‘D4ve2’ Graphic Novel Review
written and lettered by Ryan Ferrier; art, colors and cover by Valentin Ramon
D4ve2 takes a look back at the series’ protagonist, D4ve, one year after his heroic feat for the robotic community against the humans. When readers meet D4ve this time around, he appears to have an undesirable and dull life. In fact, most of the robots appear to have the same, mundane lifestyle the former humans of 34rth had during their rein.
D4ve now faces issues that are more common and relatable to the typical human experience. He went through a messy divorce. He has a child that is resentful and blames him for the family falling apart, and now he is struggling in the dating world. The only bright side at the moment is the fact that D4ve’s crappy work commute leads to a much more prestigious job than he had before.
Unfortunately for D4ve, things are going to get crappier before they get better. While he attempts to navigate the hurdles of fatherhood, a work-related crisis falls into his lap. More specifically, a mysterious pod-like spaceship comes into the picture. With this unknown threat looming and family troubles plaguing him, will D4ve be able to once again become the hero both his family and community need him to be?
While D4ve2 has a great concept, there is some trouble with the execution. Some readers may dislike the fact that the story revolves mostly around D4ve’s family issues, while there was a lack of focus on the supposedly threatening spaceship. That threat falls flat, and the storyline around it feels like an afterthought.
The ship and its contents are only lightly touched upon towards the final few pages of the work, and it is all rather rushed. Rather than D4ve have to make decisions or face some of his moral dilemmas head on, the problem is taken completely out of his hands.
The spaceship storyline is settled in an unrealistic and unsatisfying way; it is a less than ideal “solution” to those who ultimately decided how to proceed. Not only that, but it is too convenient of a fix for D4ve. He is ultimately absolved of any responsibility for the ship, its contents, and any moral implications attached to the problem. In fact, saying that there is a problem to be resolved seems misleading since the issue had no impact on D4ve or the future of his people.
On the other hand, the satirical undertones of the comic are an extremely likable feature of the work. There are several instances where the writer pokes fun at issues we have in our own world, which is reflective of the comic’s general premise. It is a nice touch, and it gives readers a level of comedy that is uncommon; however, there are other comedic elements I am not fond of.
Let’s just say flatulence is mentioned on every other page. I do not want readers to think I am a snob when it comes to bodily functions and humor. That is certainly not the case, but when it is overdone it becomes less humorous. It takes away from the higher level of comedy that was laced within the work as well.
When all is said and one, D4ve2 is a comic that falters in the end. The plot was essentially meaningless, and not always humorous. Fans of D4ve’s first adventure may be more than willing to take the plunge into his second adventure, but be prepared to be disappointed.