The first three episodes of Peacemaker have premiered on HBO Max as of the time of writing this review. So do take everything I say with a grain of salt as the show could technically pivot down horribly after these episodes. Even then, I don’t see this show getting worse, I see it getting even better. Also keep in mind that this show is very crude and adult-themed, it takes the rating of TV-MA and pushes it. So with that all out of the way, let’s talk about how Peacemaker is the show DC needed.
Peacemaker is a spin-off series of The Suicide Squad (2021), directed by James Gunn, and starring John Cena as its main character. While making The Suicide Squad, James Gunn knew he wouldn’t be done with this world, and decided to write and start filming at the same time the movie was being made, a show based on one of the characters. Being James Gunn, he decided to make it about arguably the most hated character in the movie, to do a full-depth analysis on why he is the way he is.
The plot involves a group of workers behind the scenes of Task Force X as they team up with Peacemaker to stop a new secret threat. What makes the show so interesting, and what I think James Gunn excels at, is the character work and comedy. Every character is memorable and has a clear problem or trait that needs to be worked on. There are never any characters in James Gunn’s movies or shows that are useless, as every character serves a purpose. The dynamic between this group is captivating, as almost all of them hate Peacemaker, as they should, but they all hate him in different ways.
He is very clearly a maniac, but James Gunn gets you to sympathize with him, as you can see in the show why he is so horrible. His dad is somehow more horrible than him, as he is an old man who laughs at torture and wishes nothing but discrimination to anyone that isn’t like him. His closest friend is a weird guy in a costume that kills for fun, saying it’s for justice when in reality it is for his love of it. With this in mind, it is almost heart-breaking how much pain Peacemaker goes through, and you sympathize with him, a maniac.
Emilia Harcourt is probably the second most engaging character, as she is also broken much like Peacemaker but doesn’t dress crazy. Her father also taught her from a young age to be able to shoot people and forced her to join the CIA immediately after high school. It’s clear why she is always tired of everyone when she has been raised to kill, and everyone else on the team, except one person, is not nearly as prepared to kill someone if needed. This adds an interesting dynamic to her relationship with Peacemaker, as she is just as mentally unhealthy, but is better at hiding it.
After The Suicide Squad, Shazam, Aquaman, Birds of Prey, and Peacemaker all being extremely fun or good films, I can safely say DC makes just as good of movies as Marvel. Peacemaker was just the last bit of proof I needed to justify my case, as it truly is another masterpiece so far by James Gunn. I will not give a rating yet, because it isn’t finished, but as soon as it’s done I will come back and do a full review. So far though, this show is the best I’ve seen in a long time, and that is saying something.