I have read and reread every issue of Mind MGMT so far, and I don’t know if there is another issue that so clearly shows that the psychological damage is generally the result of the organization itself and the individual’s “gift.” This issue is a standalone that fits between the last story arc and the next one, and it is fascinating. This is an origin story (in a comic book!) of an agent that doesn’t look like she will be drawn into the conflict. I am sorry if that seems like a spoiler, but it really isn’t.
Ella is a young girl who can communicate with animals like the Super Friends version of Aquaman. This is a useful, but costly, psychic power. While she can communicate with her animal friends, she also feels their suffering on a deep level. If you were wondering, this is the thing that makes this comic so great. We never see psychic powers as anything but a mixed bag. They make you more powerful, but they don’t make you happy.
There is one other thing that this comic does consistently better than anything I have ever read. It plays with the form in some odd and often funny ways, but always with a point. There is a single page in here that has a totally different art style and is genuinely funny. Then, you go back to reread the issue (and you need to) it is suddenly obviously disturbing, and you wonder how you didn’t notice the incredibly dark undertones that were barely under the surface.
Matt Kindt has been totally killing it for a year and a half, and it doesn’t look like the best month-to-month series around is slipping. If anything, it’s getting better. This comic is, at once, a deeply personal story about a young girl who doesn’t fit and an indictment against a shadowy agency with no oversight that is willing to go to extraordinary lengths to achieve its mysterious goals. I can’t recommend this one enough.
Five Super Friends out of Five