David Peterson’s Mouse Guard series from Archaia comics has been in print since 2007, with two complete 6-issue arcs and a one-shot released thus far. With this new arc Peterson is exploring the back-story and quasi origin-story of one of the main characters from the first two arcs, Celanawe, a lawful and honourable member of the guard who eventually becomes the legendary Black Axe.
The Mouse Guard series is a very entertaining read for all ages, especially those that enjoy fantasy. Though there aren’t villains like goblins and trolls, (those positions are taken by weasels and other natural predators of mice) the series has an archaic and medieval tone, and Peterson does it very well. The artwork is really unlike anything else in the market right now; it’s quite realistic and polished, and the landscapes always look beautiful. This is fortunate, because Peterson’s style really revolves around and depends upon his art; the narrative is usually kept to a few sentences per three or four panelled page.
This first issue of the Black Axe arc sticks exactly to this convention and is as enjoyable as the former issues. It introduces the motif of the new character early on, and gets the ball rolling plot-wise. It’s an enjoyable, light read that is exciting, and a slight bit of departure from the regular comic scene. I definitely recommend.