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Tales, tales, and more tales, is what you will get with the second chapter of Legend of the Guard. In this issue, we are given three new stories by new creators for each story. The list of creators includes: Alex Kain, Sean Rubin, Terry Moore, Gene Ha and Lowell Francis.
The first to spin a weave is Fenton and he has a story about a mouse that was a member of the guard that lived in a small city called Barkhamsted. The brave mouse that is a member of the guard takes it upon himself to protect his city until recruitment from the guard comes. The mouse feels that every young mouse in every city has potential to someday be part of the guard. He is so brave, that mouse tackles a bear that has been a threat to the city. By himself, he manages to slay the bear. The brave mouse had another villager accompanying him on his task. The young mouse was so inspired by his actions that he decides to join up the guard and makes a journey to the major city to be train as a member of the guard. The first story is written by Alex Kain, with art by Sean Rubin. Kain does a great job of telling a story that is short and sweet. The art by Sean Rubin is gorgeous to look at and fitting of the Mouse Guard name. Kain in his story adds another layer to the world. He explains that even though the city is small, it’s important to mice as a whole.
In the second story titled “The Shrike and the Toad” is written and drawn by Terry Moore. The second story is told by a mouse named Caitlin. Her tale is about Sasha and Max. Two mice that are trying to cross a field, but encounter a group of birds (The Skrike). The two heroes manage to defend themselves and knock one of the shrikes unconscious. Upon doing so they are met by a curious toad. Max sees the toad and has an idea of how to cross the dangerous field. He and Sasha tie the shrike and the toad together, with the toad hopping around with the unconscious shriek on its back the mice are able to hid under the wings. All goes well until the shrike gains consciousness, but at this time the mice are already to their destination and flee leaving the two creatures tied. The story has less to do about the lore of Mouse Guard and is pretty much an adventure story with a very funny ending. The story and art are fun and have a children’s book feel to them, making for a fun read.
The final story is about a mouse named Worley, a stubborn banker from Walnutpeck. One day, one of his customers cheats him and flees the city. Worley, being the stubborn mouse he is, decides to follow him. Worley tracks down the mouse to a most dangerous land, Wolfpointe. Worley asks the leader of the land to hand over his goods or pay him his money. His negotiations are interrupted as the cheats betrothed is kidnapped. Rakepaw, is an old mink that terrorizes the village by out smarting there traps. Worley proposes that if he manages to get rid of Rakepaw, then he could get back the possessions that were taken from him.
The villagers are a bit skeptical of what a fat banker could do against a mink but take the offer. Worley demonstrate how a banker with a pen can be just as dangerous as a mouse with a sword. He cleverly sets up trap in different locations that are filled with ink. With the traps set he’s able to track the mink back to his lair to attempt his rescue. The third story of this book was probably the best story of the three. Lowell Francis writes such a great story. He takes characters that you’d think might be boring and makes them interesting. Come on, would have thought that making a banker into a fighter was going to be cool? The art by Gene Ha is simply excellent. Ha almost mirrors panel by panel Petersen’s art style.
Overall I would say the issue is a home run. The list of creators for this book just keeps getting better and better. The format mostly stayed the same from the first issue: A little bit of history, more adventure, and the third being a mixture of both. Each of the artists is simply amazing. It’s so gorgeous and complements the storytelling of the issues beautifully. I really cannot wait for the next issue of this series to come out. The stories are getting better and better and the list of creators that are participating in the series keeps blowing me away. David Petersen and company create another excellent book.
Overall Score – 10/10