What if the meaning of life is that after it’s all said and done, everything just sucks? That’s the unspoken question that D4VE, once a a defense bot, now a lowly account manager, wrestles with cycle, er, day after day.
D4VE #1 from IDW is the first time this wildly popular digital comic has been made available in print; and let me just say, it’s about time. While the premise of the book is no doubt appropriately suited to digital distribution,a tale like this deserves some tactile appreciation.
The story opens as D4VE sits at his desk, reminiscing about his glory days, days where he kicked a$$ and didn’t even bother to take names. All of that is pretty much behind him now, and he couldn’t be more miserable. Who’d have thought a robot could have a mid-life crisis? Must be one of the consequences of having human programmers.
The book excels at lampooning the everyday grind of life, the little concessions that we all make to keep the bills paid and the wife happy. It is also surprisingly thought-provoking; as D4VE prepares for another day, or maybe just the same never-ending one, at the office, he stares at the sky and wonders if God is there and if she/he/it is listening.
In my opinion, this first issue is as close to a perfectly dark science fiction comedy as you’re likely to find. The dialogue is snarky and fun, especially the use of geeky tech references in place of normal adjectives and verbs. There’s a scene where D4VE’s wife S4lly admonishes him about the sorry state of his life that is just brilliant.
Ramon’s art is great – his style is perfectly suited to a comic like this – and it’s a joy moving from panel to panel. His ability really shines through in the way he brings the colors together; nothing is ever boring or bland, but neither is anything over done. It’s really easy to get lost in the pages of this post-human world, in large part because of Ramon’s ability to communicate the alternating themes of the mundanity and vitality of human life. An eerie consistency in the strangely robotic landscape.
Maybe you’ve already read Monkeybrain’s version of D4VE; that’s cool. Still, if you’re a fan of the digital comic, you’re going to want to pick this one up, literally, because this is the first time anyone has been able to do it; outside of reading on your Kindle of course.