I have reviewed quite a bit of fairy tale comics, as they are my favorite.
As a little kid, I remember Disney’s “Peter Pan” movie, so when I heard of the comic “Peter Panzerfaust,” my first thought was, this could be interesting. Don’t take my word for it: It has become such a hit that No. 2 sold out and Image Comics had to do a reprint of No. 1 and 2 before No. 3 came out!
Writer Kurtis Wiebe took the great parts of the traditional tale — lost boys, a fearless main character, Peter flying — and wove it into World War II as the Nazis are taking hold of France. Wiebe does this well, and doesn’t push hard the ideas and connection onto the reader.
No. 1 and 2 begins with a reporter interviewing some of the “lost boys,” which I think is great. It shows realism of the story, as veterans’ stories are always the most intriguing and universal type. I also like that Wiebe used WWII because it is still fresh in our minds as most of our grandparents were affected by it (both of my grandfathers served.)
These boys are not innocent, as they are fighting to survive. Peter created a mission — to free the captured British soldiers — but it is far from safe and by the end of No. 2, they are far from being out of harm’s way.
While the story might be familiar, it is still fresh and entertaining. There is definitely room for development for the characters, but you do get some sense of them in these two issues released. I do like a little space for development; otherwise, the writer is rushing the story and then what is the point of the comic? (unless it is a one-shot.)
The art, by Tyler Jenkins, is definitely fitting for the tale. The detailing is spot on and his interpretation of the action during the war seemed well done without going over the top. Jenkins isn’t afraid to show the death and gore, but it is a bit more tasteful, as the comic isn’t about the goriness of war but about Peter and the “lost boys.”
Here is a great quote from a USA TODAY article about “Peter Panzerfaust:
“They are the classic stories we’ve grown up with and we never really outgrow them,” Wiebe says. “We appreciate them for different reasons as we age, we feel a connection with the material, we love the characters and the mythology, and there’s something exciting about seeing these people experience life in new and interesting ways.
“You can’t do that with many stories, and I think that speaks to the strength and staying power of the classic fairy tales.”
Issue No. 3 came out today (April 11) so go to your local comic shop and start this great fairy tale twist.
Comic Book Wednesday is a new feature that will showcase a variety of visually based books that fit into this wide category, to give a taste of this other form of reading.