Once again, I was caught off guard by the latest issue in Matt Kindt’s excellent Mind MGMT. This series has played with the form and style that we have come to expect in our comics, and this latest issue does that in a brand new and surprising way. In the last couple of episodes, we have seen the group of (ambiguous) good guys walk into a serious trap. Now, the trap is sprung and the action plays out with deadly consequences. There is an unusual twist in this issue. Not a word is spoken, but every page is dense with thought bubbles.
This choice seems odd to say the least. From my (amateur) experience, thought bubbles haven’t been in style since Watchmen ran its entire arc without one. The thing is, when you are in the middle of a life-or-death fight, you don’t have any time to talk (says the man who hasn’t ever been in a real fight and would probably just sit down and cry if he got in one). Because of the lack of dialogue, we get to see how scared, angry, and confused our heroes are.
It seems odd to say (Ed. – Terrible pun.) this about a comic with no dialogue, but the writing here is fantastic. Every character’s distinct voice (Ed. – Really?) shines through. You can see the assumptions that they make about each other. There are some moments in this issue that were truly shocking. These moments never felt cheap or artificial. They felt like the inevitable outcome of earlier choices, but I was still surprised. All told (Ed. – Another bad pun?), the writing in this issue is as good and interesting as ever. And, holy carp the art. The frenetic action scenes are perfectly suited for Matt Kindt’s loose watercolors. You can always tell (Ed. – Groan.) exactly what is going on *cough*Michael Bay*cough* even as the panic drips off the page. This is how you do action.
Here’s the part where I tell (Ed. – Stop it.) you that you shouldn’t pick this up if you are new to Mind MGMT. You should definitely read it, but you should read the other issues first. If you are reading this series, you absolutely don’t want to miss this one. It still finds new things to do with the medium, while telling a terrific story. I can’t sing the praises (Ed. – You are the worst.) of this one enough.
Five Unnecessary Quiet Riot References out of Five