Written by Bryan J. L. Glass
Art by Michael Avon Oeming
Publisher: Image Comics
As Maimonides (look him up; that’s what Google is for) once wrote: “Accept the truth from whatever source it comes.”
You want a good idea of how brutish life was for the average Bronze-Age-to-Medieval peasant, take a long loving look at The Mice Templar by Bryan J. L. Glass and Michael Avon Oeming. Yeah, it’s a fantasy with talking mice, but boy howdy, do they ever get the historical feel just right.
The Mice Templar world has a far different mindset than our urbanized present. The characters inhabit their world; we tend to merely occupy ours. They are acutely aware of and constantly interacting with their environment and one another.
In short, they are living, breathing embodiments of their time & place. To do this with just one character is a noteworthy accomplishment, but to populate an entire book with such characters, wow, you are soaring in a rarefied atmosphere.
The Mice Templar Vol. III Chapt. 5 “A Midwinter’s Night Dream” is probably not the best introduction to this world and characters; for one thing, it’s deep deep deep into the plot at this point so a lot of nuance is going to be lost. It reads like a chapter of a graphic novel, not an episode in an ongoing story. I’d recommend starting off with Vol. I “The Prophecy” in collected form.
Oeming’s art is dynamic, carefully balanced between straightforward storytelling and creative use of layouts and staging so that we’re constantly delighted but never befuddled. His facial expressions are really good and lively with subtle characterization, a hard challenge when dealing with non-human characters.
If I raise an eyebrow at anything, it’s the character designs. They’re good, but they’re not really mouse-like; more like Brak from the various incarnations of Space Ghost. Would the story work as well/better with more realistic rodents? Hard to say, but then it would start veering into Mouse Guard territory so perhaps this is the optimum choice.
…and in closing, let it be known: That life is too short to read, much less review, crappy comic books.
I don’t review anything I can’t recommend unreservedly. This means a lotta okay-but-not-great books won’t even be mentioned here.
No offense, I realize a lotta time & effort went into them on the part of their creators, and that they had fun doing ‘em and high hopes for their popular success, and who knows, jes’ ‘cuz it didn’t float my boat doesn’t mean for somebody else it ain’t Exactly What They’ve Been Searching For All Their Life.
More power to ya, creators & consumers. Knock yo’selves out.
But I get bored easily, particularly five minutes/five pages into some new release when I find myself thinking, “Oh. This again.”
And I stop watching/listening/reading.
And I obviously can’t review what I haven’t completed, capice?
So if I even mention a title, it’s something I think you should look into.