Comic Review: Peter Panzerfaust #2
Pictures: Tyler Jenkins
Apparently what I referred to as a rooster call in my previous review of issue #1, they refer to as a wolf call.
The story takes place immediately after the last. Peter having run head on into a group of Nazis has them pinned at gunpoint. He calls for his lost boys who proceed to take their weapons, knock them unconscious, and find a letter telling them about some British soldiers that were being held hostage. Peter and the other boys decide to take the opportunity to save them and earn their way onto the soldiers escape boats.
The following rescue attempt is equal parts Saving Private Ryan and Indiana Jones with just a hint of Tintin’s visual sense. This is the time for the other boys to really shine. When Peter first liberated them, they were just a band of otherwise persona-less kids. They still are not all that differentiated, but they finally get things to do. They come up with their own comebacks, they take action, and they even question Peter’s leadership. It is a good start, and one of them really gets a chance to shine. Felix, who is given the job of covering the team with a rifle, decides to take some initiative and dispose of the mounted machine gun guarding the front of the German’s post. It results in a big explosion that even takes the Lost Boys by surprise and ends with him triumphantly standing over a Nazi soldier like a true badass.
There was a part of me that thought that it was a bit much, but then I remembered that these guys are Nazis. They have been genre fiction’s and comic books’ go-to “red shirts” since the Allies won WWII. Once you figure that out, you notice how Peter brings out the best in them. When one of them wants to take off, Peter tells him he is free to do so, but his help is very appreciative. His charm draws them in, and his bravery is rubbing off on them. The action is swift and dazzling. It is full of explosions and gunplay, but it also as its fair share of espionage and stealth maneuvers.
While I do really think that narration is overused in the comic book medium, Peter Panzerfaust #1 really took advantage of it. It was brief, poetic, and passionate. The framing device of older Tootles interview is still there, but it is only used in the first scenes and last scenes. This certainly gives more panel time for the cast to click and the action to take center stage, but that prose really added something to the underlying fairy tale retelling.
Regardless, Peter Panzerfaust #2 is an enjoyable read. One I would definitely recommend. It is missing the magic of the first issue, but it is a thrill ride adventure story in a marketplace that doesn’t seem interested in that form of ld fashioned pulp ficition.