Ben Rhodes, Fanbase Press Senior Contributor

Ben Rhodes, Fanbase Press Senior Contributor

Favorite Book:  Cryptonomicon
Favorite MovieYoung Frankenstein
Favorite Absolutely Everything:  Monty Python

The latest issue of Matt Kindt’s Mind MGMT starts to tease Meru’s ultimate strengths just as things look the bleakest. Wanted for murder and on the run from the law, she needs to figure out her plan of attack. The problem is that she is penniless and stranded in Hong Kong, has no allies, and has no plan. Fortunately, several things have been put in motion to help unlock Meru’s true potential.

First thing’s first. You should be reading this series. If you have not been reading Mind MGMT, this is a pretty great spot to jump on. You don’t meet the entire cast of characters, and you don’t get all the details of the story, but you get the idea. This issue chronicles the tragic life of Henry Lyme, psychic agent of Mind Management. (I suppose the use of “tragic” in that last sentence counts as a minor spoiler for the first 23 issues of the series.) After the events of the last issue (#23), the team of agents that we have been rooting for (still not sure I’d call them the good guys) were beaten and separated. Rather than begin to put the pieces back together, this issue looks at the life of the man who may have the most responsibility for breaking them.

Wow. This is the most gut-wrenching Mind MGMT issue so far. The series has always felt like the stakes were high for the characters, but #23 brings it to a whole new level. Every layer in this one hits like an emotional sledgehammer. (Even the subliminal ones.)

Michael Avon Oeming’s The Victories has always had a cynical view of society. The latest trade takes that to a new level. A massive global conspiracy is nearing the last stages of its plan, and the only people standing in the way are the Victories. Trouble is, nearly all of them are captured or missing. With time running out, they will have to coordinate an escape, figure out the plan, identify the roots of the conspiracy, and somehow stop it.

The last issue of Matt Kindt’s Mind MGMT ended with a huge cliffhanger. Somehow, this issue advances the plot and reveals some interesting backstory while keeping the stakes high. This arc has been focused on the magician, Professor Agement, and the attempts by the two factions to recruit her. It is not going well for Lyme and company.

If you are familiar with Hellboy, you know that he was brought into the world toward the end of WWII and then spent the next 60 years punching ghosts and demons. The thing is, there isn’t much of a focus on the war. Also, in the Hellboy universe is Lobster Johnson, who was a vigilante who fought Nazis and thugs in the '30s, but he died in 1939. There really hasn’t been a comic in the Hellboyverse that tackled the war for real. Until now. (Ed. - That was the most anti-climactic “Until now” I have ever seen.)

One of the most imaginative and bizarre comic series out there is finally coming to a close. I have been a fan of Star Wars since before my long-term memory worked. I honestly don’t remember a time when I didn’t know that [redacted] was [redacted]’s dad. (Editor, you don’t have to censor that. Everyone knows that [redacted] was [redacted]’s dad.) (Editor, wait, how did you censor me?!?) Now, I never got into the Extended Universe, which has recently been removed from the canon, but I have read comics, played countless video games, and even saw the prequels. I can count on one finger the time that I was pleasantly surprised by a big plot point in any of these. So, it really means something when I say that I read this entire series with a grin on my face and my jaw on the floor.

Mandala is an odd book. I haven’t read a comic quite like it before. It feels like a blend of assorted mysticism and the Illuminatus! Trilogy. The chief conflict in the comic is between the techno-magic corporation that is clearly evil and thirteen mostly just magic revolutionaries. There is more than a healthy dose of paranoia in this comic, with a vast conspiracy spanning dimensions and incorporating oppressive magics and oppressive technology.

Hellboy is dead. No big deal; we all gotta die sometime, but most of us won’t get the grand tour of Hell when we do. This comic finally answers the tough questions. What happens to a demon-prince of Hell who renounced his infernal purpose after being raised by the American Army during WWII when he dies? The answer, happily, is exactly what you want from a Hellboy comic.

Years after the end of the world, a group of totally radical vigilantes called the Killjoys waged a war against the oppressive corporation, BLI. They sacrificed themselves to save the young Girl traveling with them. A decade later, she must face the impossible might of BLI.

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