Last month I caught up on the entire story arc that’s currently running in Mice Templar’s fourth volume and it was pretty damn good. It was so good that I scored the entire arc as a 5 out of 5. It did make me wonder how this issue would stack up and if I would even have anything new to say about the series after jamming through so many issues. Well there’s plenty to say, but I’ll start by saying that this issue is actually better than the past five that I bundled reviewed. In fact I’m glad that I’m giving it a solo review for that reason alone. In the last issue the Many were full revealed as they began their terror by sweeping across what remained of the rat camp. In this issue we learn the how and why of the Many and what exactly Karic’s connection to them is. It’s some fascinating character and world building done by Bryan J.L. Glass.
I’m not going to spoil that part for you, but I will say that the results are that Ankara aka Aquila is sent into the otherworld where Karic’s mind is being held captive. This scene is powerful and even though the characters are in love, their love was never a factor in the resolution. I thought that was incredible since any other story would have just played the love card and moved on. Instead Glass actually analyzed their relationship and explored each character’s insecurities and it was through that they overcome the odds before them.
Back in the city where the youth are rioting we’re treated to not one, but three powerful scenes between Cedric and the youth. Each scene in a way is a part of the three act structure with the finale being pretty damn incredible.
It’s difficult to fully analyze this issue without spoiling the story so I will say that you should check it out. If you haven’t read the series you can actually begin here because Glass has this amazing way of recapping the history of the series naturally through the dialogue. It’s believable because the different characters don’t assume that all the other characters have the same information. It’s almost as if they’re comparing notes as they go making sure everything lines up. For the reader it gives you an incredible amount of the back story so that you can keep up. The only other series I’ve seen that can manage this is the Mignolaverse.
A huge driving force of the success of this story comes from Victor Santos’ artwork. His linework adds so much to the emotion of the story. In Karic and Ankara’s case he shows the desperation on Karic’s face as he’s overtaken by the Many. Meanwhile Ankara goes through a range of emotions, but remains strong and fierce throughout the entire scene. With Cedric and the youth’s story he brings out different emotions and helps capture the rebellious nature of their tale. Both sides of the story capture different emotional ranges and Santos fires on all cylinders for both. The tone of the world largely comes from colorist Serena Guerra who rounds out the art. Guerra’s dark and earthy tones give this story a lot of personality.
There aren’t many Image titles out this week, but damn if they’re not all pretty damn great. You really should check out Mice Templar especially if you’re liking Game of Thrones in any capacity. It’s a series that continues to surprise. Oh and if the price has you worried… well don’t. You’re getting plenty of great pages at that price making it a great value.
Writer: Bryan J.L. Glass Artist: Victor Santos Colorist: Serena Guerra Publisher: Image Comics Price: $5.99 Release Date: 10/15/14 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital