Writer: Kyle Starks
Art: Steve Pugh
Colors: Jordie Bellaire
Letters: Becca Carey
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: May 2nd, 2023
Psychosis rules in Peacemaker Tries Hard! #1, the debut of the newest DC Black Label six issue miniseries. Peacemaker’s on parole, but his urge to “keep peace” in the most violent ways possible threatens to get him sent back to prison and doing hard time. When Amanda Waller calls (her contact info is “OLD WORK! ANSWER OR THEY’LL BLOW UP BOMB IN HEAD”) and asks Peacemaker to take out a terrorist group, he jumps at the offer. But the craziness really happens after Peacemaker meets Bruce Wayne. No, not THAT Bruce Wayne. I’m talking about Bruce Wayne the bulldog. And who’s the bizarre DC Villain who has an offer for Peacemaker that he can’t refuse?
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Peacemaker Tries Hard! #1 is 29 pages but parodies enough subjects to fill 3 books. No one is safe in the book. Millennials, gym rats, liberals, conservatives, and even Bruce Wayne are all lambasted within its pages, and it’s all hilarious. One scene with the Suicide Squad is especially funny and had me laughing out loud (in a good way). I haven’t seen the Peacemaker show on HBO Max, which will soon change its name to “Max”. Did they actually pay someone millions of dollars to come up with that gem? Why not just call it “Travis” or “Kelly Sue”? Anyway, I haven’t seen the show, but I did see James Gunn’s “The Suicide Squad” film and I loved it. The Peacemaker in this miniseries is pretty much the same version as John Cena’s character in the film.
If you know nothing about Peacemaker, you get a good understanding of who he is in the first few pages of this book. When he says his motto is “I’d do anything for peace, I’d even kill for it”, I think that pretty much sums up his character. He’s a bulked-up lunkhead with a temper as quick as his trigger finger. He’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but deep down he has a good heart. At one point in the book, we get a glimpse back to Peacemaker’s boyhood and the abuse he suffered from his father. It’s shown in a darkly humorous way, but you feel for the guy and what he suffered at the hands of his despotic dad. I liked this look into Peacemaker’s past, it’s a good counterpoint to the insane stuff that happens throughout the rest of the issue.
This miniseries has the Black Label stamp, which is DC’s equivalent of an R-rated book, and it earns that Black Label, surprisingly more with language than violence. There’s violence in the book, but nowhere near as brutally gory as it could have been. Still, the battle scenes are thrilling and fun to read. Who doesn’t enjoy watching Peacemaker wreck a group of terrorists? The last few pages are the most fascinating, with the appearance of one of DC’s stranger villains, setting up a great situation for next issue. It’s going to be an interesting second issue for sure and I can’t wait to see what happens next.
Steve Pugh and Jordie Bellaire’s art on Peacemaker Tries Hard! #1 is a perfect fit for the book, with great detail and a Kirbyesque style that makes Peacemaker look like a huge walking wall of muscle. Lots of hilarious background details enhance the plot and the story, and I want to say right now that Mr. Pugh draws the sexiest Harley Quinn I’ve ever seen. What’s great about his Harley is that she’s not overdone, she’s drawn like an average woman who just happens to dabble in heavy eye shadow (Ms. Bellaire’s coloring is perfect on this), frequently hits the gym and is totally bonkers. The entire issue is wonderfully drawn.
Peacemaker Tries Hard! #1 is a great first issue, perfect for both Peacemaker fans and those who know nothing about Peacemaker. It’s fun and has a fantastic cliffhanger ending. If you’re curious about Peacemaker, grab this book and get on the ground floor of what promises to be a great ride. Recommended.