It is early in 2012 but Kurtis J. Wiebe is setting the bar very high for the rest of the year with Peter Panzerfaust #1. Sure, that statement comes across as being a little dramatic, but this comic embodies so many of the aspects that makes comics great – it is filled with action, adventure, excitement, wonderment, and, most of all, it is a fun comic to read. This series has been promoted as Red Dawn meets Peter Pan, and while that is an apt assessment, it doesn’t do the issue justice in that this is it’s own entity. This is not simply two concepts thrown together in a haphazard fashion, but rather a cohesive story that is filled with so much potential I’m not even sure where to start. There are very few (if any) comics like this on shelves right now and it is a breath of fresh air to read something so original. This first issue is paced extremely well, giving readers tidbits about what is occurring, yet never getting bogged down in details. The script flows very well and while I’m still not sure I know what is going on, I do know I want to read what happens next. I have absolutely no idea what to expect from this title, as the last page completely shocked me, but I have a feeling that unpredictability will be half of the fun of Peter Panzerfaust.
Tyler Jenkins handles the visuals for Peter Panzerfaust and I believe a great part of the “wonderment” aspect of this title can be attributed to his hand. The art in this issue has an Adventures of Tintin feel to me, yet when Jenkins brings in more graphic elements it does not feel out of place. This is not an easy balance to achieve, and Jenkins does this very well. There are some panels where some of the characters appear slightly awkward, but it never detracts from the story and is a very easy issue on the eyes.
Pros: Fresh concept, intriguing story, great pace. Issue exudes a great sense of adventure.
Cons: The art is slightly awkward in places, but this is a very minor quibble.