What is it with mice as a species that makes us immediately want to put them in antiquated garb and have them hold miniature swords? Off the top of my head, I can think of five instances of mice as knights: Brian Jacques’ Redwall, the fine children’s movie The Tale of Despereaux, the classic cartoon The Secret of Nimh, the comic Mice Templar, and finally, Mouse Guard. Is it really a problem that the idea’s been done before? Hardly! I wouldn’t mind seeing several more stories about crusading mice.
Mouse Guard is a series I wish I existed back when I was 12. It’s definitely the type of story the young-me would’ve gone for: a mixture of high fantasy and adventure, with a strong back story, and it’s exceptionally well drawn. That everything, apparently, is done by one man, David Petersen, makes me rather jealous. I’ve tried making my own comics before, doing every part myself, but I find I’m mediocre at every aspect, whereas David Petersen does a commendable job of bringing these mice to life and to create an intricate settings for their battles and quests.
As an adult, I didn’t find the story as engaging and layered as, say, Fables, but then the target audience for Mouse Guard isn’t adults. It’s a series for tweens and teens. Not every child will like it, but ones who enjoy say, Harry Potter or the Narnia series will likely find pleasure here. There are some dark moments in the book, and some very minor incidents involving violence, but if a child is okay with the gloom of the last 4 Harry Potter films, they shouldn’t be adversely affected by the tumultuous parts of Mouse Guard.
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If you enjoyed this review of Mouse Guard Winter 1152, check out my other reviews of graphic novels.