Ben Rhodes

Ben Rhodes (240)

Favorite Book:  Cryptonomicon
Favorite MovieYoung Frankenstein
Favorite Absolutely Everything:  Monty Python

The last issue of Matt Kindt’s Mind MGMT ended with a huge cliffhanger. Somehow, this issue advances the plot and reveals some interesting backstory while keeping the stakes high. This arc has been focused on the magician, Professor Agement, and the attempts by the two factions to recruit her. It is not going well for Lyme and company.

If you are familiar with Hellboy, you know that he was brought into the world toward the end of WWII and then spent the next 60 years punching ghosts and demons. The thing is, there isn’t much of a focus on the war. Also, in the Hellboy universe is Lobster Johnson, who was a vigilante who fought Nazis and thugs in the '30s, but he died in 1939. There really hasn’t been a comic in the Hellboyverse that tackled the war for real. Until now. (Ed. - That was the most anti-climactic “Until now” I have ever seen.)

One of the most imaginative and bizarre comic series out there is finally coming to a close. I have been a fan of Star Wars since before my long-term memory worked. I honestly don’t remember a time when I didn’t know that [redacted] was [redacted]’s dad. (Editor, you don’t have to censor that. Everyone knows that [redacted] was [redacted]’s dad.) (Editor, wait, how did you censor me?!?) Now, I never got into the Extended Universe, which has recently been removed from the canon, but I have read comics, played countless video games, and even saw the prequels. I can count on one finger the time that I was pleasantly surprised by a big plot point in any of these. So, it really means something when I say that I read this entire series with a grin on my face and my jaw on the floor.

Mandala is an odd book. I haven’t read a comic quite like it before. It feels like a blend of assorted mysticism and the Illuminatus! Trilogy. The chief conflict in the comic is between the techno-magic corporation that is clearly evil and thirteen mostly just magic revolutionaries. There is more than a healthy dose of paranoia in this comic, with a vast conspiracy spanning dimensions and incorporating oppressive magics and oppressive technology.

Hellboy is dead. No big deal; we all gotta die sometime, but most of us won’t get the grand tour of Hell when we do. This comic finally answers the tough questions. What happens to a demon-prince of Hell who renounced his infernal purpose after being raised by the American Army during WWII when he dies? The answer, happily, is exactly what you want from a Hellboy comic.

Years after the end of the world, a group of totally radical vigilantes called the Killjoys waged a war against the oppressive corporation, BLI. They sacrificed themselves to save the young Girl traveling with them. A decade later, she must face the impossible might of BLI.

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.

In this issue of The Star Wars, Luke Skywalker and Annikin Starkiller lead a guerrilla strike against an Imperial base on the jungle planet Yavin. Their only allies are Owen Lars, a sympathetic anthropologist, and a small army of Wookiees. From there, preparations begin for this story’s final confrontation between the Jedi Bendu and the Knights of the Sith.

When an elite WWII Special Forces squad is tasked with stopping Nazi paranormal rites, you know that things are going to go wrong. The Black Devils are the best hunters and trackers the Allies could muster, and their main target is the secret occult organization at the heart of the Third Reich. Things go south when the Devils interrupt a ritual designed to open a gateway between worlds.

Matt Kindt’s Mind MGMT has started digging down into some of the more unsavory aspects of running a top secret psychic spy agency. This issue shows the backstory of Big Jim, who looks like he is about eight feet tall. We get a glimpse of how he is recruited, trained, and modified by the Management. We also see his ultimate assignment to a circus and the strange little group of agents that drive the bulk of the story in this issue. We also get to see how bad things really look for Lyme, Duncan, Meru, and the rest of the team. (Spoiler: Super bad.)

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