If there’s one perfect character for the DC Black Label books, it’s Christopher “Peacemaker” Smith. “Irreverent” doesn’t come close to describing the ultraviolent vigilante. “Crass”? “Foul”? Getting closer. But whatever people might call Christopher Smith (and it usually involves bad words), no one can say he’s not dedicated to his mission of bringing peace at any cost.

Whether you’ve never seen Peacemaker in action before, or if you want more of the beautiful vulgarity from the acclaimed Max series, Peacemaker Tries Hard! #1 is the comic book issue for you. The first entry in the limited six-issue series from writer Kyle Starks and artist Steve Pugh is both laugh-out-loud funny and guaranteed to make you wince at least once with its crotch-pounding action.

Recently, we spoke with Starks and Pugh about Christopher Smith, his longing for personal connections and why you should underestimate him. (Yep, we said should.)

Everyone agrees that Peacemaker sucks. So why do we like him so much?

Kyle Starks: Peacemaker may suck, but he’s aware that he’s imperfect and wants to be better. So I think we see ourselves in him—we see someone who knows they’re fallible but at least is trying to improve themselves. That’s something anyone can look at with admiration.

He’s also a lovable, juvenile dingus and that’s always amusing.

Steve Pugh: He’s a huge, powerful guy. He’s armed for a fight, but totally unarmed for the real world. He’s a very honest character, absolutely guileless, with every emotion huge and on display.

If a reader has never met Peacemaker before, would you say this miniseries is a good way to get to know him?

KS: No doubt. This is going to be a great place to meet and learn who the modern Peacemaker is.

SP: Definitely. Kyle takes the story through some tough parts of Chris’s life, and often the reader gets a better understanding of what’s happening to Chris than he does.

Are you fans of the Peacemaker TV series? Did it have any impact or influence on how you see Christopher Smith and his world?

KS: We, of course, adored the TV series and it had a huge impact. When DC reached out to us, our goal was to recreate the feel and vibe of that show that so many people loved. We want to scratch that Peacemaker itch. We want to give the people more of that thing they love.

SP: Huge fan! I think the pressure was to bring the audience the show created something new, but not contradict what they already loved.

Christopher Smith says he wants peace more than anything. Do you think he wants connections even more?

KS: Oh, man, this is a tough one. I think if you asked him, he would definitely say his priority was peace. He, famously, will do anything for it—EVEN KILL. I think if you looked at his heart, you’d see he’s trying so hard to just comfortably exist in this world. He wants, like all of us, to be loved and successful and thrive.

But he’s also a violent, murder dummy, so it’s not going to ever come easy for him.

SP: I figure poor Chris is in love with his idea of peace. It’s a green pasture, the far side of seven hills away, where all the craziness of his childhood and the confusion of the modern world is left behind, where he can spend all day getting thumbs up from every passerby while he plays with his dog.

Do you think everyone underestimates Peacemaker? Or do they get it just about right?

KS: Ha ha! Somehow both? I think people have low expectations of him and that is absolutely the correct estimation for him. He is a blunt force, mindless violence machine. But Peacemaker never gives up. He longs for healthy, meaningful relationships that generally put him in a position to overcome obstacles he shouldn’t.

He is just as dopey as people expect, but he’s also got a knack for surprising victories.

SP: He’s dogged. You can’t beat a dogged man because it’s got “dog” in it.

Okay, dogs have come up a few times. Tell us about your ride-or-die doggies (or other pets), please!

KS: I have three dogs, all rescues (the best breed!): a brother and sister named Purdita and Horace, and an older dog named Dinah. All pets are joys, but we say dogs are miracles at the Starks house.

SP: I don’t have a dog. I lived a pretty chaotic life until recently, so it wouldn’t have been fair. I’ve got a cactus I’ve kept alive for five years. I’m hoping to work my way up.

Peacemaker Tries Hard! #1 by Kyle Starks, Steve Pugh and Jordie Bellaire is now available in print and as a digital comic book.

Kelly Knox writes about all-ages comics and animation for DC.com and her writing can also be seen on IGN, Nerdist and more. Follow her on Twitter at @kelly_knox to talk superheroes, comics and pop culture.