New Reviews of Old Comics
This is a reprint of the original Peacemaker, published in 1967, for those keeping score at home. Like many of you I had never heard of Peacemaker until I pulled this one from the ol’ dollar box a few months back. The cover seemed interesting and the Modern Comics logo reminded me of a Blue Beetle #1 by Modern Comics I had picked up many years ago at a flea market. I thought I had found gold with that one, but it turns out I only had a reprint. Besides that bit of heartbreaking news I enjoyed Blue Beetle quite a bit.
Our un-credited story, “The Survivors!” starts out with a talking blob who shifts his face into someone with the remarkable name of Christopher Smith who looks suspiciously like Steve Canyon. From this point we get a flashback of events leading to this moment. Christopher Smith is an inspector working to make sure super power countries are not mining uranium. The thinly veiled communist country is of course breaking the rules by hiding their miners in a mine. But the miners also found a hidden city and due to their exposure beneath the Earth have adapted shape-shifting powers. Smith escapes to change into his Peacemaker costume, but is captured, then escapes and blows up the mine, much to the dismay of the communist. End of story. For someone named Peacemaker he sure uses violence an awful lot
Next is another un-credited Peacemaker story called “The Ultimatum” which is an unusual title in that it does not end with an exclamation point. Christopher Smith is attending an arms conference in Geneva when a ruthless dictator shows off his fancy new airplanes that give him an awesome arsenal to make the world tremble. This means Peacemaker needs to show off some weapons of his own as a response to the dictator. Again, Peacemaker opens a can of whoop ass, but in a peaceful manner.
Lastly we have an elite military team called “The Fightin’ Five” who just lost a member, but have a quick replacement on hand. Problem is, she’s a woman, which doesn’t go over so well. Despite that setback the team still has a mission to complete; knocking out a Russian radar base in northern Canada. It doesn’t take more than a few panels for the woman to prove her worth as they accomplish their mission. This Fightin’ Five story does have credits, Montes & Bache, even if it is missing the “g” from the team name. Budget cut backs, one can assume.
Sometimes I can justify a cheesy comic book looking at it from the time period in which it was written, and to a degree that is applicable here. The Cold War and nuclear missiles were a hot topic back in the late 60s, hell all the way up through part of the 90s really. The thing that really gets me about Peacemaker is that he’s constantly fighting or blowing stuff up; like everyone has to be peaceful except him, because he’s a bad-ass or something. I think he’s just a hypocrite. The stories are beyond cheesy while the art borders on bad, heading full speed toward atrocious.
As a side note, last time I was at the comic book store Peacemaker #1 was in the dollar box; actually LOTS of copies of #1 were in the dollar box, and I bought one. That was before I read #2. I’m kind of hoping I didn’t waste a dollar that day.