Review: Peter Panzerfaust #14

“I did notice you actually might’ve cracked a bit of a smile when I asked about the watch.” That’s not the coolest line of the issue, but it’s the most important line for sure. The coolest line is just too much for me to spoil for you, but it’s worthy of being etched on a tombstone. It made me want to throw down the issue the equivalent of a mic drop and run around the room out of control because it was so damn rad. The crazy thing about this issue is that it actually feels ho-hum at the beginning. Nothing surprising happens as it progresses the only way it can. As the reader you should be able to see two steps in front of the story at all times, but that’s the trick that Wiebe is pulling on you… because you’re actually five steps behind. He just has you convinced that you’re ahead.

It’s not something every writer or story can pull off, but when they do… it’s magical. It turns this seemingly average issue into what is perhaps the best single issue in the series. The gamble is that the content is very predictable and predictable in comics equals boredom, but then the carrot is dangled in front of you. The carrot in this issue is the reminder of the future, that this is not the last and final battle of Peter and the Lost Boys. Meaning that while we’re witnessing everything that could possibly go wrong in fact do so, we also know there is something we’re missing. How can they make it out of their encampment alive when the Hunters have them trapped? How can they escape this situation in order to tell us about it in the future?

peterpanz14_coverAs for the issue, Felix continues his tale. He continues to survive and is given plenty of advice from adults that take him as a fool. I know that Peter is supposed to be the star of the show, but Felix’s dialogue in this issue gave me chills. He may turn out to be a sour old man, but I think he’s currently my favorite character in the entire series.

Wiebe is a bastard. I mean that in the nicest of ways. The thing is this series is fantastic. It’s the best book to come out of Shadowline and it ranks very high on my list of top Image books. At this point the list is a bloody fist-fight, but Peter Panzerfaust has several advantages over its competitors: strong writing, witty dialogue, stunning and dynamic art, the ability to change its narration and structure to fit any given story arc and most of all real characters. Now to explain why Wiebe is a bastard… I have to wait a month for the conclusion of this issue and it’s already killing me. There’s only so many times I can read this issue in a month before it begins to lose the luster and appeal that it has; so eventually I’ll just be left craving more.

Jenkins is in on this distraction big time. He draws a bevy of emotions on the characters faces that again fool you into thinking you know where the story is going. You become so focused on what the characters are saying and how they’re holding themselves that you never see Wiebe and Jenkins take your watch, wallet and left kidney. And those last two pages, oh those last two pages; some of the best sequential art that I have seen in a comic all year. It’s like painted cinematography with the way the characters shift perspective back and forth, back and forth… incredible. Credit needs to be given on these final pages to Ed Brisson as well whose lettering of the onomatopoeias made the sound ring out in my head. Also the water coloring is getting better and better and less noticeable which is skillful in its own right.

I can’t wait to see the fan response to this issue. I can’t wait to have someone else to talk to it about because it’s driving me mad not having that. It’s an incredible issue that I would recommend to any comic reader. The set up and reveal of this issue are so powerful that anyone can just appreciate the sheer brilliance and complexity of the issue. Now if you excuse me I need to go read it a third time.

Score: 5/5

Writer: Kurtis J. Wiebe Artist: Tyler Jenkins Letter: Ed Brisson Publisher: Image and Shadowline Comics Price: $3.50 Release Date: 9/18/13