For small creatures, mice sure have some big problems, especially in the world of "The Mice Templar" by writers Bryan J.L. Glass ("Thor: First Thunder") and Michael Avon Oeming ("Powers") with art by Victor Santos ("Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters"). Glass and Oeming first launched the tales of Karic, the book's star, back in 2007 with the first six-issue "Mice Templar" miniseries from Image Comics, which Oeming also drew. Since then, Santos joined the art team and helped create two more volumes, with the fourth and final volume debuting in April.
"The Mice Templar" chronicles the adventures of Karic, a young mouse who was visited by gods and told he had a much larger destiny than previously expected. There's a prophecy around him that says he might be the reincarnation of Kuhl-En, the creator of the Templars, a protective group that fell apart well before the beginning of the tale leaving room for the rise of evil King Icarus.
"The Mice Templar Volume IV: Legend" is intended to conclude Karic's tale. While the first three volumes clocked in at 6, 9 and 8 issues respectively, "Legend" tops them all with a whopping 16. CBR News spoke with Glass and Oeming about Karic's place in the world, living up to his destiny and bringing the series to a close.
CBR News: This much larger volume of "Mice Templar" leads up to the finale of Karic's story -- what has the experience been working toward that end?
Bryan J.L. Glass: Mike first asked me to come aboard "Mice Templar" back in March 2003 -- so we're coming up on ten years since I first started developing the world and plotline we're currently drawing to a close. Conveying what that truly means for me is somewhat difficult.
This journey has been in print for over five years! "Volume IV: Legend" is the finale of our hero Karic's story which began in "The Prophecy," then continued through "Destiny" and "A Midwinter Night's Dream." That represents a lot of issues so preparing for the end has been a mixed bag of emotions, from satisfaction to relief that the tale will soon be told, yet tinged by melancholy that it will soon all be over.
Michael Avon Oeming: I'm excited at the idea of exploring more of the Mice Templar world. We've set up so many characters, backgrounds, and an environment that is rich for stories. When the final issue is finished, I want to sit back over a day, reading the whole thing and see what comes to mind. I'll talk with Bryan and Victor and see what we can come up with. I'm sure both of them have already had lots of ideas come up along the way.
How would you describe "The Mice Templar" to someone who hasn't picked up one of the books before but is considering "Legend?" Would you say it's best to go back and read from the beginning?
Glass: "Mice Templar" packs all the spectacle and intrigue of "Game of Thrones," yet at mouse scale! It's an epic of heroic action, fallen heroes, ancient evil -- of betrayal and redemption, sacrifice and murder -- it even has its fair share of love stories between the bloodletting and beheadings!
It has been important to me that each new arc, while representing the next stage in our hero's journey, also serves as a satisfactory jumping on point for new readers. Obviously, if you're trying out "Volume IV," you already know by the cover that you're entering a tale that has already begun, thus it's our job to make sure such entry is smooth and welcoming to those new to saga!
Oeming: I think the depth of story and characters that Bryan weaved from my outlines are best appreciated from the beginning. The character arcs for Karic, Leito and Cassius are pretty broad and deep.
Where does this new volume find Karic? It sounds like his status in the mouse community isn't as secure as he'd probably like.
Glass: On his own, Karic's heroic deeds have effected those he's directly engaged for the good, yet he's been unable to control his own growing legend. Karic is now a figurehead of two movements in opposition: each claiming Karic as their own, or seeking to destroy him if he's proven to be against them. Karic has been unsure of his path, his destiny, from the very beginning -- and yet two supernatural forces appear to benefit from each decision he makes. If Karic cannot embrace either side must he become more than than his own "legend?"EXCLUSIVE: Art by Victor Santos