Friday, July 31, 2009

A Review Classic: The Mice Templar #1

I have been reviewing comics for over two years now. It started out as a purely amateur thing. Ultimate Comics has a website and I wanted there to be content, so I started reviewing comics. At first, I just reviewed things that I really loved (the book in question) or really hated (somewhere there is a review of the Fallen Son issue with Spider-Man). I discovered the review group, which was at that time located in the forums of Newsarama, but now resides at The Outhouse.

Eager to keep myself honest and to refine my reviewing skills I joined. We have a membership that has grown and shrunk over the years. Some of us are very passionate about comics, others not so much. There is a rotation, built on some arbitrary list, that we use to determine the book of the week. Basically, you get to pick when it is your turn.

Anyhow, back in those days, I reviewed the first issue of The Mice Templar (which regretably was not a Review Group pick way back then, we reviewed some issue of Teen Titans instead) and thought you guys might get a kick out of reading my review. Which along with my zeal for the book got me a mention in one of the issues for spreading the word. Thanks Bryan and Mike, for the nod, but mostly for a great book that I am still passionate about.

And now without further ado, first published on way back in August of 2007, my review for The Mice Templar #1.

The Mice Templar #1
Written by Bryan J.L. Glass and Michael Avon Oeming
Illustrated by Michael Avon Oeming

When you go home and your mother fixes your favorite dish; you know the one that you tell everyone about, the one that you have been trying to recreate, but just can’t get it right. You know how when you walk into the house and the heavenly aroma hits your nose and you start to salivate. That’s the way I feel about this book. When I heard about it several months ago, I just started to get excited. Those kinds of projects only come every once in a while. The ones that make you giddy with anticipation.

Now that it is out. All I can say is boy do Oeming and Glass deliver. They have concocted a delectable stew of some favorites of my childhood. Saute one cup of Star Wars, season it with some Conan and The Secret of NIMH, add a little julienned Watership Down, and steep in a King Arthur stock for several hours and Viola: Mice Templar. In this first issue we are introduced to Karic, a young mouse, who has grown up hearing tales of the fabled Templar. He suspects every stranger to be one, he knows their myths and legends. When he plays, it is as a Templar. He lives in what appears to be a medieval village of Mice. All is great. Then the rats show up, the blood flows and the story hits the stratosphere.

Oeming’s pencils are breathtaking. This is not the comic strip goodness of Powers. This is a new gritty, dark style that is amazing. Shadows abound and the mood of wonder and forboding that is conveyed in Glass’s script is perfectly conveyed. Seemingly simple backgrounds jump off the page. The energy that Glass and Oeming have towards this comic, over nine years in the making, is palatable on the page.

This is a a perfect comic. It delivers in every way. This reader was sold before it was printed. Now, I am more stoked then before. I want seconds now, so I actually forsee myself rereading this book several times before the next issue hits the stands. Spawn and the zombies need to get ready for some real competition, this is the next big thing from Image.

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