Mind MGMT #3
They say that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, I say that is bullshit. By what else should we judge it? The cover of Matt Kindt’s Mind MGMT issue three is in many ways a perfect exemplar of just how much a cover can convey about the comic contained beneath it. Upon first glance it seemed nothing special, a over-styled, impressionistic variant of the first issues’ frontage. Nice enough I guess, just a little soft after last month’s menacing and multilayered effort, but like the book itself this image bears closer inspection and wait… Why does this all sound so familiar?
When you pick up a copy of the comic for yourself and take a second look at the fiery-red swirls of its cover you start to see things that had previously escaped your gaze; like the fact that it’s not a face but a facsimile of one formed around a figure kneeling before a pool of blood (a hint for what is to come in the story) with a fantastical serpent standing in for the hair. Finally you notice that those aren’t eyes watching us, but Immortals watching her, with something of a smile despite the tragedy of her pose. It almost sends a shiver down your spine. This is the power of subliminal imagery, this was the magic of Mind MGMT… last month. The real question that it raises now though is one i had with the issue as a whole, whether or not a trick works as well the second time around.
See, as well as complexity this cover also speaks of the fantasy and latent familiarity that can be found within the book this month. It is a very different image than that on issue two – it is much more loose and epic which is befitting of the content it is meant to reflect – but the technique is ultimately very similar. So too the set of possibly vital supplemental stories that sit on the inside of the two covers; they feel very familiar to what has come before, simply substitute writer for artist or one famous figure for another. Then there is the Ackbar-esque agent note in the sideline that hints at another side to the scene currently occurring; this now feels like less of a twist and more of a trope. This issue of Mind MGMT offers more of what has come before but not more than what has come before. It reads like déjà vu, like something you’ve lived through before.
Of course this is much more compliment than criticism since what came before was so damn good. Plot wise as well this issue is a continuance of what came before more than it is anything of its own; instead of introducing any new characters or concepts it instead clarified a lot of points that I had already predicted ( rebirth and ressurection) and did so in such a beautiful way. Kindt’s art style is always stunning but here he allows himself half a page every now and then (precisely) to truly let loose and paint something a little more paranormal; the splash page and demonic rendering of the Immortals that result are probably his most beautiful panels yet and that is saying something.
Though it might not be the most be the buzziest piece of praise, the word all writers want to hear, overall I would say that the third issue of Mind MGMT is solid. Given though, just how strange, spectral and subversive it’s first few issues were ( I’m including the prologues) solid is actually something of a change of pace for MGMT and one I really wanted to see. Kindt has spoken about how he wants the book to last for a good long time, but before this month it was hard to see how it could hold up to that; now though I have complete confidence that it can. I also have a feeling that short of a Serious Man-esque boat incident in its opening panel the next issue will deliver more twists, turns and head-scraches than a night with New York bedbugs. I, for one, cannot wait.