REVIEW: ‘Batman Secret Files: Peacekeeper (2021),’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Peacekeeper #1 - But Why Tho

Batman Secret Files: Peacekeeper (2021) #1 (Peacekeeper #1) is published by DC Comics. Written by Ed Brisson, from a plot by Brisson and James Tynion IV. The artist is Joshua Hixson. Roman Stevens is the colourist and the letterer is Travis Lanham. This comic is part of the Fear State event.

Peacekeeper-01 has gone AWOL. He was compromised with a near-lethal dose of fear toxin by Scarecrow. Now feral and unpredictable, he speeds his way through the city of Gotham. His handlers are hunting him down, even bringing in Red Hood to take him out. Whilst he is clearly headed for a destination, he has flashbacks to his upbringing and history.

The plot is very nicely split in two, with differing tones for each. One is in the present as Peacekeeper-01 powers his way through the city. This part of the comic is intense, thrumming with power as the protagonist is in the middle of a chase. The unpredictability of what he is going to do keeps the reader on their toes. The flashback is much slower, but still exhilarating in its content. This concept of the secret files is brilliant, as it weaves characters into the lore of DC and updating them so they fit into the Batman world. The two timelines interchange with each other for space in the issue. The suspense constantly builds in the present day. Once the reveal happens, you are left pinching yourself that you didn’t see it coming.

Peacekeeper #1 is a fantastic issue for those who are new to the character of Sean Mahoney, or for the avid followers. Something that Brisson achieves within this comic is attach the family name of the Mahoneys to the stalwart surnames of Gotham. The Waynes, the Cobbelepots. But it also cements the family as downtrodden and beneath them. The backstory of Mahoney is full of emotional intricacy. The relationship with his father is stunning in just how powerful it is. Run-ins with notorious supervillains and famous figureheads give him legitimacy in this corner of the DC Universe. There are some lengthy monologues that the audience laps up, hanging on their every word.

The art is perfectly suited for the tone of the comic. There is a scruffy attribute to Hixson’s line rt that instantly makes things seem negative and dark. As Peacekeeper-01 weaves his way through traffic, the sensation of speed is scintillating. Thick motion lines block out everything but the cars in the case, connecting them in a dogfight. Mahoney’s now-iconic helmet is missing for much of the issue, allowing his wild-eyes to replace his stoicism. When a classic villain does emerge, Hixson designs them as a horrifying vision

The colours are superb. Dark and gritty, this issue never lets up in drowning the reader in intensity. In the current story, Gotham is still in the throes of Scarecrow’s machinations. With that, the sky is blood red, bathing the things below them in the same scarlet shade. The colours in the flashback do change, but scenes will use a single tone until it cuts away from that timeline. When it comes back, there will be a subtle difference.

The lettering is fantastic. Lanham’s word balloons are clean and easy to read. There is also a sense of volume in moments, where balloons progressively get louder to drown out those around them.

Batman Secret Files: Peacekeeper #1 may be the best of the series. This is an excellent introduction for someone whose knowledge of Peacekeeper-01 is limited. As a relatively new character, a standalone issue where they are the main character is a fantastic method of boosting their popularity. It has an awesome plot and Brisson’s script in both current and past timelines is sublime.

Batman Secret Files: Peacekeeper (2021) #1 is in drafts.


Batman Secret Files: Peacekeeper (2021) #1
5

TL;DR

Batman Secret Files: Peacekeeper #1 may be the best of the series. This is an excellent introduction for someone whose knowledge of Peacemaker-01 is limited. As a relatively new character, a standalone issue where they are the main character is a fantastic method of boosting their popularity. It has an awesome plot and Brisson’s script in both current and past timelines is sublime.