Review – Peter Panzerfaust #1

Peter Panzerfaust is the tale of an intriguing American named Peter lost in the French city of Calais during World War II. The story is told through the eyes of an old man, who was an orphan befriended by Peter when a bomb crashed into the orphanage where he is living. It's an intriguing tale brought to us by Image comics with Kurtis J. Weibe and Tyler Jenkins making up the dynamic duo working on the comic.

We don’t learn much about Peter in this first issue other than that he can jump 20 foot gaps between buildings and inspire children to do the same. He is also a pretty good shot and tough as nails. Perhaps this will be a tale of Peter the underground soldier fighting Nazis while hunting his own demons. Perhaps it will be a simple tale of friendship in a time of war. I suspect one other possibility could be true, but overall I’m sure much will be revealed in upcoming issues.

The first issue mostly details the orphanage and the children’s escape, guided by Peter, to a safe house in the city. It is there that we find out that Peter is looking for a woman and he has traveled the world looking for her. Peter is an American alone in what is quickly becoming Nazi occupied France. We get a sense of Nazi brutality and at one point witness the unceremonious execution of a wounded British soldier.

This doesn’t seem to be the kind of thing Peter tolerates and the issue ends with him in a precarious position with only the element of surprise on his side. I suppose that's all one needs right? If Peter’s legend didn’t grow during the telling of this tale there would be no need to interview an old man about events long past.

Despite all the World War II stories out there in various forms of media, I really felt like this comic had something at least somewhat unique. The story of a wandering lovestruck American saving some orphans as he travels through occupied France doesn’t ring any bells. Obviously this story is similar to that of Peter Pan, but last I checked he wasn't traveling through Nazi occupied France.

There is still an element of Nazi brutality just to reinforce that this isn’t some fantasy World War II setting. If you get found, you die. I’m not sure when Peter will brandish the Panzerfaust shown on the cover, but I have no doubt that it will happen.

For now I’ll settle for being interested in where these characters go. How is Peter going to become interview worthy during the course of events in this comic? Will the orphans grow from scared boys into war hardened men? So far the character development is setting up nicely and the story carries on at a good pace. Nothing is happening to fast but I wasn’t bored at any point either.

Hopefully Weibe and Tyler can keep the pace going. If they do I think this comic could be one of the more unique titles to come out in a while. No superheroes or alternate dimensions needed.

Keep an eye in stores for Peter Panzerfaust #1 when it comes out on February 15. Happy reading.