Friday, July 6, 2012

Pull List Review: Mind MGMT #2

Ever finish reading something and end up totally unsure of how you feel about it? For me, that's Mind MGMT #2. It's definitely a good comicbook and it seems to be accomplishing all of its goals. But there are ways in which I already find it slightly irritating. The thick layers of mystery and confusion are, only two issues in, starting to turn me off a little. I trust that Matt Kindt knows what is going on, because the supplemental material in the back pages, covers, and margins make it clear that there is already a lot of stuff developed for the series. But the main story of the issue itself doesn't really get us very far. It felt like a lot of stuff happened, but when I reached the end, I hadn't gained much.

Part of the problem is that I'm having a hard time finding a reason to latch onto Meru, the apparent protagonist of Mind MGMT. So much of what she does, if I am correctly interpreting the narration, is manipulated or at least influenced by external interests. And her personality, based on her reactions to the madness around her, is far too passive and disconnected for me to believe she has such a sincere interest in solving the mystery she's meant to be investigating. Plus most of her lines are timid questions, and when she doesn't get answers, she usually just lets it go. Who is this woman being carried along by the force of the story in which she's a star? I don't have a clear picture yet, and so my investment in her story is weaker than I'd like.

And Meru is the closest thing to a fully-realized character. I guess her friend from the CIA has a bit of a personality, but most of what he does is worry, panic, or run. Not really a guy who's easy to empathize with. And of course we meet Perrier, who I adored, but was more of a plot point than a character and is now dead. The Immortals are nobodies so far, and the narrator, who I believe we do get to see this issue (although it may not be the same guy), is about as cryptic as you can get without inventing a new language. There just isn't anyone to side with or care about. Not that I can find.

Am I being impatient? Am I expecting too much? Maybe so. Hopefully so. I'd like nothing more than to be eating my words in another issue or two when Mind MGMT blossoms into a groundbreaking piece of comicbook genius. As of this second installment, though, I'm already cooling on the title. There's some beautiful language and art, and the higher concepts still intrigue me, but I need a more immediate reason to be following this narrative if I'm going to do so for very much longer.

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