ADVANCE REVIEW! Peter Panzerfaust #1 will go on sale Wednesday, February 15, 2012.
I’ll admit to be a little interested in this series before I even knew what it was about. Why? Panzerfaust. The name intrigued me. What is Panzerfaust? The world may never know. However, Peter Panzerfaust is an American who mysteriously appears out of nowhere to save a bunch of French orphans during a war between the British and the Germans. Set around 1940, it reminded me a little of World War II mixed with Red Dawn, when you include the kids into the story.
Peter makes a perfect heroic protagonist. He almost reminds me of a weird cross between Indiana Jones and Peter Pan. He’s strong, brave, charismatic pushes the limits and… is a little silly? When it starts to look like he’s doing well, Peter pulls a 180 and miraculously does something stupid and survives the encounter. He jumps impossible lengths across buildings, sneezes when sneaking up on armed guards and, well… we’ll just have to see what else Wiebe comes up with, but Peter takes everything in stride while flashing his pearly whites and looking as confident as he could be. Like every hero, Peter appears to have a past too. The fact that he’s looking for a woman, whose picture he keeps in a locket around his neck, adds some enigma that I inwardly applauded. You can never have too much mystery in a story and it would seem that the author intends to feed us answers in small amounts to keep us hooked and coming back for more.
The kids are introduced later in the issue when they all finally reach relative safety. Before they were introduced, I thought of them as a lump sum, a little like an amoeba. They can move together and change shape, but they’re still one organism. They were just “the kids.” Now that they have names though, they’ll begin to show more individuality and promise.
The art’s pretty decent, nothing to rave about, but not bad either. Jenkins seems to use blank background a lot to draw the eye of the audience to the main focus, which is generally a character. Most of the faces have a lot of similarities, especially the kids, but I suspect they’ll be easier to discern in issues to come. There are a lot of action sequences and from what I’ve seen, Jenkins’ art seems to flourish during the full-page action sequences. One of my favorite full-page shots was actually Peter’s main entrance, with his coat flying behind him.
Overall, the first issue was pretty short, but looks promising. For me, Peter is definitely the point of interest in the comic. He looks to be a great character, full of depth, and I expect a lot from him. The kids could go either way, in fact, I expect to dislike one or two and love the rest, but we’ll have to wait for their individuality to flourish. I’m the type of person that loves to figure out puzzles and finding out answers, and Peter Panzerfaust is wrapped up like a perplexing riddle. A lot of action to soak up, but we’re not given enough answers yet to have an idea of what’s going on beneath the surface. I think it’s worth sticking with and I’d recommend it to anyone who likes a good mystery. Puzzle lovers, unite!
Felicity Gustafson was born in Ohio and, after the astounding realization that there was more to do than look at trees and cows, she decided to become a nerd and got into comics, anime and video games. At Comics Bulletin, she sticks mostly to reviewing things out of the horror and comedy genres. She spends most of her time working in the manufacturing industry, finishing her computer degree and steadfastly avoiding ham fat at all costs.