Review: Prisoner of the Mind – Vol. 1

Prisoner of the Mind is trippy. It’s a mind bending story that at first glance some people might instantly write off because they’re unfamiliar with the creator. I’m going to tell you that that would be a huge mistake. The story is deep and while the opening is confusing, it’s that way for a reason. Everything in the tale is intentional and building towards a mystery that surrounds our main character. The opens in a Bladerunner inspired future New York in the middle of a brutal rain storm. Our main character Cole wakes up in an alleyway next to a man that’s just killed himself. He doesn’t acknowledge the body at all. His one and only thought is that he needs to kill himself.

Part of me wants to just leave you here, but with a story so complex and deep I’ll give you a bit more to go on. He picks up the dead man’s gun and puts it to his head followed by a pull of the trigger. The hammer hits, but nothing happens. The gun is empty, but Cole checks again just to be on the safe side. He feels that he’s being watched and so he decides to go somewhere else to kill himself. He decides on the tall building in front of him but finds a padlock on the door keeping him from entering. He breaks into a nearby car and throws a spare tire down the road and out of his way. The tire rolls until it nearly hits a worker whose job is to keep the roads clear during storms. Cole finds a tire iron and busts into the building. He heads to the roof and stands at the top taking a moment to think. His mind is conflicted about this action now, but he jumps anyways. As he does he falls into the back of the clean-up truck. Had he not thrown the tire he would have died. The driver calls 911, but as he’s talking Cole wakes up. He jumps out of the truck and runs towards some train tracks committed to finishing the job the gun and building couldn’t finish.

Prisoner_of_the_mind_graphi copy copyThis is just the opening. The story has a lotta legs to it still and the mystery of why he was trying to commit suicide and what he was doing in the alley way grows from there. There’s a huge angle to the story that I’m not even going to touch on, but it’s very interesting.

As I said this story is trippy. There are dueling narrations at times and occasional the story will cut to an entirely different scene. These moments out of context seem random and confusing, but when pieced together with other moments and elements of the story they fit perfectly. The writing is exceptional and I personally found the variety of narrations to be fascinating. There are times when the book has a novel esq feel to it and even takes a third person omniscient stance. While all of this sounds like a mess it actually works quite well together. There are times when the story is confusing, but it’s intentional as I said before. You’re supposed to be confused and left out on the dark because Cole is. You’re in Cole’s shoes as he discovers his past and the events that nearly led to his death.

The artwork is extremely detailed and in all black and white. This is the perfect fit for the story as it plays into the futuristic setting. What’s wonderful about the art is that there is a mixture of new and old giving New York a well-worn look. Because the city is so big not everything has been up-graded and as such certain neighborhoods are left with old tech and culture. Cole makes a comment when a friend of his parks her car in his neighborhood because it stands out so much. The artwork fits the story and the detail adds to the mind-bending aspects of the story.

From where the story began to where it ending I would never have guessed when reading it. It was quiet the experience and left me looking forward to the next chapter of the story. There aren’t a lot of mind-bending stories in the world of comics and even less that actually work within the medium; Prisoner of the Mind is a great read that’s as entertaining as it is mysterious.

Score: 4/5

Writer/Artist/Creator: Allan Linder Publisher: Eclectic Press Price: $14.95 Release Date: 10/10/13