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Review: ‘Mind MGMT’ #5

The fifth installment of Matt Kindt’s Mind MGMT breaks with the pattern established in the previous four issues by welcoming readers into the mind of the series’ main character, Meru. The switch feels perfectly natural considering the narrative arc that Kindt has created. Once Meru has followed the bread crumbs leading to the elusive Henry Lyme, it makes sense that we are introduced to her internal monologue just as she begins to realize the depth of her own involvement in the ongoing saga of “Mind MGMT”.

WRITTEN BY: Matt Kindt
ART BY: Matt Kindt
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse Comics
PRICE: $3.99
RELEASE: September 26, 2012

The first four issues focused on Meru’s journey into the murky world of Mind MGMT, as narrated by the then unseen, seemingly omniscient and omnipresent Henry Lyme. Henry’s origin, continued from the previous chapter, is at the heart of this issue. Though we don’t get to experience Meru’s internal narration until the final two pages of the book, the transition is organic as it comes after Lyme reveals that their stories are inextricably intertwined. Though we’ve been hot on Lyme’s trail along with Meru, it was hard to relate to her, as Henry’s voiceover made it impossible to get inside her head. Now that we have, “Mind MGMT” has gone from good to great as we finally get some payoff for the slow-building pace of the first four chapters.

While I wasn’t initially a fan of Kindt’s art, it’s entirely possible that five issues in, I’ve developed a sort of aesthetic Stockholm Syndrome with the gestural lines and muted watercolors of “MIND MGMT.” The issue’s subtle earth tones work best in Henry Lyme’s flashback sequences, though they are somewhat less successful in the scenes with Henry, Meru, and the Immortals. Kindt’s art works best when he’s aiming for a sense of movement and chaos and it’s in the riotous crescendo of Henry Lyme’s tragic story that the visuals truly shine.

As in every chapter of “Mind MGMT,” the side stories and tiny details are just as, if not more, entertaining than the meat of the book. The two-page story that bookends the issue, “The Second Floor,” shows us another side of Mind MGMT by introducing us to Madame Rienne, nicknamed The Eraser. Her role in the organization was head of the Annulment Department, where agents went to have their memories removed with surgical precision. In the short span of two pages, Kindt creates a morally ambiguous character whose mind-altering abilities are neither good nor bad. Madame Rienne, like most of the characters in “Mind MGMT,” defies the simplistic ethical extremes of black and white/right and wrong as she operates within an amoral gray area.

Kindt’s world-building continues to be his greatest strength, as every minor detail, from the nondescript notes on the sides of the page to the case files that flesh out the world of “Mind MGMT,” serves to drill home the expansive nature of the shady organization’s influence. Now that we’ve had several tantalizing glimpses into the complexity of Mind MGMT’s operations and the Immortals have caught up with our reluctant heroes, issue #6 can’t come fast enough.

Rating: 4.5/5

Reviewed by: MelissaGrey



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