One of the best things about going to a comic book convention is the time one spends walking the "artist alleys." Rarely is there a time that I personally do not find a publisher, or artist or writer, that I was previously unaware of that I wish I had discovered sooner. Recently, at SCComicCon in Greenville, SC, I came across the Scout Comics booth manned by both James Haick, Director of Sales and Marketing for Scout Comics, and James Pruett, industry veteran, writer of Scout Comics' Mindbender series, and Scout Comics' Publisher. Both men were engaging and obviously enthusiastic about their comics and company, with good reason. I was quickly attracted to and became enamored with Mindbender, which very shortly became my first exposure to Scout Comics, and a great first encounter it has proved to be.
Mindbender is the story of Alexander Oberman, a resident of The Branch Institution, and a young man who hasn't spoken in 17 years. As a young child in the year 2000, Alex displayed an unusual and powerful ability to manipulate an undetermined level of an energy that is just beginning to be understood. It's a power that can change the world forever, for the better or worse, if it can be harnessed. This power is beyond even what the proprietors of The Branch Institution can imagine, and involves more than just a strange purple energy...
Very obviously a super sci-fi infused, slow burn of a horror tinged drama, Mindbender proves to be more than just another super powered tale of a super powered individual. Character development trumps action and super sci-fi powered events. Subtle psychological issues and underlying motivations drive the plot along and create tensions both inside the character's psyches and in the greater outside world.
Artist Frederico De Luca creates a unique visual experience with hyper detailed visages and fascinating inter-dimensional expanses. It is the dark, dread laced, and otherworldly tinged color scheme that really drives the narrative visually. There is very little light in this dreary and deceptively dimensional tale outside the purple glow of Alex's mindbending powers.
Mindbender's first full arc has been published and I highly recommend reading the whole of the 6 issues it is comprised of. Once you do, you'll be anxiously awaiting the next arc, as I am. Based on the strength of Mindbender, I'm intrigued to check out more of this relatively new publisher's line. I suspect there may be many more gems awaiting discovery in the Scout Comics' vaults.