Peacemaker Season 1 Review – Misfiring DC strike again… with another dud

Season 1

Episode Guide

Episode 1 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 2 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 3 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 4 – | Review Score – 2.5/5
Episode 5 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 6 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 7 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 8 – | Review Score – 3.5/5

 

Peacemaker is a show of two halves. The first four episodes are awkwardly contrived, full of hit or miss action and armed with misfiring comedy. The second half lets loose, delivering a crazy and manic action-packed finale that leans into the wackiness of the show. Peacemaker still has the same issues here, but it’s much more driven and enjoyable than those early chapters were.

The story here takes place after the events of last year’s Suicide Squad. If you’re a little rusty about the story, the first episode does provide a handy recap of events. Our hero here is Peacemaker, arguably the least likable member of the Suicide Squad. This makes it rather puzzling over just why he’s been given his own show. Either way, John Cena reprises his role as Peacemaker returns home only to be recruited to a top-secret operation codenamed Butterfly.

Well, recruited may be underselling this, given Clemson Murn – the man in charge of the operation – holds all the cards and could put Peacemaker behind bars at the drop of a hat. So Peacemaker joins the gang, and soon learns that this case is far more complicated than he could have ever realized.

Alongside this storyline are several other long-running subplots. Peacemaker’s past and his estranged relationship with his father, Auggie, is one of the more interesting dynamics at work. It’s too bad that it’s sidelined for much of the season though, eventually reaching an emotional climax in episode 7… only to be undermined by an ill-placed joke. And that sums up the bulk of Peacemaker.

For all the good work this show does with its character angles and crazy, bombastic action (and the finale is one heck of a showstopper) the jokes are incredibly hit or miss. One episode sees a recurring joke about a missing pinky toe that wasn’t funny the first time and it’s not funny for the remainder of the episode.

There are numerous expletives, genitalia jokes, ill-placed slapstick and contrived awkwardness that all lean into that “fray boy” humour that will be a blast for some… but an instant turn off for many others. To be fair, there are a couple of long-running jokes that work but this one is way more miss than hit.

The story and later development for the characters is the real saving grace here, managing to elevate what’s otherwise a below-average superhero series. Peacemaker is nowhere near as deep or wacky as Doom Patrol, nor is it as gritty and visceral as The Boys. Instead, Peacemaker exists in a weird grey area between the two, never quite standing up to the two shows but undoubtedly likely to be compared to the two.

Peacemaker is about 5 episodes too long and when the dust settles and the final credits roll, you’re unlikely to return to this one in a hurry.


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