Re-Reading Comics: MIND MGMT (Book 2)

Last week I talked about the first collected book of MIND MGMT issues, subtitled “The Manager”. Today we’re going to talk about the next book, “The Futurist”.

After a quick but clear recap, Kindt drops us right back into the action. When last we left our heroine Meru*, she’s still chasing Henry Lyme and MIND MGMT, still missing memories and still not sure why she’s doing what she’s doing. We see more of Lyme’s perspective this time, which Kindt is better at, giving the second collection a more solid footing. Like the first set of issues, this book is action-packed and a quick read; there’s toothy issues for your brain to gnaw on, but they’re delivered on the fly as Meru and Lyme run through scene after scene.

We also get to see more of Kindt’s world with these issues, which brings back other agents the first six issues hinted at. Initially MIND MGMT (the agency, not the book) is presented as an evil shadow government, always out to get the good guys, always wrong. It’s MIND MGMT’s fault that Lyme ruined his own life. It’s the agency’s fault. They’re the bad guys… Except, maybe not? Sure, they’ve got powers beyond that of mere mortals, and mostly we’re shown how to they manipulate the public into overlooking the government’s wrongs, but – whether intentionally or not – by the end of book two, Kindt’s allowed Lyme to reveal enough about himself that it’s obvious he wants to see the worst in MIND MGMT. An evil shadow agency without nuance or context is an easy thing to blame for your own mistakes.

I am really enjoying all the marginalia. Kindt lets his art bleed over to the edge of the page with little notes and doodles that add another faint layer to the story. He’s thinking about the ways comics are presented, pushing the boundaries with format, and I love that.

Finally, in a “plot twist” you definitely do see coming, Meru realizes the extent of Lyme’s lies. She pulls away from him just enough to find herself caught between both sides, beholden to neither. There’s nowhere safe for her anymore, but really, was there ever?

When my local comics shop opens again, I’m going to pick up Book 3. It’s not perfect, but I’ve got enough investment now to want to see where it goes.

Notes and References:

  • She’s still not the hero since she’s not the active party but the acted upon, manipulated into chasing after a guy who wants to be found but … ah, fuck it. I said all this last week.
  • MIND MGMT on Wiki, if you want spoilers.
  • There’s going to be a board game! They successfully funded off Kickstarter, and though the game’s designed by Jay Cormier and Sen-Foong Lim, Matt Kindt’s still doing all the art. Learn more here.

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