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Mind MGMT #5 Review

By Zak Edwards
September 26, 2012 - 16:48

Matt Kindt’s series Mind MGMT is one that ironically attempts to be a book that requires the reading of individual installments, the single issues, but is obviously meant to be read as a whole.  Kindt openly admits the book is trying various tactics to get people to buy the book in single issues, mostly through withholding (as Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips do in their series Criminal, Incognito, and Fatale), but the story is so dense and filled with singular moments relying on rereading and analysis, that it will be best read after the fact.  The waiting for the trade tactic won’t work if you want the extra content, including a website requiring passwords and the like.  The good news is, however, that for all the contention between publishing methods, Mind MGMT is a wonderful book.

The story is about a secret, multifaceted organization that reminds me mostly of the first season of Fringe in all the good ways.  The issue itself follows a similar pattern: a person with abilities they cannot control unwittingly causes a mass amount of human suffering, only to be linked to an overarching conspiracy and organization.  For the protagonist’s handler, this caused an inability to interact with reality itself, distrusting his ability to manipulate the emotions of those around him when it came to those closest.  The story is tragic but also integral to the overarching plot: Meru is beset by the very unreality of her situation and her handlers similar experiences call much of the goings on into question not by discredit, but reaffirming an inability to distinguish reality from fiction, unaltered events from the structured and controlled.  Indeed, his declaration that Meru was ‘real’ when he discovered her speaks to Meru’s importance and perceptions of reality.  So while the book seems to quickly shed its past (remember the plane incident, also a Fringe influence), this very distance may be the key to figuring out just what is happening.  That or we all wake up to realize that Descartes was right all along.

Having read this issue more than a few times, I really love how much Kindt’s artwork tells the story, relying more on the how it's told over the what is spoken.  This issue could have easily been silent as Kindt’s deft use of repetition and simple narration makes this issue, one a of notable clarity within itself, even easier to decipher.  It’s probably why the book is so easily reviewed in respect to the rest of the series, there is almost a moment of respite in this recognizable story.  But Kindt’s affective and simple style relates very easily the basic moments while remaining as complex as the product he created.  The book itself contains numerous styles, innovations, and stories Kindt handles with ease.  Overall, the book is a joy to read.

Grade: 8.5/10    A complex and moving book that begs to be reread

Last Updated: May 19, 2020 - 12:25

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