By David Petersen

After months of delays, issue #3 has arrived. I’ll be frank. It had been so long since the last issue came out that I almost didn’t buy this book out of protest and was just going to wait for the inevitable trade to come out next year (or whenever). I mean, this book was so late that I feared I’d forgotten too much of Winter: 1152’s story. Thankfully, David Petersen was smart enough to put a synopsis page at the beginning. With a few paragraphs I was right back where I left off. Whew!

I am so glad I bought this issue. I know it’s not really fair to make comparisons between the two, but the thing I like about this book over The Mice Templar is how Petersen is able to tell an engaging story without the use of much dialogue. His characters talk concisely and yet still manage to emit a lot of personality. The other thing I like is that the mice aren’t the only ones who can talk or have intelligence – all the creatures in this series have minds of their owns and aren’t limited to being “primitive”.

So what do we get from this issue? Bats, snow, and owls! The conspiracy against Lockhaven’s shield bearer is briefly touched upon in the beginning, but it goes largely ignored. And that’s fine, I can wait with that. We finally learn a bit more about the legend of the Black Axe. Though we’re not told the whole story, we’re given just enough to be left wanting more. Then there’s the whole sequence with the bats that is the centerpiece of the story and boy, is it awesome. The history of their race and the way they’re portrayed is just wonderful.

Despite being months late, Petersen gets a pass for coming back and delivering a strong, fun-filled adventure. His art really shines this issue (I think this is his best art yet) and his double page splash with the bats is incredible. I’m drooling for issue #4. Please don’t be late! (Grade: A)

– J. Montes