Peacemaker: Tries Hard! #1 delivers laughs
When I think of Peacemaker, I think of a rather straightlaced, no-nonsense, humorless, jackass. It wasn’t until his small screen debut did I notice the character could deliver laughs by playing the straight-man meets idiot role. The television series kept the overall concept of the character down but made him in a way dimwitted in his focus and hilarious in the utter non-sense he spouts and things he does. Peacemaker: Tries Hard! #1 delivers that “newer” take on the character in a debut that’s packed with laughs and utter absurdity.
Written by Kyle Starks, the comic has the character paroled. He’s technically no longer forced into Task Force X’s “employment” and instead is attempting to live his life… by making a cake and having friends over. Unfortunately, Peacemaker is a douche so no one really likes him and wants him. That is until Amanda Waller has a task for him to take out terrorists leading to Peacemaker meeting his first friend, a dog. That dog is then kidnapped to force the character to steal something for a villain. It’s all a rather convoluted connect the dots sort of thing to get the ball rolling, but it’s a very entertaining connect the dots where everything falls into place nicely.
Starks nails the issue with a mix of reasons to enjoy it. There’s the utter insane things said and done, all delivering laughs in their own way. Then there’s Peacemaker himself who Starks gives enough to feel actually sorry for. The character is a jackass and no one really likes him no matter how hard he tries, and fails, to make it otherwise the case. He was raised by a horrible person and his social skills are lacking, something Starks makes sure to emphasize and highlight. For those that know the character, it gives you a good idea as to what makes up this version and for those that don’t, it’s a solid introduction to get to know him. Sure, the dog being snagged has been done before but all of it is to get the story rolling and give some motivation to Peacemaker’s actions.
The art by Steve Pugh is good. With color by Jordie Bellaire and lettering by Becca Carey, the style falls more into the slapstick comical side of things visually. This is a comic where you need to pay attention to the whole panel as some jokes aren’t front and center. It’s a decent style that isn’t the grim and gritty you might expect with Pugh delivering a visual tone that matches the comedic aspects of it all. Overall it generally works and when you get to the latter part of the comic the visuals, action, and humor really click and click well.
Peacemaker: Tries Hard! #1 is a great debut. It’s absurd in its situations playing up everything to extremes but never quite crossing that line to distract. Every moment is used to pack in a joke and a laugh, and through it all, you feel a little bad for Peacemaker. Well worth a buy if you’re a long time fan of the character, new to him, or just need a good laugh.
Story: Kyle Starks Art: Steve Pugh
Color: Jordie Bellaire Letterer: Becca Carey
Story: 8.5 Art: 7.95 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy
DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review