Overview

Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard #2

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Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard #2

Credits

  • Words: Alex Kain, Terry Moore, Lowell Francis, David Petersen
  • Art: Sean Rubin, Terry Moore, Gene Ha, David Petersen
  • Colors: Sean Rubin, Terry Moore, Gene Ha, David Petersen
  • Price: $3.50
  • Release Date: Jun 23, 2010

It’s only been three short weeks since the first installment of Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard was released. But time within the walls of the June Alley Inn hasn’t stalled one bit; the tavern’s patrons are still telling their fanciful tales in the hopes of winning a contest that will clear the victor’s bar tab. Remember the rules: every story told must relay some truth and some fantasy, all topped off with complete originality.

The first tale told is “Potential” by writer Alex Kain and artist Sean Rubin. Here, we meet a young mouse named Osric, a citizen of the small town of Barkhamsted. One of the Mouse Guard is dispatched to the town in order to deal with a roaming bear that’s been troubling the quiet village. This act surprises Osric: why would one of the Guard risk his life for but a small and seemingly insignificant town?

The warrior’s response: “To the Guard, every mouse is worth fighting for—worth dying for.” Here we have an interesting theme being expressed—patriotism. Mouse Guard is oftentimes filled with wonderful and thoughtful adventures, but writer Kain cunningly explore why exactly the Guard does what it does. He and artist Rubin successfully reveal the virtuous spirit of the warrior mice who protect the Territories.

“The Shrike and the Toad” by writer/artist Terry Moore is the briefest and most lighthearted of the legends told in the first two issue of the miniseries. It subtly invokes the Greek myth of Icarus, the man who took flight on wax wings only to learn with his life that mortals are of the earth and the earth alone. Though the lesson isn’t so harsh in Moore’s story, it’s a creative yarn that shows the relationships between the various sentient creatures of the forest in the Mouse Guard mythos.

The final story is writer Lowell Francis and artist Gene Ha’s “Worley and the Mink.” While Moore’s has been the briefest story thus far, this narrative is the longest and the most thoughtful in its plot and execution. Worley is a respected banker throughout the Mouse Territories, but that doesn’t save him from being plunged into a deadly adventure against a mink when a loan he makes is stolen by a shifty mouse. “Worley” is a story for all of the underdogs in life, for anyone who’s been judged by their appearance or position that they’re not up to the task when the call to adventure is heard.

As before, Mouse Guard creator David Petersen writes and illustrates all of the asides in the tavern in between stories. His work on the book along with all of the time and effort put in by the guest contributors is beyond admirable. As with the first issue, Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard #2 is a labor of love to be felt by all those who read it. Don’t miss out.

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