VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
Superheroes have got to start somewhere, right? For this video, we'll be exploring the comic book origins of Peacemaker, the man who loves peace so much, he'll kill for it. Our video includes the creators behind Peacemaker, his rise within the DC comic book universe, his cinematic future, and more!
Peacemaker: Origin Story
Welcome to WatchMojo and today we will explore the comic book origins of Peacemaker, the man who loves peace so much, he’ll kill for it.
What would you do for peace? Let us know in the comments!
To say Peacemaker comes from humble beginnings would be an understatement. He first appeared in the pages of Charlton Comics’ The Fightin’ 5 #40 in 1966 as a companion story to the titular Fightin’ 5. Here we are introduced to Christopher Smith, an American envoy to the Geneva Arms Conference. At the same time, Smith is the Peacemaker and is described as a man who hates war, violence and the senseless loss of human life caused by armed conflict between nations.
While in Geneva, Smith comes across Emil Bork. No, that’s not a joke. His name is Bork. It was a different time. Bork is an arms dealer who’s been causing trouble in South America, puppeteering two nations to the brink of war over a border dispute. Smith comes to the realization that he won’t be able to stop Bork through peaceful, diplomatic means. Luckily, at his Peace Palace, Smith has a huge cache of advanced weaponry hidden away that he will never ever use. Ever. He means it. No, really he does. But, and this is a big but, there’s no other way.
He becomes Peacemaker, toilet seat helmet and all. He’s prepared to meet violence with violence, all to ensure peace in the world. With his bullet proof suit, jetpack and laser ray, he’s off to take on Bork. Peacemaker is able to stop the two unnamed South American nations from attacking each other but Bork doesn’t leave anything to chance and launches four atomic missiles to see his plans through. Using the laser ray in his helmet, Peacemaker safely destroys three of the missiles. The fourth, however, he directs straight into Bork as he tries to escape in a jet. Live by the bomb, die by the bomb.
Peacemaker would go on to star in his own series where he would continue to intervene in potential international incidents, preventing all out war from breaking out. This would last for five issues before Charlton cancelled the series. The character would remain on the sidelines until DC Comics would purchase most of Charlton’s assets in the 1980s. One interesting thing to note is that when Alan Moore first conceived of “Watchmen”, he planned to use the characters acquired by DC but they nixed the idea and suggested he use characters of his own creation. The role of the Comedian was originally meant for Peacemaker.
After the Crisis on Infinite Earths storyline, Charlton heroes were folded into the main DC universe and Peacemaker got his own limited series. This version of the character was a departure from his ‘60s counterpart. He’s now been driven insane after, as a young boy, witnessing his father take his own life. Oh, and his father was a commander of a Nazi death camp in Poland during the Second World War. This puts Smith on a crash course of obtaining peace no matter the cost as a twisted way to atone for the horrors in which his father participated. He’s continually haunted and berated by the ghost of his father and believes his helmet captures the souls of those he’s killed. Eventually he’s recruited by Amanada Waller for black ops missions. He dies, along with others, on one such mission that goes disastrously wrong.
Being under the direction of Amanda Waller is where we meet Peacemaker in the 2021 film “The Suicide Squad.” This version of Christopher Smith still carries the same ethos as his comic book counterpart. Along with the rest of the squad, he’s sent to Corto Maltese to destroy the laboratory housing Project Starfish. During the mission it’s revealed that Waller gave him an extra super secret task of erasing all evidence of the U.S. government’s involvement contained on a harddrive. You know, to keep the peace. He’s shot and left for dead by Bloodsport.
Peacemaker’s story continues in the HBO Max series aptly titled “Peacemaker” which is set to further explore Smith’s background and continuing missions in the DC Extended Universe. He’s joined by a small group of operatives including his pet eagle, Eagly. We’ll also see his relationship with his father, who hopefully isn’t connected to a certain fascist political party from 1930s Germany.
After rising out of obscurity into a high profile superhero movie and now starring in his very own series we’ll see just how far Peacemaker is willing to go in his mission of pursuing peace no matter the cost.