TV - Peacemaker

True to his own peace-loving existence [wait... what? - Ed] Steve Taylor-Bryant settled down to binge watch the Sky Max series Peacemaker [warning: Contains spoilers and hair metal - Ed] ...

Sometimes something comes along that feels like it was made just for you and that thing for me is Peacemaker. My favourite comic company is DC, my favourite director for humour mixed with awesome soundtracks is James Gunn, my favourite memories of music outside of Billy Joel is hair metal, and my favourite‘ ‘I’m too grown up to enjoy this but I love it’ thing is wrestling. Throw all of that in a giant pot and cook it up and you get Peacemaker, which is FINALLY available in the UK on Sky TV. I cannot talk about it without spoilers though and since both Peacemaker and I share a love of The Quireboys here’s a video. If you’re still here after the video it will be spoiler heavy. You have been warned...

Still here? You didn’t heed the warning did you?

The series picks up just after the post-credit scene from James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad with Peacemaker recovering in hospital but really wanting to get out. He leaves and returns to his father's loving embrace... actually his father, Auggie Smith (Robert Patrick), absolutely hates him and his character, we find out later, is White Dragon, a sort of white supremacist, Fox News watching, Trump loving, hate filled, superhero who has a knack for building things including various helmets for his Peacemaker son. After an argument with his father's neighbour about the legitimacy of Batman as a hero, Christopher ‘Peacemaker’ Smith is dragged into a team set up as punishment by Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) for what she sees as their treacherous act against her in The Suicide Squad. This rogue batch consists of leader and ex-black ops specialist Clemson Murn (Chukwudi Iwuji), soldier support in the form of Agent Emilia Harcourt (Jennifer Holland), tech savvy-ness from unsung star of the entire show John Economos (Steve Agee), and newcomer and unknown quantity, and secretly daughter of Amanda Waller, Leota Adebayo (Danielle Brooks). Their task is stop an alien parasite species known as Butterflies from infiltrating positions of power. Along the way they sort of accidentally team up with another masked avenger, the somewhat dim witted Adrian ‘Vigilante’ Chase (Freddie Stroma) who has convinced himself that he and Peacemaker are best friends despite constantly being told they aren’t and Eagly the pet eagle being Smith’s best mate.


Peacemaker is a great superhero premise, given great screen time in the TV format to play out. It has strong action moments, some actual emotional core to it and some glorious moments of levity from every character. The reason the humour works, though, is that John Cena plays Peacemaker dead straight. He doesn’t play for the joke, he doesn’t try and steal a punchline, he just performs so very seriously that it is impossible to not find him or his situation funny. All the characters have comedic timing, though, with Agee’s Economos stealing most of the funny lines for me, and Patrick doing a great a send up of an ageing white supremacist, but it is the sheer dramatic skill on show from Cena, who has completely inhabited the mantle of Peacemaker, that truly makes the show what it is. From his hapless attempts at relationships (he literally blows up a woman after sex and then steals her vinyl collection), to his unrepairable relationship with his hideous father, to his inability to see any flaws in himself, Cena nails the character like he was born to play it. The more adult nature of the show allows Gunn and his team to get away with more than maybe a cinematic release would have allowed and the show benefits from that creative freedom. Add in that every episode has a hair metal song from my past in it and the incredibly funny opening credits and you have the makings of something very decent indeed. Then you get towards the end of the series and the levels just ramp up, the tension and humour ramp up and you even get a Justice League appearance (well, Aquaman and Flash and silhouettes of the more expensive/not sure if they’re still attached cast).

Peacemaker was one of the most entertaining shows of the year and the most fun I’ve had watching a superhero property since probably Blade. It’s all on Sky Max in the UK (because HBOMax hate us and won’t release here yet) and must been seen to be believed.

[you're going to do the dance now, aren't you? - Ed]

Follow Steve on Twitter @STBwrites

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