Comic Review [First Issue]: Peter Panzerfaust #1
Yes, the title of this comic is Peter Panzerfaust. My first reaction to it was (via IGN comment), “I laughed so hard at the title I actually choked,” and writer Kurtis Wiebe (Green Wake, Intrepids) responded to that with, “Success. One day my comics will actually kill people.”
Well, I’m not too fond of the idea that a comic will kill me, but I still HAD to try out the first issue of this new series. With such a crazy concept as Peter Pan in World War II, how could I not want to grab this one?
So, what did I think of Image Comics’ newest series? Read on to find out!
The idea behind this series is to place the Peter Pan story into a World War II setting, and the first issue makes a fantastic introduction to this new take on the classic tale. The opening pages begin with an old man reminiscing about his time in Calais, France, fighting in World War II against the Nazis. The old man recalling his wartime adventure is one of this story’s Lost Boys, a group of young French men who have just been rescued by an American soldier named Peter, a young man who is unbelievably swift and more than just a little upliftingly enthusiastic in this dire setting. Plus, he’s pretty badass.
Wiebe is very careful with the script to this issue in every way. He doesn’t shove too many huge references to the original story into every page of this tale, but rather slips them in making for a new work that could easily be enjoyed by someone who loves the classic story or someone who’d never been exposed to it at all. As far as his story and dialogue goes, Wiebe definitely knows how to write what he’s set up. The majority of the issue is a chase scene with Peter leading the Lost Boys to safety, and just like it should, it reads very quickly and excitingly without an abundance of unbelievable dialogue or other text halting the reader from enjoying the fast-paced scene.
That said, the first issue goes by really quickly, and it’s at the ending that I ran into the only problem with this comic. The final page really doesn’t seem like a final page to me at all. Whereas most comics will give you a cliffhanger with at least a sense of closure that let’s you know you finished a chapter of a larger story, this one just seems to stop very abruptly. It could be a product of the fact that the issue doesn’t slow down at all before reaching its end, so you’re still reading with that breakneck speed from the middle of the issue and the end feels like someone just slammed on the brakes and left your heart pounding with adrenaline. However, at the same time that this can be a bad thing, it also speaks on the fact that Wiebe will certainly make his readers anticipate the next issue of this series. I know I am, and I really cannot wait to see what happens next.
The artwork that Tyler Jenkins brings to the book helps capture both a tone that makes the wartime setting obvious, and also a frenetic energy that helps move the story forth at an exciting pace, successfully giving Peter all the energy you’d expect him to have.
The first issue of Wiebe’s new series is a roaring success as far as I’m concerned. And while I did try out the first issues of other newly released indie books like Brubaker’s Fatale and Brian Wood’s Conan the Barbarian, this was the only one that really knocked me back and left me begging for more. Like the WWII Lost Boys in the image above, you should be jumping across chasms to read this comic. Give your local comic shop a call to see if it’s still in stock or get a digital copy at Comixology!
GO Rating: 4.5/5