate with him and understands he’s a product of his abusive environment. 

Leota rises above the psychological manipulation Amanda Waller inflicted on her while growing up and even acknowledges when she relies on it as a tool to persuade Vigilante to murder Auggie Smith/The White Dragon (Robert Patrick), Peacemaker’s racist father. She takes responsibility for her actions and wholly owns her mistakes. 

She’s far from perfect, but Leota harbors a heroic streak and will do anything for her loved ones, including wearing a human torpedo helmet that could potentially break every bone in her body. 

Why She Matters:

Peacemaker Season 1 Episode 5 Monkey Dory Leota Adebayo

Pictured: John Cena as Christopher Smith and Danielle Brooks as Leota Adebayo in PEACEMAKER Season 1 Episode 5, “Monkey Dory.” Photo courtesy of HBO Max.

Leota is a strong, kind, beautifully messy Black woman who proudly represents the LGBTQIA+ community. Her humanity, intelligence and empathy make her a hero worth admiring and someone we should all aspire to be. Representation is vital, and Leota’s presence on Peacemaker ensures that viewers everywhere feel represented and empowered. 

So, be like Leota Adebayo. Stand up for what’s right. When in doubt, listen to your intuition. Try to see the good in everyone. Wield your intellect like a weapon. Do the right thing, even when it terrifies you. Oh, and always remember that you’re “cut out for this sh*t.”

RELATED: Looking for another strong female crush? Check out our Geek Girl Authority Crushes of the Week here!

RELATED: Catch up on all the peaceful violence and Eagly goodness with our Peacemaker recaps!

Geek Girl Authority Crush of the Week: HARLEY QUINN



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