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Peacemaker Tries Hard! #1 (of 6)

Comicscore Index
Generally favorable ratings

Based on 14 critic ratings.

Having earned his release from the Suicide Squad, Peacemaker wants to try and do normal superhero stuff for a change. Unfortunately everyone, including the bad guys, thinks he sucks at superhero stuff. But when busting up a terrorist ring introduces Christopher Smith to the cutest thing to ever walk (awkwardly) on four legs, he finds the unconditional love he’s been denied his whole life. That is, until the dog is kidnapped right out from under him by a super-villain who has some very un-super-heroic plans for Peacemaker’s brand of ultraviolence. Will he help an infamously unstable super-powered criminal steal the world’s most valuable-and dangerous-DNA? Honestly, Christopher’s pretty lonely, so it probably just depends on how nicely they ask…

Breakout writer Kyle Starks (I Hate This Place, Six Sidekicks of Trigger Keaton) and art legend Steve Pugh (Preacher Special: Saint of Killers, Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass) deliver a brutal and hilarious take on DC’s biggest P.O.S. that will bust guts, break bones, and melt hearts!

Publication Date
Kindle Edition
Print Length
28 pages
Amazon ASIN

14 Critic Ratings & Reviews from:
  • 100

    Major Spoilers

    They say that comedy is hard, but Peacemaker Tries Hard #1 works both as an adventure story and as a comic tale, with just enough unexpected heart to make the story of Peacemaker’s new pet believable, with attractive art. The main DCU Peacemaker has never been this much fun, nor has that portrayal ever captured the TV version this accurately. If this had come out closer to the January 2022 release of the TV show, I’d have chalked it up to a perfect example of capital-S Synergy, but as it is, fans of the show should definitely check this one out.

  • 100

    Capes & Tights

    Writer Kyle Starks (I Hate This Place, Where Monsters Lie) and art legend Steve Pugh (Preacher Special: Saint of Killers, Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass) deliver a brutal and hilarious take on DC’s biggest P.O.S. that will bust guts, break bones, and melt hearts!

    Kyle Starks has been known as an outstanding comedic comic writer, but more recently has focused on the horror genre with amazing books such as Where Monsters Lie and I Hate This Place. Kyle returns to his roots a bit with Peacemaker and knocked it out of the park. However, it’s not just a comedy book. The DC Black Label series is action packed with a great story that takes notes from The Suicide Squad and Peacemaker television series.

    Along with Kyle’s spectacular writing, legend Steve Pugh nailed the artwork which pairs extremely well with the Peacemaker character and Starks’ story. We are excited to see where Pugh and Starks take this six-issue miniseries.

    If you are a fan of the Gunn’s take on the Peacemaker character in The Suicide Squad and self-titled HBO Max series, Peacemaker Tries Hard is for you. The look, feel and story follow in the footsteps of the on-screen version of Christopher Smith.

  • 100

    Get Your Comic On

    Written by Kyle Starks, Peacemaker Tries Hard! leans in heavily to the aesthetic of the character’s recent TV series. Not quite superhero, not quite villain. Peacemaker is out to prove to others he can do whatever it takes to bring peace to the work. Yes, even eat a bucket of poop. Of course his life-long mission will probably be harder than he originally thought.


    The debut of Peacemaker Tries Hard! has definitely lead the groundwork for an exciting series to come. The creative team has hit the mark and I look forward to seeing more in the future.

  • 100

    First Comics News

    The breakout star from 2021’s “The Suicide Squad” returns with a new series under DC’S Black Label and I have to say it’s HILARIOUS!! Written by Kyle Starks with art by comics legend Steve Pugh, the opening issue of this series sets of tone for the dark humor that will really get people hooked on this series; Starks does a great job of establishing Peacemaker’s personality traits while holding another back with the quips and mischief but at the same time telling a story about loneliness and yearning for companionship as Peacemaker gets the cold shoulder from everyone, even his fellow Suicide Squad members who want NOTHING to do with him (Especially from a disturbing encounter involving Peacemaker and his collection of VHS Porn- Don’t ask!); Starks shows that he can add some R-Rated comedy to his scripts that would make the writing staff of “Rick And Morty” blush with envy and while he’s not exactly doing everything that James Gunn did, it’s nice to know that he’s following in the same vein but adding his own flair to the mix. This issue is outright funny and pushes the envelope to no end and I feel that’s perfect for this series because it’s basically Peacemaker season 2 and fans of the HBO Max series will definitely enjoy that.

  • 96

    Comic Watch

    Peacemaker Tries Hard! sets a bonkers new standard for humor in comics, completely going far harder than it has ANY right to in its mission to thrill and cause many a reader to quite literally LOL. If you’re a fan of the show, there’s zero excuse for missing this series.

  • 90


    If you enjoyed James Gunn’s Peacemaker, DC Comics has quite a surprise gift for you in comic shops this week. It goes by the name Peacemaker Tries Hard!, a new DC Black Label series for adults only. Written by Kyle Starks with art by Steve Pugh, the first issue makes it very clear this is in the same vein as the show: the adult humor, the depiction of Peacemaker, and the breakneck vibe.


    Peacemaker Tries Hard! #1 is a refreshing start to a kind of adult comic series you don’t often get from DC Comics. It’s a book many will love, especially if they liked the recent TV show, as it blends vulgarity, and adult humor, all in a slick visual package.

  • 90

    Geek Dad

    When Kyle Starks has a new comic, you know you’re in for something gleefully ridiculous. He’s been behind some of the strangest creator-owned books on the market, and brought his unique sensibility to licensed properties like Mars Attacks. Now he’s making his Black Label debut with his take on the character who starred in one of the most acclaimed DC TV series in recent years—the ultra-violent, jingoistic super-soldier Peacemaker. The thing is, Peacemaker is a deathly serious character, not all that suited to Starks’ sardonic writing style—but the line between comedy and tragedy is always thin, and Starks leans hard on that. Peacemaker has earned his freedom from Task Force X, but has found he doesn’t have much outside of that. Most people see him as a joke, his only friend is his parole officer, and he’s dealing with a lot of unresolved trauma from his childhood. So when Waller gives him a new mission to hunt down terrorists, he jumps at it.

    And it just so happens that the one survivor of that mission, where Peacemaker brutalizes a hapless bunch of terrorist goons who mock him as he crushes them, is a cute little bulldog pup. A stray hanging around the terror base, it’s quickly adopted by Peacemaker and given a very DC name. Naturally, it’s no surprise that his attachment to the dog doesn’t go unnoticed—and it’s soon kidnapped by a mystery villain who wants leverage over Peacemaker. The reveal of the villains’ identity, as well as what they actually want out of Peacemaker, is suitably absurd and perfectly fit for Starks’ writing style. The funniest moments in this issue, though, come from Peacemaker attempting to interact with average people and utterly failing. There’s some genuine pathos in his desperation to fit into normal society, and when it goes wrong, I have no doubt that a kaleidoscope of violence will follow.

  • 90

    The Comicbook Dispatch

    Peacemaker Tries Hard! #1 is a great first issue, perfect for both Peacemaker fans and those who know nothing about Peacemaker. Its fun and has a fantastic cliffhanger ending. If youre curious about Peacemaker, grab this book and get on the ground floor of what promises to be a great ride. Recommended.

  • 85

    Graphic Policy

    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.

  • 82

    Monkeys Fighting Robots

    Peacemaker Tries Hard #1 is a delightful and hilarious start to this new series from DC’s Black Label lineup. Kyle Starks pens a laugh-a-panel script with a ton of heart and charm that, while definitely riffing on what James Gunn has brought to the character, is still plenty of fun on its own. The visuals from Steve Pugh and Jordie Bellaire are brilliantly animated and vibrant, making for a reading experience that nails the comedy of this opening chapter.

  • 80

    Lyles Movie Files

    I wasn’t a huge fan of the Peacemaker show finding it a little too over the top and goofy. With Peacemaker moving forward as a big player in the DC Universe from James Gunn and Peter Safran, it makes sense for DC to shift its portrayal of the character to more of the one that resonated so strongly with audiences and fans of the show.

    Kyle Starks proves more than capable of writing Peacemaker just as buffoonish and clownish as he was in the series. This sounds like a dig, but it’s more an appreciation that Starks voices the Gunn Peacemaker so seamlessly in comic book format while dialing down a quarter of the dumbness to just make for a violent action-comedy comic.

    Starks writes Peacemaker as still completely obnoxious and a little too clueless. He’s Amanda Waller’s blunt weapon and not even his teammates in the Suicide Squad want anything to do with him. The dialogue is wild, but Starks somehow makes the John Cena-inspired Peacemaker less of a cartoon character in a comic than the show version.

    Waller tasks Peacemaker with breaking up a terrorist cell and he meets a puppy, which then gets kidnapped by an unlikely pair of villains.

    Steve Pugh’s art is terrific thanks to his knack for making characters highly expressive and posing them full of personality. Pugh’s artwork goes a long way in making the comedy elements connect and each page has some tremendous comedic moments. Jordie Bellaire’s color work is sensational as always with bold colors embodying Peacemaker’s loud and in your face style.

    The language shifts this book to a Black Label title, but it’s the Peacemaker that’s gained a following from the TV series ensuring that this series is one that already has a ready audience. If they can forgive the lack of a pet eagle.

  • 80

    Multiversity Comics

    Making a superhero origin story out of a preexisting character with decades of history can be exceptionally difficult. Elizabeth “Liz” Allen has been around since Spider-Man’s earliest days, with a history intricately tied with the Osborn family (into which she married via Harry), and by utilizing that history, combined with newer creations such as symbiotes and related technologies, Sabir Pirzada creates an intriguing, complex collection of circumstances that coalesce into a new heroine (though for how long is unclear).

    Francesco Mortarino does a great job with the visceral nature of the symbiotes, making them truly feel slimy and disturbing. Meanwhile, the individual people in the piece feel all the more human, their expressions soft in contrast to more intimidating, relatively featureless faceplates on various people.

    The artwork is already fantastic, but it is Java Tartaglia’s colors that bring it truly over the edge. The use of darker shades and hues help to add depth to various characters and either calm situations down or enhance their danger, be it in calmer flashbacks or in modern horrors.

    A new heroine rises from a merger of various forces to intriguing effect in this tie-in to symbiote lore.

  • 80

    Even while Peacemaker Tries Hard is firmly embedded in the world of DC Comics, featuring the likes of Monsieur Mallah and The Brain, it strives for the tone of HBO’s excellent Peacemaker series with an abundance of violence and cursing surrounding its deeply stupid and stupidly jacked protagonist. Writer Kyle Starks makes for an excellent fit with blunt-force humor that’s able to find laugh lines on nearly every page. The series’ debut leans into the absurd qualities of the superhero genre by juxtaposing mundane tasks like grocery shopping and planning a party against murder and mayhem. Combined with artist Steve Pugh’s smooth lines and vibrant characters, it makes for a consistently delightful read, even if the barrage of violence and cursing feels one-note at times. Pugh is able to make the action thrilling with a quick neck snap and deftly pivot to deriding the preposterous forms on the page. Fans of The Suicide Squad and Peacemaker are bound to find plenty to enjoy in this humorous action romp, even if it’s simply par for the course when it comes to the consistently excellent work of Starks and Pugh.

  • 77

    Zona Negativa

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