Mouse Guard: The Black Axe #5 (of 6) Advance Review
By Dan Horn
August 7, 2012 - 16:18
When an enigmatic mouse elder, Em, appeared, claiming to be his only
surviving relative, Celanawe was relieved from his duties with the Mouse
Guard of the Territories to embark on a journey to find and retrieve
the mythic Black Axe of his ancestors. With the salty mariner mouse
Conrad, Celanawe and Em have traveled far and fought through many
hardships, finally attaining the fabled axe, but their adventure was not
without its lofty price, and Celanawe's arduous trek back to the
Territories is similarly destined to end with a tragedy, even as he
questions the purpose of his and Em's quest.
Mouse Guard: The Black Axe is an elegantly written and sumptuously
illustrated anthropomorphic legend. Writer and artist David Petersen
adeptly marries a dense lore, akin to that found in Brian Jacques' furry
fantasy novels, with a strikingly textured and unique visual style.
Archaia's Mouse Guard has alway been one of the more beautifully
rendered books on the shelves, but The Black Axe series really ups the
aesthetic ante. Issue five in particular displays some incredibly
powerful imagery coupled with a naturalistic and utilitarian bent.
While Mouse Guard: The Black Axe is certainly a fun read, it's not all
lighthearted. There's quite a bit of humanity in Petersen's mice, and
you'll find this book tugging at your heartstrings. Petersen's
narrative, while exploring the themes of friendship, family, and duty,
has a surprisingly mature voice that rings at times cynical. In this
way, Mouse Guard: The Black Axe is a fully realized epic; layered and
profound; intensely personal. It's a book that provides a compelling and dimensional experience for readers of all ages, and it's an excellent companion piece to Petersen's other Mouse Guard volumes.
Click here for an Archaia preview of Mouse Guard: The Black Axe #5
Rating: 9 /10
Last Updated: August 31, 2023 - 08:12