One of the many things I love about Matt Kindt's "MIND MGMT" series is that it gives him carte blanche to do whatever he wants. One month it can be a story about a girl who talks to animals, the next month it's someone whose life is being erased around them. But with an overarching plot that continues (sometimes in the foreground, other times in the background) there's still a reward for those who read it month in and month out.
"MIND MGMT" #20 picks up where last month's issue left off in Berlin, with both Meru and the new Mind Management trying to recruit sleeper agents. This month introduces a strange circus from the '70s that was originally packed with Mind Management agents, and the end result is wonderfully strange and inventive. What's so nice is that Kindt can take the time to dip into the past and show how these so-called "freaks" were recruited and used.
Kindt's skill comes across not just in the neat ideas that he dreams up for "MIND MGMT" but the little details. It would be one thing if it were just a story about people working undercover in a circus. But the mixture of wanting to belong somewhere and then the regret expressed by Jim is entrancing. Through Kindt's narration and art, you can feel the sadness in the story, both in their words and expressions. It's that human touch that ultimately sells "MIND MGMT" #20 as well as the entire series.
And speaking of the art, it's as beautiful as ever. I'm still a little boggled that Kindt is able to produce it on a monthly basis, with soft, long, elegant lines and watercolors painted on top of them. It's the latter that sells it, with colors in the sky over Moscow with their blues and purples, or the faded orange and pink of the circus tent. Seriously, if you've never seen an issue of "MIND MGMT" before, just stop and take a glance and you'll realize that it's not like anything else on the market.
"MIND MGMT" #20 continues to truck along in a strong, consistent manner. Check out this issue, and if you like what you see, you've got three collections (compiling up through #18) to help you get caught up after this. "MIND MGMT" is one of comics' best-kept secrets, but I wish that everyone was reading this fantastic series instead.