The comic book Peter Panzerfaust, the debut issue of which is released today, wouldn’t be the first time one of famed author J.M. Barrie’s fictional creations have been transported from the pages of his early twentieth century Peter Pan play and novel into the format of sequential storytelling. I’m specifically thinking of the Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie erotic graphic novel, Lost Girls, and, truth be told, that’s not bad company.
Of course, Peter Panzerfaust is NOT an overtly sexual reading like Lost Girls is, but it is, I believe, the first time that the major character of Barrie’s most famous work has lead a group of rag-tag, gun-toting, orphan boy-soldiers against German panzer tanks in World War II-era France. Anyone care to defy that assumption?
And, just like in Barrie’s original work, there’s definitely a magical feel to this particular story.
Peter Panzerfaust opens with the interview of an old Frenchman recounting his wartime tales, specifically his interactions with a young, partisan Peter, by a writer whose identity is cleverly hidden by deep shadows and silhouettes. The opening scene (and the continuing story) by Canadian writer Kurtis J. Weibe, reminisces the type of magical yarn a parent might tell their child around an open fire before bedtime. It fits hand in glove with the way I imagine that Peter Pan has been recounted to children over the last century.
Here, however, Peter Panzerfaust brings to mind a comparable mash-up of other comics like the modern and charming Fables mixed with the old-school action of something like Our Army At War.
The artwork by fellow Canadian Tyler Jenkins is loose, his line work almost painterly if not slightly cartoonish in nature. And that’s a good thing. We’re talking about a story based on a boy that originally could fly, never age, and regularly fought pirates alongside other children! Ah! The magic of make-believe! In his drawings, Jenkins has a dash of Duncan Fegredo or a Travel Foreman about him, all evocative lines with an eye towards a lively gesture.
Billed by Image Comics as a Red Dawn version of Peter Pan (that raised an eyebrow and got me interested. “Wolverines!” anybody?), Peter Panzerfaust can only promise more action and intrigue amidst a magical story time backdrop on a monthly basis. Here, lost boys do indeed live forever.
So make the run this Wednesday and pick up the first issue of Peter Panzerfaust and start, as our protagonist deliciously tells us in the first issue, at “the beginning of a fantastic story.”
Every Wednesday, JP makes the after-work run to his local downtown comic book shop. Comics arrive on Wednesdays you see and JP, fearful that the latest issue will sell out, rushes out to purchase his copy. This regular, weekly column will highlight a particularly interesting release, written in short order, of course, because JP has to get his – before someone else does!