Critics and fans dig the new HBO Max show, so our resident Peacemaker maven – who revamped the character for DC in the ’80s – takes you through the crazy…


This is the original 1960s Peacemaker, created by Joe Gill and Pat Boyette, at Charlton Comics:

This is the 1980s Peacemaker, revamped by yours truly, bringing the Grim and Gritty:

And this is the 2020s Peacemaker, star of The Suicide Squad and his own HBO Max series that debuted this week, by writer/director James Gunn, bringing the Grim and Gritty — multiplied by 1,000:

Get the picture?

While Alan Moore famously wasn’t allowed to use Peacemaker and the rest of the 1960s Charlton Action Heroes as fodder for his Watchmen series, Christopher Smith nonetheless found his way to the crazy and the grim and gritty, beginning in 1986 when I brought the gun-happy antihero into the pages of Vigilante.

Keith Giffen had introduced the idea of Smith hearing voices in his helmet in an unrealized ongoing series planned for a never produced weekly comic. The voice belonging to his father, a Nazi concentration camp commandant who committed suicide in front of young Christopher, was my contribution.

I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised that my version of Peacemaker would eventually turn up on TV or in a movie, but I never expected to find myself named not only in the film’s end credit acknowledgements, but by the filmmaker himself on Twitter.

Here then, My 13 (+1) Favorite PEACEMAKER MOMENTS:

Vigilante #36, Page 12 (Dec. 1988). A psycho stalks a highjacked airliner on which Adrian (Vigilante) Chase is a passenger as Peacemaker makes his first DCU appearance (the Vigilante here is Dave Wilson). Art by Denys Cowan and Kyle Baker.

Vigilante #36, Page 14 (Dec. 1988). Note to new writers: If you want to establish quickly and early on that your character is nuckin’ futz, have them do something like this.

Vigilante #36, Page 19 (Dec. 1988). Or this.

Vigilante #37, Page 14 (Jan. 1989). The first time Peacemaker addresses “helmet” by “name.” Art by Tod Smith and Rick Magyar.

Vigilante #37, Page 28 (Jan. 1989). A favorite splash by Smith and Magyar.

Vigilante #38, Page 8 (Feb. 1989). Peacemaker explains how his helmet collects the souls of those he kills and keep him company. Art by Smith and Rick Magyar.

Vigilante #38,  Page 22 (Feb. 1989). Smith vs. Chase, maníaco a maníaco!

Peacemaker #1, Page 4-5 (Jan. 1988). Go big or go home! There wasn’t anything subtle about Peacemaker. Art by Smith and Pablo Marcos.

Peacemaker #1, Page 9 (Jan. 1988). Pardon the overwriting, but there’s nothing like a little National Socialist exposition spoken by a Nazi ghost to help move the insanity along.

Peacemaker #2, Page 13. (Feb. 1988). Crazy is fun to write, especially when it’s deliberately written to be over-the-top. Art by Smith and Marcos.

Peacemaker #3 Cover (March 1988). A great cover by Smith!

Peacemaker #3, Page 21 (March 1988). Another fun feature of the Peacemaker miniseries: We got to blow up lots of stuff. Blowed it up real good! Art by Smith and Marcos.

Peacemaker #4, Page 2 (April 1988). Panel 6 always cracked me up. Art by Smith and Marcos

Peacemaker #4, Page 24 (April 1988). Just when you think it’s safe to go back in the water–! The Peacemaker miniseries was left deliberately open ended in case we ever wanted to do a follow-up. I did, pitching a new ongoing series. DC, not so much.


— PAUL KUPPERBERG: 13 Comics That Might Have Been. Click here.

— PAUL KUPPERBERG: My 13 Favorite JACK COLE PLASTIC MAN Splash Pages. Click here.

Sure, you know Paul Kupperberg as the prolific writer of over a thousand comic books for such characters and series as Superman, Aquaman, Doom Patrol, Vigilante, Life with Archie, Bart Simpson, Scooby-Doo, and dozens more for DC Comics, Archie Comics, Bongo Comics, and others, and that he is also the creator of the series Arion, Lord of Atlantis, Checkmate and Takion, and is a former editor for DC, Weekly World News, and WWE Kids Magazine. But Paul is also the author of numerous books, including the superhero novel JSA: Ragnarok and the comics industry-based murder mystery, The Same Old Story, not to mention (but we will anyway) Paul Kupperberg’s Illustrated Guide to Writing Comics, I Never Write for the Money, But I Always Turn in the Manuscript for a Check, Direct Comments: Comic Book Creators in their Own Words, The Unpublished Comic Book Scripts of Paul Kupperberg and Son of the Unpublished Comic Book Scripts of Paul Kupperberg. You can follow Paul at and at


Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. Peacemaker vs Vigilante was incredibly exciting. Very memorable storyline.

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  2. No Joe Gill or Pat Boyette in the credits, I notice.

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