Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Review - D4VE2 #1 (@IDWPublishing)


"Ayooooooo. What's up butthorns?"

Asimov had only three rules of robotics and one of them was not that robots should be polite. The concept of a nice robot does dovetail into some of the other rules, but IDW's D4VE2 #1 flaunts those rules, as its robots are full of crass language and somewhat immature takes on life. The issue is written and lettered by Ryan Ferrier and illustrated by Valentin Ramon.

ONE YEAR LATER. With the world seemingly at peace, things seem pretty all right on 34RTH until a strange ship's arrival sends D4VE head-first into an existential crisis: an inconceivable blast from the past that threatens not only D4VE's dwindling relationship with 5COTTY, but all of robot-kind itself.

Ferrier's script follows along that of a typical recently divorced father struggling to reconnect with his son while at the same time contend with an imminent threat to the planet. One of the most interesting things about D4VE2 #1 is Ferrier's fairly blatant lack of regard for any sense of decency in the world he's created--and that's a good thing. Every character on 34RTH is unapologetic about their stances and interactions, eschewing typical decorum for much more debased conversations. Because D4VE2 is essentially juggling two worlds (personal and work), there are some inconsistencies in the pacing as Ferrier works to keep them parallel to one another. More than anything, it just makes the issue feel as if it's two different stories occurring simultaneously.

Considering 34RTH is void of humans, Ramon does a great job of making the robot inhabitants feel sufficiently human. The world is teeming with robot activity, as robots travel to and from their destinations much like humans in a crowded metropolis. Ramon ensures that many of the robots also boast personified motions and expressions, further bolstering the parallel to the somewhat staid existence of humanity in general. The color transitions are also interesting, as they get the reader from one scene to the next fairly easily and with little confusion as to what's going on. Relatively simple panel layouts and empty gutters enforce the notion of a world of the mundane, despite the seemingly fantastic robots.

D4VE2 is a very irreverent character living in an equally irreverent world, full of robots with levels of crassness that mimic some of the most metropolitan of areas. D4VE2 #1 puts that character in situations that aren't too far-fetched for most readers to understand--save for the big reveal at the end. Ferrier's script builds up throughout the issue a rather ho-hum existence for its characters, but at the very least the next issue promises to change their world dramatically. Ramon's illustrations effectively present the robots of 34RTH as humanistic in many ways, rendering each one with easily identifiable features that makes certain ones stand out. D4VE2 #1 is a pretty crass look at the tedium of life through the eyes of robots and processors.

D4VE2 #1 is in stores now.

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