Welcome back to Minding Mind MGMT, the monthly column focused on the Dark Horse series “Mind MGMT” from Matt Kindt. Why a special column instead of a regular review? Because each issue is crammed with story, requiring no less than two reads to fully absorb everything Kindt packs into it. Each month, we try to piece together the clues Kindt is hiding throughout the book, and speculate on what may happen next. This is a spoiler-heavy column, so turn back now if you don’t want major plot details revealed.
While there was no new issue of “MIND MGMT” last month, there was some new content available in five strips at io9.com and a short prologue to the next story arc in “Dark Horse Presents.”
The io9 strips
In case you missed them…
The plot is pretty straight forward, without the usual depth of a regular issue. That’s good, because this isn’t the kind of place for important story material or character development. On the other hand, it’s bad, because it fails to show potential new readers what the series really has to offer. We see Lyme hunting his first rogue agent after MIND MGMT is disbanded. One thing does stand out as odd — Dr When calls Lyme by name in the second strip, but is surprised by Lyme’s abilities in the fifth. I guess MIND MGMT has some non-powered agents? Additions to the “MIND MGMT” mythos include a new agent, and an interesting bit about the first immortals mixing mushrooms and painkillers to unlock their abilities.
The big question about this short strip is when it takes place. In the first strip, Lyme’s glasses reflect Zanzibar, and his face is covered with band aids. They’re still present when he talks to the travel agent’s coworker, suggesting this is shortly after the massacre. The second one makes reference to the Amnesia flight, which was years later. Perhaps it took Lyme a while to locate Dr When, but what was he doing with the travel agent for a year?
Dark Horse Presents #19
This 8 page prologue to the second story arc was requested by Dark Horse higher-ups, and it has a very different feel from the previous material. You’ll immediately notice is how different the art looks. It’s still the same washed-out water colors, but somehow they have a different life on glossy paper. The newsprint-quality paper of the regular issues gives the impression of colors bleeding, but here the rough designs have very crisp edges. This isn’t better or worse, just a change from what we’ve previously seen. If this is included in the second hardcover on the regular paper stock, it will be interesting to compare the identical panels side-by-side.
This is an extended origin for Duncan, narrated in first person. His story was previously told from the MIND MGMT point-of-view in the Mind Memo of issue one. Aside from one panel, this is completely new material. The memo was mostly about his abilities, and this is about the rest of him. Because his mind-reading ability is a subconscience reflex, his life has been…boring. His ability helps him attain success with ease, but makes interpersonal relationships difficult and leaves him feeling bored and empty. He becomes suicidal, but his id won’t let him commit to the action. He’s located by a MIND MGMT van (stealthily disguised as “DIMD Magnet”), and trained to be an agent. His “final exam” is to kill a convict on death row with his mind. He passes.
Time for some speculation on how Duncan could (possibly) be killed. Duncan mused on the difficulty of suicide, and how he would see his death coming fifteen minutes in advance. Keep in mind, the mind memo in issue one told us he can only predict the future because he reads all the minds within five miles. An elaborate trap (such as a remote controled gun) could easily be activated from a safe, undetectable distance, and he would never know it was coming unless someone nearby thought about the trap.
This short chapter is set prior to the series’ current timeline. Between then and now, he befriends Lyme and abandons the agency. When? Why? Answers (and more questions) will likely be found in ‘The Futurist,’ beginning in “MIND MGMT” #7 later this month.
These pages did not include any field guide text. We found out in the recent issues they were actually being broadcast over the mindnet directly to Meru, so it would be odd to see them here.
As a side note, I’m not a regular reader of “DHP.” I picked this issue up specifically for this short, but was happiliy surprised with most of the other content. If you’re a “MIND MGMT” fan who skipped this because of the price, I urge you to pick it up. You probably won’t like everything in it, but there’s definately something in here for you.
And that’s all for December
As always, let me know in the comments if I missed anything.