Review: D4VE #3

“What, are you going to jerk the aliens off to death?” These are the words of a father to his son… his son that is a mail order robot that has only been in his life for a day. It’s also one of the reasons that you should be reading MonkeyBrain Comics’ D4VE.

If we rewind for a moment and go back in time comic books were once referred to as funny books. It’s a term that until recent years was a derogatory reference to the medium most commonly used by crotchety old men. “Why you reading them damn funny books still?” and other such phrases were spouted as it was clear that the aging adult had no concept of what a comic book was other than that it was supposed to be fun or funny as the name implied. What the hell happened to all these funny books?

There’s no arguing that the bronze/modern age of comics has brought about a much darker tone to the medium of comics. Perhaps it was the repressed nature of the industry due to the Comic Code and everything leading up to its arrive, but suddenly comics grew the fuck up and stopped being funny.

The strange thing is, when you look at modern comics you notice so many genres represented in the medium and yet comedies are few and far between. You can’t turn on a TV and watch primetime programing without seeing half a dozen comedies (or what passes as one), but with comics you can go months and months without a laugh. It’s a shame, but that’s why D4VE is so incredible. D4VE is the perfect balance of humor, action and character development; it’s what all good comedies are… complex.

D4VE_03-1This issue starts off with 54LLY at her sister T1N4’s house. They’re catching up on the news of the aliens that have landed and the world is viewing them as peaceful. As the reader we know that something is up with them, but the robo-world has become much like our own… lazy and complacent. This is the same society that went to the ends of the universe to wipe out all other life forms and now they’re peachy keen to have alien visitors. Well not if D4VE has anything to say about it.

As D4VE preps his old guns for the alien-jamboree, 5COTTY wants to join forces with him and kick alien ass as well. Before they begin though D4VE has to head into work to get something and while we don’t see what it is, we do learn what the super important project that D4VE was put on… stabilizing the earth’s core!

The second issue of this series delivered a ton of laughs and while there weren’t as many in this issue, each one is quality when it happens. Overall the humor of this series is one of the huge appeals and successes. With that said writer Ryan Ferrier doesn’t let the humor get in the way of telling a great story. Without the backdrop of events the comedy wouldn’t be as impactful. Ferrier is still telling a serious story it just so happens to have humor to it. As sad as it would be, you could remove the comedy and still have a story that makes sense and is interesting, which is the true sign of any great comedy.

This story is a bit (byte?) generational. To truly get the jokes and references you need to be old enough to understand what “going to the top rope” means (or just a wrestling fan) and then also young enough to get 404’ing. That’s not to say that everyone can’t enjoy it, it’s just that if you’re closer in age to Ferrier you’re likely to enjoy it more.

While this series continues to be impressive, Valentin Ramon is more impressive. How he’s able to keep up with his level of quality is insane. The consistency of each issue keeps this story all together. Ramon’s wonderful character designs mixed with the human features and body language he adds to the characters is fantastic. In one scene we see D4VE’s boss coming down the hallway to D4VE’s office to confront him and even though the character lacks any facial features you still get the sense of the anger and frustration that the character has. Ramon’s artwork is so deep that the reader can’t help but project emotions on these characters.

There is absolutely no reason you shouldn’t be reading D4VE. For ninety-nine cents you get eighteen pages of story. If ever there was a word for “value” it’s D4VE.

Score: 5/5

Writer: Ryan Ferrier Artist: Valentin Roman Publisher: MonkeyBrain Comics Price: $.99 Release Date: 2/26/14