Peter Panzerfaust Volume 1: The Great Escape

Peter Panzerfaust Volume 1: The Great Escape
Story by Kurtis J Wiebe, Art by Tyler Jenkins, 2012

New Release! I received an electronic copy of this book from Netgalley for the purposes of review.

Premise: It’s a reimagining of Peter Pan set in France during WWII. Many years later, a man who had been an orphan stranded in Calais during the German invasion tells the story of how he and a group of other stranded boys were rescued by a strange American named Peter.

I expected to enjoy this book, but I had no idea how fascinating it was going to be. The blend of history and literary allusions is gripping, the art is dynamic and amazing. It’s grounded and bloody and definitely set in France, but still completely recognizable as Peter Pan.

There are moments when the art slips; it gets a little too stylized and some unnatural anatomy throws me out of the moment. But the moments when the writing and the art come together and just sing are breathtaking.

There’s some mystery yet to be revealed in the frame story, something about why the interviewer is looking for this story, and this volume is just the beginning of the characters’ adventures. Yet, while I’ll look forward to more, these pages stand on their own perfectly well.

The characters are drawn out in little moments, and while I sometimes had a hard time telling some of the boys apart, I was invested in all of them at least a little. But Peter is truly magnificent.

You get just enough to ground the character in a sense of reality, while he’s still bound up in adventure and youth and a kind of magic. I think the balance is just right, and the storytelling framework keeps you out of his thoughts, which is a very good thing.

I don’t want to reveal any of the plot points, or exactly how each character translates to the new setting, because it was so much fun to come upon those things unexpectedly. This is a tremendously unique and intriguing ride.

5 Stars - An Awesome Book


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