Review: Mind MGMT Secret Files #1

I’ve read a lot of “zero” issues in my day and most of them aren’t worth a shit. This issue made me look around the room in disbelief and mutter, “Fuuccck” to myself because it was so good. I’m not big on Cold War stories; they tend to be boring and hinge on either a huge event that never historically happened, or even worse a smaller less climatic event that makes the ride not worth getting on. This is probably the best Cold War story that I’ve read and did everything right to get me interested in the series at the same time. The story begins with an interview between a younger and older woman. The younger woman asks if the other has ever heard of Mind MGMT, to which the older woman replies yes… but not exactly. A dead Russian agent codenamed “Bear” psychically sent her his last day alive. The woman explains that she was in therapy for over a year so that she could wrap her brain around what was sent to her. She begins walking the woman the information sent to her and describing Bear’s last day. He was deep undercover Russian agent, married in Berlin until receiving a code word that awakens him. He begins moving towards his target the head of Mind MGMT and kills anyone in his path.

Mind MGMT Secret FilesThe brilliance of this story is the narration working emotionally separate from the images. You see one thing, but read another and the tones of the words do not support the images 100%. You can sense that this woman is holding something back, but at the same time revealing too much. It was fantastic dialog that had a huge payoff at the end of the issue. You’ll see part of the ending coming, but not to the extent that the story takes it to.

I liked the art a lot. It was indie as fuck, but so well plotted that it read naturally with the story. As strange as it sounds the crayon like coloring of the book really brought realism to the story that I don’t think traditional coloring could have. There is a ton of blood in the book and if it had been too realistic looking then it would have been distracting. Instead the blood gave a real weight to the story, when you saw blood you knew that, that person was dead and at times that was very sad.

As far as “zero” issues goes, this is definitely one of the best I’ve read. It gave me teases of the main story without spelling it out for me. Probably the best thing it did was give me a mystery to solve. I want to know about this Mind MGMT that is the focus of the story. What will stay with me is that this story had a real sense of humanity to it no matter how fantastic the world it happens to be set in is. The emotion is this book can fuck you up if you’re not careful. If you need more convincing then download this book for free from Dark Horse Digital and get ready to have to wait for the main series like the rest of us.

Score: 4/5

Writer/Artist: Matt Kindt Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: Free, but digital download only Release Date: 5/9/12