HBO Max debuted the first three episodes of James Gunn’s new show “Peacemaker.” And let me just say that if there were ever a show to let James Gunn loose, this was the perfect choice. Peacemaker follows the events and success of Suicide Squad where Christopher Smith aka Peacemaker helped Amanda Waller’s team to take down Starfish. While you don’t necessarily need to watch Suicide Squad before enjoying Peacemaker, I highly recommend it.
Can we start by talking about that musical opening credits sequence? If you skipped it, make sure to go back and watch at least once. I believe this sets the tone for the show, and you are sure to smile. The next best piece of the show if you ask me is Eagly, Peacemaker’s pet eagle. We know that animals always add brevity to shows, and I love that Peacemaker can be a bit campy, a bit goofy, and still have a lot of heart.
Peacemaker, played by John Cena, is more villain than hero. He believes that he’s a hero who stands for peace. The problem is that he doesn’t care who he has to kill in order to get that peace. In Suicide Squad, he stood by those convictions, which *SPOILER ALERT* led him to kill Rick Flag. After almost dying in Corto Maltese, Peacemaker is starting to question his choices. Now home, Christopher Smith doesn’t know where he fits. Plus doesn’t anyone care that he’s no longer in prison?
The short answer is kind of. Amanda Waller is punishing those who went against her during the Suicide Squad’s trip to Corto Maltese by matching them up with Peacemaker. Their mission is to take out the butterflies. What are butterflies? Peacemaker asks that same question many many times before getting an answer. No one is very trustworthy in this group.
First up, we have Emilia Harcourt, who we first encountered in Suicide Squad. Harcourt is trained, which Peacemaker finds very attractive, even though she couldn’t be less interested. Next up is John Economos, also seen in Suicide Squad. John is the computer whiz, and also feels that he is being screwed for his actions against Waller. Finally we have the two newbies. Clemson Murn was a mercenary who killed a lot of people, not always for the right side. Leota Adebayo appears to be the most green when it comes to a black ops mission. She brings her wife and dogs along and is eager to get to work, even though Peacemaker is probably pretty racist and misogynistic. Adebayo has a big secret though. Not only does she directly report to Waller, but she’s Waller’s daughter. This is going to get complicated.
Let’s get back to the butterflies. Peacemaker learns the hard way that butterflies have super strength. He goes home with a woman who turns out to be a butterfly out to kill him. He gets away and kills the butterfly thanks to one of the helmets his father made him. (By the way, there has to be more going on with Peacemaker’s dad than we first realize) Murn still holds back information on the butterflies, but it’s time to get to work. They have their first target, a senator believed to be a butterfly. Unfortunately, it’s believed that the whole family are butterflies. This means that Peacemaker is up. He has to kill the entire family, which should be an easy task, except something’s different. Peacemaker can’t take the shot.
Good thing his best friend and fellow masked crusader, Vigilante is there. Vigilante helps to take out the senator’s family, but they were captured before killing the main target. Vigilante is completely ridiculous. He believes that he’s a hero, since he only kills people who are bad. I have a feeling Vigilante just made sure that he has to be included in this fight against the butterflies. Oh yeah, and Peacemaker finally gets his answer. After they bashed in the senator’s skull, a small butterfly looking creature flew out of his face. So that’s a butterfly! The last thing we see is a map of suspected butterflies, and Peacemaker and company have a lot of work to do.
So much happened in these first three episodes, and I can’t wait to see how the rest of this season unravels. The characters are all rich with backstory and mystery, and I can see how some of them might evolve. I have to admit, Peacemaker was not my favorite character in Suicide Squad. He could be very frustrating at times, but seeing the change in him and digging into Christopher Smith is already rewarding. Speaking of this change, if Peacemaker can’t kill, what are they going to do with him? I am so glad we are getting some high quality DC shows from HBO Max, and I’m truly hoping this keeps the door open for more.