The hunt continues as Tiger Lily and Julien track down the men responsible for killing Lily’s father and here’s where we get to see what the older Lily was talking about to John Parsons in the previous issue. War changes people, for good and for bad, and in Lily’s case these are not the days that she can look back on with any semblance of pride. It’s one thing to justify killing for the sake of self-defense, to protect oneself as many people had to do during the war, but Lily is a woman with a score to settle; fighting her own personal war that will not end until she’s satisfied that her father has been avenged. The only person potentially keeping her from falling over the edge is Julien.
En route to Luzy to find her next kill, Lily and Julien are stopped by a German checkpoint that sets them both on edge. They’re undercover as a wine merchant and his business partner, but there are no assurances that their forged papers will pass inspection. When they’re asked to step out of their car, Lily’s first instinct is to kill them and make a run for it while Julien asks for patience. Amongst the Lost Boys, Julien was always the careful planner, so it makes sense that he’d try to let the situation play out until he has all the information he needs. Thankfully, the Germans are more concerned with the wine than they are the concealed weaponry in the car and we’re treated to a slightly uncomfortable picture of the young German soldier with an arm around the married couple and his bride brandished for all to see, much to the delight of John Parsons as he reads Lily’s diary. When the couple arrive in Luzy, however, the mood changes and Lily is once again on the hunt, but not everything goes according to plan.
Like I said in my previous review for Lily’s arc in Peter Panzerfaust, the tone and structure of the book is familiar yet very different. Here we’re treated to Lily’s inner thoughts as Parsons reads from a journal she’s had since she was a little girl. There’s an eerily beautiful symmetry to Lily’s narrative and how the scenes play out in Tyler Jenkins art. Her father is always present in her thoughts, but it’s how Lily talks about him within the pages of her journal and what he did to shape her into the woman she is that gives us more insight into her character. Her father was a good man, one who could weather any storm. He was a calming presence in Lily’s life and in her thirst for vengeance we see how important that is to Lily since Julien, for the time being, can only be supportive of his wife’s vendetta but he can’t quell her desires for revenge. The contrast between Lily and Julien is fascinating, especially in their go-to responses to possibly being found out by the Germans. Lily is naturally reactionary while Julien has the ability to step back and let the situation play out. He wants all the information, but Lily only wants the information she needs. Two different instincts, two different approaches. There’s also a brief moment where Lily expounds on Julien’s penchant for seeing the humanity in others as evidenced by their interaction with the young German soldiers. Though this part of the story is from Lily’s perspective, Kurtis J. Wiebe still manages to flesh out another facet of war: just because they’re the enemy doesn’t mean they’re all bad. It’s brief and Lily, at the time, clearly thought Julien’s humanity would be the death of him, but it’s also the writings of an angry and vengeful young woman myopically focused on her task.
Jenkins’ art still continues to blow me away with each issue. I love it when the book goes silent for a few pages if only because it shows how much trust Wiebe has in Jenkins to create the right emotions and mood. Lily’s silent ascent of the building holding her next target is filled with tension and the resulting chase through Luzy and into the woods is fast-paced and action-packed. There’s also an interesting use of crows as a visual motif in this issue. Crows are generally considered symbols of death or messengers from the underworld, so to see them at the beginning of the issue during Lily and Julien’s drive towards Luzy and their presence in the forest while Lily hunts is a haunting visual reminder of how far Lily is willing to go to avenge her father.
Rating – 10/10
Final Thoughts: Tiger Lily with a repeating rifle. That is all.