IDW is republishing Monkey Brain Comics’ series D4VE, which originally debuted digitally November 2013 and finished in June 2014. Maybe a bigger publisher will breathe new life into this series. Is it good?
D4VE #1 (IDW Publishing)
This is a science fiction series with an obvious comedic tilt as it follows a protagonist named D4VE, a defense robot who was made to fight monsters and defend the robot-run Earth. Robots have taken over and unfortunately, with their overlords gone they’ve resorted to the same boring day job and average lives of the human beings. D4VE dreams of a day when he can be awesome again, but unfortunately a desk job and an awful marriage is the only life he has now.
Well that escalated quickly…
Writer Ryan Ferrier has a great little world on his hands here and it’s clearly been well thought out and planned. Details abound, like clever mail boxes, cereal boxes that fight for their lives and an interesting take on robot strippers. In a lot of ways this comic feels like a great idea for an Adult Swim cartoon. It has everything, from the vivid visual gags to the schlubby protagonist everyone can relate to. The concept of robots killing off the humans only to replace them with an exact copy of uselessness is a comical idea, but it doesn’t transfer to laughs on the page. Instead it amounts to a comical enough premise but it won’t bring much more than a smirk to your face.
There’s a heroes journey tucked away in here though, and it’s obvious by issue’s end our main man (or is it main bot) D4VE is going to have an opportunity to break from his chains of average society. That’s the biggest strength of the series and it’s assuredly something to keep your eyes on as it progresses.
Luckily the art by Valentin Ramon is fantastic and is reminiscent of Mike Allred only with a lot more detail and cohesion. A lot of thought and work has gone into making this world a very real looking place and I wouldn’t be surprised if there were hundreds of pages of sketches somewhere to prove it. His style is sexy, which is saying a lot considering how boring a robot can look. Great stuff.
Ah, the good old days.
Is It Good?
A good first issue that does a fantastic job fleshing out the protagonist but could use a bit more of the funny.