A world where robots are as real as men has a number of unexpected consequences.  Case in point: D4VE’s mid-life crisis…  Your Major Spoilers review of D4VE #1 awaits!

D4VE1CoverD4VE #1
Writer: Ryan Ferrier
Artist: Valentin Ramon
Colorist: Valentin Ramon
Letterer: Ryan Ferrier
Editor: Jim Chadwick
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Cover Price: $3.99

Previously in D4VE: “Primetime TV; mortgages; traffic jams. The robots conquered earth, wiping out all life in the galaxy, but nothing changed. Meet D4VE, the greatest robot war hero, now trapped behind a desk at a soul-sucking day job. Can something, somewhere snap him out of this slump? This is D4VE’s mid-life crisis…”


Our story opens with a giant alien ravaging the city, only to be stopped by a heroic defense-bot leaping from the rooftops to engage in fisticuffs with a witty bon mot: “How about a five on rye?”

I don’t know what that means.  But it’s funny.  Turns out the whole sequence is nothing more than a daydream, the idle fantasies of D4VE, an ineffectual middle-management robot suckup whose boss wants to make sure he knows that NOTHING he does is ever good, whose wife can’t stand him anymore and whose life is an endless cycle of dull drudgery, lather, rinse, repeat.  The creators make good use of the first-person narrative, with D4VE giving us the short history of his world (one which takes a hoary old science fiction trope and turns it on its head with a little tongue-in-cheek and a little snark), explaining the genesis of this robot town.  D4VE abandons work for a drunken bender at a robot strip club (another really funny visual gag), before ending with a cliffhanger that might have the answer for his robot ennui.


Visually, this book is impressive, with each robot having a different design while maintaining a vaguely humanoid state, and the sight of monocular war-bots sitting at a desk in white-collar hell is amusing and well-drawn.  D4VE even has his necktie around his head after his night of debauchery, which amuses me as well.  All the traditional story-beats of a “mid-life crisis about to have an adventure that shakes him out of his rut” tale are here, but the real star is Ferrier’s dialogue.  D4VE’s sardonic first-person take on the world is engaging as hell, and everyone in the book has some great (but still natural-feeling) dialogue.  Most important for me, there’s a feeling of reality and completeness to the characters and their world that make this book a really fun read.


In short, I’m a bit sad that I didn’t catch this story during its previous digital run, and I’m glad to have caught it in collected form here.  The basic idea is high concept simplicity, but the execution of art and dialogue make it stand out from the rest of the books on the stand.  D4VE #1 is a flat-out fun issue that makes me want to read more, with great art and a clever (if a little bit mean-spirited) premise, earning a very impressive 4 out of 5 stars overall.

D4VE #1


Witty, sharp and a little mean-spirited, but a really compelling read.

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About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

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