Comic – Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard vol1: B+

Mouse-Guard-LofG vol1B+

I’m normally against short story collections by an assortment of creators, but Mouse Guard managed to frame them well. I enjoyed about two-thirds of the tales, but my favorites were those that most closely related to the style and plotting of main series, which kind of defeats the point I suppose. I enjoyed BPRD’s Guy Davis and his story about bats, and decidedly did not enjoy a wildly divergent cartoonish tale. Most fans will find something to like, but not a significant addition to the series.

Comic – Mouse Guard: The Black Axe: A

Having failed to gain much interest in the first two volumes of Mouse Guard, The Black Axe pleasantly surprised me. The story and characters are far more compelling this time around, as were the scope and settings. The art was never a problem, and it maintained that skillfulness, perhaps even exceeding it. It all felt more mythological, more organic, which I always consider a good thing.

Comic – Mouse Guard vol1: Fall 1152: B

The main appeal of Mouse Guard is the fantastic art and the skillful world-building that grounds it. The themes and characters are well conceived and wonderfully detailed. But, like Tolkien, the writing is less impressive. This first story features a complicated plot filled with conflicting emotions and epic battles that this single volume simply doesn’t have time to convey with the same detail it gives to expository things. The cinematic layouts taking up several full pages, while beautiful, don’t help in relieving this rushed feeling.

Comic – Mouse Guard vol2: Winter 1152: B+

The story was slightly more character driven than the first but I still suffered from the same hurried perception. There are quite a few characters and their relationships and tensions are introduced and resolved so fast that I felt they fell flat, but not so much that the characters weren’t discernible. However, fantastic action sequences and further world exploration propelled this book past these faults.