• Peter Panzerfaust #20



    Published by: Image Comics
    Released on: Aug. 20, 2014


    Part 5 of The Hunt this entry wraps some things up nicely as Julien and Lily finally find an end to their part in the war and Peter keeps on keeping on with his quest.

    [SPOILERS FOLLOW]

    As the issue opens, Peter is directing the resistance troops in a town, more than holding their own against the attacking German military. The scenes cut back and forth between Peter giving commands and his German counterpart screaming at his troops for being weak at being beaten by peasants and farmers.




    The Germans attempt to flank their position so Peter grabs Julien, his wife Lily, and Katherine Cole to stop that advance. Cole is a marksman so she’s left up top while the other three attack the flanking soldiers outright. They’re successful, much to the German commander’s outrage. The small group then advances on the building holding the Germans, with Peter and Julien clearing a path so that Lily can continue the hunt of the men responsible for her involvement in this war.


    They kill the troops and leave the commander to her, allowing for the narrative to shift a bit temporarily to a journal entry from Lily years after these events. She talks about her father and his war and how it changed him, reflecting on how it’s not done the same to her but makes him much more understandable. Meanwhile, the German advance abated, the others are free to go their separate ways. Peter says goodbye to Cole as she joins up with the French resistance and heads off with them.


    As Lily’s journal entry narrates, there was just a final loose end to tie up, involving the German named Luft. She gut-shoots him and follows the blood trail as he crawls, painfully and miserably in an attempt to escape. But she stops killing him as he can offer up information on the whereabouts of another of Peter’s compatriots, Monnier. Elsewhere, Peter and Julien reflect on Lily’s hunt now being over and what this war has done. Peter is supportive of his friend, giving him hope and courage and perspective that he really needs. Lily then drives up and tells Peter this is indeed where their part in the war ends. Peter wishes them well and Lily gives him Luft in the trunk of her car, so his own hunt can continue.


    The story concludes here with what Lily describes as her final journal entry. She tells of how she’s attempting to reconcile who she was during that hunt with who she is now, in peace time. She says every day is a struggle but, when she thinks about how war twisted her father into believing the world was just too cruel, she decides to go against that. She realizes there are indeed things worth fighting for that don’t ruin your soul. As she and Julien stare down, then, at their baby in its crib, she realizes what she sacrificed in order for this person and this time and place to all actually become a reality.

    Kurtis Wiebe gets to the meat of the story here, by allowing some characters to move on and reflect on the nature of war, of revenge, of life and the struggle to keep it all together. Doing so with some incredibly solid supporting characters in this title seems like a bit of a gamble but it really pays off, showing Peter for the man he is and the strength of character these storylines are exploring. Likewise, Tyler Jenkins artwork is alternately fluid and peaceful, delving comfortably into shadow and big, bright action sequences with equal assuredness. This title continues to just impress me with how deftly it handles some serious themes but doesn’t get bogged down with it all and keeps it all moving successfully.