Image Comics has had a nice resurgence of late, offering up a wide array of titles to appeal to almost every comic book reader, from all ages titles to suspense-filled horror comics to genre-challenging amalgamations. Many of these books have quickly found favor with fans and garnered discussion even prior to release. One such newer offering from Image is “Peter Panzerfaust.” This re-imagining (although that label seems rather limited in this case) of the legend of “Peter Pan” is set in World War II with the Nazis advancing upon France.
Kurtis Wiebe has put some thought into the story, the characters and the progression of this tale. This issue doesn’t even scratch the surface, save for the fact that there is plenty of room for development coming up. The setting these characters will develop within is sure to shape the characters, and Wiebe has assembled a wide range of characters ready to be shaped.
The Lost Boys are considerably older than the preconceived notion I carried into this issue, mostly thanks to Disney. That’s just as well, as these Lost Boys are more likely to be capable of fighting and bearing firearms as young men. Certainly that will be important to the progression of this adventure.
Peter, as depicted here, reminds me quite a bit of Ed Helms by way of Rob Guillory. Tyler Jenkins is clearly having fun with the subject matter and the characters, as there is a zippy energy in his drawings throughout this issue. Jenkins’ art is solid enough, but shows the telltale signs of finding its footing: flashes of brilliance and moments that need something more. Undoubtedly, future issues are going to seem more complete by comparison, but this issue has plenty of details when they serve the purpose around and through the simple, traditional layouts. The visuals waver between being hauntingly detailed and wistfully playful, just as the story of Peter Pan is seemingly out of place in this setting.
My biggest critique of the issue is that the final two pages needed a little more polish on the storytelling, as Peter stages an attack, but the story itself doesn’t deliver on the staging. It’s not quite a cliffhanger, but it sure wants to be.
Otherwise, this is yet another amusing offering from Image. It feels the same to me as “Proof” did with the first issue: disturbingly familiar, yet fresh and entertaining. I’ll definitely be back for the next issue to see where this leads and how it continues to blend genres and stories we are all familiar with. There is a great deal of room for fun, adventure, excitement and entertainment. Peter is set to make a lasting impression on the fighting forces of the Nazis, just as this book is sure to find fans in the comic-reading community.