From Professor X to Max Lord, the Purple Man and beyond, comics has always been a home to mind control. However, in reality, this power is something which the human race has never obtained what if we did? Would it’s use be just like the comics or would it be utilised in a more technological and insidious way? Now, Vault Comics delve into that question with their new thriller, Mindset.
Mindset tells the story of Ben, a young programming student who, while attempting to put together a new wellness app, discovers that his education is in jeopardy due to incomplete work. Therefore, while completing a lab experiment in the hopes of ensuring his graduation, Ben stumbles upon the scientific properties to induce Mind Control. However, with this new information at his disposal, what will this mean for Ben, his app and the world as a whole?
Fresh from the success he gained with Join the Future, writer Zack Kaplan takes another stab at focusing on the human race and their dependence on technology. This time, however, rather than show a world built around futuristic tools, Kaplan has focused on the effects of social media and our current obsession … to intriguing results. Mindset begins its story as something of a mystery or thriller and this ‘cold open’ does lend difficulty in getting engaged with this comic. However, upon the plot travelling back in time with its flashback, Kaplan seemingly finds his footing as he begins to properly build the foundations for the story. This issue provides a feeling of setup as it builds towards creating a mystery story, but what makes this story truly captivating is the questions Kaplan asks which the story is built around.
As for the art, John J. Pearson’s work is, with little exaggeration, unique. While there are titles I’ve read which bear some similarity to Pearson’s style, Kelly Williams on Bountiful Garden and Dustin Nguyen on Descender spring most to mind (And Martin Simmonds on Department of Truth – Ed). However, Pearson’s art seems to operate on a level all on its own as it gives Mindset a very haunting visual image. As such, this style lends credence to the idea of the nightmare scenario Ben unleashes from opening the pandora box of mind control.
Mindset is an incredible comic and a truly captivating idea as Messrs Kaplan, Pearson and Otsmane-Elhaou lay the groundwork for not only a sinister thriller but also a truly terrifying (both in story and visually) notion on a concept which has long been glossed over in most forms of fiction it appears. Vault have once again practised what they preach here, as reading this comic will certainly mind control to come back for more.