Review by Karl Verhoven
Two years previously a plane landed and with one exception everyone on board from passengers to crew had been mindwiped. While able to speak, they retained no memory of their partners, their lives to that point or their identity. The exception was a seven year old boy. Furthermore, one passenger on the travel list never returned. In the present day a writer named Meru is bereft of inspiration, and during a call to her less than encouraging agent there’s a news item on the anniversary of the plane landing. The agent’s lack of faith two years since her last book prompts her to consider that as her new story.
This, however, is a dangerous preoccupation. The CIA with all their resources haven’t been able to find answers, and Meru not only becomes involved in their world, but in a world where the shambling dead chase her, and people can see the future, where, ultimately, she can’t trust that anything is real.
Mind MGMT is an utterly fascinating series with a major flaw. Matt Kindt the writer is infinitely better than Matt Kindt the artist. The panel compositions work, but the entire series looks as if he’s producing out rough layout guides, not finished art. His characters can be distinguished, but they’re sketchy and indistinct with heads often disproportionate, bodies stretched and smudged with watercolour. It’s a testament to the appeal of the writing that poor art hasn’t proved fatal. A cinematic sense of pacing and constant undercurrent of questioning and danger has seen the series completed in half a dozen volumes.
It very much taps into the same mindset that made X-Files or Lost so fascinating. Something’s not right, and we don’t quite get to the bottom of it, but there’s just enough in the way of slow release information to keep the plot simmering while Meru is dragged around the world. Kindt further teases by closing each chapter with a two page report on someone or something relevant to the wider implications.
By the end of the book Meru has learned much about herself, and also about Mind Management, a global organisation that spots and recruits youngsters with abilities to affect the thinking and behaviour of others. This can be by assorted methods, and Meru receives some first hand instruction. “You’re the only one who’s kept me sane all these years”, she’s told, “but it’s getting too dangerous for me to see you now.” These are words weighted with gravitas in context, spoken by a man with a mission and with a terrible past.
There are a couple of short bonus features, but the end of the main story is very nicely worked. In conjunction with the explanations offered in the bonus strips you could leave Mind MGMT here and still have a complete story. The chances are, however, that you won’t do that, and head to The Futurist.