Review: HBO’s ‘Peacemaker’ further explores obscure character in spin-off

Filmmaker James Gunn yet again makes lesser-known comic book personas into household names


Courtesy of HBO.

Filmmaker James Gunn is well known for his energetic direction and writing at Marvel Studios with such work as “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.” His contagious energy was later transferred to DC where he made “The Suicide Squad” and was greeted with high praise. This later led to the spinoff TV show of one of the anti-heroes, known as Peacemaker. HBO’s “Peacemaker” takes place right after the events of “The Suicide Squad” where Peacemaker recovers from his injuries and is assigned to a mission where he doesn’t know what’s to come.  

First off, John Cena as Peacemaker is perfect casting. He adds this layer of joy that truly bumps up the show’s entertainment. With only three episodes being released, this show hooks viewers with a bang. Like a lot of TV shows, the first two episodes take their time re-exploring and introducing characters. While much of the spotlight is taken by the protagonist, who the show is named after, it still makes viewers interested with the other side characters such as Emilia Harcourt (Jennifer Holland), Leota Adebayo (Danielle Brooks) and Vigilante (Freddie Stroma). 

The way Peacemaker’s character is written is intriguing. Throughout the three episodes, he tries to get away from his superhero persona beliefs. He realizes that his “killing and doing anything for the name of peace” ideology his dad created, who was the original Peacemaker, is highly flawed. It pokes fun at the original comic book lore his entire character is based on. That contradiction leads to hilarious moments in the show with Vigilante, another anti-hero, who shares the same beliefs. 

A lot of directors keep their same directing and writing tropes throughout their careers, but with Gunn’s raunchy humor it seems to be consistent. That’s where the show rises and falls. The presence of raunchy humor is often overplayed with a character’s dialogue and action sequences and it often becomes tiresome. Along with that trope, Gunn’s incorporation of stylized copyrights is fairly hit or miss. Much of it is annoying and negatively distracts the viewer’s attention from scenes. It’s style over substance to be put into short words. 

HBO’s “Peacemaker” is simply fun and its own thing which it knows and owns. In conclusion, this show deserves a highly positive 7/10. Viewers were left satisfied with three episodes in and hooked in with further wanting more.