Vigilante Isn't Peacemaker's Deadpool - He May Be Better

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Peacemaker Episodes 1-3,  streaming now on HBO Max.

Peacemaker takes the character of Christopher Smith (John Cena), removes him from the bombastic setting he was last seen in during The Suicide Squad and brings him back to the States. While there, he encounters another masked character named Adrian Chase/Vigilante (Freddie Stroma), a man who loves killing possibly more than Peacemaker ever could. Throughout the show's three-episode premiere, Vigilante shows many similarities to Deadpool, but how he is portrayed may also make him an even better version of the character.

Working with a small ARGUS team, Peacemaker is sent on a series of missions to take out targets tied to the mysterious Project Butterfly. But as he goes on these increasingly peculiar missions, Peacemaker finds that he can't shake the shadow of Vigilante. Throughout the premiere, Vigilante comes off as fun-loving, supportive and always prepared when talking with Peacemaker. But under the exterior, he's just a lonely kid who has to lie about having girlfriends to feign his excitement at reuniting with Peacemaker to his co-worker. Compared to his comic counterpart, this characterization is a massive departure from what came before.

RELATED: Peacemaker Confirms Batman’s Strangest Doppelganger Exists In The DCEU

image

Vigilante first appeared in New Teen Titans #23 by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez and was a lawyer and judge who sought to take down organized crime. However, the people he swore to stop within the system killed his family in cold blood. Angered, he donned the identity of Vigilante and made it his mission to kill every last criminal he encounters. Although the change in characterization from the comics to Peacemaker seems strange, this new version helps uncover a more layered concept that comes with these hyper-violent characters in comics and media.

Since Deadpool, there has been a bond between violence and humor regarding characters who kill. In Deadpool's case, the contemplation of taking a life never weighs heavy on the character or his allies and feels like it comes as naturally as breathing. However, as Peacemaker begins to question when taking a life has gone too far, Vigilante comes with a mindset similar to Deadpool's, in which killing is more of a joy to him. With Peacemaker acting as a counterpoint to Vigilante's love of killing, it begins to reveal how society has grown far less affected by violence.

RELATED: Peacemaker’s Heartless Suicide Squad Act Earns Him Another Shot

image

Not only is Vigilante a fan of taking the lives of criminals, but he's also a loner who has studied everything needed to be an effective "hero." He's even gone as far as to try and make faces when he loses his mask so that he can't be identified in a line-up. The character's level of "preparedness" calls back to the idea that audiences love the loner type who isn't afraid to make the hard choices. But rather than celebrate it, Peacemaker pokes holes in the logic.

What makes Peacemaker's Vigilante possibly a better version of Deadpool is the potential he has to take a deeper look into the minds of the characters audiences love so much. Although the escapism and fun surrounding these characters are evident, Vigilante can show the dangers that come with the trope of the hyper-violent loner. In a realistic setting, these characters are a cautionary tale of what happens when the interest or adoration of characters like Peacemaker goes too far. As a result, watching Vigilante in action drives home the idea that these characters are still entertaining but need to stay on the screen, as it can be so easy to become desensitized to the violence that follows them.

To see Vigilante in action, Peacemaker is streaming now on HBO Max.

KEEP READING: Peacemaker Reveals Batman's Public Image Has Changed Dramatically Since Justice League

The Walking Dead: How Will Maggie and Negan's Rivalry End?
Related Topics
About The Author
Nicholas Brooks (1241 Articles Published)

CBR Features Writer Nick Brooks has been writing for over ten years about all things pop culture. He has written for other sites like Animemojo.com and Gamefragger.com. When not writing you can find him with his lovely girlfriend, cooking, reading comics, or collecting any new Star Wars Black Series, Marvel Legend, or Transformer. For more of his thoughts on pop culture check out his blog, The Next Panel with Comic Brooks.

More From Nicholas Brooks