Writer/Artist: Matt Kindt
Release Date: February 11th, 2016
It has been one hell of a journey to get to this point, but as I sit here with the final volume of Mind MGMT, Matt Kindt’s stunning opus in my sweaty palms, it’s worth taking a moment to appreciate what has come before. For those unfamiliar with the series, it’s essentially based around a shadowy government organization of spies, each posessing powerful psychic abilities. Henry Lyme, perhaps their most powerful agent, decides that the agency is too dangerous to exist and flees, accidentally giving an entire plane full of people amnesia in the process. This draws crime writer Meru Marlow into the fold as she investigates the mysterious flight, uncovering the secrets of Mind MGMT in the process.
Okay, so there’s a lot more to it than that, but to go into any real depth would be to undo all of the stellar work Kindt has done in crafting this story, so that brief explanation will have to do for now. As we enter the final volume, the battle lines are being drawn as Meru and The Eraser – a Mind MGMT agent who wants the agency to thrive at any cost – each clamour to bring new recruits into their fold, preparing themselves for the inevitable war to come.
The sheer innovation on display here, both in terms of the story itself and the narrative flow used to deliver it, is truly mesmerizing. It’s incredibly unconventional, both in terms of its themes and its overall structure, but there’s just something about it that draws you in. The strength of both Meru and Henry as characters gives the series a strong foundation, and their tumultuous journey from issue one to thirty-six is utterly compelling. There’s a definite sense of finality here, with all of the loose ends being tied up ahead of Meru and Henry’s “army” making a final stand against The Eraser and her forces, and a stomach-churning uncertainty as the battle unfolds.
As strong as the story is, it’s worth taking a moment to appreciate Kindt’s artwork, with its mesmerizing, painted approach and scratchy, eye-catching characters. Given the uniqueness of the story and themes, this most definitely isn’t a book that would work well with a quote-unquote ‘conventional’ artistic style, and Kindt’s layered, detailed and innovative approach to the artwork serves as a constant reminder of the absolute control he wields over this series.
It’s also probably worth reminding you that this is a series which has been running since 2012, so to say that this isn’t a suitable jumping-on point would be a major understatement. Nonetheless, for readers who have followed this one since the beginning, the tangible feeling of excitement, nervousness and sadness as it enters the home straight is difficult to adequately describe.
For all my praise, however, I think perhaps the most telling compliment I could pay this series is the fact that, as soon as I put down this final volume, I found myself wanting to start the whole series again from the beginning. It’s just that good. Plus, with the series now finished, it opens itself up more to analysis and discussion, particularly given some of the ambiguous and occasionally surreal moments along the way.
Comic books are sometimes given a bit of a hard time by the general public, dismissed by many as being flimsy or in some way childish; Mind MGMT is the absolute antithesis of that opinion, elevating the medium to something altogether more substantial. This is art in every sense of the word, and I honestly can’t recommend this series highly enough.
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You can purchase Mind MGMT vol. 6 HC from Turnaround Publisher Services (who generously provided the review copy of this title) via their official website.