Mind Mgmt is a subversive comic, it is a comic that plays with the idea that people can manipulate one another at a subconscious level to frightening levels. Matt Kindt has written and drawn a comic that plays on the same weaknesses and fears that the novel Lexicon by Max Barry and the movie In the Mouth of Madness plays upon; the basic question of if you can not trust your sences, if at the subconscious level you can be lies to what can you trust. As a reader and a watcher I love this kind of existential horror and with a book like Mind MGNT and John Carpetner's Mouth of Madness I'm totally onboard because the characters are relateable and compelling. Don't get me wrong I loved Lexicon by Max Barry but it's best elements were the ideas, the concepts that drove the tale and here it is the neat Xmen like characters that are the force that gives power to the ideas. If the mind is mailable and can kill with concepts Mind MGMT imagines a world where it happens and where few people use this power to its most powerful aspect, among the privileged few who know of its existence.
Ming MGNT is a world of psionic powers and conspiracy gone corporate, gone viral, and been broken up before a catastrophe. It is a place where subtle powers like telepathy predicts the near future, where ad copy can influence the actions of others more then is the real world and. A select few can erase memory with a whim and kill just by sending a letter with a silly haiku or by pointing their fingers and saying bang. This is a would a mystery crime writer named Meru finds herself living in in Mind MGMT vol 2 and the one I fell into reading it. She is a thriller writer who is failing to writer her promised new novel because of reoccurring thoughts about stories and conspiracies that involve her mailman and letters and such. These worrying thoughts lead her down a rabbit hole that lead to murder, danger and a man named Lyme, people who played with others minds and killed because they could till the Eraser came along.
This is a book highly reminiscent of the eighties comic and RPG Espers written by Mage writer Matt Wagner when he posited a story about characters with ESP powers in the modern paranoia spy driven world of the paranoid eighties. These days its not the red menace that is the fear element but fear is a big element in modern post 2000 lifeline and Matt Kindt taps into that in this comic with its water color highlighted primative lined art and its look over your shoulder storytelling. Given its somewhat amnesiac protagonist and the deceptive nature of the heroes I am still guessing as to the nature of the real story. Yes I came in at the opening of the second act and myself may be Rosenstern but I can hardly tell hero from villain. This is a caper tale where as readers we are forced to be astute and pay attention to the whole picture if we hope to understand the story.
Along the course of this story our reporter heroine Meru encounters many potential allies in her quest to tell the story; her savior Lyle, a man who may not be worthy of her full trust bet is fighting for a bigger goal and seems to be getting the sharp end of the stick, Duncan who seems a sociopath but may just be the tales hero, Perrier who is the most used by the old power who has the most to gain by taking Meru's side and is the most worthy of vengeance and Dusty who well has a lot lose and the most to protect. In the end Matt leaves you with a heroine you still want to follow heroes to root for and villains to despise but your not really sure of things. This is a great overall caper tale like that of Inception the movie in that he end though clear may not be so clear and the story has angles yet to persue. The villain the Eraser is still out there and if we get her/his tale next who knows where the story will go. I like this kind of thing that plays havoc with expectations and makes you wonder though you think you know the story... I'm laughing in the cinema seats with the doomed hero in this one like at the end of Mouth of Madness... At least that is the end I hope for... Its dark but well truth is a darkness sometimes...
If you like mind f7cking stories Mind MGMT may be for you its a great caper bringing the band back together tale.... Excelsior
Mind MGMT by Matt Kindt is a densely packed caper story that has much in common with the thriller Lexicon by Matt Barry I can't help but wonder, but that is the human mind looking for connections (cause and effect) where no conspiracy or link exists. Dropping into this complex mind and memory manipulation tale blind in volume two was no hindrance to understanding the story and getting the characters. It is really more a mix of Xmen and Lexicon since each of the characters has a special ability like being able to read others thoughts, seeing and feeling through their twin or knowing how to twist someone unseen through words an images an addition o being trained today with people's minds on a subconscious level.
Here is the link to the compilation of the issues that make up this compelling and engaging volume. I connected with the characters in this volume wether their motivation was telling a tale, survival or revenge. I liked so much of this story and think its a better verion of the Xmen then the Xmen, the players have extraordinary powers but it is delt with so realistically. This is a book a hope has a great conclusion.