Friday, February 4, 2011

Mouse Guard: Winter 1152

Mouse Guard: Winter 1152 (2008) is the second collection of David Petersen's Mouse Guard comic books.  It collects the six-issue mini series that covers the time immediately following the events of Fall 1152.

Winter has set in and, in the aftermath of the failed uprising put down in the fall, the Guard is scrambling to lay in stores of food, medicine, and sundries in Lockhaven before the roads between settlements become impassable.  Groups of guardmice have been sent out to collect supplies from remote mouse villages and to invite their leaders to a gathering where the issues that contributed to the unrest of the autumn before will be discussed.  The series follows the adventures of a group of these mice as they struggle in the face of the weather and various other dangers to return safely to Lockhaven.

I thought the story itself was somewhat weaker than the previous series.  It seems like Petersen's creativity is being constrained by the need to tell stories in six-issue bursts, particularly given his fairly voluminous art style.  I would really like to see him given the pages to tell a more epic adventure story.  This being said, I'm happy that he spent some time building upon each mouse's personal story.

As in the previous issue, the art is absolutely gorgeous.  It was great getting to see some more exotic locations in the Mouse Guard world as well as different denizens of the surrounding forests.  Here's a small sample of the rich texturing and attention to deal that characterizes Petersen's art:

As with the first volume, the art more than makes up for anything that the story lacks.  Petersen's next series, entitled The Black Axe, is just making its way into comic form now.  I look forward to picking up his next collection when it becomes available!

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