The Mice Templar: Volume IV #8 – Review

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Like any good villain, Icarus has been plotting from the shadows for several issues now as Bryan J. L. Glass did his best to build narrative tension for Volume IV of The Mice Templar. And now ,with issue #8, Icarus finally steps out onto the stage. And guess what — this mouse is fucking batshit.

Here’s the official word from Image:

“ICARUS THE GOD” The true madness of King Icarus is revealed as he launches his war against the heavens, forcing the owls of Wotan to defend the Great Ash Tree from the rat horde. But as the sacred Fields of Gold burn, former High Priest Micah unleashes true justice against the corruption of the priestly order!

Bryan J. L. Glass has developed a knack for delivering top-shelf stories so sophisticated that they read like Screen shot 2013-10-29 at 6.47.17 AMliterature — and issue #8 is no exception. Icarus has been slowly marching towards battle over the last few issues, and has set his sights on a strangely sacred prize: the Great Ash Tree. In addition to being a holy site, The Great Ash Tree also represents something more profound for Icarus — a sort of litmus test by which he (and the readers) can measure how insane this character has actually become. Yes, during his spiral into madness he’s frequently referred to himself as a God, but that type of puffery is really just hot air until you punch God in the nose. And with issue #8 (despite the warnings of Lady Lorelie) that’s exactly what Icarus does. The fact that Bryan J. L. Glass can deliver a satisfying battle scene that also operates as a metaphor for one mouse’s descent into madness is what makes The Mice Templar so great.

Victor Santos had a mighty task with issue #8 — to depict a major battle sequence with hundreds of players, while still hyper-focusing on just a few select characters. As we’ve come to expect from Santos, he shifts from macro to micro almost effortlessly. A battle that includes owls allows for a lot of aerial shots and I often found myself lingering on the pages just to catch all that he had done. His style is especially powerful in large panel shots, which issue #8 has in spades.

The Mice Templar #8 does everything a great book should: it provides a major shift not only for the mega-arc of Volume IV, but develops its cast of characters as well. Go pick this thing up.




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