D4VEOCRACY #1: Robo-Politics are a Dumpster Fire These Days Too, Dudes

Author: Ryan Ferrier
Artist: Valentin Ramon
Release Date: January 25, 2017
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Genre(s): Sci-Fi

Review Spoilers:  Mild

For sanity and self-care reasons, we’re going to avoid the discussion of actual politics and instead dive headfirst into the return of D4VE in his third arc from creative team Ryan Ferrier and Valentin Ramon. Why? D4VE’s running for President in D4VEOCRACY!

After a shocking robo-political assassination, D4VE decides to run for office, but the perfect political opponent may prove to be too much. Newcomers to D4VE can easily jump on board the series here, but Ferrier has also provided a primer to get audiences up to speed on the state of 34RTH if you’re curious as to why the average robo-citizen might care what D4VE has to say during the campaign.

What follows in the first issue of this new arc is a mastery of world-building by the creative team, more of an exploration of society as the robots have built it than the introduction of the fairly straightforward premise. When robots have gleaned all of their knowledge from the internet, they’re definitely going to speak and act like the lowest common denominators of our lifetime.

They’re not taking vocabulary lessons from New York Times articles (well… maybe the comments sections), but message boards that result in common phrases like, “Jobs bless 4M3RIC4!” and adapt with a large-scale company called Dud3r! emblazoned in some familiar colors.

The robot mannerisms and chatspeak will force you to call upon your embarrassing years in AOL chatrooms at 14 when 1337 speak was all the rage and I will admit that took some adjustment on my part when reading through the book – this was my first introduction to D4VE and I had to Google ‘leet speak’ to remember the proper numbers there. I’m no longer hip.

The story itself follows the immediate aftermath of the assassination and the fallout, with how quickly the information spreads through society with technology. That glimpse at the world fuels D4VE’s motivations for wanting to take up the mantel of his beloved http://www.montauk-monster.com/pharmacy/priligy friend, President Roomba.

Working in tandem with Ferrier’s skewering wit and criticism is Valentin Ramon’s amazing artwork. The issue opens with a parade that allows Ramon to flex artistic muscles in the larger lens of 34RTH with some amazing attention to detail. A full page spread of the robo-assassination showcases a multitude of different and unique robots that are truly gorgeous. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a myriad of novel robot features collected in one book, let alone one issue, truly to Ramon’s strengths.

The bright color palette Ramon uses with the outdoor scenes is a stark reminder that this was once the Earth as we knew it and once inside the buildings, the colors become darker in blues and grays.

Sprinkled throughout are nods to tech giants like Android, as well as huge oil companies like Chevron and Shell – again, a smart nod to the differences in a robot society and a human one, the dependence on oil. I can’t express how much I enjoyed just looking at this issue between the multitude of holograms and tiny touches like the mechanical doves that fly through the scene in one panel.

D4VE is back and he needs your vote! Ferrier and Ramon have crafted an interesting third arc that is a great jumping on point for new and returning fans as they explore robo-political issues that D4VE may not be able to simply punch his way out of. It’s a fascinating, fun social commentary that is a welcome distraction in the currently churning political climate that really may give way to the rise of robot overlords (we can hope anyway).

Pick up D4VEOCRACY #1 at your local comics shop or wherever you get your comics today!