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Comic Book / The Mice Templar

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The Mice Templar is a comic book series by Michael Avon Oeming and Bryan J. L. Glass.

In a World… populated primarily of rodents, a young mouse named Karic takes fascination in an ancient organization known as the Templar, a group of mice warriors who protected the world from evil forces. With the Templar now long and forgotten, Karic and other mice like him are only able to hear stories about their adventures. But when tragedy strikes Karic's home, Karic soon finds himself in the middle of a large, religious conspiracy and a perilous adventure against the evil forces in the land. And he may or may not discover that the Templars were real after all, and still exist...


The Mice Templar provides examples of:

  • An Arm and a Leg: Most notably Leito, who later earned the nickname "One-Arm" after his right arm was cut off by Tosk. He later repays Tosk by chopping off both his arms.
  • And the Adventure Continues: In the end, rather than bring Karic into the realms beyond life, Wotan brings him over the seemingly impassable mountains at the edge of the comic's lands, to a new land where the situation of the comic's plot is reversed: a cruel Mice Templar dictatorship (of mice, naitch) represses a realm of rats. Karic is healed/reborn to bring justice to the situation and to pull the Templar there back from the darkness that has consumed them, and it's hinted that Ankara learns of this through a dream and will cross the mountains to reunite with her love.
  • Anyone Can Die: Downplayed. By the end of the comic, a good chunk of the cast is dead, but a majority of the main cast survives the final battle.
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  • Back for the Dead: The mole goblins. They show up briefly in Volume 2 and aren't mentioned again for a while. When they reappear in Volume 4, Issue 37 reveals they were all killed during the Big Badass Battle Sequence with little fanfare.
  • Big Bad: King Icarus, the brutal mouse tyrant who rules over Dealrach Ard-Vale.
  • Big Badass Battle Sequence:
    • Issue 36 is nothing but a colossal, beautifully-detailed battle between Icarus' army and the Templars' army.
    • The Battle of Dealrach Ard-Vale in Volume 5. To give you an idea of how large it is, all but one issue in this volume is a giant battle sequence.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Pilot, who pretended to act like a benevolent mentor, but was really a Manipulative Bastard who was largely responsible for putting Cricket's Glen in danger.
  • Blood Knight: Captain Tosk, who cares about nothing but killing as many mice as possible.
  • Break the Haughty:
    • Harad, who is tortured by Boris and is permanently blinded by the third volume.
    • Also Lorelie. She realizes far too late what kind of monster Icarus has truly become, and despite how often she tries to prevent him from creating further chaos, he never listens to her, which results in more death and dismay.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Taken to extremes. Characters betray or try to kill other characters so many times that it gets to a point where even Karic's allegiance was put in question.
  • A Day in the Limelight: "Tosk's Tale" focuses almost entirely on Tosk, revealing his backstory and how he lost his paw.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him:
    • Gehned is decapitated off-screen early on in Volume 4.
    • Field Marshal Payton is impaled by spears during the final battle, with no buildup at all.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: As vicious as Icarus is, and as much of a Lady Macbeth Lorelie comes across as, the couple still love each other, even if Icarus is too unhinged to show it properly.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: It's implied that a majority of the rats are Just Following Orders. Issue #24 shows a rat catching E'tan and some other young mice, ready to slaughter them. Then he looks over his shoulder to make sure no other rat is in the area, and lets E'tan and the others run away.
  • Evil All Along: Pilot has no love for Wotan or Karic, is secretly behind Cricket's Glen's downfall, and he's really a follower of Donas.
  • Exact Words:
    • In Volume 2, Boris tells a frantic mouse he presumably picked for torture that he doesn't intend on hurting him at all. And he doesn't. Instead, the mouse is turned into a sacrifice, where he's impaled very slowly by a Templar sword.
    • In Volume 4, Captain Tosk tells a group of captives who were freed by a defector rat to club him to death, and in return, they'll be able to run free. After they kill him, Tosk allows them to run free.....through a nursery filled with hundreds of feral baby rats.
  • Eye Scream. Several. The crowning example by far is when King Icarus pulls out his right eye with his bare claws.
  • Fan Disservice: Near the end of Volume 5, King Icarus takes off all his clothes, revealing his deformed body. There's even a full shot of his butt while he's standing on the balcony.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: King Icarus used to be a benevolent, religious mouse who wanted nothing but equality between mice and rats. But after he killed his brother and started the Templar War, his ambition for power and to become king corrupted him until he became a bloodthirsty tyrant.
  • Godzilla Threshold:
    • After the Bats of Meave tell Karic he has to kill the snake deity within Dealrach Ard-Vale, his solution is to hijack a zombified cat and storm the city while riding it. And it works.
    • During the final battle, Alexis decides to release a dozen serpents into Dealrach Ard-Vale to fight off the Templars.
  • Gorn: Anytime someone dies, you can expect their deaths to be very brutal and bloody. The authors do not shy away from showing fully detailed bisections, decapitations, Eye Screams, impalements, etc.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Donas, the evil serpent spirit who controls the Nathair and wants to unleash darkness upon the world.
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: There are very few completely evil characters in the comic. Characters who seem good are either Anti-Heroes or fallen Templars who slaughtered their brothers and sisters at the Battle of Avalon. Characters who seem evil are just minions following their orders or creatures who used to be kind, but were corrupted as they grew older.
  • Handicapped Badass: Leito. The creators actually based him off swordsmen from certain films like One-Armed Swordsman.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Most notably Master Deishun, who's impaled with half a dozen swords.
  • In Love with Your Carnage: Alexis, in spades. She gleefully enjoys all the chaos and death King Icarus brings upon the world. Even after she discovers his dark secret, she keeps fawning over him and gets worse as the series goes along.
  • In the Back: Occurs from time to time, most notably when Lorelie kills Alexis and when Cassius kills Pilot.
  • Kick the Dog: Either Pilot murdering Harad and lying about his death, or Pilot murdering an innocent ally of Leito so he can use his skull for Death Magic.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch:
    • Boris torturing Harad would be a cruel, horrifying fate if the victim in question wasn't a Dirty Coward who got innocent mice killed just so he could save himself.
    • Pilot slitting Tosk's throat would be another despicable, cold-hearted act if the victim in question wasn't a savage member of King Icarus' army who took pleasure in killing innocents.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Characters are rapidly introduced, sometimes in groups, more and more as each volume progresses. By Volume 4, there's no less than twenty major characters.
  • Meaningful Name: King Icarus' name stands out among the other animals with made-up fantasy names. Like the mythological Icarus, he too "lost his wings", not in the metaphorical sense, but literally - he's not a mouse at all, but a bat who had his wings removed to disguise himself as a mouse.
  • Mauve Shirt: Quite a few minor characters have full names and titles, along with a few lines. But many of them aren't vital to the plot, and when the situation calls for it, many of these characters are killed off.
  • Mook Lieutenant: Several within Icarus' army. Field Marshal Vongrux seems to stand out the most.
  • The Reveal: King Icarus is not a mouse at all, but a bat, mutilated to remove his wings and sent amongst mice/The Templar to bring them down from within. His brother Kobalt was the same, and they were supposed to work together, only for circumstances and Kobalt's own unknown ambitions (at least that's how Icarus remembers it), caused Kobalt's death at Icarus' hands, driving him over the edge.note 
  • Sacrificial Lamb:
    • Master Deishun, despite being a Templar, is killed off in the second issue to show that Anyone Can Die.
    • Harad's death made it very clear that Pilot has no chance of redeeming himself anymore, and that he'll go as far as killing unarmed allies just to get what he wants.
  • Sacrificial Lion:
    • Captain Tosk is a rare villainous example, as he's the first major character to die, and his death struck a crucial blow to Icarus' army and capped off Leito's Character Development.
    • The death of Brother Micah, along with the fall of the Great Ash Tree, was considered a heavy loss for the Templars, and one of the main reasons why they finally set aside their differences so they could go after Icarus, their true enemy.
  • Slashed Throat: How quite a few characters go down, most notably Captain Tosk.
  • Time Skip: The comic frequently skips ahead several weeks—sometimes within one issue. By Volume 5, at least an entire year has gone by, and all of the characters have aged considerably.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Gate Captain Hala gives several of King Icarus' defectors weapons and tells them that if they fight for him, they'll be pardoned of their crimes. The defectors immediately turn on him and kill him.
  • Took a Level in Kindness:
    • Cassius, who starts off as a Jerkass who doesn't believe in the prophecy or Wotan at all and eventually evolves into Karic's benevolent trainer, and most loyal ally.
    • Harad, who was a huge Dirty Coward who only cared about himself, but after being tortured and later rescued by Leito, he shows genuine care for the one-armed mouse.
  • Torture Technician: Boris the Torturer.
  • Unexplained Recovery: At the end of Issue 23, Cassius is poisoned by Nara and collapses in the snow, with no mice around to help him. We see him again at the end of Issue 25, perfectly fine and well.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: After Haxton frees Pilot from imprisonment, he repays the mouse by stabbing him to death.
  • Villainous Friendship: Between Tosk and Boris. It's never established how deep their relationship is, but Tosk didn't seem all that upset after Boris was killed, and it's implied that they enjoy how malicious they both are, as opposed to having a genuine relationship.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Certain Mauve Shirts, such as Farmer Malley and Trabek, get little characterization before they're killed.
  • Wham Episode: The Mice Templar is a series well-known for having dozens upon dozens of shocking revelations almost every other issue.
    • Issue #2: A rat brigade storms Cricket's Glen, burns the town down, and takes all the survivors hostage. During the assault, Master Deishun is killed, Leito has his right arm cut off, and Karic has a near-death experience.
    • Issue #5: Karic and Pilot are confronted by Cassius, and Karic is impaled and seemingly killed by him.
    • Issue #6: Pilot is killed by bats, and we later find out that he was a "Pale-Bellied Grub," not Cassius.
    • Issue #8: Karic and Cassius discover the priests are trying to use Karic for their own personal gain. The mice are forced to escape by force, with Cassius murdering one of the priests in the process.
    • Issue #12: Karic finally finds out how the Templar War began, and how Icarus became King.
    • Issue #15: Pilot the Tall is alive and well, and he's allied with King Icarus.
    • Issue #16: Cassius, Karic, and Cassius' group of Templars raid Dealrach Ard-Vale with a Naithair-possessed cat, but arrive too late to save Karic's family from the Serpent God. Pilot is "rescued" by one of Cassius' soldiers, who he immediately kills so he can go find Leito.
    • Issue #17: Karic kills the Serpent God and manages to rescue his family by cutting open the Serpent God's stomach, only to be critically wounded by the Naithair cat. Pilot retrieves the Mark of Kuhl-En after King Icarus loses it, and he escapes with Leito. Dozens of slaves are freed in the confusion. In the epilogue, Icarus disowns Lorelie in favor of Alexis, and she discovers that Icarus and his only-now-mentioned brother destroyed the Templar.
    • Issue #25: The Druid Priests summon Black Anaius to attack Karic while he's in a coma. Although Karic is saved by Wotan, his soul is corrupted by Donas, setting up a foreboding future for the heroes.
    • Issue #30, which is aptly named "History Lesson." We find out even more information about how the Templar War started. More importantly, it's revealed that Kobalt was Icarus' brother, and he had no intention of originally killing him.
    • Issue #31: King Icarus has amassed his army to attack a vital target, which turns out to be the Great Ash Tree. Also Captain Tosk is confronted and subdued by Leito, and then murdered by Pilot.
    • Issue #32: Icarus succeeds in burning down the Great Ash Tree. Seamus and eleven other acolytes escape before the tree is destroyed, but Brother Micah and all of the other Templar priests—both the corrupt and faithful ones—are killed during the assault.
    • Issue #37: Karic falls into a coma again due to Donas corrupting his soul back in Issue 25. The Many possess Karic, and he proceeds to devour everyone in his path. During E'tan's revolution against the Rat Guard, Cedric is captured and held hostage.
    • Issue #38: Karic, still under the Many's influence, reaches the Templars' camp and attacks them. Aquila goes into Karic's mind and manages to rid Donas' influence from his soul before the camp is destroyed. In Dealrach Ard-Vale, Cedric is killed by Commander Grund after he refuses to convince E'tan and his rebels to surrender.
    • Issue #39: The Templars finally reach Dealrach Ard-Vale and begin their assault. As the battle commences, Alexis releases the dozen serpents from the Royal Palace.
    • Issue #40: The Battle of Dealrach Ard-Vale continues, resulting in casualties from both sides. Pilot and Leito sneak into the palace, and Leito finally confronts and subdues Karic, ready to kill him.
    • Issue #41: Leito finally realizes that Pilot lied to him, causing Pilot to flee. He runs into Cassius, and the two mice get into a fight that ends with Cassius injured and Pilot dead. Also Karic finally comes face to face with King Icarus.
    • Issue #42: Karic learns just how tortured Icarus really is (See The Reveal for more) and tries to convince him to surrender, only for the bats to grab him and Karic. The battle on the ground eventually ends with more casualties, but just as everyone celebrates, Black Anaius and Donas possess Karic again and use him to call thousands of wasps to Dealrach Ard-Vale to kill everyone. Karic, with the help of Wotan, manages to destroy Black Anaius and send Donas to the nether realm forever, at the cost of his life.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Karic calls out Cassius on being a prideful asshole when he gets himself and Karic into trouble that Karic has to waste a heavenly gift to get them out of when he was planning to use it to free his family.
  • Wham Shot:
    • The very last page in Issue 15, which reveals that Pilot the Tall is back.
    • Towards the end of Issue 30, there's a full shot of a skeleton in Icarus' chamber—which just so happens to be of his brother, Kobalt.
  • Wicked Weasel: All of the weasels are malevolent, smug members of King Icarus' Royal Guard, and they're secretly plotting behind the rats' backs for more power.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: Karic's home is burned down in the second issue.
  • Zerg Rush:
    • How the rats tend to operate. They typically outnumber their foes and try to rush them as quickly as possible.
    • The Many are a colony of deadly fire ants who swarm and devour anyone in their path.


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