I have to admit that I was nervous going into this issue of D4VE. The bar was set incredibly high with the first issue which usually means that there’s only one place left to go… down. Well D4VE managed to deliver as much entertainment, laughter and overall delight with this issue as well and in fact probably a little bit more! With the last issue we got a feel for D4ve’s life and how the once great warrior became a desk jockey that daydreams of the glory days. His marriage is on the rocks, but hopefully their new son 5cotty will make everything right… right? RIGHT?!?! While the idea of 5cotty was humorous in the last issue, I did wonder how he’d pan out in this issue. He was great. He’s no D4ve, but damnit if he didn’t win my heart quickly. For 5cotty you really need to picture the most annoying half-assed educated “dude-bruh” jackass that you’ve ever met. He does bad and stupid shit, but then proclaims that he has the right to because he read a pamphlet one time. He’s that guy. You’ll want to kill him, but you’ll love him for it at the same time.
We find D4ve at work getting chewed out by his boss and also promoted. Because he’s a decorated war hero he’s getting a very important job and if he fucks up it could be the end of the robot species. We only get the bullet points of the job and what the situation is because D4ve starts to tune out and replace all their words with “blah’s” and “gabba’s.” Let me pause and tell you that writer Ryan Ferrier has captured the work place environment to the capital fucking “T.”
After his promotion D4ve receives a phone call telling him that his wife is leaving him and that he should go home. Problem is, D4ve doesn’t know who the hell is calling him. Enter 5cotty! His pre-aged teenage son that he’s literally just met, but also forgotten about speaks to him all “matter of fact” instead of reminding his old man who he is. He also tells him his house is on fire. (Pause for laughter)
D4ve makes his way home after sitting through traffic; I assume he lives in L.A. since there’s always traffic. He makes it home to discover that his house is not on fire and Ferrier delivers possibly one of the funniest lines of narration I’ve ever read in a comic book. I’m not going to repeat it here, but I laughed a lot and then had to read it to someone else. I realized that this was a terrible idea because they had no idea what the hell I was talking about and it required me to explain several things about the story for the joke to make sense. But that’s how good the line was; it left me giddy to share my experience even if I couldn’t guarantee the same experience for the person I was sharing it with.
Sprinkled throughout the issue is the beginning of an alien invasion which sort of begins in this issue. Also 5cully goes to stay with her sister while D4ve and 5cotty bond or some shit. And D4ve catches 5cotty masturbating… right before the alien invasion… (pause for laughter).
That’s the charm of this story and of the world that Ferrier has written and Valentin Ramon has illustrated; you want to share it with someone. This is going to be a strange comparison, but it’s like you’re favorite cartoon show or really just The Simpsons or Futurama. It’s so close to your own life in so many ways that it gives you the perfect line of dialogue to use the next time you’re in a similar situation. There was a point in my life where I could find an episode or line of dialogue from The Simpsons for whatever was happening in my life. I’m sure this was annoying as I would do it constantly, but so would my friends. I’m not saying that D4VE is there just yet, but if continues the way it is I may just end up quoting it to no end.
Ferrier is just masterful with his story and pacing. I don’t like to throw around the word “masterful” because that encompasses a lot, but there really is no other word for his writing on this series. The characters may look like robots, but I think that makes them easier for the reader to paint their own life upon them. We’ve all met 5cotty in some form in the real world and by him not having any features it lets your imagination do the rest of the work. Even with that, there still needs to be enough personality for 5cotty for that to work and that’s exactly why Ferrier is masterful. It’s looking at a blank face and know what expression they’re really making.
Again Ferrier’s pacing is fantastic on this issue. The story hits these great beats between the jokes and progresses the plot perfectly. I don’t know if I’ve read another issue that was so satisfying upon reaching the end. It was like a fantastic steak dinner (from Ruth Chris of course) that delights you and leaves you on the highest cloud of foodie heaven. I really didn’t want to read another comic after this issue. When you’ve had the best why go back to a double Whopper from Burger King? No cheese… Burger King’s cheese is the grossest. Also I don’t really like Burger King, but it was the strongest contrast I could think of. The point is I really couldn’t find a fault in this issue; neither in the story nor in the art.
Speaking of which I was also concerned initially about the artwork; Ramon did such an incredible job with the first issue that again it felt like the only place to go was down. Usually with the first issue the artist has the most amount of time on the issue and then the monthly grind begins to wear on them. Almost instantly you can tell the difference between the first and second issue, but I shit you not… this issue looked better than the first issue. I don’t know if it was just Ramon be more at home with the world, but he knocked it out of the park.
It’s the little details that he adds; wrinkles in a dress shirt, a throw rug that I swear has the same pattern as one of my mother’s (minus the company logo) and the traffic. You’ve never see traffic so real, so soul crushing and yet so beautiful until you’ve read this issue. And then there’s 5cotty… that fucking guy apparently came with a suitcase of annoying shit because every time he was on the page he made me laugh, but also a strong desire to strangle him. Ramon makes this world real. His artwork is incredible and frankly he’s won me over as a fan for a very long time.
You shouldn’t just buy this issue, telling you to buy it cheapens it. You should experience this issue because it’s one of the greatest single issues in all of comic’s history. I don’t throw that around lightly either, but yes there are a few other ongoing series that I would place on the same shelf. This shelf is very high and incredibly difficult to reach, but D4VE has managed to get there in just two issues. Right now you can experience it in digital, but if and hopefully when it makes it to print I will be the first in any line to purchase it; to loan it to others and to cherish it.
Writer: Ryan Ferrier Artist: Valentin Ramon Publisher: Monkey Brain Comics Price: $.99 Release Date: 1/8/14