Review: Mouse Guard – The Black Axe #3

I’m not a big fan of series that suffer huge delays, but with Mouse Guard I understand that there is a lot of work that goes into it on creator David Petersen’s part. Finally after several months though we have the next issue of Black Axe and it’s so much better than the last issue. I really didn’t care for the second issue since it seemed like a filler issue. It was literally just the characters on a boat getting to the shore they needed to get to with the typical “storm sequence” crashing the ship. The third issue has our main character Celanawe waking up on the beach shore with a raspy voice and no sign of his kin and the captain of their destroyed ship. He begins searching and finally finds Em, the two of them continue looking for the captain but only find her book amongst the wreckage.After another turn of events they’re set on their way to find that creature that has the Black Axe in their possession. It turns out that it’s a ferret king that ate the mouse that came to his land with the axe. The reveal is that it wasn’t Celanawe or Em’s kin, but rather another mouse named Merek. As the story continues Celanawe finds himself in a race against the clock as he must hunt down an enemy that’s bigger and greater than he is in order to save Em and claim the axe.

I really enjoyed the story, it kept suit with a lot of the story telling that was found in Mouse Guard:Legends of the Guard as Celanawe finds himself facing a natural predator for Mice… the fox! There were at least two instances of mice fighting larger predators in Legends and each ended with the mouse victorious, but I have to wonder if this will truly have a happy ending since Mouse Guard is known more for its bittersweet endings.

Petersen’s style is still impeccable. His amount of detail is amazing and always impresses me how much the art plays into the tone of the series. I like Mouse Guard because as all ages friendly the book is, it has a very dark undertone to it. The only way I can describe the feeling of the book is to compare it to Dark Crystal, very creepy but yet so hopefully. Petersen’s storytelling and art may not have made leaps and bounds since the last issue,but it continues to pave the way for Mouse Guard to become a classic. If you’ve been following the series then keep reading it’s worth it and if you haven’t then you’re in luck because each issue of Mouse Guard is very accessible.

Score: 4/5

Writer/Artist/Creator: David Peterson Publisher: Archaia Entertainment Price: $3.99