REVIEW: ‘Peacemaker: Disturbing The Peace,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Peacemaker Disturbing The Peace #1 - But Why Tho

Peacemaker: Disturbing The Peace #1 is written by Garth Ennis, illustrated by Garry Brown, colored by Lee Loughridge, and lettered by Rob Steen. It’s published by DC Comics under their Black Label imprint. Christopher Smith-better known as Peacemaker-is approached by a psychiatrist who’s been assigned to determine whether or not he’s mentally fit to be part of a new Special Forces unit. During the interview, Smith’s dark and checkered past is revealed-including his drive to bring peace to the world by killing others.

Those used to John Cena’s performance as Peacemaker in The Suicide Squad and his self-titled spinoff series might be in for a shock with this comic, as it ditches the laughs for some very dark revelations about its titular character. Smith doesn’t even don his trademark red and blue uniform or silver helmet throughout the one-shot, instead choosing to wear nondescript clothing. Creative decisions like these are to be expected of Ennis, who’s taken a relatively gritty approach to his previous works including The Boys and Preacher. He’s also made his disdain for the superhero genre quite plain, so the usual tropes are nowhere to be found.

And yet, it essentially makes Smith feel like a low-rate version of the Punisher—another character that Ennis is well-known for writing. On the surface, both characters are very similar: family trauma, military background, and a black-and-white version of justice. However, in comics canon, Peacemaker’s drive to achieve peace is rooted in his relationship with his Nazi father. In this new version, his family kills themselves, leading him to believe that they sought peace they couldn’t find in life. I’m not opposed to rebooting or revamping characters’ origin stories—DC often does this with its various “Crisis” events—but the changes should make sense. This just feels like shock value for the sake of shock value.

Faring better are Brown and Louhridge on artwork. Brown’s art is a collection of hard lines and edges, resulting in a square jaw and bulky build for Smith. Even Steen’s letters follow in this tradition, looking like they were plucked straight from Ennis’ script. Louhridge’s color art shifts in intensity based on whether a scene is taking place in the past or present; lighter for the former, darker for the latter. And although Smith may not be wearing his trademark red uniform, red is a predominant color as he sheds the blood of those he feels are guilty. An inferno in the past is depicted as a raging tower of flames, melting flesh off of bone and warping metal in its wake. And shadows creep in on the edges in the present, representing Smith’s state of mind.

Peacemaker: Disturbing The Peace #1 offers a new origin for Christopher Smith, though its stellar artwork can’t make up for the lack of originality or the fact that Gath Ennis is scraping his bag of tricks. Those looking for Peacemaker comics to read after watching The Suicide Squad and/or Peacemaker would be better off reading the current Suicide Squad series.

Peacemaker: Disturbing The Peace #1 is available wherever comics are sold.


Peacemaker: Disturbing The Peace #1
3.5

TL;DR

Peacemaker: Disturbing The Peace #1 offers a new origin for Christopher Smith, though its stellar artwork can’t make up for the lack of originality or the fact that Gath Ennis is scraping his bag of tricks. Those looking for Peacemaker comics to read after watching The Suicide Squad and/or Peacemaker would be better off reading the current Suicide Squad series.