But you'd lose much of the back story with Kirk and it really wouldn't resemble any of the events of Where No Man.... In a case like that, you're simply recycling the name as nothing there really resembles the character that came before.
That's a very good point and it does support the idea that the character isn't Mitchell. Plus, as you pointed out in your previous post, they already re-did WNMHGB in comic form, so would they really use the Mitchell character in the movie?
I realize I'm going out on a limb here a bit with this theory, but what if the events of the comic are the backstory to the new movie, in much the same way that 'Countdown' supplied off-screen material for Trek '09? Suppose Mitchell really didn't die, but his mutation not only kept him alive, but he continued to change? What if Section 31 decided to get investigate further and found that Mitchell was in fact alive and recruited him? I realize this is slightly far-fetched, but it's remotely possible. I mean, is it really any more way-out than Spock and Nero coming back in time, thus creating a new reality?
I have not had the chance to read the IDW version of WNMHGB, so I don't know how they treated the Kirk/Mitchell relationship. Can anyone who has read it tell me if they still met at the Academy and became friends there? Certainly, some of their history would be different; probably no Dimorus, but other things, such as the incident with the little blond lab technician, could have still happened.