With DCEU expanding its horizons with HBO Max connected series that link back to their films such as The Suicide Squad and Justice League, WB threw a weird curve ball at fans when a Peacemaker series would be the first show out the gates.
Not a Justice League member or even a character from the Suicide Squad people liked. Instead James Gunn took the most maligned character from his DC film and gave him the first DCEU series. Now the Peacemaker seen in the series is a little bit more remorseful than the one we saw in TSS film. He wants to be a hero but keeps finding himself in the crosshairs of Amanda Waller, head of ARGUS, and mastermind behind Task Force X.
The series follows jingoistic killer Christopher Smith / Peacemaker as he joins “Project Butterfly”, a black ops squad that targets parasitic, butterfly-like aliens. John Cena reprises his role from The Suicide Squad, with Danielle Brooks, Freddie Stroma, Chukwudi Iwuji, Jennifer Holland, Steve Agee, and Robert Patrick also starring. Gunn conceived Peacemaker after noting Cena’s strength as a dramatic actor while filming The Suicide Squad, and wrote all eight episodes while completing the film during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Argus agents who rebelled against Amanda Waller in the Suicide Squad film are tasked with recruiting Peacemaker. Helping the team along the way is Peacemaker’s trusty friend Eagly, an American Eagle, and his oft putting BFF, Vigilante, another gun wielding anti-hero who loves violence as much as Peacemaker love obscure 80s hair metal.
When it’s revealed that Project Butterfly is a race of small insectoid aliens who have been burrowing into the bodies of human victims, Peacemaker and his team have to put aside their differences and learn to work as a team fast before the entire world is taken over.
Now just because Peacemaker is tied to the larger DCEU it doesn’t mean this is a family friendly show. The series has a lot of gratuitous violence, sex, and foul language. It’s Deadpool times ten mixed with a bit of sci-fi horror that is reminiscent of one of James Gunn’s earlier films, Slither.
Cena has some excellent comedic timing and the jokes are fast and furious from the entire cast. Eagly is the show’s Groot as you root for this cute little Eagle who could probably rip your face off. Vigilante is also another stand out here. Aside from a very comic book accurate costume, the similarities between the show and the comic end there. However, like Peacemaker, his drive to be a hero is only outshined by his unquenchable bloodlust.
The show has some pretty interesting twists and turns, even if the main antagonists were a little generic, it did give the show some memorable scenes of gore and violence, the season finale barn fight is a highlight of the DCEU. And what is a comic book show/movie without a surprise cameo at the end. One of the funniest things in the series is Peacemaker’s wild and absurd claims he makes about various heroes like Aquaman, Green Arrow, and Wonder Woman. Let’s just say, there is a little bit of a payoff at the end.
Peacemaker is definitely not for everyone but it totally was for me. With its bloody action, laugh out loud one liners, and a sympathetic psycho as its main protagonist, Peacemaker is a complete blast and has probably the best intro and theme song to come out this year.
HipsterZOMBIEJoint highly recommends checking out season 1 of Peacemaker streaming now on HBO Max.