Peter Panzerfaust Volume One

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Fangirls! Last week, I made one of the best purchases ever. I heard about the Peter Panzerfaust series a few weeks ago, and couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. I started with just the first trade to see how I felt about it before I went all in. I’m ready to go all in. This series is one of a kind and absolutely fantastic.

Peter Panzerfaust is a unique twist on the story of Peter Pan. Set in WWII era Europe, a young, lively American fellow, Peter, finds himself helping out a group of French orphans survive German invasion. Peter came to France looking for a woman named Belle, a nod to Tinkerbell I’m assuming. It’s kind of assumed that she’s a love interest, but later on it’s pretty discreetly hinted that she might be his mother who left him as a child. It’s not totally clear, but I’m certain that it’ll be revisited later in the series.

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Peter is connected with the boys when Germans are invading and they’re orphanage is destroyed. Peter enters to the rescue, and they flee the area. The boys; Felix, Julien, Alain, Claude, Maurice, and Gilbert are hesitant of Peter, but find themselves following his leads, realizing it’s probably their only chance of survival, and that there’s something about Peter that’s very magnetic & endearing. The boys & Peter then find themselves in exciting & life threatening adventures, battling Nazi’s rescuing British soldiers, stealing German cars, all on their way to Paris, where they believe they can find a better life with much more safety. They also find themselves up against a Nazi captain, whose hand Peter slices, I’m assuming, creating the Captain Hook villain. And boy, can I not wait for that.

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Along the way to Paris, they boys witness a plane crash that they rush to help out with.There is where they meet the Darlings. John, Wendy, & Micheal. They join the ranks of the boys and they all find a farm house where they take refuge for a while. They sing songs & have lots of fun, nearly forgetting about the state of their country. This is where they friendship of them all is solidified, and a romance seems to be slightly peeked between Peter & Wendy. Oo la la.

Unfortunately, the fun comes to a halt as the group find themselves right in the midst of a throw down between the French & the Germans. In this, Alain is killed, and Felix goes missing. The boys continue on to Paris, feeling heartbroken & a bit defeated, but see the light of better days in Paris. They all live in a hotel for a while, and seem to be doing pretty well. When then, the worst case scenario happens, and Paris is invaded by the Nazis. As they march in, they see a line of prisoners in tow, where they find Felix, property of the Germans for the time being.

The layout of this story is something I really enjoy. It’s a recounting by one of the boys, Gilbert, now an elderly man. Gilbert is being interviewed by someone named John Parsons. The book goes back & fourth between Gilbert reflecting on these stories, and the stories themselves. The lovely illustrations of these mighty tales of these boys are spliced with the emotional recounting of this old man, all of this now behind him, left without his best friend Peter. At the end of the book, Gilbert hands the reporter off to Julien, after he asks about what happens next with Felix. He says that the next part of the story must be told by Julien, and they go to his house. The book closes with the interviewer asking what Gilbert’s last memory of Peter was. Gilbert says that there is a story that the reporter is going to search for, a story that happened many years later. Gilbert says that after this, Peter said that there was one more thing he had to do, and that he would return, but he never did. This didn’t upset Gilbert, though Peter was his closest friend, because he just knew that was Peter’s way.

I’m in love with this series, Fangirls. It’s beautifully written & illustrated, heart warming & exciting, just a joy to read. I cannot wait to pick up the second trade, and the single issues that will bring me up to speed. I highly recommend this series to everyone, Fangirls. It is so fucking good.

You have no excuse. Go read it!

All images and characters depicted are copyright of their respective owners. 

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