by Danny Kirshtein
I can remember sitting on my bed with my dad, reading Superman, and thinking that the line “Not so fast, flyboy” was the greatest piece of dialogue one could ever pitch in a series. To this day, unfortunately, that’s still pretty true for me. Not because I feel like Superman is trite and jaded, but because we are forced to take comics like those at face value. Mind MGMT Volume 2: The Futurist acknowledges what you’ve come to expect in a comic book and then completely flips that standard on it’s head.
Any fan of Matt Kindt is going to recognize his style of storytelling accompanied by his less than perfect art. He’s obviously not an artist first, and that’s okay. The first few pages serve as world-building, and by the time you finally see the characters fleshed out, you know so much about them that you don’t really care about the way they’re drawn. Luring you in at first with the initial perks of being a super-spy, Kindt immediately shows the dark and gritty side of being one step ahead of everyone else.
Just when you begin to really bleed with the character, you’re thrown to a very different pack of wolves with very different characters to start the whole process over again. Fans of Kindt will immediately recognize his ability to tell so many stories at once. (Julianne Verve: it gives me chills just to type her name.)
But it’s in the still moments, I think, that Kindt’s storytelling really shines. His beats, dialogue, and stunning moments of silence indicate that he is truly hip to this modern era of comics, but the story he tells is nothing like you’d pick up from your mainstream Marvel or DC issue.
It’s not without flaws, granted. More casual readers may be lost or overwhelmed by the sheer density of the many stories. If that’s the case, I’d suggest a few rereads. If you’re opening the book, expecting a “Jim Lee”-style spectacle presentation, you’re going to be sorely disappointed. It’s a graphic novel that is heavy on the latter and light on the former.
All in all, it doesn’t feel like a superhero comic. You’re not on the ground looking up at a bird or a plane or an alien that’s suddenly got a thing for Amazonian princesses. You’re in the passenger seat of a car with a fugitive on a guilt trip, and you feel it.
Volume 2 has Kindt’s heroes with their feet on the ground and their heads in a game they don’t quite understand. And as much as I wanted to hate and trash this series that asks so much from its reader, Kindt is one of the most consistently entertaining writers out there. He takes his audience seriously, and expects them to return the favor.