TV Review: ‘Peacemaker’ Represents the Best Parts of Superhero TV


Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.

Peacemaker is the most recent DC Comics TV series airing weekly episodes on HBO Max. It is a spinoff of The Suicide Squad written by James Gunn. Gunn is a very talented director, and directed Guardians of The Galaxy, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Super, and many more hit films.

I am a huge fan of the way Gunn directs his projects. He takes very obscure characters in Marvel and DC Comics and makes them household names. Peacemaker reinforces the development and screen time that Gunn has given to the character of Peacemaker.

This show is wonderful. It completely shows how creative Gunn can be with his work and feels like a fitting continuation of Peacemaker, Christopher Smith’s character. The way Gunn can really express his creative freedom in this show is my favorite part. Recently, we have seen many directors have their visions tainted by studio interference. Such as David Ayer in Suicide Squad and Zack Snyder in Justice League. However Gunn does not suffer from that at all, and it really does show.

The tone of this show is comical, but it really leans into the grit and violence in the action scenes. Gunn has a record of not taking the situations seriously, unlike shows like The Flash or Arrow which want to have the viewer relate to completely outlandish scenarios. The humor is very childish, but I find it hilarious. The pacing of this show is handled very well

Another thing that is handled very well in Peacemaker is the characters. Every character in this show feels so different and unique, which is something other forms of comic-book media suffer from quite often. In Avengers: Age of Ultron, where all the characters have very similar dialogue, and they tell the same kinds of jokes – which will take me right out of the story. Peacemaker does not suffer from this problem, there is such a unique difference between each character.

Furthermore, characters like Peacemaker and Vigilante have really shined throughout all of the episodes. Vigilante is my personal favorite character because of his sense of humor. I also like Peacemaker a lot, as well as Emelia Harcourt, John Economos, and Judomaster. The acting in this show is also phenomenal. I went into it thinking that I would never be able to see Peacemaker and only John Cena. I was pleasantly surprised, as John Cena is phenomenal in Peacemaker.

Some more fantastic actors include Chukwudi Iwuji as Clemson Murn and Robert Patrick as Auggie Smith. Patrick does a fantastic job at making Auggie Smith so unlikable. Freddie Stroma is also amazing as Vigilante. Danielle Brooks is phenomenal as Leota Adebayo, and Jennifer Holland is perfect as Emilia Harcourt. This cast is one of the best I have seen in a while.

I also enjoyed the cinematography. The shots look great, and I love the color grading in each scene. This is another thing that most superhero shows suffer from, but not Peacemaker.

James Gunn was the perfect choice to direct this show. He has impressed me so much, ever since Guardians of The Galaxy. The dialogue feels organic and human. The comedy is on point, and the tone is razor-sharp. It can be very serious in one scene and completely comedic in the next.

Another thing I didn’t expect to notice much is the show’s intro. Every character is dancing to “Do Ya Wanna Taste It” by Wig Wam. It is one of the only TV show intros that I never skip, it is very comedic and very enjoyable to watch.

James Gunn’s Peacemaker is a beautiful show and really feels like a love letter to its character. But more than that, it conveys why comic book film studios should stay out of the writing room.

TV shows that are made by directors without studio interference have been proven to work much better than movies like The Amazing Spider-Man 2 or Spider-Man 3. Both movies were bogged down by studio interference, such as adding entire characters to sell toys, or cutting out entire scenes deemed ‘not important.’ Peacemaker is a perfect example of what happens when the studio lets the director do their job.

If you enjoy shows like Daredevil, Cobra Kai, Titans, Hawkeye, or Luke Cage, you will certainly like Peacemaker a lot. I definitely recommend it.