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‘Peacemaker Tries Hard!’ HC (review)

Written by Kyle Starks
Art by Steve Pugh
Published by DC Black
Label / DC Comics


Peacemaker was one of DC Comics lesser known characters until recent years.

He’s been getting a huge resurgence(or maybe even his first surge) due to actor John Cena’s portrayal of of the character first in the Suicide Squad film and followed up by the Peacemaker television show (soon to have a second season!).

It makes sense for DC to put forth a new series, but the character never really matched the television character we see.

That is, until now.

Kyle Starks is one hell of a comic book creator. He really knows how to write and even draw comics in a way that so few people are these days. He has mostly made his mark up until now on a lot of independent fare but he has been angling toward more mainstream work in recent years. He is a perfect fit for the Peacemaker character and is able to blend the comic book work well with the television sensibilities of the character. James Gunn has established the character well on the screen. Starks comes the closest in melding comics and film together.

Athena the beginning of this series, Peacemaker has earned his release from the Suicide Squad! Christopher Smith has done what so few people have done! So, what does he decided to do with his newfound freedom?


Maybe go to the beach and catch a few waves?

Nope. He decides that he wants to try out this superhero thing full time. That’s right, he’s going to actually do it and stop some criminals but good. Sadly, it doesn’t work out too well for him. Everyone thinks that he is absolutely terrible at the superhero game. Even the criminals think he’s terrible at it! He does try hard but doesn’t accomplish too much at all.
Starks specializes in these lovable loser type of characters.

Peacemaker is down on his luck, and life isn’t going so well. Then, he is introduced to a dog that literally changes his entire life! Things finally make sense for Christopher Smith and they are starting to go in the right direction. But then, a supervillain comes along and kidnaps the dog right from under Peacemaker. He is devastated beyond belief. So, he resorts to the only thing that he knows how to do: a whole mess of ultra violence.

We get to watch as Peacemaker tracks his dog down. There is one hilarious set piece after another in this book. The villain wants Peacemaker to steal some rare DNA if he wants to see his dog again alive.

Will he do it?

Well, we get to see the result of that. It is laugh out loud funny and even a little bit emotional. The stakes are high for sure but the creative team know what they are doing. They land every moment perfectly here. It is effortlessly entertaining through the book.

There are so many moments in this book that  I couldn’t stop laughing at. Watching Peacemaker being forced to work with Monsieur Mallah has to be my favorite though. It’s so thoroughly ridiculous and fun that I couldn’t get enough of it. Their banter back and forth is unbelievably hilarious and fun. I would love to see more adventures starring the two of them (but only if Starks is writing it). Mallah eventually betrays Peacemaker (no surprise there) and the resulting complications from that are just darkly humorous.

This whole thing leads to a really wild ending, one that leaves the door open for further adventures. It is so unexpected and it’s endearing while also being wildly entertaining and completely stupid.

You can’t ask for a better combination than that. Every story best works tremendously and the dialogue really is some of the best dialogue in recent years. I wish more comics took changes as much as this comic does.

The writing is, of course, wonderful. The artwork by Steve Pugh is completely perfect. The characters are all wonderfully expressive both with their body language and their facial expressions. Starks and Pugh make such an indelible team that works in a way that is completely new to this universe. I loved every second of this book and it is definitely one I’ll be rereading again in the future.


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