Mouse Guard 3: The Black Axe

mouse guard volume 3 the black axe cover hardback
8.5 Overall Score
Art: 10/10

Still one of the best looking books out there

Always want more Mouse Guard

Comic Info

Comic Name: Mouse Guard:  The Black Axe

Publisher: Archaia Entertainment

Writer: David Petersen

Artist: David Petersen

# of Issues: 6

Release Date: 2013

mouse guard the black axe #1 cover crow

Mouse Guard: The Black Axe #1

Reprints Mouse Guard:  The Black Axe #1-6 (December 2010-February 2013).  Celanawe the Black Axe is dead and now Lieam the new Black Axe is tracing his history.  From Celanawe’s life as a guardmouse to his path to discovering and becoming the Black Axe, the story is told of a quest and the price of the quest.  The Black Axe must endure and the mouse that carries the Black Axe carries a heavy burden.

Written and illustrated by David Petersen, Mouse Guard Volume 3:  The Black Axe is a fantasy adventure comic book collection.  The collection follows Mouse Guard Volume 2:  Winter 1152 and was released to critical acclaim.

Mouse Guard is a great series and it is a series that you can tell takes a lot of work, and Petersen puts that effort into each page.  With great visuals and a solid story, Mouse Guard:  The Black Axe is a welcomed continuation to Mouse Guard series…with one slight drawback.

The previous stories focused on the guardmouse trio of Lieam, Kenzie and Saxon and this serves as a flashback within that series.  The voyage of Celanawe with his kin Em and shipmate Conrad leads to an adventure with ferrets and a battle with a massive fox.  The story then takes a turn from the dangers and how one can earn the title of Black Axe to the pain and suffering that comes with being the Black Axe.  Em dies before she can claim the mantle after living a life potentially preparing for it, and Conrad’s life takes a turn for the worse when Celanawe must hide that he is the Black Axe and betray his friend by not supporting his claims (after maiming him).  The series constantly points to the difficulties of being a mouse in a big world, but this volume particularly demonstrates how even within the world of a mouse, the challenges are great.

mouse guard the black axe #5 cover em

Mouse Guard: The Black Axe #5

Part of the joy of the Mouse Guard is seeing the interaction with different animals and how Petersen illustrates them.  In this volume, you get to see fish, badgers, bears, and turtles among other animals.  The story has battles with fishers, a slightly warmer reception by ferrets, and a battle with a fox…which demonstrates that even predators can be sympathetic in some ways.  Petersen is able to breathe life into all of the creations in the story and does it with class and style.

The part of Mouse Guard that is bad is that it leaves you wanting more.  With the time and quality of the book, it takes a long time to come out and after Mouse Guard:  The Black Axe, the Mouse Guard hasn’t popped up in story form in a while.  The story of Lieam, Kenzie, and Saxon hasn’t continued and the struggles of mice seems like it is in limbo at the moment.  Petersen lists Mouse Guard:  The Weasel War as being the next outing for the Mouse Guard, but as of yet, it hasn’t materialized…let’s hope the mice live to fight another day (or a whole slew of days would even be better).

Related Links:

Mouse Guard 1:  Fall 1152

Mouse Guard 2:  Winter 1152

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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