Sorry for the late review, but the review copy only recently arrived (courtesy of the kind folks at Archaia Studios Press!). This issue of David Petersen's Mouse Guard is perhaps my favorite issue yet (probably not, though, as I absolutely adore #1). Once again, Mouse Guard delivers not only stunning artwork, but also an interesting story - one in which, in issue #3, the plot begins to form and the action gets more developed.
In this issue, our three Mouse Guard heroes, Saxon, Kenzie and Lieam, are on their way home after their discovery of the traitor in their midsts. They stop off in the town of Barkstone (Barks tribute?), where they discover even more of the conspiracy, so Saxon and Kenzie create a diversion for Lieam to go snooping around further.
The diversion itself is enthralling, as we see how Saxon just cannot contain his enthusiasm sometimes, even when he really ought to. Meanwhile, Petersen's artwork shows their combat beautifully, especially when Saxon accidentally draws blood - you can almost feel the motion of the cut. Very impressive.
Lieam's snooping finds a grander conspiracy than expected, and sets up an eventful next issue.
It's all so classical, in the action. Imagine, say, The Four Feathers with mice, or Robin Hood with mice. All the standard themes are being explored, but Petersen explores them well, with a steady hand and much charm.
I continue to be impressed by Petersen's depictions of mouse society. Heck, the very concept of a mouse town is handled well, and the montage contained in a two page spread where the mice casually snoop around works well as an examination of what everyday life in a border town such as Barkstone is like.
The plot, as laid out in #3, sure makes one want to see what happens next, while the issue stands on its own merits quite well, as well.
Mouse Guard is one of the finest books being put out today, and well worth looking for. Highly recommended.