Mind MGMT #5
“I’m running out of ways to communicate!” shouts the anonymous writer of the comic’s now creepy and compelling margin notes – they are the first thing I read on each page, and also the last; meaning something different each time – and I say anonymous because they clearly aren’t the words of author Matt Kindt, a man who has only managed to find more and more ways to communicate with us as the series progresses.
First there is the front of the cover, then it’s inside, then the margin notes, then the back-up, then the inside back cover, it’s outside, the website it leads to and now there is another area for him to leave hidden notes: the letters page. The one letter posted is a long theory about what Mind MGMT means, but above this the section heading itself has a hidden message within it; certain letters are emboldened and ask us again for our help. There is enough content crammed into these issues that Kindt could forgo the interiors entirely one month and you would still be getting your money’s worth.
Though of course cost is much less important than quality but Mind MGMT has no issues on that front either. Like the best and rarest of books Mind MGMT continues to give us more and more answers but just becomes more and more intriguing for each one; the question first ethos of the post-LOST era revealed as error in its wake. I thought that last month’s was the revelatory issue, but Kindt has managed to top himself again here by both maintaining the level of mystery and giving us many clear answers to major questions.
And what answers they are! Some even came before i had really managed to put together a question. The ‘dream sequence’ that set the tone in the first issue is explained, as is the preprogrammed destiny of our protagonist Meru that was hinted at way back then. In fact, like the image in Lyme’s glasses on the cover this fifth issue is a twisted reflection of that issue as a whole; it goes back over the story again, setting itself in the same locations but shows them both from a new perspective, one that makes it all seem strange and new again.
The same can be said of those damn margin notes; just as we had cottoned onto their trick Kindt ripped the rug out from under us by changing their usage entirely. Instead of subtly commenting on the comics in page action they now tell a somewhat separate story of their own; one that may or may not mirror what we see on the pages primary panels.
Are these Lyme’s thoughts to Meru? When he says that he thinks it will all work out this time is he talking of the time that we are witnessing, or has that attempt already failed and the comic itself depicting it is another of his attempts to relay all the information to her (or us) before the bad thing happens? He makes mention of a talisman – in a move that can only bring to mind again Inception – and in lieu of any obvious item within the story I wonder if the comic itself isn’t this talisman.
I have so many theories but as I have said in the past, while it may be the most interesting element to talk about the mythology isn’t all that this book has to offer. The story told in this issue is a very strange one, spanning both seconds and the entire second half of Lyme’s life, but it has that same strength as all the stories that Kindt’s characters tell in that it hooks you in like nothing else can; despite its density this is an electrically exciting read. It’s also quite a moving one; Lyme’s paranoia that no one actually adores him, that he has tricked or flicked his way into it, is a real and relatable feeling blown up to the nth degree and not one that I’ve ever seem something else tackle.
Honestly, I’m running out of ways to communicate just how great Mind MGMT is. If you’re not buying it already and can’t afford to find back issues then keep you eye out for the first trade in the near future – next month’s issue is the last int teh first arc – because for as formidable an empath as Henry Lyme is, Kindt’s powers of emotional manipulation are greater; he would without a doubt be one of the agency’s best assets were they real. ‘Were’.