“Peacemaker” Isn’t Your Average Superhero Show (He Doesn’t Even Have A Coterie Of Villains!)

“There’s no superhero called Peacemaker”. As a matter of fact, there is. “Peacemaker” was first introduced in 1966 as a pacifist hero who believed in peace at any cost, no matter how many men, women or children he had to kill to get it. This off brand Captain America has come a long way since then, appearing in 2021’s “The Suicide Squad”, as he now has his own show airing on HBO Max. I wasn’t too keen on the idea of watching and it took a bit of convincing to make it happen. So what exactly won me over to the side of the Peacemaker? The opening dance sequence (and the loss of a man’s toe).

Yes, it was the ridiculous dance sequence at the beginning of every episode that won me over. Upon looking it up on YouTube for the first time, my initial thought was “this is going to be so stupid” but to my surprise….it wasn’t. It was a shock at first, seeing the cast dance like seventh graders at their first school dance but that initial shock quickly turned into laughter over how absurd they all looked. Once I actually started the first episode and got to understand what each character was about, those dance moves made more sense as time went on. The opening sequence is so crafty, borderline genius at grabbing people’s attention because it’s not something anyone would expect to see. Wig Wam’s “Do Ya Wanna Taste It” is catchy and impossible to skip over once it’s started. Normally shows of this genre have an epic opener of some sort, an action sequence or two with some cool CGI effects. It’s actually what I expected to see but instead the characters started doing the crab walk across a stage. Simple, yet effective in grabbing one’s attention. Brilliantly well done, it’s an opening sequence that almost feels illegal to skip.

Admittedly, it wasn’t just the dance sequence that grabbed my attention. The other big influence that convinced me to tune in was none other than Freddie Stroma himself. The role was previously given to Chris Conrad, who stepped out due to creative differences, and Freddie came in to replace the role. With all due respect to Conrad, I don’t think he would’ve garnered the same fan response the way Freddie did. Stroma as Vigilante upstaged Peacemaker despite Cena being the main character. Is it the boyish charm? The goofy smile? There’s something about him that’s just so magical and magnetic. He was ultimately the one that helped me make the final decision as to whether or not Peacemaker was worth watching (the defining factor was the torture scene. Who knew watching a man get his pinky toe cut off would convince me to tune in) and I’m so glad I did. I love my little murder cupcake. He’s very much like Deadpool in the sense that he’s always cussing, always cracking some kind of joke or another despite the fact that he might have killed an entire family in cold blood, and yet he makes Deadpool look sane. Freddie plays the character so well that it’s impossible to imagine anyone else wearing the suit and taking on the now iconic role. With his charm and face of an angel, if anyone was going to rope me into this chaos, it’s him.

The title sequence may be different from most superhero shows, but it’s one of the most entertaining [from left to right: Freddie Stroma as Adrian Chase/Vigilante, John Cena as Christopher Smith/Peacemaker, Danielle Brooks as Leota Adebayo]

Maybe it’s because I have a dirty sense of humor and profanity makes me laugh, but the humor on Peacemaker is brilliant. So brilliant in fact it’s reminiscent of Marvel’s Deadpool movies, which oddly enough is who Vigilante reminds me of and is probably why I adore him so much. Every F word, every joke made towards white supremacy is just so well written and executed. Not only that but the delivery of those lines is what makes it that much funnier to watch. Jokes of this manner have to be delivered a certain way otherwise they won’t receive the desired reaction from viewers. Peacemaker has no problem getting that reaction if you’re the type who think profanity and vulgarity are funny. In conjunction with the jokes, I also noticed that the writers have been telling us everything that was about to happen in earlier episodes. With heavy foreshadowing of future events, if you listen and watch carefully the second time around, you’ll realize that you’ve been told what was going to happen this entire time. It’s hard to catch onto the first time but upon a second rewatch, I noticed that many crucial and important moments were foreshadowed in early episodes. A very smart and sneaky move on the writers part.

Another thing worth noting about the series is how well the cast play off each other. Coupled with the incredible writing, many scenes often feel like impromptu and not a single script was given to them at all during filming. This is the result of a cast that get along really well with each other and a lot of that carries over to their characters. John Cena especially shines during emotional moments, his face conveying all the emotions that his character Chris can’t necessarily communicate using words. There are also several scenes when a character’s approach to a situation is a stark contrast to the seriousness of something that is happening, and a lot of the time it seems like a cast member is about to break character and laugh but they don’t. A prime example of this was when Chris (Cena) was listing off people that Economos (Steve Agee) could’ve used to frame instead of his father. Chris lists nearly a dozen names or so, two of them being Freddie Stroma and James Gunn. Economos goes on to say that “those two aren’t even things”, meanwhile Vigilante (played by Freddie Stroma) is sitting a foot away from them and watching them go back and forth without breaking character. It’s just so impressive to see such a close group of friends get along so well like this that it translates beautifully on screen to create incredible content and results.

Chris (John Cena) flexes his acting muscles throughout the season and showcases incredible emotional range [from left to right: Freddie Stroma as Adrian Chase/Vigilante, John Cena as Christopher Smith/Peacemaker]

With its recent season two renewal, it was no surprise to fans that this memorable series would be making a return. How could it not? It has something to offer for everyone: comedy, drama, action, an adorable bald eagle. Whether or not this is your cup of tea, give it a chance. Like me, I was on the fence but once I gave it a try, it was the best decision I’ve ever made (and now I’m hooked). Peacemaker is sure to win you over and cherish its loveable cast of characters, no matter how many episodes you have to watch to achieve it.

You can stream Peacemaker now on HBO Max.

Published by Kersten Noelle

Avid fan TV/movie watcher. Gamer. All opinions are my own. Writer for fandomlair.com

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