Trying to come up with more superlatives for this series gets harder and harder. David Petersen’s rodent-fueled journey continues here, with the expectedly amazing art from Petersen. From the hilts of the mice’s swords to the brickwork and flooring in Darkheather, this book just ripples with detail.
Petersen’s story is every bit as strong as his highly rendered art. This issue allows Saxon to rejoin his comrades Sadie and Kenzie while Lieam and Celanawe are still struggling through the more frigid climate above ground.
The confrontation with the owl, blinded in one in the first issue of this tale, hits a climax here and one of the Guardmice will not be returning to Lockhaven. This issue reads quickly and definitely teases the concluding issue, slated for a May 2009 release.
While this issue contains one of nature’s most brutal battles between predator and prey, augmented with axe and sword, Petersen shows just enough to illustrate the tragedy without overloading the visuals with senseless imagery of slaughter.
This series is another feather in Petersen’s cap and there can be little doubt that the collected edition of this tale will be well worth the price of admission. I would highly recommend readers new to the legend of “Mouse Guard” either track down the four issues prior to this in this story or wait until the fall of this year for a hardcover collection. Those of you already invested in this story can rest assured that the fifth issue is just as good as the previous four. Do not hesitate to pick this one up.