DC’s Peacemaker has landed onto our screens with its first three episodes, and right off the bat, it seems like James Gunn got to unleash an unfiltered/uncensored supervillain (né hero).
Even though the series has Gunn’s signature style of direction spread all over it, the viewer can feel the difference between his DC vs. Marvel titles. Gunn has the liberty to go all out and as a result, a lot of “f*cks” were said out loud, which Disney’s otherwise PG-13 block doesn’t allow.
No, seriously… according to DCcomics.com, the series premiere has dropped a total of 220 f-bombs. However, despite it being unapologetically funny and totally off the hinges, the series doesn’t seem crass in any way. It is colorful – the visuals as well as the vibes.
Music plays a huge part, right from the opening track where the whole cast shows off some sweet dance moves to other scenes where the songs fit the storytelling like the piece of a puzzle.
First and foremost, let’s talk about our antihero. Peacemaker, aka Christopher Smith, is a man-child. He has a lot of layers. Peacemaker is an emotional person who doesn’t know how to express his emotions correctly.
Peacemaker is a character who always comes off as trying to please and impress people around him.
From the comparisons he gets to the Aquaman and Batman, all the while being called a racist supervillain, to when he goes to his father’s house, always trying to seek his approval anyway he can – we see where this behavior stems from.
When Clemson Murn recruits him, he meets his team, which consists of Emilia Harcourt, Leota Adebayo, John Economos, who are more or less indifferent to him.
Leota, at one point, tells Amanda Waller that there is something “sad” about him, but Waller reminds her that she’s on a job and having empathy can “get you killed.”
He has a best friend, Adrian Chase, whom he doesn’t really call that because Chris lowkey has attachment issues – so he only considers his pet bald eagle, Eagly, his best friend.
This façade breaks when Peacemaker has too many emotions he can’t comprehend and ends up crying over nobody liking him and surprisingly moves onto Rick Flag’s death as well. However, Deadpool-like Vigilante, aka Adrian Chase’s alter ego, is adorable and here to save his best friend from despair.
(The trust these two have is incredible because I would never let anyone shoot an object placed on my head! It’s either that or proof of the saying “This is why women live longer.”)
Peacemaker is really peaceful for the most part and also gets cold feet when he actually has to kill a family of four “butterflies.” Vigilante is more than happy to take over as he merrily, while humming a sweet song, blows their heads off. Talk about a psychopath with a pretty face!
As episode 3 reveals, Project Butterfly refers to deadly butterflies. Peacemaker thought of a giant Mothra before considering tiny, beautiful but killer butterflies, but we don’t blame him. After all, he did just get back from fighting a giant Starfish.
The series highlights on Auggie Smith, aka White Dragon being truly evil. He relishes the story of Bloodsport as a child being tortured by his father, laughing to the point where he chokes for air. These subtle things with other not-so-subtle remarks show what an awful person/father he is.
Episode 1 showed us Auggie’s lab, where he had tons of helmets with different abilities. Peacemaker grabs the one with a sonic-bomb attack. If Auggie has made all of that equipment, he surely has some next-level upgrades for when he himself has to fight.
This feels like an integral part of the story and reflects in Peacemaker’s need for belonging, as Murn points it out as well. Sure, the series will see him fight more Butterflies, but something tells me the story will set up the central conflict between the father-son duo.
As Gunn has a knack for killing favorite characters, I feel skeptical about getting attached to either Leota, Eagly, or Vigilante. Better to be safe than cry when/if they end up dying in the upcoming episodes.
Peacemaker is highly entertaining and doesn’t try too hard to be funny because it just naturally is! The instance where Leota mocks pro-wrestling to be fake (in front of John Cena no less) to Judomaster attacking Peacemaker with Flaming Hot Cheetos, the list goes on.
However, if that’s not enough to convince you, there’s always John Cena’s butt popping up on the screen from time to time.
DC’s Peacemaker episodes 1-3 are now available to stream on HBO Max, with new episodes out on Thursdays.
Peacemaker is an upcoming DC Extended Universe series which will delve into the past of the titular character, who’ll make his cinematic debut in James Gunn’s DCEU film, The Suicide Squad (2021). The character will be portrayed by John Cena, who will reprise his role in the HBO Max series.
Other cast members include Steve Agee, Danielle Brooks, Robert Patrick, Chris Conrad, and Chukwudi Iwuji among many others.
James Gunn will also helm the HBO Max series and has announced a tentative release date for Peacemaker to be in January 2022.