As Batman has his first fight against a sadistic villain appearing in Future State, Harley Quinn provides a clinical assessment of this new foe.
WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Batman # 110 by James Tynion IV, Jorge Jiménez, Tomeu Morey, Clayton Cowles, now on sale.
Batman villains have been frequently sent to Arkham Asylum, but Harley Quinn has the distinction of being the only significant member of his rogues gallery who was both a patient and a licensed staff member at the criminal asylum. However, another former Arkham employee recently became one of Batman’s most dangerous villains, the sadistic guard Sean Mahoney, now known as Peacekeeper-01.
All Arkham Asylum records were recently lost, but Harley Quinn remembers Mahoney, and had no qualms about commenting on the man. She was horrified by his unbridled cruelty, and that’s saying a lot, since she dated the Joker for years. In fact, she was even willing to offer a personal diagnosis about her mental state.
The Peacekeepers are a high-tech militarized private police force best known for unreasonably killing criminals and civilians alike during DC’s “Future State” event. They worked for an organization known as Magistrate and were trained by tech mogul Simon Saint, who hoped to use them to assert greater control over Gotham. While the Peacekeepers initially appeared in future stories for the event, Batman first fought one today during his confrontation with Peacemaker-01 in issues 109-110 of the Caped Crusader series of the same name.
This fight did not go well for the Dark Knight. The Peacekeeper armor was designed to analyze and respond to every combat maneuver and contraption Batman could employ. Worse still, Peacekeeper-01 proved just how sadistic he was when he stated that he was only interested in killing the Caped Crusader and had no intention of even trying to arrest him. He accused the Dark Knight of making the city more dangerous by causing supervillains to attack and denounced him for working alongside criminals like Harley Quinn and Catwoman. He further chided the Gotham City vigilante for associating himself with former police commissioner Jim Gordon, whom he referred to as a “police-hating traitor.” He never explained his reason for thinking that Gordon hated the police, but this line is quite revealing about the villain’s particular pathology. He views anyone who deviates from his worldview as aberrant and therefore deserves death.
Throughout the fight, Peacekeeper-01 openly bragged about placing bombs in Gotham’s city hall to help Simon Saint gain power. The Gotham Police Department would need help responding to this bombing and anticipated they would turn to the Peacekeepers for support. The sadistic villain committed an act of domestic terrorism and lied about it, because he thought it was the only way the Agents of Peace could help keep Gotham safe from terrorists and other violent criminals. To make matters worse, the Peacekeeper’s armor turned out to be more than Batman could handle, and the Dark Knight was forced to flee.
Back at his hideout, Batman told Harley about their fight. It reminded Peacemaker-01 of when he was just Sean Mahoney, working as a guard at Arkham. He regularly got into trouble for abusing inmates, and Harley described him as a “sadist” who had “insecurities in all the wrong places.” When she learned that all records of Mahoney’s misconduct in Arkham had been lost and that he had been hired to help protect the city, Harley was shocked.
It’s certainly questionable giving Mahoney a job as Peacemaker-01. You are a repeat offender with a documented history of violent crime. But possibly due to his position at Arkham, he was never prosecuted. As head of the Peace Forces, he is once again in a position of authority, and terrorist bombings are just one of the ways he is abusing his power.
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