Ryan Ferrier’s “D4VE” is something everyone can relate to. Taking the familiar world of computers and technological language we take for granted, Ferrier creates a wonderfully comedic tale of a robot going through a mid life crisis. While, Valentin Ramon brings the insightful, funny, and depressing story to life in all the right ways.
In a society that has exhausted the need for D4VE’s original programming, he finds himself stuck in a dead end job in a pile of sadness and failure where the only escape is day dreaming about his past.
WRITTEN BY: Ryan Ferrier
ART BY: Valentin Ramon
PUBLISHER: Monkeybrain Comics
GET IT HERE: http://www.monkeybraincomics.com/
D4VE is wildly imaginative. The first issue is ripe with ideas that have been done before but amidst a context unlike we’ve ever seen them. The result is a refreshingly comedic look at mid life crisis in a world built to resemble human functioning but with many distinct differences.
The book functions as a love letter to mediocrity and science fiction. All too often larger than life premises are pulled into science fiction backdrops and we see androids carrying out heroic tasks or turning on their makers. While D4VE does have these elements, Ferrier is more concerned with what happens after. Where does life go for these androids from here, and would they be any happier than us?
The resounding answer is no.
Valentin Ramon’s art is completely stellar. His coloring works in tandem with his illustrations to create a fully realized world drenched in mediocrity that still exudes a wonderful allure.
When D4VE is sitting dead at his desk you’re still marveling at the architecture of his office. The flashbacks in the first issue show a wilder side of Ramon that manages to have a ton of fun. All of D4VE’s daydreams are so off the wall and action oriented that the book never seems dull.
Ferrier’s dialogue sprinkles in familiar tech terms to create a more fully realized world that always manages to create a laugh. It never feels forced.
The issue pushes the plot into familiar territory by the end but it is clear that the new presence of antagonism wont be so easily squashed. It makes you excited on D4VE’s behalf. He’s finally going to return to his heroic moment in the spotlight. I’m just not sure he’s ready.
So things get a lot shittier for D4VE. His terrible job doesn’t actually fire him but ends up praising his awful attitude and putting him into a new position that he can’t even bother to listen to. His hellion of a son actually antagonizes him to no end, giving him absolutely zero respect, and his loving wife decides to leave him.
Ferrier does an excellent job at painting D4VE into a corner. His mundane life is finally collapsing under its own weight and he can’t do anything about it. The fantastic desperation from the first issue is only amplified here, and we can’t help but sympathize with his plight.
Ramon makes sure to take the time to further develop D4VE’s world. 5COTTY manages to really show off some of Ramon’s more imaginative designs. The videogames, the smoking, and the recalibration methods are all brought to life with incredible insight. Taking familiar elements from our world and modifying them ever so slightly to create something new and distinct… albeit disgusting with the recalibration.
For every effort Ferrier makes to tear down D4VE’s life, the thing that should shake it most, ends up reinvigorating it. The final pages of the issue see a full on threat rise against Earth. A threat that not only spells disaster for the robotic population, but also calls into question the assertion that all other life was wiped out.
Instead being the lynchpin that ends D4VE’s miserable existence these aliens serve to invigorate him in his time of need. It’s an interesting device that will most certainly mean disaster for D4VE, but Ferrier manages to keep the naivety of D4VE’s own personal destruction the core of the book.
I can’t wait to see where things go from here. “D4VE” is a master class in robotic mid life crisis and is ripe with laughs. For $0.99 you’d be crazy not to pick it up.
Rating: 4/5 Skulls.