Publisher: IDW Entertainment
Writer: Ryan Ferrier
Artist: Valentin Ramon
Released: 16th September 2015
The first D4ve was something of an under-appreciated gem – a delightfully silly romp through an Adamsian robot apocalypse that saw our protagonist go from savior of robot-kind (sort of) to has-been office work and back again over the course of its run, and he did it all in some sweet sneakers (and nothing else).
Story-wise, this picks up a year after the final pages of volume one, with D4ve firmly entrenched in his new job as D-Fense General – though he still slacks almost precisely as much as he did as a desk-jockey, and given that there’s not been anything to defend against, it’s starting to be called into question precisely how required he is. Some freak occurrences raise a few eyebrows as to precisely how ‘under control’ the situation is, including an investigation into an unknown object that spews out of a localised micro-black hole. Further details would risk spoilers, so suffice to say that it proceeds rather pleasingly, and there’s a deliciously intriguing twist come the final page.
Ramon’s delightful artwork shows no signs of entering auto-pilot, and his character design remains his strong point – the sheer variety of weird-looking robots that populate this world, , combined with his exceptional colour-work, give vibrancy to what lesser artists might’ve turned into an unintelligible mess of gray.
Much as it’s fun to re-engage with this story, and these characters, it does seem like Ferrier has upped the sweariness dial to 11. Whilst the first volume wasn’t precisely curse-free, it does feel here a little like someone told him that the cursing was the best thing about it – and whilst there is an occasional Kevin Smith-esque poetry to some of the more inventive curses, here they’re layered on so thick and fast that it starts to feel like it’s the only facet of the dialogue. Re-reading volume 1, it’s certainly not Ferrier’s only strength, and hopefully it’s just an opening issue thing. We’ll see!
Still, as said, there’s more than enough fun to be had here – and the fact that Ferrier resisted the temptation to go along the ‘creature of the week’ route for the continuing adventures of 34rth’s mightiest hero, opting for something that promises to be far more interesting. Worth a look, but it’s not quite found its stride.
The Writer of this piece was: Ross Sweeney
Ross tweets from @Rostopher24