Read Only Memories #1 Comic Review – Back to the Future

Title: Read Only Memories #1
Writer:  Sina Grace
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Publish Date: December 18, 2019

Released in 2015, 2064: Read Only Memories was a well-received visual novel that opened up players to a cast of exciting characters fueled by mystery. Through that, we now have the Read Only Memories comic book from MidBoss and IDW Publishing. After this first issue, there are a few elements of the story that has us eager to dive deeper into this brand new mystery.

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Read Only Memories introduces Lexi Rivers, a character that fans of the game will know. Lexi has become a private investigator in Santa Cruz, CA, and is currently on a case of possible infidelity. It’s clear that she retains her charm as she works the case from a personal level. However, her personality of being laid back and tough still shines when she’s not acting.

As a lead, Lexi is cool and admirable. I couldn’t help but enjoy how she follows her curiosity, even into danger. A case comes upon her unexpectedly that requires her to help a robot find its missing human lover. Reluctantly, she takes the case and finds herself in a position that she couldn’t have imagined.

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The setting of the game has some pretty exciting inclusions as well. There’s a divide based on social standing, which finds citizens either on the hill or on the ground. The first issue sets up an excellent foundation for this divide, and I’m curious to see how they will build upon it in future issues.

The art direction in the comic is beautiful. The illustrations are filled with bold but calm tones of pink, blue, and purple, reminiscent of neon lights in a big city. When the game gets a little more intense, the parallels of the high action and calming colors make for a unique visual experience. However, I did feel that the pacing in the middle felt a little stalled as it ramped up during the conclusion. This is something that typically happens in later issues, but being the first, I felt Read Only Memories shouldn’t have slowed down this much.

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I’d hate to give away too much of this first issue as it sets up the setting of this adventure quite well. Lexi is an excellent lead in this story; her personality and attitude make her the best person to lead this new narrative. The story elements that are introduced make this a mystery that both the reader and Lexi can uncover together, which definitely has me wanting to read the next issue.

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