Review: Peter Panzerfaust #4

I had all but written this book off with the second issue, but having some time to kill on my lunch I decided to give the fourth issue a chance. I’m glad I did since it really surprised me with its quality. I’m still over the Peter Pan thing for the book and think that it could have been lightly poured into the story or even just revealed at the end with clues alluding to it throughout the series. Too each their own though and it’s clear that I’m in the minority on that one since the book continues to do well. The last issue apparently had Peter and the boys picking up Wendy and her brothers, but this issue shows the two groups of youngsters getting to know each other as they discover a farm that’s been abandoned. They start living in the farm-house and everyone starts to get a bit too comfortable. Tootles tells about his love of the camera and begins showing some pictures he took and then also some that Wendy clicked as well. It’s a great character issue with Peter and Wendy getting to know each other and becoming closer and closer.

peterpanzerfaust04_coverTootles’ narration is by far the strongest element to the story and honestly the scene with no dialog other than his stand out a lot in terms of quality and interest. The real problem with the story is that everyone that’s not Peter or Tootles talks in the same voice which basically turns the group into three characters. Whenever anyone else is talking it turns into an episode of House, you don’t care what their saying you’re just waiting for Wilson to come back onto the screen. It’s good to have two strong characters, but the book is filled with “lost boys” that add nothing to the story in the same way that they add nothing to the original Peter Pan story.

The art is the same which I’m still not crazy about. It works at times, but in general everyone’s hair makes them forgettable. Wendy is pretty manly as well which was kind of whatever; I mean no one is getting any prettier in this book so she can look like a dude in a dress. The backgrounds have little to no detail to them which I think gives the book a hollowed look to it. At this point with the series success they need to get a background artist to fill out the panels and give them some life. There were two panels that reminded me of the big ocean scene from the first issue that was laughable due to how empty the scene was and took away from the impact of the story. This time it’s the French and German soldiers fighting at night with their three tanks and six men each. I’ve never heard of a battle playing out in such a way so it just seemed goofy when the mood was very serious.

I was surprised by how much I liked elements of the story, but if you were to remove the Peter Pan story board this book would still be good. The art is my biggest hang up; if it was stronger or at least a fuller visual it would do wonders to support the book, but it doesn’t. I’m interested in reading the next issue though and I can’t say that’s been the case before this issue.

Score: 3/5

Writer: Kurtis Wiebe Artist: Tyler Jenkins Publisher: Image Comics and Shadowline Price: $3.50 Release Date: 5/30/12