Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard #3
Publisher: Archaia Entertainment
Writers/Artists: Jason Shawn Alexander, Katie Cook, Guy Davis, Nate Pride, and David Petersen
Release Date: September 1, 2010
Minor spoilers below!
It’s amazing how quickly the world of Mouse Guard can pull you in. It’s also amazing how captivating the world can be, and we’ve only seen mere glimpses of it in David Petersen’s two Mouse Guard series. However, thanks be to God, Petersen has rubber stamped this really cool anthology series of Legends of the Guard. Not only that, but Petersen provides the transition pages between stories.
I like anthology books, but it’s always cool to have an over-arching story that provides the backdrop for the anthology. That’s what Petersen does here. Some of the lesser-known Mouse Guard characters are hanging out and trying to top one another with cool Guard stories. Unfortunately, I missed the first two issues of the series (which I will promptly rectify!), so I can’t really compare this issue with those, but this is a real treat.
Jason Shawn Alexander, Katie Cook, Guy Davis, and Nate Pride provide the stories of the Mouse Guard in this issue. All four creators are extremely different from one another artistically, yet they all hold the tone of Mouse Guard pretty well. Katie Cook tells the story of a mouse who was raised by foxes, which I really liked. Her style is more cartoony than you might expect in a Mouse Guard book, but it works.
Guy Davis’s The Critic is a silent story which took some concentration to figure out. I like his art style, but feel like it could have worked better with dialog. Nate Pride’s ballad tale is absolutely perfect! Finally, Jason Shawn Alexander’s adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven is beautifully drawn, even if the placement is a bit anachronistic.
But the real high points are Petersen’s connections between the stories. I really appreciate that he did that, as it would have been extremely easy to simply do the anthology without them. But this reflects his dedication and love of the world he has created, while also inviting other creators to play in the same world. It works extremely well, and those of you who are Mouse Guard completists, you’re going to want to pick this series up. And for those who haven’t read a Mouse Guard book, what are you waiting for? High adventure, epic storytelling, excellent characters, and beautiful art. What else do you want in a comic? Even if you missed the first two issues of this series like me, issue #3 is incredibly accessible and a lot of fun.