When director James Gunn took on a soft reboot of The Suicide Squad, he brought in some familiar members, some less familiar characters, and one who was, at best, tangential to the team in the comics. Yet, with a keen eye for casting, the director knew exactly who would make Peacemaker work despite his odd Pat Boyette-designed costume and weird rationale provided by co-creator Joe Gill. Christopher Smith loved peace so much he would violently assure it.
In the form of former pro wrestler turned actor John Cena, the character played it so straight that he was hysterical in an already gonzo film. Apparently, Gunn was so enchanted with the performance that he idly began writing a backstory miniseries and when he mentioned it to producing partner Peter Safran, he was encouraged to sell it. HBO Max snapped it up and it is now available on Blu-ray from HOB Home Entertainment.
The title credits alone make this having as it has become iconic and imitated.
Sifting through the DCEU and 80 years of DC Comics, Gunn cherrypicked the essential elements to tell us how Smith became the vigilante, spending much of the series exploring the strained (to put it mildly) relationship between Smith and his father (Robert Patrick), the bigoted White Dragon. Ironically, Auggie Smith designed many of Peacemaker’s helmets, each with its own attribute.
After recovering from his life-threatening injuries from the motion picture, we pick up with Smith attempting to resume his simple life. ARGUS had other ideas and forced him to accompany them on Project Butterfly, which proved to be the season-long threat with an alien lifeform that fled its dying planet and has been surreptitiously taking over seemingly thousands of Americans.
The odd team was comprised led by Clemson Mutt (Chukwudi Iwuji), Johnny Economos (Steve Agee), Emilia Harcourt (Jennifer Holland), and newcomer Leota Adebayo (Danielle Brooks), who we learn was coerced into working with ARGUS at the behest of her mother, Amanda Waller (Viola Davis). Everyone not only gets something to do, but each gets their moment to shine, and their interactions are delicious with sharp character writing.
The x-factor comes in the form of Peacemaker’s neighborhood friend and wacko, Adrian Chase (Freddie Stroma), who dons the Vigilante outfit but never fully grasps how serious the stakes are.
The season is a personal delight for me seeing characters I once edited on the screen in fully realized form. There are also cameos from Jason Momoa and Ezra Miller along with silhouettes of the other Justice Leaguers.
The 1080p high definition transfer captures all the color tones nicely and has no obvious flaws. The DTS lossless audio track is also just fine.
The discs come with a boatload of Special Features, mostly taken from HBO Max: Teaser Trailer (3:00), Trailer (3:00), Peacemaker and Vigilante: BFFs (2:00), The Story so Far (4:00), How to Properly Give a F*ck (1:00), Dramatic Comic Book Readings with Chukwudi Iwuji (2:00), Gag Reel (9:00), Unlocking the Quantum Unfolding Storage Area (2:00), So What do you Really Thing of Peacemaker? (2:00), Danielle Brooks Explains the DC Universe (1:40), Keep the Tweets (2:00), Dance for Peace (2:00), On the set with Steve Agee (2:00), Project Butterfly Team Member: Eagly (2:00), Project Butterfly Team Member: Murn (1:00), Project Butterfly Team Member: Vigilante (1:00), Project Butterfly Team Member: John Economos (1:00), Project Butterfly Team Member: Harcourt (1:00), Project Butterfly Team Member: Adebayo (1:00), Project Butterfly Team Member: Vigilante (1:00), Under the Helmet (3:00), Big Daddy Issues: Peacemaker’s Search for Inner Peace (5:00), and Making the World Safe for Violence: Peacemaker’s Team (12:00).