Peter Panzerfaust #13 Review.

From Image Comics, Shadowline, Kurtis Wiebe, and Tyler Jenkins.

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(A review copy was provided for this article.  Also a review copy of Kurtis Wiebe’s new series Rat Queens was also sent however due to the brand new baby boy in the house I didn’t have time to review it before the link expired.  But expect a Rat Queens review in September! )

Long time readers of this blog have read the love we have for Peter Panzerfaust but with each issue the story gets greater and greater.  The love for issue one is like the love for a junior high girlfriend.  Its the highest level of love your mind and body can muster at that age.  Then life happens and experiences change a person and the love one feels as an adult is that much stronger and more powerful.  Much in the same way, the love that readers like myself and creators like Kurtis and Tyler feel in this 13th issue is also that much stronger.

This comic is the classic story of Peter Pan, re-imagined against the backdrop of World War II.  All of your favorites are here, but slightly changed.  By taking a classic tale and tweaking it just a bit Kurtis has shown how universal these characters are while creating his own modern day classic.  There is no magic or powers here.  Just the strength of the human spirit.  Told through a series of flashbacks, every issue shows just how strong these “kids” are yet how fragile they are as adults.  They have been through something that no one other than themselves could ever comprehend.  One of the most striking lines in this series takes place in this issue when Peter and the surviving boys are called “cursed to live”.  Its a haunting line that will resonate throughout the series.

While I’ve gone on and on about the writing please don’t think that the art is anything less than stellar.  Tyler pours action onto every page in ways that make each panel kinetic.  He’s one of the best artists today for expressions and body language.  These boys are no longer children but still so young and he conveys the loss of innocence.  Each drawing shows these young men who had to grow up far too quick.

Peter Panzerfaust #13 is available at all good comic book shops and the first two graphic novels are available everywhere fine books are sold.

Peter Panzerfaust #11 Advanced Review.

From Image Comics, Kurtis J Wiebe, Tyler Jenkins.

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Is Kurtis a fan of the classic GI Joe silent issue?  About half of this comic will take you back to that legendary issue.  Its a difficult move to pull off, and one that really can only be accomplished in the there’s-nothing-else-like-it world of comic books.  First there needs to be great writing.  The writer needs to have characters that are interesting enough to work without words.  Then the artist has to be top notch as well.  There is so much more pressure on him to tell the story without word balloons.  Both writer and artist nailed the silent pages in this issue.  I may have spent more time with issue 11 than any previous one because despite fewer words it takes longer to read a silent issue.  All of the details need to be poured over and analyzed.  Thankfully every panel is full of story.

However, the entire issue is not silent and those speaking pages add so much to building the legend known as Peter Panzerfaust.  This issue, and apparently this arc, focuses on Felix’s pains and memories.  There are more questions than answers here but as the first part of a new tale that’s to be expected.  The last page reveal promises that this story is going to become horrifying for the boys.

Peter Panzerfaust is one of the comics that we need more of in order to gain more readers.  A simple concept that leads to many incredible stories and a definite ending.  While there may be an ending there is also more freedom.  People can and will die.  Events will change their lives.  Especially with last pages like this one, in which I believe that everyone will be forever changed.  Very possibly in the next issue.

Word is getting out that Peter Panzerfaust is one hell of a comic.  Its only going to get bigger and the sooner this comic is added to your pull list the sooner you can begin to enjoy one of the new classic in comic books.

Peter Panzerfaust #10 Advanced Review.

From Image Comics, Shadowline, Kurtis Wiebe, Tyler Jenkins.

 

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Allow this site and myself to join the constant noise all comic book fans are hearing.  Peter Panzerfaust is the shit.

A re-imagining of the Peter Pan story set in World War II Europe this tale has twists and turns, drama and excitement, but most of all tons and tons of heart.  There are plenty of teams in comics.  Lots of good female characters too.  Scores of leaders.  But very very few have ever come across as a family.  Peter Panzerfaust becomes a history of a family forged in blood but not by blood.  The bond between these characters becomes so strong that each and every reader becomes a member.  We share every tragedy and triumph.

This issue has a lot to be joyful about.  This title should be equal to all other versions of Peter Pan, including the original.  Not only are longtime favorite characters like Wendy or Peter himself presented in ways that are just as thrilling and beloved, but characters that readers may not have loved before come through with all new life.  This is an incredibly long way to say, Tiger Lilly is bad ass.  You’ll be hard pressed to find a better, stronger female character in all of comics this year.  One page features panels framed by the spray of bullets and its an instant classic.  Tiger Lilly gets a chance to shine, the family comes together, and Tyler shows off his incredible talents.  Its one of the most perfectly designed pages I’ve ever seen, and it comes right in the middle of a perfect book.

Kurtis is a master of foreshadowing.  While interviewing the surviving boys he constantly hints at things to come.  Some answers are within the issue, others a few months away and the rest may take years.  Here’s to hoping that Peter Panzerfaust is around for as long as it takes to tell this tale.

 

Peter Panzerfaust #3 Review.

From Image Comics, Kurtis Wiebe, Tyler Jenkins.

The mystery of Peter Panzerfaust is how much is magic and how much is real.  While many of his actions look like things that a healthy person could accomplish, they are still impressive.  Then there are lines like this:  “in Peter’s company time worked different somehow”.

There is no confusion for this comic book though.  It is magic.  I’m transported through all of the geeky things I have loved throughout my life.  Whether I’m impressing memories onto this book or maybe its Kurtis and Tyler reaching into my memories and pulling out the juiciest chunks, I do not know.  But every page put a smile on my face.  The legendary GI Joe silent issue, Doctor Who, obviously Peter Pan.  There is so much joy and excitement and adventure in every single panel of the comic.

Its a comic to reread multiple times.  The first is for the excitement.  To discover what is new.  The second is to see all of the little touches.  Lines like “away we go” while they “fly” through an elevator shaft are missed the first time around, and then become beloved upon further reading.  I’m already on my third time through, just to pour over every bit of craftsmanship that went into the comic.

Best of all, we have a big bad guy to now act as foil to the maybe magical Peter.  Now that we have seen Peter and his company defeat lesser soldiers, this villain lands in the comic with the force of reality.  Play time is over boys, danger is now here and it is about to put an end to your journey.

The best part though, the best part of this series so far is how it references itself with the debut of Captain Haken.  He poses just like Peter did in his debut but… different.  As I said in my review of the second issue, it is amazing how with one line Tyler can convey so much and he does it again with this debut.  This isn’t a man who is carefree or fun like Peter.  This is the man who will be danger and death to all we already hold dear.

Kurtis Wiebe said earlier today that Peter Panzerfaust will be about 30 issues.  That means we are 1/10th done and I am 100% excited for everything that comes next.

Grim Leaper #1 Advanced Review.

From Image Comics, Kurtis Wiebe, Aluisio Santos:

 

Recently Team Hellions was one of the fortunate blogs allowed an advanced look at the new title from master scribe, Kurtis Wiebe.  The very simple premise is thus:  Man dies gruesome deaths and “leaps” into another body only to die again.  Repeat.

It is a deceptively simple concept.  As with all such ideas, there is so much more going on.  The book starts with our lead, Lou, attending his own funeral for the 13th time and the book gets crazier from there.  While every action Lou makes should make the reader hate him, it instead leads to sympathy.  Many people weigh their decisions based on what is “right” and what other people might think.  When the fear of repercussions is taken away by death, resurrection, and (thus far) no heaven then why not indulge the Id?

Whether Lou is hitting on women or undermining the sanctity of a dating show and its audience, he is doing whatever the hell he likes.  He has accepted his strange curse and indulges in the freedom it provides.  Why worry about actions that may result in your own death when you’re going to die soon anyways?  Lou is a bee in your soda can.  Sure he’s going to die as a result of his actions, but he will fuck things up while he’s here.

When the last act of the issue takes a turn, Grim Leaper wins over fans for the length of the series.  Now that we think of Lou one way, this new element changes everything.  There is now hope and promise… and just as suddenly death reminds us that it is still one of the main characters of the book.

For the sake of artist, Aluisio Santos, reread the book once you’re done.  There are touches within the pages that mean so much more once the whole story is out.  Hints abound in faces, backgrounds, within every panel.  We talk about it a lot on Team Hellions but truly there is no medium quite like comic books.  The words that Kurtis Wiebe writes, as wonderful as they are, wouldn’t be as good without Santos’s art.  Lines and angles, simple things in the background, are drawn with such a kinetic energy that every page has enough intensity to race your heart.  Even the way he draws smoke sent my head whirling.

Be sure to place this title front and center for all fans.  Women, men, the Walking Dead fans, and everyone who just enjoys a good tale.  (Maybe not the kids, but when they’re older for sure).

Grim Leaper is out May 30th and will be a four issue mini-series.

Peter Panzerfaust #1 Review.

From Image Comics, Shadowline, Kurtis Wiebe, Tyler Jenkins, Alex Sollazzo, and Ed Brisson.

On one level this book is Peter Pan in World War II.  On another level its, well, so much more.

The story is narrated in the present day by “lost boy” Gilbert.  He is telling a reporter all about the adventures with Peter.  And what adventures they are.  In one issue there are explosions, shootings, and death defying escapes.  So much is meant to be a mystery, most of all who is Peter.  There is plenty of time for such a question to be answered though, for now lets all enjoy what is here.

It is classic adventure.  Not because of using the Peter Pan name.  It is excitement on every page.  This rapid adventure is up there with pulps, Indiana Jones, and as I said to Kurtis himself – Doctor Who.  There’s your pull quote.  “The Doctor Who of comic books.”  Peter makes these boys into men.  They are orphans, already living with the world against them, and then that world goes to war.  Peter makes them believe.  They believe they can live, can survive, can escape, and can have something better.  He inspires by seeming to be so much more than human while never actually doing anything beyond the abilities of men.  “He loved a grand entrance.  That was Peter’s way.”  Every adventurer hero needs that grand entrance.  From the aforementioned Doctor and Indy to the rugged Mr Panzerfaust.

Rugged is the word for Tyler Jenkins’s art.  Peter debuts and he is at once dirty and majestic.  He is young and experienced.  He is innocent and hardened.  This is something special.  The whole book is special.  To be two things at once is a rare feat and that is exactly how you’ll feel reading Peter Panzerfaust.  The darkness of war brightened up by this beacon of light.  Every month my money is going to this Neverland.