Peacemaker has bloodied, bulleted, and buffooneried his way through this freshman season. It’s been funny, bombastic, and surprisingly sad. As the first season reaches its endgame, I want to talk about why Peacemaker is the best superhero show on streaming right now.
James Gunn has managed to not once, but twice, pull dramatic and emotional performances out of professional wrestlers. He did it with Dave Bautista as Drax, and he does again with the former “Dr. of Thuganomics” John Cena. While Drax in the MCU isn’t as deep as his comic book counterpart, playing him opened up a plethora of roles that have eluded other famous pro-wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne Johnson. When Johnson was starring in Baywatch, Bautista was starring in Blade Runner 2049. Even in 2021 Johnson stuck to more fun fare like Jungle Cruise, while Bautista was starring in Army of The Dead. I wholeheartedly expect something similar to happen to John Cena’s career thanks to his deep yet funny Peacemaker performance.
Peacemaker is so great because he’s layered. A former hero who has slowly become his worst villain. A hero with such deep trauma it keeps him from living a normal life. He’s more than just the asshole who betrayed The Suicide Squad back on Corto Maltese, he’s the asshole who did that and it has destroyed his insides. Not to mention dealing with the trauma of having a dead brother and a racist supervillain for a father. There’s a scene in The Suicide Squad where Bloodsport and Ratcatcher 2 are talking about their fathers. Peacemaker sits in the back, calmly listening to their conversation, which is even more depressing with our newfound knowledge of his father.
It would be a complete disservice to you – the reader – if I don’t talk about the surprise secondary star of the show, Vigilante. Vigilante is hilarious, like Deadpool level hilarious. He’s so innocent and yet so deranged. He says some of the most stupid and funny things I’ve ever heard, which really fits the humor of the show. There’s a scene in “Episode 4: The Choad Less Traveled,” where Vigilante hilariously and disgustingly insults The White Dragon and his skinheads. It’s brutal, it grabs your attention, and I loved it.
Speaking of brutal, the action in this show has really moved on into bloodtastic territory. Episode 5 is particularly bloody, as Peacemaker blasts butterflies in the face with a shotgun and turns them into chili with a silly, homemade bomb. Even Economos gets in on the bloody action as he murders an evil gorilla with a chainsaw (no, not that evil gorilla). I would say that this scene really showcased the team’s best teamwork so far, though I bet their best moments of working together are yet to come.
Things are really ramping up as the series continues like a demented freight train. Murn and Adebayo have big secrets, and secrets get revealed. The butterflies are here in force and they are not stopping until their evil plan comes to fruition. Peacemaker’s mind and world are slowly unraveling and he’s unsure of who he should be or who he should trust. And even as this is all happening, his dad has gotten out of prison and has only one plan on his mind, “kill his fucking son.”
I’m still loving Peacemaker with every new episode. It’s been fun to see the hero America needs (but probably not the one you should invite to a school) do his best to save the world. With an army of butterflies and his now-power-armored father coming after him, Peacemaker and the team will have their work cut out for them. I bet Peacemaker will blast at them with his chrome Deagle while calling them sloppy-brained cumnuggets or something similarly gross. Definitely not something you’d say around your grandma, unless she’s a butterfly too.
Ep.4: The Choad Less Traveled (9/10)
Ep.5: Monkey Dory (9.2/10)
Ep.6: Murn After Reading (9/10)
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