Ever since this comic series started a few years back, I’ve been a huge fan of it. But this issue of Archaia’s Mouse Guard: The Black Axe is the best I’ve ever read!

Here’s the description: “Em, the mouse who brought Celanawe into the quest for the Axe, has met her end. The tragic tale of her death is told to Celanawe and Conrad by the ferret king who was honor bound to keep her alive. The consequences lead Celanawe and Conrad to try and find a way home to the Mouse Territories so that Celanawe can return to the Guard and Conrad can try and gain the seat of Captain’s Captain in Port Sumac. Includes a pin-up from Shane Michael Vidaurri, creator of the upcoming Archaia title, Iron.”

This issue, the next to last in this particular storyline, was tremendously poignant and gripping.

We see a mouse funeral ceremony, for example, and it seriously moved me. We also learn how Em met her final fate, and it wasn’t pretty. Celanawe isn’t, as he puts it, a “wordmouse,” but he delivers quite a eulogy at the wake. Then he decides to leave the realm of ferrets behind, so he and Conrad, who has fashioned himself a wooden leg to replace the one he lost, build a ship and head for home. But Celanawe isn’t prepared for what he finds there, for which he holds the Black Axe responsible.

Archaia, Mouse Guard, Black Axe, David Petersen, Celanawe, Conrad, New 52, DC  ComicsThe art, as usual, is stunning and draws the reader into the story quickly. The pacing is strong, pulling us through the story quickly. Sometimes I had to stop and just take in the lovely drawings in spite of myself.

There’s only one more issue of this mini-series to go, and I can’t wait for October to come so I can read it! In my opinion, this book should be in every school library as a great example of what a comic can be!

To listen to my interview with Mouse Guard creator David Petersen, go to this link. To learn more about the book, go to mouseguard.net.

DC Comics, New 52, Batman, Scott Snyder, This week’s New 52 Reviews: Here are quick thoughts on the DC New 52 books out this week! Batman #12 kicks off a fascinating shorter story dealing with two kids who are struggling to find their own way in the world. Batgirl continues to be one of the very best of the DC offerings, and this issue features Batwoman! Batman And Robin has the Dynamic Duo taking on Terminus. Next, I enjoyed  Demon Knights #12 by Paul Cornell, which sends the team to hell in a hand basket! Frankenstein: Agent Of Shade reveals the mystery of Satan’s Ring! Also, Superboy #12 has the Teen of Steel out for a night on the town, so things get kind of messy. Deathstroke concludes his battle with Lobo. Resurrection Man explores more of his universe and powers. Suicide Squad reveals a traitor in their midst. Ravagers #4 shows Beast Boy’s connection to the Red as seen in Animal ManGrifter was intriguing, with some good surprises, but it was still the least of this week’s New 52.

Other books worth picking up this week included Batman: Arkham Unhinged #5, Before Watchmen: Ozymandias #2, Legion Lost #12,  and Night Force #6 from DC Comics; Daredevil Annual  #1 and Venom #22 from Marvel; Archer & Armstrong #1 from Valiant; Blue Estate #12 and Hoax Hunters #2 (check out my review of that book at this link) from Image; Atomic Robo: Flying She-Devils of the Pacific #2 and Atomic Robo: Real Science Adventures #5 from Red 5; and Warriors of Mars #4 from Dynamite!