The third volume all about the robot known as D4VE commences this week. For all that D4VE has done for the world, saving it from self-annihilation due to the a president being assassinated isn’t one of them…until now. The acclaimed series is back and ready to drop some political commentary, but is it good?
D4VEocracy #1 (IDW Publishing)
So what’s it about? The summary reads:
Ryan Ferrier and Valentin Ramon are back with D4VEOCRACY, the third arc of the acclaimed D4VE series. In the wake of a robo-political assassination, D4VE begins a presidential campaign. A hip new app startup has other plans for the robot society, however, and creates the perfect political rival.
Why does this book matter?
This series has been great at social commentary as it reflects human society via robots that act and talk just as annoying as our dumbest in the culture. We’ve enjoyed this series for some time, from the first issue, the first collected volume, and the first issue of the sequel. There’s no reason not to expect this to continue being good reading.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This issue opens with the robots hailing their new president Roombo which ends very abruptly indeed. An assassination takes place, which kicks off the events in this issue, including social media blowing things up. Writer Ryan Ferrier quickly shows the populace is filled with slang talking robots who are more interested in snark and laziness than anything else. The world is not looking so hot and it appears to only be getting worse. The reaction is to create a new robot that quite possibly could be the greatest threat to D4VE and everyone else. This builds towards D4VE making a decision to run for office, which should be interesting given a new robot that’s everything bad about the internet today.
The dialogue in this book is fascinating as it uses plays on terms we know or changes in spelling to convey the slang being slung. It makes reading the book quite fun and it brings the characters voices into your head. Seeing a robot with a backwards hat dropping “Mowfuckass” and “This is going to be rad AF” helps convey the obnoxious nature of the populace.
Meanwhile, D4VE continues to be a sympathetic character who has way too much reason given the shit show that is the world and its populace. Simply by the way he talks, which is rather ordinary and clear, you are soothed by the character. He’s easy to read and therefore easy to relate to.
The art by Valentin Ramon is a highlight and by far some of the most inventive and gorgeous art you’ll see this week. The sheer amount of imagination that goes into making these robots–some with heads that are mixers and other gadgets–makes each panel and page a joy. In one panel for example, an American flag is being painted via mini robots spraying as they float in the air. It’s a neat detail that adds texture to the scene. The richness of these images helps solidify it as a real world that’s close to our own.
It can’t be perfect can it?
At times I found it hard to decipher the dialogue, making it more of a labor than entertaining. The pace is quite slow, in part because the characters are talking and talking about what amounts to very little. At times it’s as if Ferrier isn’t sure we are clear on the personality of a character and keeps going. This makes the plot slightly difficult to plod through at times and by the end of the issue I’m still unclear why a new robot is made. It takes its time to build towards things like this, but then D4VE runs for president seemingly out of nowhere. I guess you can just message the world and declare you’re running? It’s an element that added to the confusion.
God they’re dumb.
Is It Good?
Aside from a slower pace and a dense plot that’s hard to gather, this is a fun first issue that sets up the world and a political campaign that should be fun. If you’re fatigued from the politics of the last year hang in, as D4VEocracy is primed to be a fantastic social commentary you won’t want to miss.