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Mindset 3 Cover Crop
Courtesy of Vault Comics

Comic Books

‘Mindset’ #3’s slow start is saved by an exciting finish

A great continuation of the outstanding sci-fi techno-thriller.

Mindset #3 had already been my most anticipated release of September. The first two issues left me wanting more, eager to find out what the four college students who discovered a mind-controlling audio-visual signal would do next. Then, in the middle of August, writer Zack Kaplan sent out two tweets warning us readers that we were not ready for what issue #3 would bring. After that, I could hardly stand the wait.

Well, Mindset #3 has arrived. And the somewhat slow first half left me worried about a disappointing letdown. But, the exciting and suspenseful finish took away those fears. Although Mindset #3 isn’t quite as strong as the outstanding first issues, it’s still a great continuation to an already fantastic series.

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‘Mindset’ #3’s slow start is saved by an exciting finish
Courtesy of Vault Comics

The first half of the issue gets bogged down with the details of the four protagonists setting up their startup company and developing a mind-control app. This section is important to the overall plot and there are some good beats in there. However, it’s just not as exciting or thought-provoking as the rest of the series has been so far.

Even John J. Pearson’s art in this section is less experimentally creative as in the first two issues, but I think Pearson has purposefully matched his style to the narrative. In that sense, he nails it. However, that also means the art is not quite as exciting.

Interestingly, led by the dreams of main character, Ben Sharp, the group of four college grads has decided on a purpose for their app, filled with good intentions and burdened by irony. The app utilizes actual mind-control to free its users from life’s outside influences, such as the advertising and propaganda of media corporations. If you don’t see the irony in that, you’ve missed the main point.

In fact, the strongest aspect of Mindset #3 is Kaplan’s and Pearson’s use of dramatic irony throughout. Sometimes it’s played for comic relief. But, most often the creative team uses dramatic irony to contrast the good intentions of Ben Sharp against what actually transpires, heightening the impact of these events.

Unfortunately, similar to the overall plot, Pearson’s art and Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou’s lettering aren’t quite as amazing as they had been in the first two issues. Sometimes I had difficulty recognizing a character or following the flow of a page, two strengths of the series before this. But, I’m basically saying the art and lettering were really good rather than incredibly great.

Fortunately, the whole comic seems to pick up once the four protagonists leave their command center and start interacting with the high-rollers of Silicon Valley. The narrative immediately becomes much more tense and engaging as it explores the inner workings of the tech industry.

Pearson’s art also changes, once again to match the narrative. It’s in this section that he and Otsmane-Elhaou treat us to the best page in the issue – a page of looping panels, marrying visual experience to narrative content.

Mindset #3
Courtesy of Vault Comics

Also in this section, leading lady Atlanta Hanna makes another appearance. Pearson’s depictions, beautiful but not sexualized, along with Kaplan’s characterization, confident yet down to earth, combine perfectly to make her as captivating to the reader as she is to Ben.  She’s barely in this issue and yet she steals each scene she’s in.

The tension of the second half builds, culminating in a fast-paced and suspenseful – but unfortunately unrealistic – finale. I just have to wonder how the four tech geniuses couldn’t come up with a better plan than what they end up doing in this comic.

In the end, it didn’t matter; the pacing of the action coupled with the dramatic irony created by Kaplan’s script along with Pearson’s visual cues kept me enthralled in this exciting climax. The cliffhanger ensured that the next issue will be my most anticipated release next month.   

Mindset 3 Cover Crop
‘Mindset’ #3’s slow start is saved by an exciting finish
Mindset #3
Although 'Mindset' #3 isn’t quite as strong as the outstanding first issues, it’s still a great continuation to an already fantastic series. It starts slow but is saved by a tense and exciting second half.
Reader Rating1 Votes
8.5
Great use of dramatic irony.
Creative art and lettering.
Engaging and fast-paced in the second half.
Slow first half.
Unrealistic final scene.
8.5
Great

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