BY MATT TUCK, BLOGGER SUPREME
FB@ The Comic Blog
This week has been bittersweet as Peacemaker begins winding down its first epic season. While the butterfly and Aryan Empire conspiracies are deepening, let’s be honest - we’re really just waiting for Kite-Man. WARNING: SPOILERS
The world will be a sadder place in a couple of weeks when there's no new episodes of Peacemaker. If James Gunn follows his usual writing formula, we're going to be in for a heartbreaking death scene as well. History says someone in the 11th Street Kids is in for a bad day. Remember what happened to Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy? What about Yondu in GOTG Vol. 2? Don't forget Rick Flagg's demise in The Suicide Squad. It all adds up to someone taking a dirt nap in Peacemaker’s finale.
This week’s episode was a tad slower than the other entries, but it served a purpose. There was little filler aside, and even then it helped enrich the characters. One example is the “conversation” Peacemaker and Vigilante have with the alien form of Goff. If you don’t recall that name, he is the politician Peacemaker was hired to assassinate. While he killed the human host body, Peacemaker captured the alien in a jar. Just as you might expect, the consequences of sparing Goff proved to be dire.
Just when we start empathizing with the butterflies and Goff appears to have compassion for Peacemaker - at Chris’ saddest moments, notice that butterfly Goff rolls his jar near him to offer emotional support similar to Eagly - we see the gruesome reality of how they inhabit humans. By inhabit, I mean they cram their ways into the victims’ brains and murder them in bloody fashion. Speaking of Eagly, I have a theory. He is clearly a highly intelligent, empathic creature that has more character depth than some of the humans. Could it be that Eagly is a butterfly? It was established in the previous episode that the aliens can invade animals. That suggests that Eagly is harboring a butterfly in his brain.
Speaking of the butterflies and brains, the police department scene was like a combination of The Walking Dead and The Terminator. Reminiscent of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s T-800 mowing down the entire police force, Goff, now occupying Detective Song’s body, brings a swarm of butterflies into the PD. They infiltrate every living person in the building, including the jail inmates. All the people are taken when butterflies fly into their mouths. If I saw insect-like aliens cramming into my friends’ mouths, the first thing I would do is cover my mouth. Apparently the people in that building kept their mouths wide open. That’s just asking for trouble. Just remember in the event of an insect alien invasion, keep your mouth shut. The more you know, right?
As we gear up for the final two episodes, we are about to see Robert Patrick in full supervillain mode as the White Dragon. Patrick has done an excellent job portraying the most despicable of characters, and Auggie could show some redeeming quality by the end, though it's doubtful. With White Dragon donning the suit and having a showdown with his son, it will intensify the spotlight on his key issues.
Since the show’s premiere, much of the collecting has geared toward Suicide Squad #4, which featured the first appearance of the original White Dragon, William Hell, although he was not seen in costume in that issue.
In the DCEU version, White Dragon is an amalgam of three different personas. The diabolically racist and misogynistic Auggie Smith fills the role of Peacemaker’s dad. In the comics, Christopher Smith's father was a Nazi who served as the commandant of a concentration camp. In addition to Chris' Nazi father, Auggie also is a combination of William Hell and another character calling himself White Dragon, and that could prove to be a fruitful investment.
The second White Dragon was Daniel Ducannon, who first appeared in 1992’s Hawkworld #27. This version of the character actually had superpowers that he gained from a meta-bomb that was detonated during 1989’s crossover event, Invasion, which sounds an awful lot like the plot of Peacemaker. Under the premise of being a superhero, Ducannon used his influence to subtly spread messages of bigotry and racism. He was later foiled by Hawkman and Hawkwoman, though White Dragon would resurface nearly 20 years later and join the Fourth Reich.
Initially posing as a vigilante, Ducannon donned the costume we see in Peacemaker, and that is what should put this issue on your radar. Considering Ducannon became superpowered during an alien invasion, it stands to reason that something similar will happen in the finale.
Prices are on the way up for Hawkworld #27, but they are still quite reasonable. In the past week, raw copies have been selling for as much as $25.
JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA #2 (2007)
As we saw from the start of the season, Auggie Smith has his own army of white supremacists. In Episode Six, we see him and his followers don what are essentially Ku Klux Klan masks but with two points instead of one, which looked vaguely like pillow cases. That makes him the DCEU’s Grand Wizard of the KKK. As heinous as that is, he could also herald the coming of another band of racist scumbags to the world of Peacemaker: the Fourth Reich.
Returning to the comics, White Dragon joins other superpowered a-holes with on-the-nose names: Captain Nazi, Baroness Blitzkrieg, Swastika, and Reichsmark. It’s a combination that only the Red Skull could love. With names like that, they would be perfect for Gunn’s tongue-in-cheek take on the land of superheroes.
Copies of their first appearance in JSA #2 are fairly easy to come by. Raw copies generally sell for less than $10, and a graded 9.8 sold for $80 on January 24.
SUICIDE SQUAD #2 (2016)
Not all your attention should be laser focused on White Dragon. One of the breakout stars of Peacemaker has been Emilia Harcourt. We still don’t know which character from The Suicide Squad will be starring in the next Gunn-led spinoff, and it is possible she will get the nod and for good reason.
Audiences have fallen in love with her quick wit and cantankerous demeanor, though we are beginning to see cracks in her emotional armor. Gradually, she is becoming more likable and caring towards her teammates, particularly Peacemaker. The insinuation is that a budding romance is developing between Chris and Harcourt as we’ve seen her view of him slowly changing. In the second episode, she labeled Peacemaker “Dumbshit” in her phone, but it was changed to “Peacemaker” in Episode Five. Earlier in the series, Harcourt only sarcastically used his given name, but this week saw her lower her guard and call him Chris. The bigger moment was when she revealed her first name to Peacemaker, which was a bold step for a character so standoffish as Harcourt.
It might all be a game James Gunn is playing with our emotions. Just when we feel most connected to Harcourt, she could be snatched away from us. You see, she was a short-lived, minor character in the comics. Debuting in 2016’s Suicide Squad #2, Harcourt was a member of ARGUS, the overwatch team tasked with keeping tabs on Task Force X. Less than a year later, she would bite the proverbial dust in Suicide Squad #17. Considering her untimely demise in the comics, it stands to reason that Gunn is planning her dramatic and heart-wrenching death scene for the grand finale.
There could be gold in the hills when it comes to Suicide Squad #2. On the off chance that she stars in the next HBO Max spinoff series, her first appearance could jump exponentially. At the moment, raw copies hardly bring $5 on eBay. For such a small price tag, it is worth the gamble.
Once again, Peacemaker namedropped one of Batman’s most infamous Silver Age foes. By infamous, I mean laughably bad with an unfortunate name. I’m referring to Kite-Man, the oh-so-1960s member of Batman’s rogue’s gallery. With a name like Kite-Man, it’s hard to take him too seriously. He’s made for a fun pair of Easter eggs lately. In Episode Five, Peacemaker has a framed newspaper clipping commemorating the day he apprehended Kite-Man. This week, he shared the details of his adventure with a class of elementary kids. The real joke is when a kid points out that Peacemaker actually did very little since Kite-Man was carrying a 30-pound jewel that was clearly too heavy for his kite. For all of the would-be superhero’s efforts (which he mentioned included two rocket launchers), Kite-Man would have crashed on his own.
After two mentions, it would not be surprising to see some version of Kite-Man appear in the flesh by the eighth episode. That would add value to what is already a climbing key. So far, Peacemaker’s Easter eggs haven’t caused a massive wave for Batman #133. In the past week, raw copies in the low and mid-grade ranges were selling for $75-$100.
PEACE IN OUR TIME
As I mentioned earlier, someone is going to get the ax by the end of Peacemaker’s first season, of that I am certain. The only character I would deem safe is Peacemaker himself, and that’s only because Gunn told Deadline there’s a good chance the show will be renewed for a second season. Aside from him, any of the main characters have a sizable target on their heads.
Matt Tuck is the author of the novel, Lost Bones of the Dead. He is a professional writer, avid comic collector, former teacher, and the Blogger Supreme. You can follow him on his Facebook page, The Comic Blog, or on Instagram at matt.tuck.writer.