D4VEocracy #1

Writer & Letterer: Ryan Ferrier
Artist & Colorist: Valentin Ramon
Editor: David Hedgecock
Publisher: IDW

A review by Christoph Staffl

Ladies and Gentlemen, D4VE is back!

Back in February 2015 the first issue of D4VE debuted. It was not just a crazy, funny story with robots, it was also critical on society and had a diverse cast – at least in robot-terms. I think? Anyway, the premise was this: we humans wanted to create the perfect machine, but when we created artificial intelligence we did not quite anticipate that the machines deemed us unworthy of planet earth. They thought they were better and killed, not just every human being, but every living thing in the entire galaxy. One has to be thorough, if one wants to live a quiet life.

D4VE was the greatest hero of them all. But now, since the war is over, he sits bored in an office building, working in a job he doesn’t like and is bullied by a boss he hates. Also his marriage seems to be over. So what can you do? Order a kid (obviously they cannot procreate as humans do). It should help 54LLY and her husband to get to know each other again. Unfortunately the kid grows very, very fast and is not really one of the easy kind. But there is also this little invasion coming and D4VE is the only one to prevent earth from absolute destruction.

In D4VE2 the protagonist wants to form a military but is faced with some minor difficulties. There is also some time travel. One of my favourite parts about the series, is D4VE’s son 5COTTY. He is the personification of the worst teenager ever: he swears (a lot!), doesn’t give a damn about anything, is a perverted, porn addicted chimp, and also happens to be gay – which I think is absolutely awesome!

Now we are presented with a new incarnation of the mini-series. I was very excited to read the latest issue and eager to have another adventure with these absurd characters. So, what is the latest story about?

Four years have passed since the finale of D4VE2 and the robots are having a good time. They do parades every other day (sometimes twice a day), are addicted to their social media services (especially DUD3R) and seem to be happy. Except one small family of three that defies the bliss and is sucked right into another series of unfortunate events. D4VE lives in the past and spends every passing moment guarding the supercomputer (it holds everything together), until he is locked out of his own system. 5COTTY supposedly works for DUD3R but seems to be the most unqualified person for the job as he only sits bored at his desk. And 54LLY is the COO of the biggest, most important company on the planet and therefore responsible of the energy supply. Unfortunately her bosses hate her.

But it wouldn’t be D4VE if things wouldn’t start going wrong. Their president (yes, they have a president) dies because of a malfunction and all hell breaks loose. It’s really interesting, because one would expect another invasion story line. Instead Ryan Ferrier proves his creativity, regarding the foe and his origin. One theme you can identify in every story of this comic is the inner drive, to be more than just a machine. Though the majority of the population just stares into their smartphone equivalents and don’t care about anything, it is good to see that somebody does.

However, despite the positive aspects I mentioned above and the good ideas D4VEocracy #1 presents, I missed some of the key elements from the first two story lines, especially 5COTTY’s sense of humour. I sincerely hope to discover something new about these characters throughout the new story. Four years went by after all. And I am constantly asking myself: What did they do in the four years? And I really want to know! I want the series to be an ongoing comic. This way we could explore the deeper motives of the characters and not just watch them in moments of earth shattering crises.

The Verdict
Buy it! Despite my complaints I had a good time with D4VEocracy #1 and I think I will check out the second issue as well. The dialogues are again filled with the passion of the writer, swearwords, and acronyms – some of them I had to google. The artwork is fantastic and I love the design of the different robots. Each one of them seems to have their own little story to tell.

Christoph Staffl
christoph.staffl@gmail.com

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