OK, I fell so far behind a lot of the series I was covering that I decided to double up the reviews for this crazy Black Label series and probably the next Danger Street review. That and I accidentally broke my “don’t read the next issue until you review the last one” rule for both of these mini-series.
Issues: Peacemaker Tries Hard! #4 and 5, August to September 2023
Writer: Kyle Starks
Artist: Steve Pugh
The Plot: Peacemaker is off to save his dog from the Brain with the Red Bee as back-up!
Commentary: So, this mini-series grew on me. I wasn’t too keen on it at first, but the more it runs, the more I like. I don’t love it. It’s never going to be a top ten thing for me, but I am digging it. This story started off with Peacemaker being a total loser that didn’t seem capable of doing anything right, whose only real friend was a small dog that he only just found and named “Bruce Wayne,” and he was someone even the other members of the Suicide Squad found distasteful and gross. Then, after the Brain and Mallah fooled him into getting a sample of Deathstroke’s DNA and keeping Peacemaker’s dog in the process, he suddenly got a reminder that he is a superhero (sort of) and he’s not a complete and total loser.
Oddly enough, he’s still basically the same character of a loutish asshole who doesn’t seem very bright. It’s more like now these skills and traits are helpful in whatever he’s doing, plus he’s trying to be a better person since his parole officer, helping him in his quest, is the Golden Age hero the Red Bee.
Those skills actually come in handy when Peacemaker and the Red Bee need to interrogate General Immortus on how the find the Brain.
But really, this is the sort of series where Peacemaker will call Amanda Waller expecting help finding his dog, he’ll get into a tussle with Snowflame (the ultimate 80s villain since his powers kicked in whenever he snorted cocaine), and then a whole mess of clones at varying levels of hostility show up. No one can stop a teenage Deathstroke the way Peacemaker can, and it’s the sort of thing that has been really working for me.
So, is this the best Peacemaker story I have ever read? Eh, maybe by default, but it’s fun, not great.