Review – D4ve #1

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D4ve cover

Writer: Ryan Ferrier
Art: Valentin Ramon
Publisher: IDW
Review by: Billy Withers

Ryan Ferrier and Valentin Ramon’s D4VE is a human midlife crisis, wrapped in metal and made to be rather amusing. Issue 1 of this arc has our subdued hero working a dead end job to make ends meet and being treated like crap, at least in his mind he is. His wife is reaching breaking point with his forgetfulness and an all too apparent lack of responsibility. His biggest problem though is being unable to really let go of the past, where he was this kick ass warrior of Earth, killing anything in the known universe.

As the comic goes I find it really well balanced. The writing of Ferrier makes what would probably be a script from a sitcom and elevates it into something a lot more acceptable and, more importantly, funny. From the off you can relate to D4VE, as he is doing what we’ve all been guilty of at one point in our vocational lives, daydreaming. Heading back to yesteryear when he could slap a little “five on rye” upon his alien rival and take him on with consummate ease. Like a flash we hit his reality, stuck at his desk working for FR4NK at a water power plant. The beauty of this issue is that it slides in and out of past and present with a great degree of ease and no real juddering sense of putting you off your stride.

Being a first issue, it certainly managed to cover quite a lot of ground without being too text heavy. We find out why robots rule the world and what D4VE did before he became another member of the working class. We’re also introduced to his wife, S4LLY and their 10 month old kid (they’re not made by doing the funky dance by the way, they’re ORDERED).

In terms of the look of the comic, the artwork from Valentin blends colour and impact with grey and dreary sections well, providing us with a well designed mix of vibrancy with some desolate turmoil thrown in to create a nice rhythm. I like how it goes from huge pieces of alien ass kicking or robot partying and saturating your eyeballs in glorious shades to heading back to work and almost greying it out into a prison. The way it all comes together adds a little depth to the story, which is also rather well done.

As well as the good writing style, there are those little touches that add more to proceedings. The obvious computer jargon, making up for at least some of the swearies that appear in here is nice and one or two sections did have me giggle a bit, especially the “chat” with God, which is rather funny. I have to also give credit to making the oil can serving them breakfast in the morning have a soul and opinion, which comes up in the style of little, almost anime-esque pictures, which are cute and a light distraction from the main story.

As the start of an arc can go, this is really solid, well thought out and well executed. The humour is up there and the story, although relatable to some tv shows about a mid life crisis or troubled family, is more than lifted up a notch or two by the way things are written. I enjoyed reading it and began to get a warmth towards D4VE, whether it is because I can relate to his life or not, I dunno, but this should be one series to watch out for.

Roll on issue 2.