We’ve all been there. You’re sitting there minding your own business when suddenly a song pops into your head that you hadn’t listened to for a long, long time. Innocent enough, right? But what if you were the only person who could remember that song, and then you couldn’t find anything on the internet to prove it even existed? Oh, and then some men showed up at your house to ask you about it, making you realise that maybe there’s a reason nobody else can remember it. Maybe it’s because they’ve been made to forget it. But why? And… wait… why does one of the men have a gun?!
Things You Shouldn’t Remember, a brand new series from Darby Pop Publishing, takes a creative look at the fickle nature of memory. And while writer Luis Roldan Torquemada is playing his cards incredibly close to his chest for the time being, it’s pretty obvious by the end of this first issue that the world has been collectively made to forget things for some vaguely sinister reason, and that there are men out there making sure that nobody remembers anything they aren’t meant to. Oh, and they’re also making sure that if anyone does remember, that they aren’t around long enough to tell anyone.
The strength of this first issue is the uncertainty. Things happen – puzzling, uncertain things as we meet some of the people who are remembering things and some of the people whose mission seems to be making them forget. Somewhat ironically, the characters themselves are all fairly forgettable, but the strength of the basic premise does just enough to keep the pages turning. For me though, the most intriguing aspect of this first issue comes in the very first page. Unconnected with everything else in the issue, almost to the point of feeling like has been included by mistake from another story entirely, it’s this page that will have all the theories and ideas coursing through the reader’s head once they put the book down.
There’s a slick, cinematic style to Mariano Eliceche’s artwork which helps to keep the story flowing forwards, and the character designs are sharp and distinctive, even if the characters themselves are – as I mentioned- fairly generic and unengaging. It’s a fairly grounded and dialogue-heavy issue, but Eliceche does a good job of conveying the facial expressions necessary for the ‘talky’ sections while showing a firm grasp of the sporadic moments of violence or motion. There’s nothing too stunning here from a visual point of view, but there’s definitely a polished aesthetic at play that helps to enhance the overall narrative.
An exciting premise solidly executed, and the groundwork has been laid here for what could potentially turn into one hell of a series. The only reservation I have so far is that sometimes in these situations, the reveal doesn’t quite live up to the suspense, and after such an intriguing opening chapter, it’s going to be interesting to see how this series fares once Torquemada draws back the curtain to reveal the bigger picture. I’m definitely planning on stick around to find out though, that’s for sure.