So what do you do with a character who is the most despicable villain in your blockbuster movie? Someone who betrays all his comrades and kills one of the only redeemable members of the Suicide Squad? Why you give him his own show of course!! Clearly James Gunn and his writing talents are on a level that are beyond mere mortals. I say that because, not only is Peacemaker Season 1 an absolute riot and thoroughly entertaining but Peacemaker himself is now one of the most lovable characters with the biggest heart in all of the DCEU! Bold statement to make, let’s get into it!
The main reason this show works so well is down to it’s sense of humour. It deals with dark, violent topics and nothing is consider too sensitive to explore. This is contrasted beautifully with healthy humour to lighten the load. The jokes are often juvenile, crass and sometimes just gross but they are also non stop. There is a barrage of funny lines thrown at you in every scene to the point where it’s impossible not to find some of it downright hilarious. Not every joke lands but you can guarantee there’s another one coming in fast that will stick. Every member of the team and even every bit part character has been given this dose of wit so that no scene is ever too serious. This allows for the over the top violence and the very dark subject matter as it’s a great counter balance. It makes everything feel a little cartoonish in the best possible way!
The main protagonist starts as a foul mouth, unlovable killing machine with definite psychopathic tendencies. Hard to like, let alone love in the opening episode but you’re quickly taken on a character arc of redemption. Exploring his origins and seeing the reasons for why he’s turned out so messed up allows for growth. Also, his willingness to change and him slowly opening up and forming bonds with his fellow team mates shows deep down what Peacemaker is all about. He shows incredible heart and is played expertly by John Cena. I have seen Cena in many roles before but this one really shows what a breakout talent he is. No longer just a wrestler, he shows real range here and his comedic timing is unrivaled. There are moments in Peacemaker where his ability to improvise and sheer passion for the character really shine through. John Cena makes Peacemaker larger than life and easy to love. Not an easy task.
Another huge strength of this show is the near perfect casting. The six team members of the affectionately titled ’11th street kids’ are all amazing. The natural chemistry on screen is very apparent. We get to see them begin their journey as disjointed misfits, each of them hiding a secret. They go from that to forming strong bonds for each other, owning up to their misgivings and working together as a team. It is actually quite inspiring to watch! As strong as each actor/actress is in their role, there is one character who stands out in every scene. Vigilante is the most insane of all the characters and has rapidly become a fan favorite. He considers himself Peacemaker’s BFF and is a complete sociopath. He seems to lack the ability to learn or grow and single handedly delivers comedy gold in almost every scene. It wouldn’t surprise me if he doesn’t get his own show although he is much better suited to playing the sidekick rather then the main star.
It wouldn’t be a James Gunn creation without a huge focus on music. Moving away from ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ more funky disco tunes though and firmly planted it’s feet in 80’s glam rock! Every song here is an absolute banger and I even love how some of the episode titles are puns on very famous songs. The intro credit sequence has to be seen to be believed also. Gunn himself says he made the intro so that it would be impossible for viewers to skip it as he wanted all the team credited to have their names seen week to week. He’s not wrong either, I found I never once skipped the intro as it’s truly a joy to watch and deserves repeat viewing. Special shout out to Wig Wam for their hit ‘Do you want to Taste it’. That song now permanently lives in my head rent free!
I don’t want to give anything away as I think this show definitely deserves to be enjoyed without spoilers. It’s clear to see that James Gunn’s previously works have bled over a little here and some ideas have been re-hashed from other projects. I’m not saying that as an insult as with clever writing, it all does still feel fresh. Needless to say, the strongest part of the show is the character development and the redemption of Peacemaker. I also love how much the ending here has left things open for Season 2 (which is confirmed). The future seems exciting with a lot of changes coming that might effect the DCEU on a wider scale. Go watch it to find out what I mean!
Absolutely loved it. It somehow juggles violence, action, comedy and drama with a confidence that I’ve not seen before. The cast are truly excellent and James Gunn has a real talent for making the viewer burst out laughing in one moment and then bringing them to tears in the next. (Dye beard speech is a work of art!…..I’ve said too much!). Some might find the over the top violence and dark subject matter off putting but I really urge you to push on through as this show has a lot of depth and a whole lot of heart. Go watch it now!!!!
What did you think of Peacemaker Season 1? Do you think we’ll get more cameos in Season 2? Does James Gunn even realize he now has to make an even better title sequence for the next one? Let me know in the comments below