Sam Denney's Reviews > We3

We3 by Grant Morrison
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F_50x66
's review
Feb 15, 12

Recommended to Sam by: a friend
Recommended for: animal lovers, animal blubbers
Read on February 09, 2012 — I own a copy, read count: 1

I sat down to read We3 with a decent measure of trepidation. I am an unabashed animal lover who lives with 2 dogs and a rabbit; one of those people who gets sick-makingly soppy about their pets and loves them more than most people. So when I decided to read a comic that had a cover picture featuring 3 domestic pets in deadly looking robot suits, I worried I was in for a rough emotional ride. And I was right, of course.

"Rough" and "emotional" sums up We3 pretty well. In short, the story revolves around three animals that escape from a research facility where they have become trained killers; half animal, half machine, designed to follow orders and complete missions as the next stage of warfare. The story of what happens when they try to find home is a short and at times brutal one. The book never flinches from its graphic representations of violence towards humans and animals alike. Creators Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely cook up a visual style that represents the frenetic, chaotic, split-second madness of violence in a unique way. 2D images are tilted, twisted, fragmented and rebuilt into intricate compositions that could only work in comics. The tiniest fractions of a second are represented on the page as miniature panels. Each one covers a moment of horror that would otherwise pass by unnoticed; the passage of projectiles, the madness and fear in the eyes of both animal and human. The art really adds to the impact of the book's message, forces the reader to consider how Man can overstep his bounds and abuse power over weaker species, and how violence breeds violence. The lack of dialogue lets the imagery speak for itself, like film without a soundtrack, and the CCTV sequences and scenes of feline lethality are particular highlights. As the creators write in a script excerpt presented as part of the Deluxe Edition's bonus content, "Let Hollywood try to copy THIS stuff..."

What makes We3 more than just a visually stunning experience is the emotional core of the story; the importance of ideas like loyalty, loss and regret to the central message of the book. It felt to me as much like a story about giving in to your instincts as it did about resisting them. Both human- and animal-kind falter and succeed alternately as they struggle to make sense of the chaos around them.

There's no denying that this story is a heartstring-tugger. I got to the end of the book and felt emotionally drained, but uplifted too. We3 is not entirely bleak, not entirely gratuitous, and that's what makes it a classic for me. I get the feeling I will come back to it many times in the future.

Abitrary Rating: 5 drill-headed rats out of 5.
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