Wow. This is the most gut-wrenching Mind MGMT issue so far. The series has always felt like the stakes were high for the characters, but #23 brings it to a whole new level. Every layer in this one hits like an emotional sledgehammer. (Even the subliminal ones.)
With everyone in the team dead, injured, or captured, things start off pretty dire. Unfortunately, there is room for things to get worse. I won’t mention any details, but the entire issue plays with memory and perception in a cool way. I know it is a bit of a cliché at this point to say that an issue of Mind MGMT handled a weird or conceptual structure well, but this issue still impresses. There are some points in this issue where the worst really does happen. Apropos of nothing, I was thinking that more storytellers need to take a page from Joss Whedon’s book.
The art and writing in Mind MGMT have always been my favorite in comics, and this is exactly why. The art sells the world, and the writing sells the characters. Matt Kindt has figured out a way to show memory blanks in a fight without having someone yell, “Why can’t I remember getting punched?” There is also a terrific bit where someone has to try to escape while actively hypnotized that works really well. While both of these are terrific, they fit seamlessly into an issue that just broke me emotionally. There aren’t enough comics out there that are willing to take an emotional risk like Mind MGMT is and even fewer that can handle it.
The Magician storyline is building to a close, and it looks like there will be some serious consequences in the fight for the Management’s future. There are casualties on both sides, and both sides are struggling to hold onto their morals as the conflict rages on. It is tough for them, but great for the reader. If you haven’t been reading this series, you will want to catch up as soon as you can. Like right now. If you have been reading the series, please pick this one up. You will be glad you did.
Five Unrelated References to the Works of Joss Whedon out of Five