Review – Things You Shouldn’t Remember #2 (of 5) (Darby Pop)

Publisher: Darby Pop Publishing
Writer: Luis Roldan Torquemada
Artwork: Mariano Eliceche, Angel Lidon (colours)
Release Date: July 13th 2017

The first issue of Darby Pop’s Things You Shouldn’t Remember saw a mysterious group known as “The Handlers” hunting down seemingly unrelated people who were starting to remember things that had apparently been ‘erased’ from the world’s collective memory. It also introduced us to cocky poker player Marc and substance abusing ex-photographer Travis, both of whom ended up in the sights of this shadowy organisation through no fault of their own.

While it was definitely packed with interesting ideas and eyebrow-raising moments, the first issue was also fairly light on answers, leaving the reader struggling to catch up as writer Luis Roldan Torquemada’s sprawling story unfolded.  For better or worse, this second issue delivers more of the same, and by the end of this chapter, we’re frankly none the wiser about just what the heck is going on.  Torquemada is clearly having a lot of fun keeping us scratching our heads as we try to piece everything together, and while there are hints of the bigger picture (the “Forbidden Library” opening and the oddly supernatural final pages), it still does feel like we’re stumbling around in the dark – for the time being, at least.

Mariano Eliceche and Angel Lidon do a solid job once again on the visual side of the book, keeping things flowing smoothly and adding some dynamic action set-pieces along the way.  Some of the facial expressions are a little uneven, and there’s the occasional awkward moment of composition, but for the most part the book has an enjoyable aesthetic, particularly during the supernatural sequences I mentioned.  Oh, and there’s a mysterious, vaguely sinister Chihuahua thrown in for good measure, which is always a plus-point in my book.

This issue also throws a new character into the mix as we get to meet Christine Wahnfried, whose interactions with the aforementioned Chihuahua lead her headlong into a pretty ‘out there’ moment. And, while we’ve barely even scratched the surface of her personality, there’s still enough intrigue surrounding her situation to already make her feel like a worthy addition to the cast.

That said, however, we’re now two issues in, and after an impressively strong start, Things You Shouldn’t Remember is in danger of coasting to a halt.  The creators clearly have a bigger picture in mind, but it’s getting to the point where they’re really going to have to give us a little peek behind the curtain or readers are likely to start losing interest.

The concept is solid, but the series feels like it’s visibly trembling under the burden of expectation right now, and the sooner we get some cohesiveness to the narrative – rather than it just feeling like a series of seemingly unconnected events – the better.  It’s a great idea with some great moments, but the creators really need to start pulling things together before it’s too late.

Rating: 3.5/5.

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ceejThe writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson-Adams (aka Ceej)
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