Mouse Guard comic is a bit of a mouse bore

Mouse Guard comic is a bit of a mouse bore

Nathan McMahon

Illustration by Natalie Rivera/Arts & Entertainment Editor

Dark and gritty. Mice and mayhem. Welcome to the world of David Peterson’s fantasy graphic novel, Mouse Guard: Fall 1152. It has some strong moments and the action is great when amped up but the entire affair ends up falling flatter than a mouse fart in the wind.

The appeal of a story like this is one that is rooted in our basic need to discover hidden secrets and the worth of good overcoming evil. It barely succeeds at both and due to this lack of basic skillful storytelling, it ends up being a pointless slog.

Evil forces conspire against a brave band of noble protectors known as the Mouse Guard. The nefarious plot is discovered by three of the guard’s best warriors and their adventure to discover the source of the plan is the bulk of the story.  In a spectacularly awkward reveal the villain is discovered but the motive is never really explained which is one of the many issues throughout the novel.

Maddeningly worse, are the filler parts of the journey. It’s a trudge through the mundane. The three protagonists, are so woefully under-developed as characters, that their personalities are effectively rendered down to weapon of choice and color of cloak. This results in a complete lack of sympathy for their plight.

Equally absurd is the abundance of MacGuffins which fail to enhance the story in a plausible way. Whether it’s the aforementioned villains goals or the three heroes discovery of a mythical warrior, the story suffers from general lack of direction. At a hefty 200 pages the story should be dense in a good way but ends up dense like a boring block of un-carved wood.

The action sequences save the mendacity of this particular mouse affair and one gets the feeling that the creator, Peterson, has more skill with his drawing than his wordplay. And while the art is beautiful at first it eventually coalesces into a muddy stew of browns and grays, punctuated by bright moments of clarity, most notably in a beautiful beach setting. Unfortunately, this all results in an otherwise bland offering.In the end this journey just isn’t worth the undertaking and the result is a steaming pile of mediocre.