Review: D4VE

D4VE

Writer – Ryan Ferrier, Artist – Valentin Ramon

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Man builds robots, robots rise up, kill man then everything else in the galaxy. Ah, the good old days.

D4VE is a former defense bot pining for the glory days. He’s stuck in an office job he hates, in a marriage that’s falling apart, and with a son with no sense of boundaries. But there’s hope, in the form of a new alien invasion from a race called the Klarr. The robots have allowed themselves to become complacent about defense so D4VE may be their last hope.

Overall, I love the concept of this and there are imaginative and funny sequences, but some of the writer’s predilections get in the way of what could be a great story. One joke about catching the teenage robot son wanking off in the living room is fine … ish. But making it a recurring theme of the book? Ick.

There’s some clever word play in the ways that language, names and even swearing would be changed in a robot filled world. Instead of G–damn you get “Jobsdamn”, or “Holy Woz”. I like the nod, though I feel like this vocabulary isn’t switched on until midway through the first issue. And truthfully I don’t know how well Jobsdamn would roll off the tongue in a swearing context, but I like the way they’re thinking. Computer language is used to varying degrees of effectiveness throughout, though after a while it feels thrown in and without a consistent standard for usage. And as for names, pretty much all of them feature some variation of 4 being using instead of A. So we get S4LLY, TIN4 and HILL4RY.

Ramon’s art has a lot of hidden gems in the background of scenes, but it’s when D4VE returns to his defense-bot ways that it really gets a chance to shine. All of the imaginative ways D4VE finds to kick alien butt are pretty funny including a classic, ripping one alien’s spine out and using it to beat other aliens to death. Okay, it’s kinda gross, but it does a good job of balancing playful humor throughout.

The same cannot be said of the language and the crass content in this. Swearing loses its effectiveness if overused and trying to have D4VE’s catch-phrase be S—balls doesn’t help. Personally, the best catchphrase in the book is that of the boss who repeatedly tells D4VE he is a loser, only to follow it up with, “I really need you to know this.” If that kind of dry humor was consistent throughout the tale I would have enjoyed it a little more.

In short, this was fun, but could have been better with a little more restrained humor. Also could have done without the robot dropping nuts in fear.

(3 Stars | Amusing but could be better)

* I received a free ARC of this from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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