Peacemaker Season One is the first season of an American superhero comedy drama streaming television series created by James Gunn for the streaming service HBO Max, based on the DC Comics character Peacemaker. It is the first DC Extended Universe (DCEU) television series, a spin-off from the 2021 film The Suicide Squad.
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Peacemaker Season One might very well be the best superhero TV series ever, outperforming the various Disney+ streaming TV series produced by Marvel Studios. Which is ironic as James Gunn was hired by Warner Media to work on DCEU properties only because he had been fired by Disney for dubiously unpopular tweets. Marvel’s loss was the DCEU’s gain, for sure.
While The Suicide Squad film was flawed and problematic, Peacemaker Season One was a winner from the first episode with its irreverent tone and deconstructive approach. Gunn described the character as an “Alt-Right douchebag” and went about the series breaking down the personality of Chris Smith / Peacemaker in order to understand what made the character tick.
By the end of season one, the audience was able to appreciate that Smith’s white supremacist father and the accidental killing of his older brother by his own hands had seriously traumatised Smith’s fragile psyche to such an extent that he believed that he had to kill to make peace! This of course led to Smith killing Rick Flagg in The Suicide Squad film, which is heavily addressed in the series, as well.
In this context, it is easy to see why Task Force X leader Amanda Waller wanted to exploit Peacemaker’s fractured and tortured soul as a weapon for the US government. Inadvertently of course, being forced to work with this Project Butterfly team ultimately allowed Smith to face down his demons and bring about a certain amount of healing and redemption.
Apart from this excellent character study, Peacemaker Season One worked brilliantly due to Gunn’s spot-on, hilarious and engaging dialogue. Gunn’s unique wordplay and offbeat conversations amongst characters has set his work apart from most superhero movies and TV and given a real world context to these hyper-real personalities.
In addition, Gunn’s brilliant use of a 1980s glam rock-metal soundtrack provided another unique perspective and perhaps single-handedly prompted a revisiting a oft-maligned era of rock history. Again, this music gave the audience a deeper insight into Peacemaker’s biographical background without depicting too much. A stroke of genius.
In summary, Peacemaker Season One is essential viewing for any serious follower of superhero film and TV – it seldom gets better than this! Highly recommended!!
Now streaming on HBO Max
… still there’s more …