I read this trade in anticipation of Brian Wood and Rebekah Isaacs’ Dv8: Gods and Monsters mini-series coming out in April. Wood has stated that the only reference he pulled from was this initial Dv8 run by Warren Ellis and Humberto Ramos. As much as I usually like Warren Ellis’ stuff, I have to say I wasn’t that impressed with this run.
I never followed Dv8 when the series was running. I have issue one but I probably picked it up because it’s the “Sloth” Variant by Jim Lee. As I reread it, it must not have impressed me back then because I never followed the series after that. I think back then I was still focusing more on the artists than the writer. So the fact that Ellis wrote this wasn’t enough to keep me on the title. Add that to the fact I was never a big Humberto Ramos fan and it’s easy to see why I didn’t follow this series.
Ellis has a little introduction to the trade that makes it hard to decipher how he actually felt about the book. He says that initially he didn’t want it but it wasn’t until Jim Lee compared it to the film “Kids” that he agreed to do it. “Kids” was definitely a messed up movie and that seems to be the theme of this arc. I guess what I miss here that Ellis usually does is give us an over-arcing story. These issues are very much stand-alone and therefore seem disjointed a little. There is a thin thread of a storyline in that the kids are kind of coming to depend on one another (some of them anyway). But that’s quickly dropped on the last issue, almost as if Ellis realized what he was doing and decided he had to drop that idea quickly before he left the book.
The fact that these characters are messed up was not enough to make me want to read about them. It was the idea that despite the fact they’re messed up, they can still come to rely on each other, even if it’s while still committing evil. That kind of conflict is interesting because you know that they weren’t born evil, so there’s a part of them deep down that struggles with what they do. On the flip side, there are some like Ivana and Bliss who no longer have anything deep down inside to struggle with and are more self-absorbed which in turn fuels their evil acts to satisfy their own desires.
Overall, I’d say it was a decent read but it’s not one of Ellis’ best. But I am excited to see what Wood does with these characters because they do have potential and it’ll be cool to see where he takes them.
Issues #1/2, 1-6 are collected in this trade and each issue is now summarized at the Wildstorm Resource Wiki: