It was recently announced that there will be a movie adaptation of Matt Kindt‘s Mind MGMT series, (published by Dark Horse Comics.) This is a great article about it that includes an interview with Kindt from just before the news was announced. (This, meanwhile, is a terrible article that repeatedly mis-spells Henry Lyme as “Henry Lime” and inaccurately summarizes Meru’s connection to the amnesia flight. Come on, Hollywood Reporter, put a little more effort into your work! Although now I kind of want to draw a lime wearing Lyme’s sunglasses…)
Anyway: This. News. Is. Fantastic!
As I posted in my piece on learning how to read comics, I’m totally into this series. It’s exciting to be “in” on a fandom like this from early on, and I can’t wait to be able to boast about how I was into Mind MGMT “before the movie.” (It’s similar to how I feel about Veronica Roth’s Divergent, which I picked up in the first month it was published and then got all my friends to read, and now a movie adaptation is underway for it, too.) But mostly I’m excited to see a Mind MGMT movie because the story and characters are so great, and I can’t wait to see how the film medium translates them.
Like, can you imagine how much fun they could have with the advertising campaign alone? Oh please don’t just make generic posters, please please make references to Mind MGMT‘s style of advertising, and make me want to see the movie but at the same time paranoid that I’m being mentally manipulated by a secret government agency, please!
I think I’m most excited to see who will be cast as Meru, but that may be because I’m fascinated by her character the most. In issue #1 I actually wasn’t sure whether I liked her much, this sloppy slouching mess who can barely seem to keep her life together and doesn’t even wear pants.
But she’s scrappy and persistent, and there’s so much more going on than meets the eye, and as it turns out Meru is full of unrealized bad-ass potential. What I particularly love about Meru is that she is potentially one of the most powerful people on the planet, but she looks so ordinary and even kind of scrawny. I hope the movie doesn’t try to make her look like a badass, or too glamorous. I like that she’s badass without outwardly appearing to be. Isn’t that part of the allure of the whole idea behind Mind MGMT, that the power of the mind could be so much stronger than all the muscles and weapons in the world?
What fantastic character development–and that’s only the first few issues! I mean, have you read #7 yet? **SPOILER ALERT** When I got to that last panel and she just nonchalantly drops that oh yeah, I must have subconsciously warded off an assassination haiku, I was all OMG! Because I had been reading the side story about the assassination notes in the bottom margins as I went, and until I got to that last panel I just thought she was tough for having touched the envelope without being hurt! And my next thought was, if it’s so easy for her to protect herself without realizing it, how long before she unintentionally kills someone, like a subconscious reflex? Judging by the next issue’s cover, maybe not very long. It’s the first cover so far that doesn’t feature a single-character headshot, and it looks very chaotic. It comes out in two days. Omg, I can’t wait! **END SPOILER**
Henry Lyme is a fantastic character, too. His enormous and deadly power could have made him overwhelmingly frightening, (like the way he appears in the #0 story “The Bear”), but the tragedy of losing his family and the struggle to know what’s real in a world he so easily manipulates humanizes him. I didn’t realize until I read the aforementioned interview that there was debate over whether Meru or Lyme is the main character. I had assumed it was Meru, but maybe I was just unconsciously rooting for the girl to be the hero. There’s obviously a much bigger stage with many more players than were introduced in the first six issues, but I’m still sticking by my Meru. It seems like she’s somehow key, especially since she wasn’t trained by the agency. But then again, there’s the danger that without training, her powers will be too destructive. But then again, Lyme had all the training and his powers were still too destructive! But then again, maybe all of it is more complicated than I think and I’m being tricked by Mind MGMT “advertising” into thinking what they want me to think! Or not think! I love it.
I’m really curious to see how the movie will tell this story; there are so many ways it could frame it. Will they copy the comics exactly, with the “how can your own mind surprise you” prologue that’s echoed later in Lyme’s re-telling of the Zanzibar tragedy, or will they do a prologue of one of the inner-cover side-stories or case files, just to set up the idea of the agency and what they can do, or will they have the whole thing be related as history by a monk in one of the psychic libraries? And I wonder if they’ll uncover revelations in the same order, or mix it up? I hope they keep Meru’s trajectory pretty much intact, because I want to watch that transition from barely-in-control to crazy-powerful, and then back to frustratingly disorganized and disoriented, but stomping blindly back to power…at least that’s what it seems like her path is, so far.
Stuff I can’t wait to eventually find out about in the ongoing comic series in the meantime: (might be some **SPOILERS** if you haven’t read any of the comics yet, and if that is the case I suggest you go read them immediately because they are awesome, then come back and see if you can think of more things to add to this list.)
- How are the children with Mind MGMT aptitude recruited? Like how does the agency figure out which kids have aptitude, and how to they coerce them away from their parents, or do they wipe the parents’ memories? Has a recruited kid ever tried to escape and go home and then the parents just don’t recognize him or her?
- If both sides knew about Meru all along, does that mean her foster parents are in on it?
- I want to see more of the historical Mind MGMT files, like how they were involved in instigating, averting, or covering up major wars and events.
- I want to see more of the story of The Animal Kid and the Black Ops dolphins she frees, and find out what the dolphins are up to now. Are they coming back later or are they going to stay isolated?
- I need like a whole arc about the monks.
- I might need a Perrier twins flashback, mostly just because I want to see them together again and in happier times.
- Basically every two-page Case File and inside cover story tucked into each issue, I would love to see expanded. There’s just so much going on in this world, so many characters and storylines, that even though I gobble them up each month it just makes me hungrier for more.
- When does my brain explode?
Re-reading my copies of all the issues out so far has just made me that much more excited to read the rest of the series, and then I remembered that I started this post to talk about the movie! It’s a good thing there is a new issue coming out this week, or I might explode from anticipation.